Galatians 5:5 “But if we have faith, this is what we wait and hope for: it is the power of God’s Spirit working through our faith that will put us right with God.”
I got stuck on this verse. We have already seen that salvation comes through faith, alone, not the law. Paul is adamant that salvation comes through faith alone apart from the law. If this is true, why do so many teach that salvation comes through faith alone, IF you follow the rules??? I think it is because Christ Followers fail when it comes to fully understand the power of the Holy Spirit to change lives.
Along with God’s gifts of life and salvation, the greatest gift God has given to us is free will. But we have to remember it is a double-edged sword. We can choose a path toward Him, or destruction. Faith makes all the difference in the world when it comes to choosing. We can’t know what we need to do with our lives to achieve our spiritual goals, but the Holy Spirit does. When we choose faith, we not only receive the forgiveness and justification that comes with salvation, but the Holy Spirit who will “guide us into all truth” (John 16:13)
Paul is almost emphatic that you cannot embrace Christ and the Law. The concept of following the law teaches that we have the power to make ourselves right with God. The concept of salvation through faith teaches us that only through God’s love, acceptance and grace we become right with Him. We need to remember as we continue through Galatians, that the concept of righteousness through following laws is saying that by our actions we can put God in our debt. Think about that. Righteousness through grace is saying we are forever in His debt.
Galatians 5:4 “Those of you who are trying to justify yourselves by following the law are cutting yourselves off from Christ; you’re separating yourselves from God’s grace.”
In light of some good discussion happening here and other locations, I just wanted to share my thoughts on free will…. Apart from Christ, our ‘free will’ is limited by our fallen nature, the only nature we have, and will not choose faith unless and until we are made alive/regenerated by the . As believers, our ‘choice’ options expand because we then have a new nature that desires to please God. We also have the conflict Paul discussed in and can choose to walk after the flesh or after the spirit.