“I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?”
Just = tsadaq = to be right in a moral or forensic sense; righteous; cleanse (clear) self.
This verse references Rom 3: 20
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall be no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
Justified = dikaioo = to render (to show or regard as) just or innocent, to be righteous.
The law does not save. It points out sin since sin is the transgression of the law. (1 John 3:4) [I suggest reading the whole of chapter 3. We are not justified by the moral law, but by the law of faith (Vs 27).
Gal 2: 16, 20
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Again, the law does not save. It does not justify or make innocent/righteous. We are justified by Christ’s righteousness.
Rom 1: 17
“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith.” This was Martin Luther’s great discovery. We are not justified by our works. We are justified by faith in Christ’s righteousness.
Does this mean that we can ‘only believe’ and continue to live as the world? No. Paul is very clear on that. We are to die to sin so Christ’s spirit can live in us, performing the works to support the faith we claim.
“For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.’
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
Matt 7:24 (Read 21-24)
“Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.”
Luke 6: 46-47
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to Me, and heareth My sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like.”
James 2: 17
“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”
We are not saved by works, being doers of the word, but it is the proof we are saved. Obedience demonstrates our love of God. (John 14:15)
1 John 3: 4-10 tells us that those who cling to their cherished sins, who refuse to allow God to transform (Rom 12:1-2) do not manifest their claims of being a child of God but are children of the devil.
Paul explains in Rom 6-8 that we are to die to sin so Christ can live His life in us. We are not to continue in sin (breaking of the moral law/ten commandments). In 6:16, he writes that we are servants to whom we yield. If we yield to the lusts of the flesh, then we are of satan. If we walk after the spirit, then we belong to God. This repeats the concept in 1 John 3.
In Matt 7:21-23, Jesus tells us that not all who call Him Lord will enter into heaven.
In Eccl 12:13, we read, ““Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
In Rev 14, we read of the three angels’ messages that are to go out to the whole world. The first message is a call to return to God’s true gospel. It tells of the judgment taking place.
The second message tells of the counterfeit.
The third message tells us to choose whom we will follow. It gives us the consequences of choosing the counterfeit.
Then in Rev 14:12, we learn the special description of God’s people that will be protected from the pouring out of God’s wrath during the time of the plagues.
“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
If we continue on to Rev 22:14, we read the qualifications of those who are able to enter through the gates of the Holy City and have the right to the tree of life.
“Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have the right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in through the gates of the city.”
In Genesis, Paradise was lost due to disobedience. Satan was kicked out of heaven due to disobedience. Paradise is regained by obedience, not of our own strength, but by allowing Christ to work in us.
In heaven, God’s moral law will continue to be obeyed. How do we know that? Because we are told that sin will never again come up. This is because we know the consequences of sin, of satan’s form of gov’t. We choose to walk in obedience, in the law of liberty, being free from the bondage of sin forevermore.
Something to think about.