Many people asked Jesus, “What must I do to be saved?”, and two thousand years later, many more are still asking this question. Over these two thousand years, many Christians have answered this question by positing a clear division between faith and works, or faith and the law, based supposedly on statements by St. Paul in his NT letters—with Abraham as the model for all men of faith. Many non-Catholic Christians still presume that Catholics believe that they are saved by works, but is this true? And was Abraham a model of faith without works? This is what we discuss today on Deep In Scripture.
Over the years, as you have grown “deeper in Scripture” and deeper in Christ, have your favorite Scriptures changed? What is your favorite Scripture now?
1: O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you,
before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?
2: Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?
3: Are you so foolish? Having begun with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh?
4: Did you experience so many things in vain? — if it really is in vain.
5: Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?
6: Thus Abraham “believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
7: So you see that it is men of faith who are the sons of Abraham.
8: And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith,
preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying,
“In you shall all the nations be blessed.”
9: So then, those who are men of faith are blessed with Abraham who had faith.
10: For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse;
for it is written, “Cursed be every one who does not abide by all things
written in the book of the law, and do them.”
11: Now it is evident that no man is justified before God by the law;
for “He who through faith is righteous shall live”;
12: but the law does not rest on faith,
for “He who does them shall live by them.”
13: Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law,
having become a curse for us —
for it is written, “Cursed be every one who hangs on a tree” —
14: that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles,
that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.