Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.Galatians 3:6(NASB)
Throughout the whole of man's history salvation has been by grace through faith in God's promised Word. Many men and women on faith are listed in Hebrews 11 as a cloud of witnesses who trusted God and held fast to His promised Word. All were credited with righteousness because of their faith. If salvation were not by grace through faith in God's word of truth.. not one of us could be saved for we are all sinners under condemnation. But by God's grace we are credited with His righteousness - by faith. We are saved by grace through faith and this is an unchangeable principle of God. We are not saved by works of the Law lest anyone should boast. Works of the flesh and human merit cannot save a sinner - salvation is by faith in the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ alone.
But sadly there were those in Paul's day who were being urged to add works on the Law to their faith in God. Believers were being persuaded to keep the Mosaic Law in addition to believing God - arguing that without works of the Law they would be unacceptable to the Lord. These Judiaziers then as now believe that salvation is incomplete without the keeping of the Law of Moses - but this is not what the Bible teaches.
Adding to salvation by faith.. demeans and devalues Christ's finished work on Calvary. Requiring works of the Law to be added to faith in Christ.. renders His sacrifice on the cross as insufficient. Unfortunately then as now these Judiazers did not understand the purpose of the Law..
The Law was not given for the purpose of salvation. Keeping the Law is not the way to bring a sinner into right relationship with God. It was given as a means for sinful man to recognise their sinfulness and realise their need of a Saviour. The law was given to point fallen man to Christ, not to make sinful men perfect. The Law causes us to identify sin in our lives but cannot deal with sin. Christ is the one and only means of salvation, which is by faith alone.
It is by faith we were justified and by faith we are going through a process of sanctification as we are conformed into the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was by faith that we were saved from our sin and it is by faith that we will receive our glorified bodies... by faith alone, and not by works of the Law.
Paul pointed to Abraham as the prime example of faith. Abraham believed God and his faith was credited to Him as righteousness. He was saved by faith and he lived by faith. Centuries later, the Law was given to Israel - not as an additional way of salvation but as a means to expose their sinfulness. The Law was given as a strategy to highlight their need of a Saviour - as a schoolmaster to point them to Christ, Who is the only means of Salvation
God's method of salvation both for pre-cross Israel and post-cross believers is by faith alone and not by works of the Law. We were saved by faith and we are to live by faith. May we not be influenced by those who misunderstand the reason the Law was given and misrepresent the truth of Scripture with an insistence that the Mosaic Law must be added to our faith - for we are accepted by faith in the Beloved and not by works of the Law .. for salvation is by grace through faith.. for by works of the Law shall no man living be justified..
Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your word and the truths that it contains.. Thank You that all I had to do to receive forgiveness of my sin and life everlasting is to trust in the finished work of Christ by faith.. Thank You that my salvation does not depend on what I do but on what Christ has done - praise His holy name, AMEN.