by Jerry Vines

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Galatians 3:1-5
If you gathered all of the preachers of all of the religions of the
world together, you'd find that they are in two groups. There would be one
group preaching that you have to do something to earn your salvation in order
to go to heaven. The other group would be preaching that there is nothing you
can do to earn your salvation--that God did it all through Jesus at Calvary's
cross and you go to heaven strictly on the basis of what Jesus did for you.
All of the religions of the world are gathered into those two great groups.
This is what the book of Galatians is all about. The apostle Paul,
in the book of Galatians, is battling those who are saying that you have to
add something to Jesus in order to be saved. There is a contrast in the verses
which I have read that make that very apparent. You will notice in verse 2 and
also in verse 5 that he makes a contrast between what he calls the works of
the law and the hearing of faith. Or, he makes another contrast in verse 3
between the Spirit and the flesh. Paaul gathers the two great methods of
salvation that are preached together and one of them he calls the works of law
and the other he calls the hearing of faith. Of course, Paul has made it
crystal clear in the opening two chapters of the book that men are not saved
by works of law. Men are not saved by their self-effort, but they are saved by
what Jesus did for them. He comes to the climax of this argument in the last
verse of chapter 2 when he says:
2:21: I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness
come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
He is saying: If it were possible for a man to save himself by works that he
can do, then Jesus Christ died on the cross in vain. The most colossal failure
that ever took place is the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, if it was not
absolutely essential for Jesus to die for us to be saved. I heard a man say a
few years ago th ...

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