Thinking with grace rather than justice, part 6; John 15:18; Gal 3:1-14.

Class Outline:

Title: Thinking with grace rather than justice, part 6; John 15:18; GAL 3:1-14.



Jesus Christ had to bear the burden of justice for the entire human race, therefore it is only through faith in Him that any man is justified.


If God abolished in Christ the only justice system He ever gave to man, how is it that Christians feel justified to operate under their own justice systems?


GAL 2:16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified.


GAL 3:1 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?


GAL 3:2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?


“works of the law” - bearing your own justice; “hearing with faith” - Christ bearing your justice.


GAL 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh [matured through your own system of justice]?


GAL 3:4 Did you suffer so many things in vain —  if indeed it was in vain?


GAL 3:5 Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?


/ “miracles” - du,namij[dunamis] = power, ability, strength. Christ is the only source of this power.\


“Miracles” is an ok translation as long as you know that a miracle is an unnatural, supernatural event of which love, peace, joy, etc. are included since these fruit are only wrought by abiding in the vine through the power of the word and the Holy Spirit.


“among you” can refer to within you, but within all of the local assembly at Galatia since doctrine and the Spirit do not discriminate. It is EP/EO in the Church-age and positive believers recognize the miracle of doctrine within themselves and can see evidence of it in others. Therefore, the power of God is among us and we behold its magnificence. The question Paul is asking them is did they receive this by faith or by works? In churches where power is attempted by works there is no power no matter how beautiful and large the building might be. In fact the Catholic church of the middle ages built huge churches with big windows for the purpose of impressing people who lived in dark, cramped homes. There can be more beauty and more power in a small basement room than can be in a large church with big stained glass windows.


The humanity of Christ brought this power to the world, which was given to Him by the Father through doctrine and the F/HS and now Christ has given this same power to His bride.


This power was prophesized.


ISA 11:2

And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him,

The spirit of wisdom and understanding,

The spirit of counsel and strength,

The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.


Ps 110:1-2

The Lord says to my Lord:

"Sit at My right hand,

Until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet."

The Lord will stretch forth Thy strong scepter from Zion, saying,

"Rule in the midst of Thine enemies."


One of these enemies is the world system. The proclamation is that He will rule in the midst of it. If He rules then we were predestined to also rule. Do you remember how you reign? Was it through grace or was it through works?


ROM 5:17

For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.


Ps 23:5

Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

Thou hast anointed my head with oil;

My cup overflows.


MIC 5:4

And He will arise and shepherd His flock

In the strength of the Lord,

In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God.

And they will remain,

Because at that time He will be great

To the ends of the earth.


GAL 3:6 Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.


GAL 3:7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.


GAL 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "All the nations shall be blessed in you."


This promise was made 4000 years ago and it is still the greatest promise ever given. Every time another person believes in Christ it is fulfilled.


Within this promise is the promise concerning curses and blessing to those nations based on their treatment of Abraham’s descendants. Where is the Babylonian Empire, Roman Empire, Egyptian Empire, Ottoman Empire, Nazi Germany, USSR, the list goes on and on. Where is Israel?


GAL 3:9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.


The Law didn’t exist in Abraham’s time, in fact it wouldn’t be given until 430 years later (verse 17), so if salvation is by the Law, how was he saved? If spiritual maturity comes by the Law then how is it that Abraham is the only believer in the entire Bible that is called the friend of God? It is by faith in grace and not in justice systems, not even God’s justice system.


GAL 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them." [Deut 27:26]


The Law is not a religious cafeteria where people can pick and choose which parts they like. One has to keep it all or he keeps none of it.


James 2:10

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.


GAL 3:11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, " The righteous man shall live by faith. "


HAB 2:4

"Behold, as for the proud one,

His soul is not right within him;

But the righteous will live by his faith.


This is so important to the CA believer that it is quoted in three different books. Here in GAL 3:11, and:


ROM 1:17 [in reference to salvation]

 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "But the righteous man shall live by faith."


HEB 10:38 [in reference to spiritual promotion and escrow blessings]

But My righteous one shall live by faith;

And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.


There is no life in the law for it increases sin and kills and shows the sinner that he is guilty before God.


However, one might argue that one needs faith to live by the law, but God is very clear that it is doing or performing the Law that God required and not faith in it. That’s why Paul quotes LEV 18:5 in anticipation of this question. 


GAL 3:12 However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, "He who practices them shall live by them."


LEV 18:4-5

'You are to perform My judgments and keep My statutes, to live in accord with them; I am the Lord your God. 'So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, by which a man may live if he does them; I am the Lord.


The OT believer’s life came by faith in the promises of God, which were given to enlighten and lighten the burden on his soul that came from the Law. The promise was blessing and glory to God through the prosperity of His client nation. This promise should have brought joy to their heart and by this lift the burden of the Law.


Deut 28:45

Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things;


Still, the Law had to be performed, so it was a justice system and not a faith based system. All justice systems for the spiritual life ended at the cross of Christ.


The Judaizers wanted to seduce the Galatians into a religion of legal works, while Paul wanted them to enjoy a relationship of love and life by faith in Christ, His word, and the power of His Spirit.


For the Christian to abandon faith and grace for Law and works is to lose everything exciting that the Christian can experience in his daily fellowship with the Lord.


The Law cannot:

justify the sinner (GAL 2:16);

give him righteousness (GAL 2:21);

give the gift of the Spirit (GAL 3:2);

guarantee the inheritance of God's children (GAL 3:18);

give life (GAL 3:21);

give liberty (GAL 4:8-10).

Why, then, go back into the Law?