"Live by God's Every Word"  Ma 4.4

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The Error of the GALATIANS CHURCH

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FAITH plus WORKS


LEFT TOP: The letter of Paul to the Galatians Church served as a warning of the error of mixing Faith and Works in the Gospel of salvation.


Note the similarity of this 'gospel error' of the Galatians--"Having begun by the Spirit [Faith], are you now being perfected by the flesh [Works]? (Gal. 3:3)--with the...


RIGHT TOP: Catholic Church and ...


LEFT BOTTOM: Unfinished ("Lordship") Gospel.


All BEGIN with 'Faith', but salvation must be COMPLETED by Works.


However, the Biblical Gospel is 'FINISHED' by Grace alone at the time of Faith (justification).

Works of the Holy Spirit in the saved person should follow (sanctification) through the rest of life.

But salvation in this Finished Gospel occurs by Faith alone,

"not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph 2:8-9; Gal 2:16).

The GALATIANS-ERROR as perpetuated in 3 main streams of Christianity (below)

1) The Catholic Gospel  

"...the condition for receiving the gift of salvation is faith plus good works. Norman Geisler, Systematic Theology, Vol. 3, Sin-Salvation, Bethany House, Minneapolis, MN, 2004, p. 472.  

  "Roman Catholicism teaches that faith is just the beginning of salvation, so the believer must constantly work throughout his life to complete the process." Fritz Ridenour, So What's the Difference?, Regal Books, Glendale, CA, 1967, p. 44.  

"[In Roman Catholicism] Justification is obtained by doing meritorious works that cooperate with God's grace, with focus upon the seven sacraments."

John Ankerberg & Dillon Burroughs, What's the Big Deal About Other Religions?, Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR, 2008, p. 45. 

2) The Arminian Gospel  

You are saved by Faith, but "...you will lose your salvation if you do not persevere to the end of your life with a fruitful, working faith."

Dennis Rosker,  in Freely By Grace, J.B. Hixson, Rick Whitmire and Roy B. Zuck, eds., 2012, Grace Gospel Press, Duluth, MN, p. 294.  

3) The Calvinistic-Reformed-"Lordship" Gospel  

"Calvinism maintains that though salvation cannot be lost, if you do not persevere in faith and godliness to the end of your life, this proves that you were never one of God's elect and you will not attain final salvation."

Dennis Rosker,  in Freely By Grace, J.B. Hixson, Rick Whitmire and Roy B. Zuck, eds., 2012, Grace Gospel Press, Duluth, MN, p. 294.   

In the 3 "Faith-Alone-Plus-Works" Gospels above, we see what one must bring to the table of Salvation

GRAPH LEFT: A person’s Future Works will validate or invalidate their Salvation. Therefore, Faith-Alone is not enough. Works must render the  FINAL VERDICT  on their Salvation.


That compels a person to add a “Works-IOU” (commit, promise, pledge of future works) to their “Faith-Alone” belief in Jesus Christ. By the end of life, then, one’s Works render the FINAL VERDICT on their Salvation.

This is the essence of the Unfinished Gospel.

LEFT: The Biblical Gospel

1. One who believes in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who died for their sins, and was resurrected to life to give them Eternal Life, is saved instantaneously and irreversibly at the point of belief. (John 3:19; Acts 16:31; Eph 2:8-9)

2. As a born-again believer, their salvation is complete and finished and proven by the Finished Work of Christ at the Cross. (John 19:30)

3. Then, as a new disciple of Christ, they are enabled by the Spirit of Christ to walk through life in good Works.  (Eph 2:10) Their works ("good", in Christ; "bad", in self) will be judged at the Judgment Seat Of Christ (1 Cor 3:12-15; 2 Cor 5:10), but their salvation was secured at the point of Faith in Christ. (John 5:24; Rom 8:1, 30)