Christ Paid Sin’s Price
One of the first crises in the church was caused by the influence of the Judaizers. This sect was dedicated to the Jewish law, so much so, that they were demanding non-Jewish followers of Christ to get circumcised. While this may not seem like a big deal to us today, it was a huge deal in the early church, especially in Galatia. Now that we have a brief background for Paul’s letter to the Galatians, we move to Paul’s address of the Judaizers in Galatians 2:15-21:
15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
17 But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
Paul makes is clear that he, and other Jews, are not Gentiles. They are part of God’s chosen people, Israel. While Paul makes a distinction between the Jew and Gentile, he makes it clear that they are connected by sin. Everyone is a sinner in the eyes of a holy God. Paul reiterates this point because the Judaizers taught that one must do good works to gain favor with God. This teaching was disguised as Christian, but it is a false gospel.
Paul makes it clear that only death comes through the law, and the only way to live is by Christ. In our culture we are surrounded by teachings similar to those of the Judaizers.
The Roman Catholic Church will tell you that you need to do a litany of things to remain in the good graces of God. Islam teachings that you must do more good than bad in order to have a chance at salvation. Mormonism teaches that we need to follow the teachings of Joseph Smith in order to become a god. All of these, though not Christian, are based around the same lie that the Judaizers espoused…You can gain salvation through your actions.
The Apostle Paul makes it abundantly clear that no one can gain salvation outside of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. As Paul states, “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.” Christ died because God knew that we, as humans, could not obtain salvation through the law. There is no list of laws that we can follow to be saved because we could never follow those laws perfectly. The only person that ever lived out the law without sin paid the price for sinners by sacrificing himself on the cross.
Without Jesus, we can never be saved. Place your sins upon the cross of Christ and receive salvation. That faith is all you need to be accepted as a child of God.
Thanks for reading.
Posted on August 22, 2012, in Christianity, Life, Theology and tagged Christianity, Galatians 2:15-21, Judaizers, life, reformed theology, Salvation, theology, truth. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.