Sunday, March 21, 2021

799. Paul: Saved and Justified by Grace - Not by Good Works (It’s A Spirit Thing)

This week we’re wrapping-up our series on Paul’s many exhortations about salvation as a gift by grace through faith, apart from works … and how it contrasted with what James and other Jewish leaders believed during many of those years in the early church. Paul puts the icing on the cake with the gospel in a nutshell when he reminds Titus:

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7).

Paul went on to say that foolish discussions about the law should be avoided because it was useless and unprofitable. Why? The law had been put aside and ended with Christ. So, while Paul exhorts believers to good works—which can be profitable—they are a byproduct of our new identity in Christ as righteous and justified people. They contribute nothing towards our justification. A legalistic mindset will suggest that faith without works is dead—but Paul was repeatedly trying to show it’s the other way around—works without faith is dead.

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