The good news of salvation through Jesus Christ is first for the glory of God, and then for the good of man. The gospel shines light upon the mercy, love, and grace of God in ways that creation could never do. This is partly what the apostle Paul means when he writes in Ephesians 2:4-8
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith.
Earlier in that same letter, the apostle makes it clear that the work of God in salvation displays the glory of His grace. Three times, he uses the phrase “to the praise of his glorious grace.”
The pure gospel glorifies God’s grace because it makes much of Jesus, and little of us. It reminds us that we are hopeless, helpless sinners who could never have saved ourselves. So God, rich in His mercy toward His enemies; deep in His love for sinners; and abounding in His grace toward those who are undeserving, has done it all.
In Jesus Christ, God did all that was necessary to atone for the sins of man. The just One died for the unjust, and the just became the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. It is this glorious gospel of grace that Paul defends in his letter to the Galatians.
In Galatians 1:11-24, we see the apostle lift up the works of God which are accomplished because of, and through the power of God that is put on display by the gospel. There are four works of God that the Holy Spirit wants to impress upon your heart, mind, and soul.
- God communicated His gospel through Jesus Christ (vv. 11-12).
- God confronts religious sinners by means of His gospel (vv. 13-14).
- God calls and consecrates His servants through His gospel (vv. 15-20).
- God converts His enemies by the power of His gospel (vv. 21-24).
Properly understood, the gospel of God’s grace toward us in Jesus Christ reserves all glory for God. Let us beware of any distortions of the gospel which may subtly encourage us to add something to the work of Jesus Christ, or puff us up. All glory belongs to God.
You can watch or listen to the sermon here.