By Faith, Not Works

“Our weekly article in the Northport Gazette and the West Alabama Gazette”.

Watering the Tulips

03/28/2012

“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them’” - Galatians 3:10

A pastor was visiting a hospital sometime back. His member was in a double-occupancy room. As soon as the other patient found out he was a minister, he said, “I don’t want to hear none of that stuff. I have the Ten Commandments – that’s enough for me.” The pastor quickly responded, “You’ve got more than I can stand!”

The Law cannot save. Do not misunderstand; there is nothing faulty about the Law. It’s faultless because its Giver is holy. The ineffectiveness of the Law is not the cause of the Law. The Law is made ineffective because the recipients of the Law are unrighteous. Simply, a holy, righteous God cannot give a law that an unrighteous, unholy man can keep. For Him to do that He would have to give an imperfect Law and He is incapable of doing that.

The patient who believed the Ten Commandments were enough for him is in great company. Many today have the idea that somehow if our good outweighs our bad, we will make it into Heaven at the judgment. But that is not how things work. A holy, righteous God cannot overlook one solitary sin. If He did, He would cease to be righteous. All sin must be accounted for. It matters not if your good outweighs your bad (as if that’s possible) because the bad (sin) must be paid for.

So, what good is the Law? Romans 3:20 says, “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” There are a couple of points here that should be noted. First, not one solitary soul will be justified in the sight of God by keeping of the Law. The same chapter says, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:28). It cannot be both ways. Man is either justified by his own merits or he is justified by God-given faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ. The passage seems plain enough.

The purpose of the Law is also given here. The Law was given to show us our sin. Remember, the problem with salvation through the Law is neither the fault of the Law itself nor its Giver. Man cannot be saved by the Law because man is unable to keep it. The Law points this out to us. The Law shows us that we are guilty before a Thrice Holy God. “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor” (Galatians 3:24-25).

Perhaps you have convinced yourself that you are a good enough person to make it into Heaven. The Scripture says you are not. Perhaps you have lived as clean of a life as any church member…maybe better than some. Sadly, this may be true. But, they are not the standard. To enter Heaven’s gate, you must be free from any guilt whatsoever by the standard of the Law! The only way to be free from the guilt of the Law, your sins must have been imputed to Christ on the cross. In turn, His righteousness is imputed to you. We pray you trust Him today!


Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net. “Your app to the Gospel” is available for download in the iTunes app store and the Android market. Download it today.

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