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Romans
3:19-26

Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
 
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it-the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (ESV)
Nothing Wrong With the Law
Mardi Gras
9 February 2016
For the Apostle Paul "law" and the "works of the law" are both equally unable to save from sin, death, and the wrath of God. In many places Paul uses the two terms interchangeably (Romans 3). Paul is not being pejorative toward the law by attributing to it the power of death and accusation. There is nothing wrong with the law that its works cannot lead to life. The problem is not the law, but the person (Rm 7:12).
 
The law and the inadequacy of the works of the law highlight human weakness before God's holiness. In fact, the attempt to become right before God through works will often bring with it a world of trouble, including the curse of the law and all its crushing weight. The commandment will excite not obedience, but lust, that is, the desire to do what the law forbids. Remember the last time you told a small child to keep his hand out of the cookie jar?
 
The only way to be saved from that power is that Christ would take on the power of the curse in Himself and redeem us from it. Only the Son of God has the power to take the curse and bear it, so that it is defeated. Then He becomes all our merit before God. If He is our merit before God, then we are none of our own. There is nothing wrong with the law that Jesus cannot fix.

 

Martin Luther

"Paul is presenting here (Gal 3:13) an important and powerful argument against the righteousness of works: 'Neither the law nor works redeem from the curse, but only Christ.' Therefore I implore you for God's sake to distinguish Christ from the law and to pay diligent attention to how Paul is speaking and to what he is saying. He is saying 'It is necessary that all who do not keep the Law be under a curse.' But no one keeps the Law. Therefore the first proposition is true, namely, that all men are under a curse. Then he adds a second proposition: 'Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us.' Therefore the law and works do not redeem from the curse. On the contrary, they drag us down and subject us to the curse.

"But just as Christ is something different from the law and from the works of the law, so the redemption of Christ is altogether different from my merit based on works of the law; for it had to be Christ Himself who redeemed us from the curse of the law. Therefore whoever does not take hold of Christ by faith remains under the curse....For Christ is God and man, 'conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, etc.' Now about Him Paul says that He became a curse for us to redeem us from the curse of the law. Therefore the law, works, love, vows, etc., do not redeem; they only wrap one in the curse and make it even heavier. Therefore the more we have performed works, the less able we are to know and to grasp Christ."
 
Prayer
O Christ, hold me, that I might grasp You in faith. Amen.
 
For all those who grieve when their children live disordered lives, that they might cast their cares on Christ
 
For all those suffering from flu, especially the elderly, that they would be strengthened unto restored health
 
For those who struggle with temptation, that they might be led into the way of peace
Art: RAFFAELLO, Sanzio The Transfiguration (1518-20)

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