When the humble shepherds on the plains of Bethlehem were astonished by the shining of the glory of the Lord round about them, as they watched their flocks by night, their fears were quieted by the voice of the angel of the Lord, who said, “Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10,11
The words, “good tidings,” are from the one Greek word which elsewhere is rendered “Gospel;”so that we might properly read the message of the angel thus: “Behold, I bring you the Gospel of great joy, which shall be to all people.” In that announcement to the shepherds we learn several important things.
1. That the Gospel is a message that brings joy. “The kingdom of God is . . . righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Christ is anointed “with the oil of gladness,” and He gives “the oil of joy for mourning.”
2. It is a message of salvation from sin. For before this time the same angels had foretold to Joseph the birth of this infant, and had said, “Thou shall call his name Jesus; for He shall save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
3. It is something which concerns everybody, —“which shall be to all people.” “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
This is assurance enough for everybody; but as if to emphasize the fact that the poor have equal rights in the Gospel with the rich, the first announcement of the birth of Christ was to men in the humblest walks of life. It was not to the chief priests and scribes, nor to the nobles, but to shepherds, that the joyful news was first told. So the Gospel is not beyond the understanding of the uneducated.Christ Himself was born and brought up in deep poverty; He preached the Gospel to the poor, and “the common people heard Him gladly.” Mark 12:37. Since it is thus presented to the common people, who form the bulk of the whole world, there is no doubt about it’s being a world message.
The Desire of all Nations
But although the Gospel is first of all to the poor, it is not something mean and ignoble.Christ became poor that we might become rich.The great apostle who was chosen to give the message to kings, and to the great men of the earth, said in view of His hoped - for visit to the capital of the world, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” Romans 1:16. The one thing that the entire world is seeking after is power.Some seek it by means of wealth, others through politics, others through learning, and still others in various other ways; but in whatever enterprise men engage, the object is the same, — power of some kind.There is unrest in the heart of every man, an unsatisfied longing, placed there by God Himself.The mad ambition that drives some to trample on scores of their fellow-creatures, the unceasing struggle for wealth, and the reckless round of pleasures into which many plunge, are all vain endeavors to satisfy this longing.
God has not placed in the human heart a longing for any of these things; but the quest for them is a perversion of that desire which He has implanted in the human breast.He desires that man should have His power; but none of the things, which men ordinarily seek, give the power of God.Consequently none of these things satisfy.Men set a limit to the amount of wealth which they will amass, because they think that when that limit is reached they will be satisfied; but when the fixed amount has been gained, they are as unsatisfied as ever; and so they go on seeking for satisfaction by piling up wealth, not realizing that the desire of the heart cannot be met in that manner.He who implanted that desire is the only one who can satisfy it.God is manifested in Christ, and Christ is indeed “the desire of all nations” (Haggai 2:7), although there are so few who will believe that in Him alone is their perfect rest and satisfaction.To every unsatisfied mortal the invitation is given, “O taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man that trusteth in Him. O fear the Lord, ye His saints; for there is no want to them that fear Him.” Psalm 34:8,9. “How precious is Thy loving-kindness, O God!And the children of men take refuge under the shadow of Thy wings.They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou shalt make them drink of the river of Thy pleasures.” Psalm 36:7,8 R.V.
Power is what men desire in this world, and power is what the Lord wants them to have.But the power, which they are seeking, would ruin them, and the power, which He desires them to have, is power that will save them.The Gospel brings to all men this power, and it is nothing less than the power of God.It is for everybody, if they will accept it.Let us study the nature of this power, for when we have discovered it; we shall have before us the whole Gospel.
The Power of the Gospel
In the vision which the beloved disciple had of the time just preceding the coming of the Lord, the Gospel message which prepares men for that event is thus described: —
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come; and worship Him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Revelation 14:6,7
Here we have plainly set before us the fact that the preaching of the Gospel consists in preaching God as the Creator of all things, and calling on men to worship Him as such.This corresponds to what we have read in the Epistle to the Romans, that the Gospel “is the power of God unto salvation.”What the power of God is we learn a little farther on, where the apostle, speaking of the heathen, says: —
“That which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them.For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead.” Romans 1:19, 20. That is to say, ever since the creation of the world, men have been able to see the power of God,if they would use their senses, for it is clearly to be discerned in the things, which He has made.Creation shows the power of God.So the power of God is creative power.And since the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, it follows that the Gospel is the manifestation of creative power to save men from sin.
But we have learned that the Gospel is the good news of salvation through Christ.The Gospel consists in the preaching of Christ and Him crucified. The apostle says: “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel; not with wisdom of words, lest the preaching of the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:17,18
And still further: “We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:23,24. And this is why the apostle said, “And I brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto
you the testimony of God.For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:1,2
The preaching of Christ and Him crucified is the preaching of the power of God, and therefore it is the preaching of the Gospel, for the Gospel is the power of God.And this is exactly in harmony with the thought that the preaching of the Gospel is the setting forth of God as the Creator; for the power of God is creative power, and Christ is the one by whom all things were created.No one can preach Christ without preaching Him as the Creator.All are to honor the Son even as they honor the Father.Whatever preaching fails to make prominent the fact that Jesus Christ is the Creator of all things, is not the preaching of the Gospel.
Creation and Redemption
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . .. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made . . .. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-14. “By Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him, and for Him; and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” Colossians 1:16,17
Let us give more careful attention to the last text, and see how creation and redemption meet in Christ. In verses 13 and 14 we read that God “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son, in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” And then, after a parenthetical remark as to who Christ is, the apostle tells us how it is that we have redemption through His blood.This is the reason: “For by Him were all things created,” etc.The Revised Version gives the more literal rendering, “For in Him were all things created, . . . and He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.”
So the preaching of the everlasting Gospel is the preaching of Christ the creative power of God, through whom alone salvation can come.And the power by which Christ saves men from sin is the power by which He created the worlds.We have redemption through His blood; the preaching of the cross is the preaching of the power of God; and the power of God is the power that creates; therefore the cross of Christ has in it creative power.Surely that is power enough for anybody. No wonder that the apostle exclaimed, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Galatians 6:14
The Mystery of God
To some it may be a new thought that creation and redemption are the same power; to all it is and must ever be a mystery.The Gospel itself is a mystery. The Apostle Paul desired the prayers of the brethren, that utterance might be given him, “to make known the mystery of the Gospel.” Ephesians 6:19. Elsewhere he says that he was made a minister of the Gospel, according to the gift of the grace of God, given unto him by the effectual working of His power, that he “should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world have been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 3:8,9. Here again we see the mystery of the Gospel to be the mystery of creation.
This mystery was made known to the apostle by revelation. How the revelation was made known to him we learn in his Epistle to the Galatians, where he says, “But I certify you, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached of me is not after man.For I neither received it, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” And then he makes the matter still more definite, by saying, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen, immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.” Galatians 1:11, 12,15,16
Let us sum up the last few points.
1. The Gospel is a mystery.
2. It is a mystery that is made known by revelation of Jesus Christ.
3. It was not merely that Jesus Christ revealed it to him, but that he was made to know the mystery by the revelation of Jesus Christ in him.Paul had to know the Gospel first, before he could preach it to others; and the only way in which he could be made to know it was to have Christ revealed in him.The conclusion therefore is that the Gospel is the revelation of Jesus Christ in men. This conclusion is plainly stated by the apostle in another place, where he says that he was made a minister “according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints; to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:25-27. So we are fully assured that the Gospel is the making known of Christ in men.Or rather, the Gospel is Christ in men, and the preaching of it is the making known to men of the possibility of Christ dwelling in them.And this agrees with the statement of the angel, that they should call the name of Jesus Emmanuel, “which, being interpreted, is God with us” (Matthew 1:23); and also with the statement by the apostle that the mystery of God is God manifest in the flesh. When the angels made known to the shepherds the birth of Jesus, it was the announcement that God had come to men in the flesh; and when it was said that this good news should be to all people, it was revealed that the mystery of God dwelling in human flesh was to be declared to all men, and repeated in all who should believe Him.
And now let us briefly sum up all that we have thus far learned.
1. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Salvation is only by the power of God, and wherever the power of God is, there is salvation.
2. Christ is the power of God.
3. But Christ’s salvation comes through the cross; therefore the cross of Christ is the power of God.
4. So the preaching of Christ and Him crucified is the preaching of the Gospel.
5. The power of God is the power that creates all things.Therefore the preaching of Christ and Him crucified, as the power of God, is the preaching of the creative power of God put forth for the salvation of men.
6. This is so, because Christ is the Creator of all things.
7. Not only so, but also in Him all things were created. He is the first-born of all creation; when He was begotten, “in the days of eternity,” all things were virtually created, because all creation is in Him. The substance of all creation, and the power by which all things should be made to appear, were in Christ. This is simply a statement of the mystery that only the mind of God can comprehend.
8. The mystery of the Gospel is God manifest in human flesh. Christ on earth is “God with us.” So Christ dwelling in the hearts of men by faith is all the fullness of God in them.
9. And this means nothing less than the creative energy in God working in men through Jesus Christ, for their salvation. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” 2 Corinthians 5:17. “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.” Ephesians 2:10
The apostle indicates all this when he says that to preach the unsearchable riches of Christis to make all see “what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world have been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.”
In the following portion of Scripture we have the details of this mystery well summarized: —
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love; having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved.In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself; that in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him; in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will; that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation; in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory. Wherefore I . . . cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him; the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 1:3-20
Now we will note the different points of this statement:
1. All blessings are given to us in Christ. “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things.” Romans 8:32
2. This gift of all things in Christ is in accordance with the fact that He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that in Him we might obtain holiness. “For God hath not appointed us unto wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9
3. In that choice the destiny determined for us is that we should be sons.
4. Accordingly He accepts us in the Beloved.
5. In the Beloved we have redemption through His blood.
6. All this is the making known to us of the mystery, namely, that in the fullness of times He will gather together in one household all things in Jesus Christ, both things in the heaven and things on the earth.
7. This being the fixed purpose of God, it follows that in Christ we have already obtained an inheritance; for God makes all things work out the purpose of His own will.
8. All who believe in Christ are sealed with the Holy Spirit, which is called the Holy Spirit of promise, because it is the surety of the promised inheritance.
9. This seal of the Holy Spirit is the pledge of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession. “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30
10. Those who have the Spirit as the seal, know what is the riches of the glory of the inheritance; that is, the glory of the future inheritance becomes theirs now, through the Spirit.
In this we see that the Gospel involves an inheritance; in fact, the mystery of the Gospel is really the possession of the inheritance, because in Him we have obtained an inheritance. Now let us see how the matter is stated in the eighth of Romans. We shall not quote the Scripture entire, but simply summarize it.
Those who have the Holy Spirit of promise are the sons of God; “for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” If we are children we are necessarily heirs, heirs of God because sons of God. And if heirs of God, we are joint heirs with Jesus Christ.The one thing above all others that Christ is desirous that we should know is that the Father has loved us even as He loved Him.
But of what are we heirs together with Christ? —Why, of all creation, because the Father has constituted Him “heir of all things” (Hebrews 1:2), and has said, “He that overcomes shall inherit all things.” Revelation 21:7. And this is shown by what follows in Romans 8. We are now sons of God, but the glory of the sons of God doth not yet appear.Christ was the Son of God, yet He was not recognized as such by the world; “therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.” 1 John 3:1. In possessing the Spirit we are in possession of “the riches of the glory of the inheritance;” and that glory will in due time be revealed in us, in a measure far exceeding all present sufferings.
“For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but by reason of Him who subjected it in hope that the creation itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only so, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for our adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:19-23 Man by creation was a son of God; but through sin he became a child of wrath, even a child of Satan, to whom he rendered obedience, instead of to God.But through the grace of God in Christ those who believe are made sons of God, and receive the Holy Spirit.Thus they are sealed as heirs until the redemption of the purchased possession, that is, of the whole creation, which is waiting for its redemption when the glory shall be revealed in the sons of God.
By E. J. Waggoner, The Present Truth: May 7, 1896
From a book called “The Everlasting Covenant” containing the original articles from: “The Present Truth” periodical, May 7, 1896 to May 27, 1897
From the Editor, my personal testimony: Regarding this collection of articles from the audio form of this book: “The Everlasting Covenant”, where this article was taken from:It has had a very great impact on my life!This book and its stories from the Bible, led me to fall in love with God, there is no other way of putting it. I believe God had been working in my life prior to this to get me to this point, with all the other things that He was teaching me – to obey Him, and helping me to learn to give up the things He didn’t want me to do. But until I fell in love with Him, I didn’t have the power from Him and the joy that I now have. But if I had not been willing to do what He was asking me to do, and had not submitted to Him, I would have never gotten to this point. The thing I was lacking in my whole life, or at least in the strength that God wanted to give me, was given to me after I learned how much He loved me in “The Everlasting Covenant” by E. J. Waggoner.
I had given my heart to God as a boy when I was baptized, and there is no doubt that God was working in my life then, and throughout my life, but I had not totally surrendered to Him before this great change. (I wanted to be closer to Him, but I was having difficulty yielding to Him all the way every day. And sometimes my stubborn pride would get in the way or I fell into sin.) Before this great change that happened to me, I could have never imagined the peace, love and joy and pure unadulterated happiness that I could have. I never knew such joy even existed! (I could never have had this change in my own strength or will in any way.) If you would have told me about any of this before this great change happened to me, I wouldn’t have believed you!It seemed to me that no one has a right to feel such joy! – That it is too much for anyone to expect. I told myself and several others, ‘I need to pinch myself to see if I am awake!’ Before when I had walked with God, even after my baptism, something would always come along and spoil my joy and happiness. And at some points I would go back and forth between wanting to be good and doing my own thing, sometimes backsliding. After this great change I asked someone, ‘When does this joy end?”And the answer to me from my heart, and from the one I was telling it to was: “never!” I prayed to God for help to keep me from going back to my old ways. I certainly do not deserve what happened to me, I can only thank God for showing me His love and changing my heart! I have not then, nor now, nor will I ever be better than anyone else on this earth, but what happened to me was due solely to God, not based on anything that I have done or deserve or for any of my abilities. I would rather die than go back to the way I used to live! It would break my heart forever if I lost this. I could never be happy again if I lost the joy of knowing and loving my God!
I hope that my testimony is not too much for you dear reader. I am just speaking what’s on my mind about the wonderful riches of God. He wants to give these riches to you too, if you would have them.
It is my prayer, dear reader, that God will richly bless you too, as you learn more and more about His great love for you, especially as presented by E. J. Waggoner in “The Everlasting Covenant”, as we continue to present more articles from it.
May the grace of God, and the priceless, precious fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you, as you go down this journey of falling totally in love with God! Riches beyond measure await you, if you will just get to know Him and His great love for you!
P. S. If you would like to listen to the audio of this book you can listen to it on our web site: www.WhiteRaimentEvangelism.org/recommended. But it will be the whole book, not just this article in this blog you are now reading.
The sacrifice has been made; Abraham’s faith had been tested and found perfect; “And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By Myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That […]
The Kingdom of God consists not in words but in Power! Listen to what the apostle Paul says here: “But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant, but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power.” 1 Corinthians 4:19-20 NASB. Paul here was addressing a class of people among the Corinthian believers who were arrogant. 1 Corinthians 4:18. Evidently some people were causing problems in the Church, who were living without the power of God in their lives. Sound familiar? This problem and the solution addressed by Paul here is largely the same problem that we have today, and his solution is the same that is needed today. Yes, his counsel is for our day too, not just for the Corinthian church of his day. Do you want God’s power in your life to help you be good and His gifts to serve Him with? Do you want the assurance of your salvation? Then get His power in your life.
If you want to receive a blessing, why not come to our Fourth Angel’s Movement Camp Meeting? Are you ready to receive the rich blessings of the Latter Rain? If you long for a closer walk with God, and hunger for Christian fellowship with others who love Him too, come to this camp meeting! We will give some inspirational messages here on Justification by Faith or the Righteousness of Christ - which is the 3rd Angel’s Message in verity, to help you get the Latter Rain! There will be practical breakout sessions on the Medical Missionary work, Evangelism, Media Ministry, Country Living, Health Food Stores, and more!
How to Get Answers to Prayer?
“Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:14-16 NASB.
Do you believe it?
Why are we bringing up this text about healing the sick? We are using this text because it’s startling. We're bringing this up because we need to start right where people seem to have the problem: With faith. So why start with a most difficult promise? Because we want you to know with God the impossible is possible, that there is nothing too hard for God. Genesis 18:14.
Why do you need faith?
If it’s something you can do for yourself or mankind can provide, why do you need God for it? Faith is all about making your needs and petitions known to God that you cannot provide for yourself or for things you can do too! (We need God for everything!) When you have faith in God, then there is nothing that you need that He cannot provide if it’s for your best. So let’s start with discussing prayers that seem impossible as a place to start our talk on faith! That's why this Seminar is entitled the Prayer of Faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God! Hebrews 11:6. You need to believe the promises of God, as in James 5:14-16. You need to believe the Bible as it reads, because God says what He means, and means what he says and can be trusted because He loves you!
The title for tonight’s session is the Prayer of Faith Part 1 Conditions for answered prayer. We won’t be able to cover everything here. But the main thing is to understand [that there are conditions to answered prayer.] – How many people here want God [to] hear their prayers? How many people here want their prayers to be answered? (Audience: Yea.) There’s a science behind it – we don’t always know every prayer, but there’s some prayers that you can know that God is going to answer them. Did you know that? (Audience: Yes.) Did you know that there are some prayers that God isn’t going to hear? And some of it has to do with our attitudes. We’re not going to go into all that tonight. But there’s a protocol for dealing with God, and if we want answers to our prayers we need to understand. We are not going to go through all of them tonight. But the biggest one of them all is Faith! I mean I had known this for awhile – but it didn’t really sink in. You know I was thinking [about] other things. But when I did this study I realized that the prayer of faith is like the number one condition!
An inspiring message on how to get answers to prayer and get closer to God and get all the happiness and love and joy you were meant to have! The title for tonight’s session is the Prayer of Faith Part 1 Conditions for answered prayer. We won’t be able to cover everything here but, the main thing is to understand – How many people here want to have God hear their prayers? How many people here want their prayers to be answered? There’s a science behind it – we don’t always know every prayer, but there’s some prayers that you can know that God is going to answer them. Did you know that? Did you know that there are some prayers that God isn’t going to hear? And some of it has to do with our attitudes. We’re not going to go into all that tonight. But there’s a protocol for dealing with God, and if we want to answers to our prayers we need to understand. And – we are not going to go through all of them tonight. But the biggest one of them all is Faith! I mean I had known this for awhile – but it didn’t really sink in. You know I was thinking of other things. But when I did this study I realized that the prayer of faith is like the number one condition!
What does it mean to be justified? Are good works bad? We think it will be clear once we break it down. Some people want to insist that works are bad because works are done by those who are trying to save themselves. But is it true that works are bad? That depends on whether someone is trying to do good works in their own strength to save themselves or not. Paul doesn't contradict himself here. There's another way that good works can be done – they can be done by the Spirit of God. All this text is saying is that people who try to keep the law and their own strength will not be justified. We believe that since all our righteousnesses are filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6 KJV), then the attempt to save oneself by their works is actually sin. This is because those who do this make themselves to be their own god, little “g”. It is God’s job to save us, not ourselves – we have no ability of saving ourselves. For someone to be justified - that's an act of grace by God alone, which is Paul's point. Those who are trying to save themselves cannot have the Holy Spirit, or enjoy what it means to really live – which is to be filled with wonderful peace, great love and joy inexpressible! Nor can they ever be truly righteous – it is a hollow shell. Paul’s point is not that we won't be doing good works, his point is that those who seek to try to work out their own salvation by themselves will not be justified. We think this is clear! Jesus said, “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Luke 18:13-14 KJV. The danger for those who trust in themselves, the self-righteous, is that they do not see their need clearly and may fail to confess their sins and humble themselves before God before it’s too late, because they may think that they are good and do not need to repent. So those who try to keep the law in their own strength will not be justified, until they ask for mercy, this is what Jesus and Paul taught. If they feel that they are keeping the law, they may have failed to confess the sin of breaking it. Self-righteousness is a form of Spiritual blindness. Therefore Galatians 2:16 does not contradict our passage in Romans 2:13: 'For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.' They are both in perfect harmony with each other, but they're talking about two different things. “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 KJV.
Are “good works” really bad? The belief that good works are bad is contradicted by Paul who declared that we were created in Christ Jesus for good works: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10 NASB. If God is working in you to will and to do His good pleasure, then these good works are acceptable to Him. Philippians 2:13. Notice that Paul said that ‘God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.’ What is he talking about here? God has prepared ahead of time that we should walk in good works. This really goes against what many people are teaching nowadays! How can it be that all good works are bad, if God prepared ahead of time that we should walk in them? This contradicts what many believe doesn’t it? God prepared beforehand a way that you and I can have good works! How did God prepare ahead of time? By Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins – to make atonement for them, and by providing the Holy Spirit to write His Law of love in our heart and help us obey Him. John 3:3,5,16-17; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Romans 5:8-11; 1 John 2:1-2; 4:10; Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 11:18-20; 36:25-30; Deuteronomy Acts 2; and Joel 2; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5, 8; 2:37-39; John 7:37-39; Matthew 22:35-40.
Play Article Audio “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?’ He saith unto him, ‘Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.’ He saith unto him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ He saith to him again the second time, ‘Simon, son of Jonas, lovest […]
For not the hearers of the Law are just before God, but the doers of the law will be justified.
The just man is the one who does the law.
To be just means to be righteous.
The just or righteous person does the law.
Therefore to justify someone is to make them a doer of the law.
To justify someone is to make them righteous.
The term justification by faith is used many places in the Bible, so we need to understand what it really means. It is important since it is used so many times. True faith takes the Bible as it reads and accepts it as the truth, because it is the word of God. Those with true faith believe and trust God and take Him at His word. Therefore the first step in order to get righteousness by faith is to believe the word of God, the Bible. Without the belief that the Bible is the word of God, no one can have the faith that is needed, which Abraham had, to be made righteous by God and be saved. The condition of salvation is to believe – to believe that Jesus and His Father can save you. John 3:16-17. You must also believe their word, the Bible. God doesn’t make mistakes, and you can trust His word, the Bible. This is what we are doing here, taking the Bible as it reads.