One of the constant battles, struggles, whatever word you want to use, that we face sometimes as Christians is this struggle between faith and works. We are saved by faith, right?
And if we are saved by faith, then our works don’t matter at all. For our works don’t save us, they don’t make God love us, they don’t do any of that.
So, we have no reason to worry about our works or really even focus on our works in any way at all, right? Our works, the stuff we do, they just don’t matter.
Well, that’s not quite right. Listen to how Paul talks about all this today in Galatians 2:15-20:
We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Paul says, yes, we are justified or “saved” by faith, not by works. Our salvation occurs not because of anything that we have done, but totally because of what God has done for us in Christ. As he says in, because by works of the law no one will be justified (saved).
But then, after that Paul reminds us, that we if we have saved, then it is Christ who lives within us. And we die to ourselves, our desires, our flesh, our sin. Our stuff. Our works don’t save us. We are not saved by what we do or not do. We are saved by what Christ has done.
But, it is Christ that now lives within us. And if we lives within us, then it will change our lives. It will change our thoughts. It will change who we are.
We aren’t saved because we “do” stuff. But, because we are saved we “do” stuff. We put the cart before the horse. We want to get clean and then get saved. And we get frustrated because we are never clean enough.
Don’t worry about cleaning yourself. Come to Jesus. And He will clean you. He will wash it all away. He will take care of it.
Don’t put the cart before the horse. Focus on Jesus. And He will take care of your actions. For we are saved by grace through faith.
But that salvation will truly change us.
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