Justified by Faith - Galatians 2:16

Verse of the Day - Day 275

Justified by Faith
Photo Source: Pixabay / Composition: Sue Chastain

Welcome to Verse of the Day!

Today's Bible Verse:

Galatians 2:16
Know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. (NIV)

Today's Inspiring Thought: Justified by Faith

Many believers are worried about measuring up.

They have this image of all the things a "good Christian" should do, so they exhaust themselves in a flurry of activity.

It's not a new problem. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul told the members of that ancient church they could not work their way into heaven. In his commentary on this passage in the 1700s, John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, said it did not matter whether it was the moral law (The Ten Commandments) or the ceremonial law, human nature prevents us from obeying any law perfectly.

This same human nature makes us want to "do" something. When we are doing, we feel good about ourselves. We are in control. We can even keep records of our accomplishments and congratulate ourselves on our "progress."

Sadly, the belief that you can get into heaven by being a "good person" has always been false. How good would you have to be? How many good works would you need to do? How would you know where you stood?

Unlike other religions, Christianity has never been about our good works. It is about the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ: his death on the cross. From the time of the Fall of Man, humanity has been unable to solve its own sin problem. God rejects our sin-tarnished good works as unworthy. In fact, the Bible compares them to "filthy rags." (Isaiah 64:6)

Stop Trying to Measure Up

We are simply incapable of measuring up to God's holy standards. We need a Savior. This was God's plan of salvation from the beginning. When God the Father raised Jesus from the dead, he signaled that his Son's sacrifice paid humanity's sin debt in full. Salvation was offered to the entire human race through grace, God's unmerited gift. You do not work to earn a gift.

What a sense of freedom it brings to know Jesus did everything needed to get us into heaven. "Then you will know the truth, (Jesus said) and the truth will set you free." (John 8:32, NIV)  

The truth is that Jesus Christ earned our salvation, and we can add nothing to that. Doing good out of gratitude is fine, but rest assured that it is your faith in Christ, not your works, that makes you right with God.

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Your Citation
Zavada, Jack. "Justified by Faith - Galatians 2:16." ThoughtCo, Jan. 19, 2017, thoughtco.com/justified-by-faith-galatians-216-701587. Zavada, Jack. (2017, January 19). Justified by Faith - Galatians 2:16. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/justified-by-faith-galatians-216-701587 Zavada, Jack. "Justified by Faith - Galatians 2:16." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/justified-by-faith-galatians-216-701587 (accessed November 22, 2017).