"Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing…Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." -- Galatians 5:2-4
The gospel of Christ is essentially different from every religion in the world. It is different in one vital point. THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST IS A MESSAGE OF GRACE ALONE. Every religion in the world, except the gospel of Christ, tells you to do something to recommend yourself to God. It is the business of all false religions to patch up a righteousness in which sinners can stand before God accepted.
It is the business of the gospel preacher to proclaim a righteousness ready made, a robe of righteousness ready to wear, a perfect righteousness wrought out by Christ alone, in which sinners stand eternally, immutably, unconditionally accepted in the Beloved, perfect, complete, and without fault before God.
I hold before you perfect righteousness in the Lord Jesus Christ, the righteousness he accomplished on behalf of sinners by his obedience as our Substitute, a righteousness without any works, conditions, or stipulations to be met by you (Rom. 5:19). Will you receive this free-grace righteousness, by faith alone, without works; or will you perish, seeking to establish righteousness by the works of your own hands? (See Rom. 9:31-33).
WORKS RELIGION, UNDER ANY NAME, IS DAMNING RELIGION. Any religion that conditions salvation upon something you must do, be it a work ever so small, is antichrist. Any religion that conditions any part of salvation upon you is damning to your soul.
Redemption is not a work to be completed and made effectual by you. It is an effectual work, completely accomplished by Christ at Calvary (John 19:30). Regeneration does not depend upon your will, but upon God's will (Rom. 9:16). Justification, sanctification, preservation, and glorification are all works of grace alone. These great gifts of grace do not depend upon man's obedience, but only upon Christ's obedience!
If we would be saved, we must give up our works and trust the Lord Jesus Christ alone! If we do anything by which we hope to win God's favor, or improve our standing before him, the Holy Spirit declares, "Christ shall profit you nothing…Ye are fallen from grace" (Gal. 5:2-4).
“Naught have I gotten, but what I received.
Grace hath bestowed, and now I believe.
Boasting excluded, pride I abase,
I’m only a sinner saved by grace!”