Only One Gospel Part 5

by Mike Ratliff

17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17 NASB)

Justification by Grace alone through Faith alone is a core or central doctrine to true or Orthodox Christianity. This justification is God’s declaration (as we he did with Abraham) of righteousness based upon believers believing and obeying God by turning to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour as they receive the Spirit as they hear the proclamation of the gospel. Now, compare what I just summarized there with what goes on in most “culturally relevant churches” in our time. You know, those churches that are focused on following the person on the stage, but in fact, it is really about self-glorification. That is why people go to those “churches.” They go to hear how good of a person they really are and what the “secret” is of unlocking their potential so that God will give them everything they could ever want because, hey, they are worth it! Sigh, sorry, but that is not even close to being biblical Christianity. It’s some other religion.

Then there are those religious leaders who insist that no one is really saved or can stay saved unless they become worthy through “works.” There are many forms of this. Some insist that Justification by Faith as I described above is not complete and “works” are still required to be added to it, or that we can lose our “Justification” through sin. I actually have found the latter to be much more prevalent. I have seen Christians who were in their last few decades and when they looked at their lives they would almost despair because they could not be sure that they had done enough good to outweigh all the bad they had done in their lives and so they were in deep fear of their awaiting judgment. I defy anyone to show me where that is in the New Testament in context for believers.

1 O senseless Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was openly portrayed as having been crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: did you receive the Spirit by works of the Law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so senseless? Having begun in the Spirit are you now being perfected in the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain–if really indeed in vain? 5 The one, therefore supplying to you the Spirit and producing works of power among you, is it by works of the Law or by the hearing with faith? 6 As Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,   7 know then that the ones of faith, these are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, having foreseen that God would justify the nations by faith, preached the gospel before to Abraham, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” 9 So the ones of faith are blessed with Abraham the believer.  (Galatians 3:1-9 Possessing the Treasure New Testament v1)

What Paul described in this rebuke of the Galatians in these 9 verses is a contrast between the foolishness of seeking to be justified the Law, which is by the flesh and Justification by Grace through Faith alone that is obtained how? The key to being justified by Grace through Faith is to hear with faith. What is it that Christians hear with faith? It is the gospel. Look at v5. It is God who supplies to believers the Spirit and this produces the works of power in believers that is the very hearing by faith that produces belief and God justifies them just as he did Abraham in v6. All who believe God are children of faith, that is, children of Abraham.

I pray you see the foolishness of trying to add any sort of human works to what God has done in saving his people. Yes, his people are children of Abraham because they are children of the same faith he had, but that faith comes from God as he supplied the Spirit to them. It is the Spirit who produces the power of transformation in believers. We cannot do one thing to make this happen (Ephesians 2:1-10).

Are you in Christ? Rejoice in the Lord and thank God for saving you and having mercy on you and sending the Spirit to you producing the works of power in you that you could believe by God’s grace through the gift of faith.

Notice also that God has chosen to spread the gospel, to grow his church through the preaching of the good news. It is through the preaching of the gospel that the Spirit is given and he does for others who hear what he did for you and I. Therefore, let us share our faith whenever given the opportunity.

Soli Deo Gloria!


9 thoughts on “Only One Gospel Part 5

  1. Mike – Ronn here … Your piece on justification above says >>> “This justification is God’s declaration (as we he did with Abraham) of righteousness based upon believers believing and obeying God by turning to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour as they receive the Spirit as they hear the proclamation of the gospel”. … Are you saying that man is justified “legally” when they believe in Jesus and obeying Him? … If this is so what part did Jesus play in the whole scheme of things then? … I have read that the sheep are justified ‘in Jesus Christ apart from the Law.’ and that we are justified, errr declared righteous “by the faith ‘of’ Jesus” … Faith being the work of God Jn 6:28,29 [it says >>> ‘do’ – ‘work’ – ‘believe.’] means that man works [the meaning of ‘do’] when he believes does it not. When we believe we are doing, right? To ‘do’ is to ‘work’ and ‘faith’ is ‘doing’ something, correct?
    Ronn …

  2. Ronn, what part did Jesus play in the whole scheme? He died on the Cross and it is his righteousness that is imputed to the believer as the Father Justifies them… The reason our salvation is by faith not works is that this faith that believes is also part of the gift… (Ephesians 2:1-10).

  3. it is about direction…are you walking toward God or are you walking away from is not about being perfect which is impossible. to accept Christ as your savior and then worship the flesh..Satan…is to deny your salvation..We go about the process of cleaning the cup on the inside relying on the Holy Spirit..

  4. “Then there are those religious leaders who insist that no one is really saved or can stay saved unless they become worthy through “works.”

    –they’ve never truly trusted in Christ and they don’t believe what Scripture actually teaches that Christ paid for ALL our sins at the CROSS. That HE is the Only Righteousness God requires and accepts. They don’t believe that ALL our righteousness are like filthy rags to God. How can anyone actually believe they can STAY saved or that “no one is really saved” if they are believing in their own UNBELIEF contrary to what God’s word actually teaches? They are demonstrating that they have no true faith in the finished person and work of Jesus Christ ALONE. They don’t actually trust in Jesus that he’s a complete saviour and so they are living in fear trying to please God all their lives . “I know whom I have believed in and I’m persuaded that he is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto him against that day”.

    maybe if people thought of it like when you meet someone and fall in love.. We marry them not out of duty but because we love truly them and want to make a commitment with them for life. I don’t perform for my spouse out of duty but out of love and it’s not a burden. Yes things need to be done regardless. If I take out the trash I do it because I love my spouse not because I have to out of obligation to please him. I’m not taking out the trash to try and earn my spouses love, I’m taking out the trash because I know he already loves me and I love him and am so thrilled to. If a person has to perform duties within a marriage to keep a person loving them then something is seriously wrong..
    How much MORE do I want to please Jesus Christ who loved me and gave himself FOR ME.. HE loved me before I was even born while he was on that cross, while I was still his ENEMY. My goodness if he loved me while I was his enemy what in the world makes me think that when he saved me and I am no longer his enemy that I am to live in FEAR that his LOVE for ME will cease if I fail to live up to his perfect standard? NO this relationship is based on HIS Unfailing love and his righteousness imputed to me. HIs righteousness not mine gives me the freedom to be obedient to him NOT BECAUSE of the LAW but because of his GRACE. I DIED to the LAW and the law can no longer touch a dead person and NOW Christ lives in and through me.. I fail but the law cannot touch me because Christ is whom I look to by faith and believe in..

  5. The one thing that the Lord has repeatedly commanded us to “do” is repent. Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin. Faith without repentance is dead. Repentance is one of the “works” that James spoke of, which is a working of the Holy Spirit within us not a work done by us in the flesh.

  6. I had to re-read Ronn’s comment a few times to try to get a handle on his “doing” and “faith”.
    Toward the end of March this year I received information from my doctors that the results of a biopsy indicated I had prostate cancer. I had FAITH in their statements to me that this was fact. They were not lying to me, they were not trying to deceive me. Further tests and scans and consultations occurred and I had entrust myself to my urologist. There was absolutely nothing I could DO to cure myself. Holding my breath until I turned blue, or changing my diet or exercising would not cure me of this affliction. I NEEDED HELP BEYOND MYSELF. I had FAITH in my medical team (who btw was guided by the hand of my Father in heaven).
    When God’s word said I was (past tense) a sinner, I believed Him. He was not lying to me. When He says “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own DOING; it is the gift of God”, I believe Him.
    Physically, by surgery I have been “saved” through faith (I entrusted my life to my surgeons). This particular faith was based on a lot of research and investigation and discissions with knowledgable people. But eventually I had to submit myself to them.
    The Salvation of The Lord is much like that for me. It is not DOING. It is entrusting oneself into the care of another. That’s the GOOD NEWS! Jesus Christ has already done the hard work on the cross. He is the Great Surgeon who removes our (cancerous) stoney heart and gives us a new (spiritual) heart. One that actually seeks to please God. We are a new creation. So do you have FAITH in Him? That he is able to do that? Or do you DO a little self-surgery? That’s what man’s works are.
    Linda said it well, “I DIED to the LAW”. The life of the old self-centered stoney heart is GONE.

    As Mike’s post opens with. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Amen!

  7. Hey Ronn, A good book to read would be “The Potter’s Freedom” by Dr. James R. White. It is well worth your time and investment. Enjoy.

    Hey Peter, I’m praying for you brother. Jesus still heals in His providence by His mercy and grace. Thanks be to God that when we are absent from the body we are immediately present with the Lord, and, yet, while we are in this body on the earth, we have the tremendous privilege to glorify Him with our lives every second of every day.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  8. Thanks for this Mike. How freeing it is to understand we live unto Christ, because of Christ’s “Finished!” and, through His Holy Spirit, are move to do of His good pleasure (Phil 2:13); and, what a peace to rest in the truth that we add nothing to the blood atonement accomplished at Calvary.

  9. Doesn’t this also cover the work of “tithing?” I’ve been going back and forth with a brother and basically came from Galatians that we are no longer under ANY curse of the law, including tithing.

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