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Galatians 2:16-21 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. 18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

The Bible teaches us very clearly that by the works of the Law no flesh shall be justified. That is in the very first verse of today’s text:

Galatians 2:16-21 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

The Problem With Much Of American Christianity

Much of American Christianity has so blended with the world that it is impossible to recognize it from the world. What has caused this problem is a confused preacher in the pulpit. Many preachers – in an effort (in many cases, sincere effort) to reach a lost world have eradicated “repentance” from the Gospel message. Quoting “by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified” and famous texts like:

Titus 3:5-7 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

These preachers of confusion reason thus:

Since Christ paid for our sins on the Cross of Calvary, then believing on Him transforms what
God considers sinFUL to sinLESS.

For instance, the professor of Christ is now free to engage in activities which were – under the Old Covenant sinFUL – are now perfectly clean. Professors of this theology point to the vision that Peter had in Acts 10:10-16 – do you remember the vision?

{Peter saw} “a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: wherein were all manner of four footed beasts … and there came a voice to him, ‘Rise, Peter, kill, and eat.’ But Peter said ‘Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean’. And the voice spake unto him the second time, ‘What God hath cleansed, that call thou not common’.”

Proponents of what I call hypergrace say that, with this vision, God eradicated the moral code presented in the Law. Even a cursory reading of the New Testament shows that this concept is flawed. What was a violation of the Law in the Old Covenant (Exodus 20:1-17) is a violation of the Law in the New Covenant. Jesus told the rich young ruler:

Matthew 19:17-19 … if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honor thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Jesus never taught any violation of the Old Covenant commandments, but expected His disciples to obey the Father (Leviticus 18:5). “You shall keep My statutes, and live”. As Jesus said “thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, honor thy father and mother” He was quoting the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and fifth commandments of Exodus 20. As Jesus said “thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” He was quoting Old Covenant Law found in Leviticus 19:18, a quotation that is repeated throughout the New Covenant in Luke 10:27; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8. The Apostle Paul who is often quoted to erroneously state that what was sin is no longer sin often quoted the Ten Commandments:

Romans 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Listen Beloved: those who are saved by Grace are no longer under the ceremonial or sacrificial codes of the Old Covenant such as the Levitical Priesthood and the animal sacrifices. We are no longer under dietary restrictions. These were restrictions to God’s Israel, not the Church. But what was morally reprehensible in the Old Covenant is still morally reprehensible under the New Covenant.

We are freed from “the works of the Law”,
but not it’s moral code.

Let’s Biblically Define The Term “Works Of The Law”

If no person can be saved by “the works of the Law” then we need to define what “the works of the Law” are.

Israel tried to justify herself by the “works of the Law”. So what is “the works of the Law”? It is quite simply the Levitical Priesthood and feasts, and the sacrifice of animals for atonement of sin. When God gave the Law of Sacrifice and Temple to unbelieving Israel the whole purpose of the bloody system was to show us that we needed a Savior.

God saved people long before He ever gave the Levitical Laws to Moses on Mount Sinai.

God saved Noah:

Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Was Noah saved by keeping the Levitical Laws? No, for it was not given until Moses ascended Sinai in Exodus 20. Yet Noah found grace in the eyes of God, and Noah obeyed God and built the Ark because he loved God. Had Noah not believed in God we would all be dead now. Noah found Grace – then as a Child of God obeyed the Creator.

God saved Enoch before He ever saved Noah. Enoch is one of the least known people in Scripture. The Bible says:

Genesis 5:24 … Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

Hebrews 11:5-6 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Enoch please God apart from the Law, for the Levitical Law had not been given. How did Enoch please God. By faith he came to God. By faith Enoch believed in God. By faith Enoch sought out God’s presence. Enoch abided in God!

The Levitical Law was not given to save anyone.
It was given as a mirror to show us the need of the Savior.

The Levitical Law was a tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified (or declared righteous) by faith in Him (Galatians 3:24). Furthermore the Apostle wrote:

Romans 3:20-26 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

It is the Blood of Jesus Christ that pays for our sins, not the blood of an animal. To sacrifice an animal without spot or blemish before the altar in the Temple Jerusalem was commanded as a “work of the Law”. Yet this work never saved. In fact, before Moses brought the Law, Abraham was saved by faith in Christ long before the Law was ever given.

Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Genesis 15:6 {Abraham} believed in the LORD; and {God} counted it to him for righteousness.

After Abraham was justified by faith in Christ (see John 8:56-58 “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad”) Abraham went on to obey and follow the commands of God, even the painful ones. Case in point, Abraham was circumcised (Genesis 17:10), he and all his household.

Beloved, If You Are A Child Of God,
You Are To Abide In – To Be Like – Christ!

Jesus Christ demanded that those who are His ABIDE in Him. He very clearly stated:

John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Galatians 2:17-19 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. 18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I Through The Law Am Dead To The Law, That I Might Live Unto God.

If you are justified by Christ you were justified by Christ so that you might live unto God. We are not saved to live according to what we think is right – but according to God.

The bloody Levitical sacrifices that were accomplished yearly taught all who would see that these animal sacrifices did nothing to save anyone. The sacrifices (the works of the Law) just reminded us that we are sinners. When Christ came He came as the Lamb of God Who taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29, 36). Jesus Christ died for me on Calvary. He died for you on Calvary.

What does this mean practically to the Christian? The Apostle stated the truth in a very interesting way. He said:

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

I am crucified with Christ

This is a very vivid picture. When Christ was crucified His hands and feet were nailed to the Cross. He could not move from that place until He died. As a Christian “I am crucified with Christ”. My hands and feet are nailed to the Cross with Jesus.

I Die With Jesus.
I Am Pinned To Jesus.
Jesus is nailed with me.
The Old Me dies daily.
And now I live in Jesus.

I cannot leave that Cross until I die. The Cross kills me. It kills the old David. I am like that thief on Christ’s right hand, saying…

Luke 23:42 … Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

Jesus dies FOR my sins,
And daily I die TO my sins.

I die with Him on that Cross. Oh Beloved Savior, You gave everything for me. Just remember me, dear Lord, when You come into Your Kingdom! But Jesus gives more. Jesus says, “That is not enough, dear One:

Luke 23:43 … Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Jesus did not die just to take me to Heaven, but to bring Heaven to me. Jesus did not die just to take us to some sweet by and by, but to bring Heaven to earth through our changed Christlike lives. It is a present Paradise to be with Jesus, and a future Paradise promised if you are with Jesus. You were not saved to sin freely. You, dear believer, were saved to abide in Christ, to walk in the Light of God!

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

If you are saved by Grace in Christ, Christ lives in you. You, dear one, cannot sin freely without discomfort and conviction. Jesus is not a Visitor to your abode. Jesus lives IN YOU. You, in turn, live by abiding in Christ.

What Does It Look Like To A.B.I.D.E. ?

To ABIDE in Christ is to:

Always seek to do what Jesus has told us to do:

John 14:15-21 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth … 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

John 15:10-14 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall ABIDE in my love …

The Christian is commanded by Jesus to learn His words and to view them as commandments. Not options, but commandments. Abide in Christ!

Believe In The Faithfulness Of God To Usward

You say “but Brother David, I am not Christ. How can I be like Christ?”. You cannot be like Jesus in your own power, but if God be in you as you grow God has the power to change you. The Scripture says:

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

God works in the believer who follows Christ. Let us follow Christ. Let us …

Immerse Ourselves Daily In His Presence

Where you invest your time is what you will eventually be. We are to daily seek a time of refreshing in Christ, seeking His Word for us in God’s Bible. We are to meditate on Him. Where is YOUR treasure, Christian? Jesus said:

Matthew 6:19-23 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

What comes into your soul through the eye-gate and the ear-gate makes a difference. Turn off the television and open the Book. Turn off the I-Phone and enter the prayer closet. Dedicate your time to that which matters – your soul. The Psalmist said:

Psalm 119:103-105 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. 105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

and the Apostle said in 1 Peter 2:1-3 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: 3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

Dwell In The Light As Light Daily

Are you DOING what Jesus has told you to do? What GOOD did you do today? Jesus said:

John 8:31-37 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. 37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

If you are saved by faith in Christ, praise God for it. But Beloved, you were saved for a purpose. Live according to God’s Word. Do good. Be the Light that Christ wants you to be. Be His hands and feet. What did you ACTUALLY and PRACTICALLY do today for Jesus? Did you contribute to the darkness, or to the light? Jesus said:

John 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

Examine Yourselves Daily Whether You Be In The Faith

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

2 Peter 1:10-11 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

If you are saved, you will act saved. You will not be like the lost world. No Christian abides in sin. No Christian enjoys the darkness. We are children of the light. A.B.I.D.E. in Him. May God the Holy Spirit bind you to Christ’s Word, for God’s glory, forever. Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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