Sunday, August 23, 2015

The four delights that result from justification by faith alone - Galatians 2:19-21

Galatians 2:20-21 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”

In yesterday's post, we considered how the doctrine of justification by faith alone is the Gospel's central jewel. We began by defining it and illustrating it. We then spent some time in Galatians 2:11-15, noting the dangers that occur when denial of this doctrine takes place. As Paul had to confront Peter (Cephas) in these verses, we saw first-hand what Peter experienced before it was all said and done: guilt (2:11); isolation (2:12); fear (2:12); hypocrisy (2:13) and the beginnings of departure from the Gospel itself (2:14-15). Thankfully Peter humbled himself. We know he did by what we read of he and Paul's unity on justification by faith against the legalistic Judiazers and their affirmation of this truth in Acts 15. 

Inasmuch as we are saved by grace alone through faith alone apart from works of the law, we are saved nonetheless unto a faith that works. Following one's justification by faith, the Christian life is accompanied by various delights that stem from justification. Obviously to list all of them would exceed the scope of today's post. However, from Galatians 2:19-21, we can mention four. Today's post aims to briefly consider the delights that follow from justification by faith alone.

1. Justification results in my being able to live for God. Galatians 2:19

2. Justification results in my experiencing life with Christ. Galatians 2:20a

3. Justification results in my experiencing the love of Christ. Galatians 2:20b

4. Justification results in experiencing the permenance of His life and love. Galatians 2:21

These four delightful benefits that result from being justified by faith are experienced in a process we call "sanctification". Justification is certainly the all-encompassing event that occurs when God declares a sinner righteous at saving faith. The position of the sinner is changed to that of a saint. Thankfully, salvation isn't only about one's position. A necessary growing experience with God begins to flow from that particular moment. Justification is the root and sanctification is the stem and flower. Both saving graces are to be distinguished for sure, and yet both cannot and must not be cut off from one another. Furthermore, we musn't confuse justification with sanctification. The delights the flow from justification by faith yield good works. This is Paul's point in bringing out the delights of justification by faith alone.