‘But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.’ Galatians 2:17-18 (NKJV)
This is the balance to the previous verse that emphasized faith in Christ as the only basis for justification. But praise God who perfectly balances all things, for many have taken justification by faith and not bothered with this understanding. Yes, only by faith are we justified and not by works; but after justification has taken place through faith, are we not supposed to live out the justified life? If my life after justification is still producing the sin that was there before justification, then where is the fruit and evidence of justification?
I cannot practice again the very sinful lifestyle that Jesus came to deliver me from and still claim to be living in CHRISTS’ justification. It doesn’t work that way. If I build again the very things that Christ came to deal with, then I am a sinner and my doctrine of justification has no relevance in real life issues. The justified life must not end as a good doctrine; the justified life must bring forth the fruit of justification in order to authenticate the experience of justification.
‘Lord, deliver me from correct doctrine that does not have correct life. Lord, let the fruit of my life be the evidence that I have correct doctrine. I am justified and accepted by faith in Christ and not by works. Now that I am justified, let the living flames of Christ pour out and be seen by all men. Let this speak of and validate my experience of justification. Amen.’