Back to top

The Reformation Herald Online Edition

The Gospel in Galatians

Wholly of Grace
Wholly of Grace

We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Galatians 2:15–21).

“Those who trust wholly in the righteousness of Christ, looking to Him in living faith, know the Spirit of Christ and are known of Christ. Simple faith enables the believer to reckon himself dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. We are saved by grace through our faith, and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God.”1

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:11–14).

“But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4–7).

“The light given me of God places this important subject above any question in my mind. Justification is wholly of grace and not procured by any works that fallen man can do.”2

“While we are to be in harmony with God’s law, we are not saved by the works of the law, yet we cannot be saved without obedience. The law is the standard by which character is measured. But we cannot possibly keep the commandments of God without the regenerating grace of Christ. Jesus alone can cleanse us from all sin. He does not save us by law, neither will He save us in disobedience to law.”3

“We are enlightened by the precepts of the law, but no man can by them be justified. Weighed and found wanting is our inscription by nature. But Christ is our mediator, and accepting Him as our Saviour, we may claim the promise, ‘Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Romans 5:1).”4

“The Chief Shepherd is Judge and illustrates the great principles which are to regulate the proceedings of the reckoning with His servants who are justified by faith, judged by their works. Faith works by love and purifies the soul of moral defilement that it may become a temple for the Lord.”5

“While true faith trusts wholly in Christ for salvation, it will lead to perfect conformity to the law of God. Faith is manifested by works. And the apostle John declares, ‘He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar’.”6

“He who is trying to reach heaven by his own works in keeping the law is attempting an impossibility. Man cannot be saved without obedience, but his works should not be of himself; Christ should work in him to will and to do of His good pleasure. If a man could save himself by his own works, he might have something in himself in which to rejoice. The effort that man makes in his own strength to obtain salvation is represented by the offering of Cain. All that man can do without Christ is polluted with selfishness and sin; but that which is wrought through faith is acceptable to God.”7

“Faith is the only condition upon which justification can be obtained, and faith includes not only belief but trust.”8

“Christ is not the minister of sin. We are complete in Him, accepted in the Beloved, only as we abide in Him by faith.”9

“When the sinner has a view of the matchless charms of Jesus, sin no longer looks attractive to him; for he beholds the Chiefest among ten thousand, the One altogether lovely. He realizes by a personal experience the power of the gospel, whose vastness of design is equaled only by its preciousness of purpose.

“We have a living Saviour. He is not in Joseph’s new tomb; He is risen from the dead and has ascended on high as a Substitute and Surety for every believing soul. ‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Romans 5:1). The sinner is justified through the merits of Jesus, and this is God’s acknowledgment of the perfection of the ransom paid for man. That Christ was obedient even unto the death of the cross is a pledge of the repenting sinner’s acceptance with the Father. Then shall we permit ourselves to have a vacillating experience of doubting and believing, believing and doubting? Jesus is the pledge of our acceptance with God. We stand in favor before God, not because of any merit in ourselves, but because of our faith in ‘the Lord our righteousness.’

“Jesus stands in the holy of holies, now to appear in the presence of God for us. There He ceases not to present His people moment by moment, complete in Himself. But because we are thus represented before the Father, we are not to imagine that we are to presume upon His mercy and become careless, indifferent, and self-indulgent.”10

No room for self-sufficiency

“We can never of ourselves obtain the victory over temptation. But those who have genuine faith in Christ will be worked by the Holy Spirit. The soul in whose heart faith abides will grow into a beautiful temple for the Lord.”11

“Eternal life is an infinite gift. This places it outside the possibility of our earning it, because it is infinite. It must necessarily be a gift. As a gift it must be received by faith, and gratitude and praise be offered to God. Solid faith will not lead anyone away into fanaticism or into acting the slothful servant. It is the bewitching power of Satan that leads men to look to themselves in the place of looking to Jesus. The righteousness of Christ must go before us if the glory of the Lord becomes our rereward. If we do God’s will, we may accept large blessings as God’s free gift, but not because of any merit in us; this is of no value. Do the work of Christ, and you will honor God and come off more than conquerors through Him that has loved us and given His life for us, that we should have life and salvation in Jesus Christ.”12

“If the followers of Christ had genuine faith, with meekness and love, what a work they might accomplish! What fruit would be seen to the glory of God!”13

“Grace is an attribute of God exercised toward undeserving human beings. We did not seek for it, but it was sent in search of us.

“Divine grace is the great element of saving power; without it all human effort is unavailing.

“Are you in Christ? Not if you do not acknowledge yourselves erring, helpless, condemned sinners. Not if you are exalting and glorifying self. If there is any good in you, it is wholly attributable to the mercy of a compassionate Saviour. Your birth, your reputation, your wealth, your talents, your virtues, your piety, your philanthropy, or anything else in you or connected with you, will not form a bond of union between your soul and Christ. Your connection with the church, the manner in which you brethren regard you, will be of no avail unless you believe in Christ. It is not enough to believe about Him; you must believe in Him. You must rely wholly upon His saving grace.

“Would that you could conceive of the rich supplies of grace and power awaiting your demand. . . .

“Through the grace of Christ we may accomplish everything that God requires.”14

The propensities that control the natural heart must be subdued by the grace of Christ before fallen man is fitted to enter heaven and enjoy the society of the pure, holy angels. . . .

“Jesus has gone to prepare mansions for those who are preparing themselves through His love and grace, for the abodes of bliss.”15

References
1 Faith and Works, p. 91.
2 Ibid., p.20.
3 Ibid., pp.95, 96.
4 In Heavenly Places, p. 156. [Emphasis added.]
5 This Day With God, p. 208.
6 The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 6, p. 1073.
7 Selected Messages, vol. 1, p. 364. [Emphasis added.]
8 Ibid., p.389.
9 Faith and Works, p. 107.
10 Ibid.
11 The SDA Bible Commentary (E. G. White Comments), vol. 6, p. 1109.
12 Faith and Works, pp. 27, 28. [Emphasis added.]
13 God’s Amazing Grace, p. 265.
14 The Faith I Live By, p. 94.
15 God’s Amazing Grace, p. 250. [Emphasis added.]