I have been thinking this evening about my sermon for Sunday, and as I’m preaching from Galatians just now I was led to chapter 2 and one of the strongest verses in Scripture.
Galatians 2 v 21 is a very, very strong verse and a favourite of mine.
I love this verse as it equates the message of grace with the righteousness that can only come through Christ.
In the verses towards the end of the second chapter of Galatians Paul is telling the believers that justification (or the process of being made righteous) comes through faith in Jesus Christ and nothing else (Galatians 2 v 16).
Righteousness cannot be attained through works or deeds of the law, or through any religious performance.
This is one of the fundamental truths of the grace message, of the gospel.
And then verse 21 comes along!
Paul is saying that if we think we become righteous through our own works or deeds or religious performance then what we are really saying is that Christ did not need to die; indeed He died in vain.
I do not want to say that.
Jesus indeed came to earth to die, that was part of His mission.
He died to bring forgiveness and reconciliation so that it could be possible for a man to be saved and made righteous.
Righteousness only comes through faith in Jesus and His finished work, and that is marvellous for every single one of us.
Our righteousness is built upon His work and not ours; it is our faith in His work that is important.
Of course His death was not in vain, but we can imply that if we think our own performance contributes towards our righteousness.
Speak this out today…..”Thank You Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ and thank you that through faith in that I have been made righteous”.
Galatians 2 v 21…..I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain