1534 Salvation by Works, A Criminal Doctrine

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SALVATION BY WORKS, A CRIMINAL DOCTRINE.
NO. 1534
DELIVERED ON LORD'S-DAY MORNING, APRIL 18TH, 1880,
BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”-Galatians 2:21.

THE idea of salvation by the merit of our own works is exceedingly insinuating. It matters not how often it is refuted, it asserts itself again and again; and when it gains the least foothold it soon makes great advances. Hence Paul, who was determined to show it no quarter, opposed everything which bore its likeness. He was determined not to permit the thin end of the wedge to be introduced into the church, for well he knew that willing hands would soon be driving it home hence when Peter sided with the Judaizing party, and seemed to favor those who demanded that the Gentiles should be circumcised, our brave apostle withstood him to the face. He fought always for salvation by grace through faith, and contended strenuously against all thought of righteousness by obedience to the precepts of the ceremonial or the moral law. No one could be more explicit than he upon the doctrine that we are not justified or saved by works in any degree, but solely by the grace of God. His trumpet gave forth no uncertain sound, but gave forth the clear note.

By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.' Grace meant grace with him, and he could not endure any tampering with the matter, or any frittering away of its meaning. So fascinating is the doctrine of legal righteousness that the only way to deal with it is Paul's way. Stamp it out.