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Galatians 3:11,12 – Put into focus

04-07-2022 - Posted by Hans

Now that in law no ne is being justified with God is evident for the just one by faith shall be living. Now the law is not of faith but who does them shall be living in them.

Again the apostle brings out the contrast between “works of law” and faith. And in both of the above verses, he backs up his claims with statements from the Hebrew Bible. Yet he does not present them as quotations; the reader is supposed to know that he is referring to the Tanakh.

It is a foregone conclusion to Paul that the righteous is one who lives by faith. The statement in Habakkuk 2:14 confirms what Paul stated earlier about Abraham: whoever believes (trusts) God at His word is righteous in His sight. Period. But in the legal conception under “the old covenant” (read: Judaism) it is not about trusting in what God promises to do, but in man who has to do all kinds of things and on fulfilling orders. As Leviticus 18:5 also says: Whoever does these things will live in them.

As so often, Paul sets the contrast very sharply. Undoubtedly, his opponents will reproach him for being oversimplified. So be it. The contrast here is simply black and white. It’s either faith or works.