“There was great joy” when the people were told that they had done the one necessary thing they needed to do to be saved. When we are first saved in today’s society, we need to be very careful who we listen to. As Paul said, “if anyone, including an angel from heaven and/or me, comes to you and gives you some different message, that person should be cursed.” Gal. 1:6 (my paraphrase}. The letter did go on to give the new converts some guidelines as to what they should or should not do. The letter did not claim that these guidelines had to be followed to complete their salvation. It is still the same today, when we personally witness to someone who accepts Jesus as their Savior, we need to take a few minutes and give them some encouragement and guidelines as well. We need to explain to them that satan will waste no time in trying to discourage them and make them doubt their salvation. We need to encourage them to find a good Bible teaching church and a good mentor to help them along the way. After the initial acceptance of Jesus as our Savior, we need someone to help us understand that the Holy Spirit will come alongside us and help us learn to “walk in paths of righteousness”.
“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Paul is explaining to the Jews present that they were never justified by the works they did under the law. They had spent their lives seeking to be justified but had come up short because the law cannot justify anyone. So, if the law was unable to justify anyone, was God actually causing everyone to sin when they were under the law? Paul says that would never happen. The law was not given to make men fail, but to teach them that they could not justify themselves by works.
19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. —Romans 3:19, 20 (NASB)
So, the law was given that all men might know that they needed a redeemer. That is why Jesus Christ died on the cross and was resurrected. Because of that act of love by God the Father and Jesus the Son, we are all now under grace, not the law. Now, we are all saved by grace through faith. There is a time, place and need for works, but they are not a part of salvation. We are justified by the blood of Jesus, we are in the process of being sanctified, and one day, we will be glorified. Not because we earned it, but, because Jesus, with His blood, has paid the full price for all of us!
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous