Is Therefore Christ the Minister of Sin?

Galatians 2:17-18. “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.”

Paul’s legal training shows up in these two verses. They are  classic “If. . . .then”  statements, showing the fallacy of combining grace with the observation of the law to attain salvation.

“if,” says Paul, “while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners”–in other words, if we who have trusted in Jesus alone are still sinners seeking a way of salvation–“Then Christ is the minister of sin.”  Is that all Christ was for? Was He only to show me how bad my sin is, how lost I am, and then leave me to save myself by my own efforts in keeping the Law?

God forbid! Christ came to be a minister of righteousness to all who believe. How futile would His death have been if it were only to show me how bad my sin is and not provide me with a way of salvation beyond my own efforts!

“If I build again the things which I have destroyed”—If I, Paul, insist upon the Gentiles’ observance of the Law, which I have proved to be abolished by the death of Christ (Eph. 2:14-15; Col. 2:14-17 and many other references) then I am rebuilding what I have taken down, making myself also a sinner by undoing my own justificiation by faith in Christ.

I had to read these verses over several times, and study a couple of my references, to be sure I have a clear understanding of what Paul was saying.  When it fell into place for me, I realized how beautifully simple it is.

Thank God for His grace to us!

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3 thoughts on “Is Therefore Christ the Minister of Sin?

  1. Anne

    I keep wondering what is so tempting for people, groups, religions to be tempted to believe or preach salvation through good words (apart from being blinded or unknowing of the truth).

    A feeling of being undeserving of God’s gift of grace?
    On the flip side, a feeling of pride that makes one want to have some sense of control and accomplishment in salvation?
    Unwillingness to relinquish control of what has made them feel secure in their religion?
    They enjoy their own list of “right and wrong” and don’t whatever boundaries a “God” sets forth?
    As for leaders preaching such, maybe a sense of power.

    Either or any way, it seems so much more restful to be saved TO good works done in love and gratitude rather than living in fear or provoking fear IN good works to be never good enough for a perfect God.

    I’m sure there’s a verse or two of scripture of a hymn that would have said all that much more simply…

    “Not the labor of my hands
    Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
    Could my zeal no respite know,
    Could my tears forever flow,
    All could never sin erase,
    Thou must save, and save by grace.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I tend to think the biggest problem is pride. Following that, a sense of unworthiness. Many people have told me, “But I’m just not worthy. . .” and I always agree with them. None of us are worthy of the grace of God. That’s what makes it grace, after all. To recognize one’s own unworthiness is to begin to understand the outrageous grace, love, and mercy of our Lord.

      Like

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