DEVOTION – DAY 68
Galatians 2:16 “Justified by Faith”
Gal.2:16 “know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So, we too have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.”
The apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Galatian Christians because he was concerned that they were being misled by false teachers. False teachers had insisted that in order to be saved from judgment for their sins, the Galatian Christians must be circumcised and follow the Law of Moses. That was why in v.16, Paul wrote three times to emphasize that no one can be justified by keeping the Law of Moses. Three times, Paul said that the Galatian Christians were justified by putting their faith in Jesus Christ and nothing else. The word “justified” means “to be declared just or not guilty.” This means that the only way anyone can be saved from being judged by God for all their sins, wrong actions and thoughts was by believing by faith that Jesus Christ died on the cross on his or her behalf. God punished Jesus who took the place of all sinners and because the penalty for our sins have been paid, God declared all believers in Jesus Christ not guilty. They have been saved from judgment for their sins.
Today, there are people who continue to be misled by false teachers. Many people believe that they must do something in order that God will not punish or judge them. So, Muslims around the world believe they must pray 5 times a day and they must make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime. They have to follow a set of rules on what to eat and how to wash themselves before they pray and so on. Buddhists believe they must do good deeds in order to accumulate enough good karma so that they will one day be freed from the endless cycle of rebirth and achieve “nirvana” or enlightenment. But Christianity is different. The Bible tells us that it is impossible for anyone to keep the Law of Moses all the time. The Bible confirms that everyone are sinners and sin separate us from God who is Holy. The only way to be reconciled with God is to be justified by faith in Jesus Christ and nothing else. It is free. All anyone has to do is confess that they are a sinner and they believe that Jesus Christ came and died on the cross for their sins and on the 3rd day, He rose again and He is their Lord.
We have a friend who for many years followed the Japanese Nichiren Buddhist faith “Soka Gakkai.” We have watched this friend and her family kneel before their altar everyday chanting their prayers. Through a series of events, she realized that her daily chanting was just a ritual. This gave us the opportunity to tell her about Jesus Christ. In the end, she was justified by faith in Jesus Christ. She was saved by having faith in Him as her Lord and Savior.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for your free gift of salvation offered to all who would believe in your Son, the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We pray for the salvation of those who still worship idols and follow laws for their salvation. In the mighty name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
- How can you thank the Lord Jesus for saving you from judgment for your sins? Discuss.
- Who do you know worships idols and follow a set of rituals in order to be blessed and not be judged?
- How can you help such people know the truth about Jesus?