The issue concerning the justification and salvation through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ arose from misunderstanding the act of justification of sinners. Jews maintained, and unfortunately, some Christians do so today, that sinners must first repent and abandon their evil ways before they can be justified by “faith.” Paul, however, argues that sinners could not repent unless they are justified. The condemned sinners could not repent and be made righteous by their initiative. The condemned sinners must die, no possibility of rehabilitation. God and only He could remove from the sinners the cause for the condemnation and make them righteous in Jesus Christ.
“Or do you have contempt for the wealth of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, and yet do not know that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?” Romans 2:4, NET. Paul, in Galatians chapter two, expounds the above idea in more detail and from another angle. Galatians 2:17 – 19. “But if while seeking to be justified in Christ we ourselves have also been found to be sinners, is Christ the one who encourages sin? Absolutely not! But if I build up again those things I once destroyed, I demonstrate that I am one who brakes God’s law.” Galatians 2:17, 18, NET.
Paul maintains that if we rebuild what we have destroyed, we break the law. How? ” “For through the law I died to the law so that I may live to God. I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:19, 20, NET. Paul here reiterates what he said in Romans 7:4. God, at creation, put the humankind under the law. “but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil…” Genesis 2:17. Therefore, the humankind was married to the law, no possibility of divorce. Because humanity sinned in the first man Adam, the marriage to the law became unbearable. To free itself from the marriage to the law the humankind had to die so it could be married to Jesus Christ. Our sinful life and our old sinful-self died in the body of Jesus Christ, as the wages for sin, on the cross at Golgotha. Now we are married to the Grace – Jesus Christ. Therefore, if we insist that in addition to being justified by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ we must, for our salvation, obey the law, we are reinstating our marriage to the law. In this way, we remain condemned to eternal death because we brake the law by insisting on being married to two husbands, which is adultery according to the law. The law forbids the woman to, at the same time, be married to two husbands. The law prohibits us from being under the Grace and the law concurrently.
More in the next blog