Daily Devotions


Day 31

"Not justified by the works of the law..."

Text: Galatians 2:16a


The concern of the apostle Paul was not the social tension that was created when Peter backed away from the Gentile believers in the church at Antioch, Syria. The deeper issue is carefully stated in the following text.

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law
but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus,
that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law;
for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

Galatians 2:16

1. “The works of the law”

a) This phrase was mentioned three times.
b) This was a strong belief among the Jews in the days of the apostle Paul.
c) It was not just a strong tenet of faith either.
i) This was displayed in social interaction.
ii) Jews kept their distance from Gentiles.
iii) This was part of the way they believed they would obtain justification from God.

2. Justification

a) This is a vital theological truth that cannot be compromised in any way.
b) Justification speaks of:-
i) Being declared righteous before God.
ii) Having righteousness imputed by the Lord.

3. But how does one obtain justification from God?

a) Justification can never come from the works of the law.
b) Justification can come about only through genuine faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
i) The apostles themselves had to come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
ii) They set an example for everyone to follow.
iii) The message of their gospel features this great truth – faith in Jesus brings about justification.
iv) Both Jews and Gentiles must find justification only through faith in the Lord Jesus.
c) A special ramification of the doctrine of justification.
i) It must lead to appropriate social behaviour.
ii) There must be no separation between Jews and Gentiles for both stand equal before God.