The Heart of Our Faith
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 faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
Paul believed nothing merited his boasting more than the cross (Gal. 6:14). He had good reason to think so: God’s entire plan of salvation hangs upon two beams of rough-hewn wood. It is through Jesus’ sacrificial death that we are reconciled to the Father. And we are justified by Christ’s blood—freed from the guilt and penalty of sin.
Galatians 2:16 says, “By the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.” That is, clean living cannot earn God’s acceptance. Even so, many people choose to put confidence in some sort of cosmic “scale”—they believe their good deeds will outweigh their bad deeds, and as a result, the gate of heaven will be open to them.
However, if this scale philosophy were true, Jesus’ death would be senseless. A Father who accepted multiple paths to salvation but still sacrificed His Son couldn’t be called good or loving. Yet so many overlook the obvious logic of such reasoning and cling to their vision of a God who ignores personal sin.
The problem is pride. Since it is natural to desire acceptance, people want to believe something within them is worth loving. But the cross requires kneeling before God empty-handed. When we humbly admit we’re powerless to settle our own sin debt, we must accept the payment Jesus made for us.
We have nothing to offer God, but the fact is, He expects nothing. Instead, the Father created a salvation plan that cleansed the stain of our sin and reconciled us to Him. The cross is a symbol of His love—a love that deserves our boasting.