A few weeks ago I taught on sin, and how it separates us from God. We also got a picture of what it might have looked like for Jesus to take on the world’s sin and be punished for it.
This week I want to make this point. Being saved is reliant on Jesus only. I heard it this way. Jesus + Nothing is everything, and Jesus + Anything is Nothing.
I want to talk about Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia. In your bible there’s a book titled Galatians. This church was primarily people who weren’t Jewish, but had a few Jewish people. He had gone and told them about Jesus a while back and helped build up this group. In this letter, He is basically calling out this church for abandoning the good news of Jesus. He was pretty harsh with them too.
“6 I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News 7 but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.” Gal 1:6-7 .
But what’s crazy is the church wasn’t being sexually immoral, they weren’t murdering or stealing or lying or anything like that. What they were guilty of is telling people that in order to be saved, they had to follow a few very specific rules of Jewish law. The Jewish people used to have a lot of specific laws, but all the requirements were carried out by Jesus, so we don’t have to follow them anymore. Paul said
“8 Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. 9 I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.” Gal 1:8-9
which also can be interpreted, “let them go to hell” That’s really intense!
So there are 2 kinds of lost people. Those who don’t keep the law, and those who think they are saved by keeping the law.
8 Before you Gentiles knew God, you were slaves to so-called gods that do not even exist. 9 So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? Gal 4:8-9
So it’s super important to get the gospel right. Which is we are saved by grace alone, through faith/trust alone, in Christ alone. When this life is over, and we are before God and he asks why should we be saved, the only answer is that we know that we aren’t good enough, but we believe that Jesus’ blood, and his sacrifice is sufficient for us. Jesus + Nothing is our everything. Gal 6:12 says the cross of Christ alone can save.
Have you ever been tempted to think it’s doing good things that makes us a Christian?
If it’s only by grace alone, doesn’t that mean that people will break God’s laws?