Galatians 2:11-21 (NASB)—11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13 The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews? 15 We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; 16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.
17 “But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! 18 For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
What is the gospel? The gospel is this: that God the Son came into the world, clothed in sinful flesh, to reconcile those written in the Lamb’s Book of Life with the God they had spent many years rejecting, hating, and rebelling against–all the while putting ourselves on the throne that rightly belongs to God. But here’s the thing. Our sins still need to be punished, or they had to be forgiven. Otherwise, a man could not rightly enter into the kingdom of God. In other words, we have to be justified in the eyes of God in order to gain admission to His kingdom–the kingdom of His dear Son.
Listen closely starting at about the 26:00 mark, and you will understand why we at DefCon don’t associate with or support certain “ministries”–and why this tripe about how the most important thing we should be concerned with is “UNITY! UNITY! UNITY!”–is nonsensical rubbish.
So, how is a man justified? Is it by keeping the Law? Does he have to do enough “good works”–which are, in fact, nothing more than wicked works performed by vile men? Or does God justify us, declare us not guilty, because of our faith in Christ? Find out in this, the sixth installment of this series going verse-by-verse through what Dr. Lawson calls “Paul’s Most Explosive Letter.” You can listen by left-clicking this link.