Man is not justified by the works of the law. He is judged by his deeds.

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God judges all people by their deeds and justifies some by grace.

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Listen to Graham Maxwell, a well-known preacher, as he explains, from the letter to the Galatians, his view of the Atonement and of Justification.

3 Replies to “Man is not justified by the works of the law. He is judged by his deeds.”

  1. Thanks Andries for your time and your answer. I have a much better understanding of this parable now.

  2. Hi Andries,

    This is a very interesting article.

    I have been trying to understand the parable of the 10 virgins for a while and wonder if you agree with the following interpretation.

    Matthew 25:1 Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

    5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’

    9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’

    10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

    13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. NKJV

    It is clear to me that the turning point of this parable is when the ‘bridegroom arrive’ (see Matt 25:6). Up to that point each virgin had the responsibility to have enough oil in her lamp and not to be caught off guard at the arrival of the bridegroom no matter if he had been delayed.

    This parable was given to inform us of who would enter the Kingdom of God. The lesson to retain is that we need to make sure that we have enough oil before the “door shut”. The closing of that ‘door’ will be at either our ‘death’ or at the time of the second coming of Christ (for those who will be alive then). Once the door is close there won’t be any possibility to get more oil. We will either have enough and be allowed to come in, or we will be lacking and be excluded without a second chance. The central point of the parable is to make sure one has enough oil to be saved.

    How should we interpret the “oil” when we transpose the message of the parable to our life? Could the ‘oil’ be the sum of our deeds and the quality of our faith? It would make sense to see it that way, as it is something that we cannot share (similar to the 5 wise virgins that wouldn’t share their oil) and something that has to be obtained by our own effort at the appropriate time (the foolish virgin went to buy more oil in the middle of the night) .
    Yves P.

    1. Hi Yves – nice to hear from you.

      Generally, I agree. However, we must be careful not to attampt to interpret each and every particular of the story. Parable are stories with one main message.

      In my article, I interpreted the “deeds” of people as representing their entire beings, including the person’s faith. A good word to describe this is perhaps ‘character’. That is how I would understnd the “oil” in the parable.

      The parable of the ten virgins implies a judgment of the people that profess to be Christians. All ten have accepted the gospel but five will be rejected.

      All ten virgins claim to be Christians. All are waiting for Christ to appear. All had lamps and vessels for oil. Apparently, there was seen no difference between them. So with the church that lives just before Christ’s second coming. All have a knowledge of the Scriptures. All have heard the message of Christ’s near approach and confidently expect His appearing.

      But many are not ready. They receive the word with readiness, but they fail to assimilate its principles. They do not know God. Their service to God degenerates into a form. They are people that “holding to a form of godliness … have denied its power” (2 Tim. 3:1-5). On judgment day, they will say, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name?” But He will say, “I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matt 7:22-23).

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