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God’s Promise vs. Man’s Efforts

“For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath…” (Rom. 4:14,15).

This should be self-evident to us all. If blessing is gained by the works of the Law, it is earned. This is why Gal. 3:18 says: “If the inheritance be of the law it is no more of promise, but God gave it to Abraham by promise.”

The Apostle Paul, God’s great apostle of grace, declares in Rom. 4:4,5:

“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

But let’s go back to that phrase: “the law worketh wrath.” Many people somehow do not see this. Even some clergymen tell us that the Law was given to help us to be good. But God Himself says, “the law worketh wrath.” Every criminal knows this, and every sinner should know it. God certainly places strong emphasis upon it:

“Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions” (Gal. 3:19), “that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may be brought in guilty before God” (Rom. 3:19). “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20).

If we come to God expecting eternal life because of our good works, are we not offering Him our terms, which He can never accept? He will never sell salvation at any price, and certainly not for a few paltry “good” works, when our lives are filled with failure and sin.

Our only hope? God has promised to give eternal life to those who trust in His Son (John 3:35,36; Acts 16:31; etc.).

“The gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.