|Galatians 2:17 |
17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ,2 we ourselves are also found to be sinners, does that mean that Christ encourages sin? God forbid.
2 man is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. We have believed in Jesus Christ, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law. For no flesh will be justified by the works of the law. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ..
Note! With faith in Jesus Christ, we seek to be justified by Christ. As believers, we must seek to be justified. Just by believing in Jesus, we are not automatically justified. So also by faith one is purified, but obviously just by believing in Jesus, one does not become instantly pure either. Faith is the process of following the listened-to and heard commands of Jesus from within your heart; by obedience a person is cleansed, purified, justified, and saved. Paul speaks of faith coming to free us from the inner law, which includes moral core of the outward law, as our schoolmaster. In Gal 5:18, he says: if (and when) you are led (prompted, ordered, commanded) by the Spirit, you are not under the law. So he has defined faith to being in obedience to the Spirit's leading. So faith is to follow the commands heard from the Spirit of God, from the Lord. This is a major clarification of the definition of faith, as Paul further tells us that he preaches the word of faith which is in our hearts and mouths, and faith comes by hearing the word of Christ (or God); and Jesus says, Blessed are those who hear the word of God and "keep" it, such "keeping" (to practice, obey), results in the love of God being perfected in a man: But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 1 John 2:5. So faith is to hear the word within, and believe it to be the Son of God speaking to you, and then to keep it [obey it, practice it], repeatedly — which yields the blessing of the perfected love of God within you, and you to be in Christ and God.
When Paul discounts the law as the basis for justification, he is speaking of not being justified by the ordinances, sacrifices, and washings of the law. He is not saying that we can be justified and still steal, lie, murder, covet, and commit adultery, etc., as long as we believe in Jesus. As Paul said in Rom 2:10: glory, honor, and peace, are to every man who works good.
Beloved, while I was diligent to write to you about the common salvation, I found it necessary to write and exhort you that you should earnestly contend for the faith, which was once delivered to the saints. Keeping yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring eternal life. Jude 1:3,21. Now if you think that just believing is all that is necessary, for what are you advised to contend? And if you think you are instantly saved by believing, why would the brother of Jesus be writing believers that they must keep themselves in the love of God, looking (future tense) for Jesus to bring eternal life? Do you think you are a more special Christian than those in the early Church, founded by the Apostles, who were looking for a future bringing by Jesus of eternal life, salvation? To those who persistently and patiently wait for him he will appear the second time, not to bear sin, but to bring full salvation. Heb 9:28. To wait on God is to persistently sit in humble silence, listen for his voice and words, watch for his revelations, hear his commands, and then obey Him; only those who heed and obey Him receive eternal salvation. Heb 5:9