Knowing that man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ that we might be justified by the faith of Christ and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners. For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
One of the purposes of God’s law is to show us the need for a savior. To show us that by the law no one is justified and no one can earn their way into Heaven. God’s law, not only applies to our deeds and requires complete perfection one hundred percent of the time. But it also applies to our hearts, to our thoughts and motives as Jesus explains in chapter five of Matthew’s Gospel. God’s law was given as the standard by which we can compare our motives and actions, in order to understand the depths of our sin-nature. Given the perfection required by the law, it becomes evident, all have failed and therefore all have sinned. And that is exactly Paul’s point here in his letter to the Galatians. The Judaizers were coming into the congregation trying to convince the people that they needed to follow all of the Jewish dietary laws and rituals.
In addition, they were claiming this was a requirement as well as faith in Jesus, necessary for salvation. Paul in response to their claims, correctly calls them ministers of sin. They were false teachers trying to trap the congregation into the laws of Judaism, in order to make themselves look better. And today we must learn to recognize systems of belief that require us to perform good works in order to achieve salvation. Thereby making us slaves to sin and nullifying the work of Jesus at the Cross. As Christians, we must never forget salvation is through faith in Jesus alone, first and only. It is because of our salvation and the grace of God, that the Holy Spirit does a work in us. The evidence of our salvation and the Holy Spirit’s work in us, is a heart toward God and works pleasing to the Lord. Works done with humility and out of the love we have for Jesus, because of our faith. His gift to us is eternal life because of our faith in Him, through which we are changed and given a new nature by God.