Joey Chive3 March 2009 at 6:42pmPosts: 180 (0 today)Status: offline
Where is Boasting
by Joe La Bianca
Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
Here is a passage that legalists use to justify following the law. Their false interpretation goes against the entire context here. They claim that Paul is teaching us to establish the law of works in Romans 3:31. But Paul is saying just the opposite. He is telling us to establish the new law of faith, or the principle of faith, which says we are saved without works, see Rom. 3:28. In this section, Paul is telling of two laws, the law of works, which is the old covenant, and the law of faith, which is the new covenant. The new testament is a fundamental axiom which is accepted as truth by genuine believers. The new testament nullifies the old testament. You cannot have both! The word ?new? automatically replaces the word ?old?. This is only common sense!
If someone earns salvation by his own obedience and goodness, this gives him the capability to boast. Salvation by works enables people to glory in themselves; but Rom. 3:27 says that in Christianity, boasting is excluded. Here is another reason to reject legalism and accept grace. It is more godly, humble, and thankful to believe in salvation by faith in Jesus without works. A major principle of Christianity is this?. law observers are boastful; believers are humble. Be humble by letting Jesus do the saving.
We cannot trust Christ, and at the same time trust ourselves. Our efforts to save ourselves are futile. We can only place our trust in Jesus to save us. This is the law of faith and the principle of true salvation by which the trusting person is redeemed . This is because of his belief that Jesus is the only Savior. The law of faith is Christianity; the law of works is Judaism. Judaism ended with the death of Christ.
The reason why I speak so much of faith in God?s grace is that I am maintaining the gospel. Right in Rom. 3:28 it says, ?For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.? Paul is concluding his theology. He is stopping at grace, and sustaining the gospel. We must also preserve the gospel by maintaining grace.
Notice Paul says that we are justified apart from, or without the deeds of the law. The NIV translates it, ?apart from observing the law?. This weakens the phrase because the word for ?observe? is really ergon in Greek. Ergon means: to toil. So we do not have to ?toil at? obeying the law to be saved. We are saved apart from our efforts. We do not labor under the law, we just believe the gospel in our heads, and this is what saves us. Since Jesus chose Paul to bring the gospel to light, Titus 1:3, I believe the letters of Paul are the most authoritative writings concerning the gospel, and should be received as such.
God never intended to choose Israel, and condemn the Gentiles. God always was, and always will be the God of everyone, both Jews and Gentiles. God offers salvation to all, freely, through faith in Jesus. The primary reason the Jews were chosen was to bring Jesus into the world. God had to choose a people through whom the Messiah would be born. This one God only justifies one way. The Jews must come to God through faith in Jesus, and so must the Gentiles. There is no special favoritism herein.
So we do not nullify the law of faith, we establish the principle that a man is justified freely through Jesus. We do, however, nullify the law of works, as Rom 3:27 says. The idea that a man can save himself is just wrong. Christ is the end of the law, so that there can be a righteousness that is by faith, as Paul later reveals in Rom. 10:4.
The law is ended for the believer, but it continues for the unbeliever. This is another way we establish the law, it continues as a tutor that leads people to Christ. Without the law, there is no sin. And where there is no sin, there is no need for a Savior. So we bring out the law as a tool to reach the unconverted. They see their sin in the law, and are convicted as sinners. When this happens, we present Jesus? sacrifice to the lost , and salvation can happen if they trust Christ. If the unconverted refuse to trust Jesus, then their law continues for them, as the holy accuser and silencer of every Christless soul.
So be wise. Enter into grace by faith and escape the just accusation of Sinai. Calvary, where the law died, is the hill for me, and I hope for you too. Amen.