Let’s pick up our study in Galatians 2:16 where it says, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” This is a clear cut presentation of justification by faith. It simply means that justification, or being made right before God, comes about only by faith and not by works. That means that there is absolutely nothing you or I can do to “earn” it. I find it interesting that Paul spent so much of his time on this subject throughout his writings. Obviously it was a major concern to him. Unfortunately, most today also believe that they have to do something to “earn” God’s love and forgiveness. Just ask anyone around you what they think that it takes for a person to go to Heaven. The answer will invariably be something like; “go to church”, “be a good person”, “respect my fellow man,” and the list goes on and on. Sadly, it is a sure sign that they haven’t got a clue about justification by faith.
Paul’s point in this passage is simple. If the Jew had to leave the Law behind in order to be justified by faith, why should the Gentile be brought under the Law? After all, it didn’t save the Jew and it certainly wasn’t going to save the Gentile either. Paul will later say in Galatians 3:11, “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.” That very verse alone played a major role in the start of the Protestant Reformation.
The bottom line is that too many people are running around trying to gain favor with God. I must remind you that God said in Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” My friend, don’t continue to think that your salvation depends upon you. Nothing could be farther from the truth. God looked down through the portals of time, and out of love, decided to save you: not because of who you are but because of who He is!