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Faith Versus Works

Key Verse

“But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith” (Galatians 3:11).

TEXT — Galatians 3:1-12


The doctrine of justification is an account of how God removes the guilt of the sinner and receives him or her back to communion with Him. The essential question concerns how the tension between human sin and divine righteousness is resolved. Martin Luther’s central claim is that faith alone justifies the one who believes in Christ as a result of hearing the gospel. In contrast to medieval doctrines on justification, Luther argues that Christ Himself, not love, is the form or essence of faith. Love and good works are the necessary consequences of justification.

From our text, the Galatian brethren were under pressure from preachers of Judaism. They told them their salvation was null and void if they failed to keep the ceremonial laws of Moses, like going through purifications in the temple, being circumcised and making the mandatory sacrifices. Paul the apostle reminded them through this epistle that even Abraham was justified by his faith, not works. The miracles, which God did in their midst were not the product of works, but by His Spirit working through their faith. The just shall live by their faith; and faith without good works is dead.

However, the inclination to love and perform good works is present in the believer through Christ; but these characteristics do not have justifying power. They are the products or fruits of justification by faith and salvation through grace.

We should be warned against the perverted doctrines of present-day deceivers who substitute faith in Christ with what they call ‘articles’ that help faith. They require incense, holy water, candles and money to sow seed or other works of men’s hands. Salvation is free. It is the gift of God.

Thought for the day

Salvation is by faith, not works.
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Pastor W.F. Kumuyi
About Author - Pastor W.F. Kumuyi

Listed among “500 most powerful people on the planet” by the Foreign Policy magazine in 2013, Pastor (Dr.) William F. Kumuyi is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry (DCLM) headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. DCLM started in 1973 as a 15-member Bible study group right in Kumuyi’s apartment at University of Lagos where he was a lecturer. His revolutionary Bible teaching on personal holiness and commitment to evangelism soon gained so much traction and resulted in a widespread revival.

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