Your Works or The Work of God in You?

Posted by   Grace Ministries   |   Categories :   Devotionals

Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith– just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness?” Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

Galatians 3:5-9

Everyone enjoys having good, friendly neighbors and coworkers who do their best to obey the law. Being a good citizen is admired by almost everyone. That admiration, however, begins to fade when that good citizen starts talking about their faith in God. Many have a negative response toward those who talk about God and their religion of good deeds to please Him. 

Paul’s letter to the churches in Galatia dealt with this issue of works and faith. Religious leaders within the church required Gentile believers in Jesus to hold to Jewish practice and strict obedience to the Mosaic law in order to be a convert. For them, works became a necessary component to please God. 

Paul used God’s eternal covenant given to Abraham as the foundation for opposition to those false teachers. God made a covenant with Abraham based on his faith and not on obedience to the law. Paul also explained that a purpose of the law was to be a temporary guardian and a teacher to show that no one can keep the law perfectly.  

God’s plan to restore the broken fellowship that was caused by our sin was never left to our own efforts. Because perfection is impossible, only God can produce the solution. God reversed the curse of sin by sending His perfect Son Jesus to become the curse and pay the penalty for sin that we all deserve. God’s plan for redemption was revealed through His promise to Abraham based on his faith in God and not in keeping the law. 

When Paul came to faith in Christ, he did not have to give up a life filled with wickedness, but rather he needed to repent of his own self-righteousness. He realized his own good works were no better than evil deeds. Doing good deeds to please God only causes pride and that can lead to judgment and condemnation toward others. Religion based on works is not the good news of the gospel. 

All who receive Jesus as Savior and Lord are given God’s Spirit to dwell in them. Since a Christian has the Holy Spirit, it is no longer their goodness at work, but the work of God in them and through them. Love and kindness towards others is proof that a Christian has genuine faith.

This week, let God make the change in your heart so that it is His righteousness that others see and not your own.

March 11, 2024