By Faith Alone (Gal 3:1-9) (Galatians 3:1-9)Pastor Tyler Robbins, December 29, 2013
Part of the Exposition of Galatians series, preached at a Sunday School service
Paul continues his defense of justification by faith. The Gospel defines what Christianity is. In this age of pluralism, it may be tempting to accommodate differing opinions out of love. However, Paul is very clear on this point:
"But even if we (or an angel from heaven) should preach a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be condemned to hell! As we have said before, and now I say again, if any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let him be condemned to hell!" (Gal 1:8-9).
The Gospel is bound up in the perfect, final and finished work of Christ on the Cross. We cannot add anything to the sufficiency of God's grace in sending His Sion to atone for sin. To do so is to spit in Christ's face. After all, Paul asks, if righteousness in God's sight can come by works of the law, then Christ is dead in vain (Gal 2:21).
To really bring this matter of justification by faith home, we contrast the Biblical position with the heresy preached by the Roman Catholic Church, which teaches that those who believe in justification by faith alone are bound for hell (see the footnotes in the sermon notes).
3:1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?
7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. (ESV)