Monday, February 22, 2010

The Gospel Proclaims Salvation By Grace, Not Works: Galatians 1

Theme: Salvation is by grace, not works.

1. Because the gospel proclaims it (1-2)
     A. This message came from God (1:1-12)
     B. This message did not come from man (1:13-24)
 
This message came from God (1:1-10)

Paul was an apostle ("sent one") of God, not men. As such, God is the One who sent his message of salvation by grace ("gift", "unmerited favor"), apart from works (1:1). This is the only gospel which glorifies God rather than man (1:2-5). 

Salvation by the grace of Christ is the only message which God calls believers to (1:6-10; cf. John 6:44; 12:32). Adding a single human merit to faith, as a term of salvation, renders "another" (different) gospel, which is not "another" (gospel of the same kind), and leads men to eternal damnation (6-9). Paul urged the Galatians to stand fast in the grace of Christ, by rejecting any gospel which adds human works to faith, as a term for salvation.

This message did not come from man(1:13-24)

Paul did not seek to merit God's favor, or please men (10). He received his gospel by revelation from Christ, apart from human instruction (1:11-12). This was evident because Paul used to oppose christians, and their gospel of God's grace. It was in his zeal to merit God's favor, and while on his way to persecute christians, that God saved Paul, and sent him to preach a gospel of grace among the Gentiles (13-16a; cf. Acts 9:1-16). Only three years later did Paul confer with Peter, and then only for two weeks (18). He remained unknown, by face, to the churches of Judea, and they heard only that he now preached the faith he once tried to destroy (22-23). The gospel of salvation by grace, apart from human merit did not come from men.

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The Gospel


Have you heard Christ died for our sins, and God raised Him from the dead? Did you know God saves you from hell and gives you eternal life through faith in this finished work alone, not your merits (Jn. 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Thess. 1:8-9)? This is so man cannot boast, and God alone gets the glory (Eph. 2:8-9).

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