By Faith Or Through Faith
BY FAITH OR THROUGH FAITH
19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
· VERSE 19 THE LAW WAS GIVEN ACCORDING TO TO PROVE MANS GUILT
· VERSE 20 THE LAW BRINGS ABOUT IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF SIN
· VERSE 21 THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD WITHOUT THE LAW – TIES IN TO THE PREVIOUS VERSES – BUT YET BEING WITNESSED BY THE LAW & PROPHETS - NOT CONTRARY TO THE LAW & PROPHETS
· VERSE 22 THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD DOES NOT COME BY KEEPING THE LAW – BY FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST UNTO ALL AND UPON ALL THAT BELIEVE
1. dikaiosune NT:1343 is "the character or quality of being right or just"; it was formerly spelled "rightwiseness," which clearly expresses the meaning. It is used to denote an attribute of God, e. g., Rom 3:5, the context of which shows that "the righteousness of God" means essentially the same as His faithfulness, or truthfulness, that which is consistent with His own nature and promises; Rom 3:25,26 speaks of His "righteousness" as exhibited in the death of Christ, which is sufficient to show men that God is neither indifferent to sin nor regards it lightly. On the contrary, it demonstrates that quality of holiness in Him which must find expression in His condemnation of sin.
"Dikaiosune is found in the sayings of the Lord Jesus, (a) of whatever is right or just in itself, whatever conforms to the revealed will of God, Matt 5:6,10,20; John 16:8,10; (b) whatever has been appointed by God to be acknowledged and obeyed by man, Matt 3:15; 21:32; (c) the sum total of the requirements of God, Matt 6:33; (d) religious duties, Matt 6:1 (distinguished as almsgiving, man's duty to his neighbor, vv. 2,3,4, prayer, his duty to God, vv. 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15, fasting, the duty of self-control, vv. 16,17,18).
"In the preaching of the apostles recorded in Acts the word has the same general meaning. So also in James 1:20; 3:18, in both Epp. of Peter, 1 st John and the Revelation. In 2 Peter 1:1, 'the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ,' is the righteous dealing of God with sin and with sinners on the ground of the death of Christ. 'Word of righteousness,' Heb 5:13, is probably the gospel, and the Scriptures as containing the gospel, wherein is declared the righteousness of God in all its aspects.
"This meaning of dikaiosune, right action, is frequent also in Paul's writings, as in all five of its occurrences in Rom 6; Eph 6:14, etc. But for the most part he uses it of that gracious gift of God to men whereby all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are brought into right relationship with God. This righteousness is unattainable by obedience to any law, or by any merit of man's own, or any other condition than that of faith in Christ.... The man who trusts in Christ becomes 'the righteousness of God in Him,' 2 Cor 5:21, i. e., becomes in Christ all that God requires a man to be, all that he could never be in himself Because Abraham accepted the Word of God, making it his own by that act of the mind and spirit which is called faith, and, as the sequel showed, submitting himself to its control, therefore God accepted him as one who fulfilled the whole of His requirements, Rom 4:3....
"Righteousness is not said to be imputed to the believer save in the sense that faith is imputed ('reckoned' is the better word) for righteousness. It is clear that in Rom 4:6,11, 'righteousness reckoned' must be understood in the light of the context, 'faith reckoned for righteousness,' vv. 3,5,9,22. 'For' in these places is eis, which does not mean 'instead of,' but 'with a view to.' The faith thus exercised brings the soul into vital union with God in Christ, and inevitably produces righteousness of life, that is, conformity to the will of God."
(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)
4 If you seek to be justified and declared righteous and to be given a right standing with God through the Law, you are brought to nothing and so separated (severed) from Christ. You have fallen away from grace (from God's gracious favor and unmerited blessing).
5 For we, [not relying on the Law but] through the [Holy] Spirit's [help], by faith anticipate and wait for the blessing and good for which our righteousness and right standing with God [our conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action, causes us] to hope.
6 For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.
7 You were running the race nobly. Who has interfered in (hindered and stopped you from) your heeding and following the Truth?
8 This [evil] persuasion is not from Him Who called you [Who invited you to freedom in Christ].
9 A little leaven (a slight inclination to error, or a few false teachers) leavens the whole lump [it perverts the whole conception of faith or misleads the whole church].
10[For my part] I have confidence [toward you] in the Lord that you will take no contrary view of the matter but will come to think with me. But he who is unsettling you, whoever he is, will have to bear the penalty.
11 But, brethren, if I still preach circumcision [as some accuse me of doing, as necessary to salvation], why am I still suffering persecution? In that case the cross has ceased to be a stumbling block and is made meaningless (done away).
12 I wish those who unsettle and confuse you would [go all the way and] cut themselves off!
13 For you, brethren, were [indeed] called to freedom; only [do not let your] freedom be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse [for selfishness], but through love you should serve one another.
14 For the whole Law [concerning human relationships] is complied with in the one precept, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. [Lev 19:18.]
15 But if you bite and devour one another [in partisan strife], be careful that you [and your whole fellowship] are not consumed by one another.
16 But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).
17 For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do.
18 But if you are guided (led) by the [Holy] Spirit, you are not subject to the Law.
19 Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency,
20 Idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies),
21 Envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,
23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].
24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires.
25 If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.]
26 Let us not become vainglorious and self-conceited, competitive and challenging and provoking and irritating to one another, envying and being jealous of one another.