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Law-Gospel Matirx

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LAW-GOSPEL MATRIX

  What does it mean that the Gentiles have attained righteousness (9:30)? According to Romans 9:31-33 and 10:2-3, what was Israel’s problem? How should the two occurrences of “righteousness of God” in Romans 10:3 be defined (and translated)? What does it mean that Christ is the telos of the law (10:4)? Does Paul draw a contrast or comparison between Romans 10:5 and 10:6-8?  What is the significance of this contrast or comparison?
Augustine(Jesse Peterson)          
Luther(Justin Hoover) “That Gentiles, as Hosea had prophesied, who did not pursue, or seek, righteousness, because they practiced idolatry and followed after errors, have attained, because they believed in the ‘finished Word,’ namely, Jesus Christ.   For the righteousness of Christ belongs to him who believes in Him, and the sin of the believer belongs to Christ in whom he believes.  Therefore sin cannot stand with the believer, just as sin cannot prevail in Christ.”  Romans 9:30 also shows that grace is “given freely to those without merits and the most undeserving, and is not obtained by any efforts, endeavors, or works, whether small or great, even of the best and most virtuous of men, though they seek and pursue righteousness with burning zeal.” Lack of Faith!  There is one theme that is impossible to misconstrue throughout Luther’s writings: justification by faith alone.  Luther calls Israel carnal, proud and presumptuous for pursuing righteousness as if it were based on the Law.  Luther says, “Even though some one attempts everything—that is, even though he has zeal for God and bends every effort to be saved through the Law and exercises himself day and night in the righteousness of the Law—still he is laboring and wearing himself out in vain.  For those who do not know the righteousness of God and try to establish their own righteousness, as Paul says in Romans 10:3, do not submit to God’s righteousness.  Again: ‘Israel, who pursued the righteousness which is based on Law, did not succeed in fulfilling that Law’” (Rom. 9:31).  Therefore Israel’s problem is not lack of zeal but lack of faith.  Definition:  The “righteousness of God” in 10:3 is a righteousness which is through faith in Christ.   This is “not by any means in my righteousness, since it (your own righteousness) is from the Law and is sin.”  “God decrees that those who enter without works will come to righteousness solely through faith.”Translation:  v.3 They willfully resist those who try to teach them of the righteousness which comes through faith in Christ.  They zealously defend their own works instead of submitting to God’s righteousness which is through faith in Christ.  Luther’s translation: “For Christ is the end of the Law, that everyone who has faith may be justified.”  This is “as if to say that all Scripture finds it’s meaning in Christ.”  In Luther’s lecture on Galatians he says that before Christ “we were confined under the Law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed.  But Paul adds that we are confined and restrained under a custodian, the Law, not forever but until Christ, who is the end of the Law (Rom. 10:4).  Therefore this terror, humiliation, and custody are not to last forever; they are to last until faith should come.  That is, they are for our salvation and for our benefit, so that we who have been terrified by the Law may taste the sweetness of grace, the forgiveness of sins, and deliverance from the Law, sin and death, which are not acquired by works but are grasped by faith alone.” Luther also believes that Romans 10:4 refers to the work of Christ.  In reference to 10:4 he says that the work of Christ is “to embrace the one whom the Law has made a sinner and pronounced guilty, and to absolve him from his sins if he believes the Gospel.”  Christ is the end of the law in the sense that He took the Law’s curse in order to absolve us from our sins and to appease the wrath of God.  Luther emphatically holds that Paul is drawing a contrast.  I think Luther would burn at the stake over this debate.  Although Luther uses the word “comparing” in the following sentence, I believe he would use the word contrast if he had a choice between the two.  He says, “It is explained that the apostle is comparing the two kinds of righteousness with each other, so that he attributes works to the righteousness of the Law but the Word to the righteousness of faith.  Do not doubt at all that He has ascended; for this is the Word which will save you.  This is the way of righteousness that faith teaches.  This is the way of the compendium, the short way to salvation.  For the righteousness of the Law is long, winding, and circuitous, as is signified by the wandering of the Children of Israel in the wilderness.  The intent of the apostle is that the total righteousness of man leading to salvation depends on the Word through faith and not on good work through knowledge.  Nothing but faith can accomplish this, for it puts out the eyes of all wisdom of the flesh, causing men to know nothing, to be prepared to be taught and led and to hear promptly and to give in.” 
Calvin(Joseph Randall) Calvin believed that for the Gentiles to attain righteousness meant that they had obtained eternal salvation:  they had attained justification by faith alone which God had graciously granted to them.  Calvin wrote:  "Nothing appeared more unreasonable, or less; befitting, than that the Gentiles, who, having no concern for righteousness, rolled themselves in the lasciviousness of their flesh, should be called to partake of salvation, and to obtain righteousness . . . He speaks expressly of righteousness, without which there can be no salvation: but by saying that the righteousness of the Gentiles proceeded from faith, he intimates, that it was based on a gratuitous reconciliation . . . . "(Comments from 9:30) (1)1    All quotations from Calvin are from the Calvin Translation Society's edition of Calvin's Commentaries found at http://www.ccel.org/c/calvin/comment3/comm_index.htm. Calvin believed Israel's problem was they depended on the righteousness of the law for salvation, they attempted to attain salvation by trusting in their own works, they did not understand the true method of justification, they failed to own themselves as sinners, and they obscured the dignity of Christ by stumbling before Him.  Calvin wrote:  "That Israel, depending on the righteousness of the law, even that which is prescribed in the law, did not understand the true method of justification.  But; there is a striking contrast in the expression, when he teaches us that the legal righteousness was the cause, that they had fallen away from the law of  righteousness . . . As false zeal seems commonly to be justly excused, Paul shows that they are deservedly rejected, who attempt to attain salvation by trusting in their own works; for they, as far as they can, abolish faith, without which no salvation can be expected . . . But how they stumble at Christ, who trust in their works, it is not difficult to understand; for except we own ourselves to be sinners, void and destitute of any righteousness of our own, we obscure the dignity of Christ . . . ."(Comments from 9:31-32) Calvin believed the "righteousness of God" in these verses is none other than the righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed to the believer by faith alone!  He wrote:  "We have already stated, in another place, how men put on the righteousness of God by faith, that is, when the righteousness of Christ is imputed to them." (Comments from 10:3) Calvin believed Christ was the completion of the law.  He would fall on the side of those scholars who translate telos as "goal" rather than as "end."  He believed the law was always pointing to Christ.  Calvin wrote:  "He shows that he is a false interpreter of the law, who seeks to be justified by his own works; because the law had been given for this end, -- to lead us as by the hand to another righteousness: nay, whatever the law teaches, whatever it commands, whatever it promises, has always a reference to Christ as its main object; and hence all its parts ought to be applied to him . . . For though the law promises reward to those who observe its righteousness, it yet substitutes, after having proved all guilty, another righteousness in Christ, which is not attained by works, but is received by faith as a free gift. Thus the righteousness of faith, (as we have seen in the first chapter,) receives a testimony from the law. We have then here a remarkable passage, which proves that the law in all its parts had a reference to Christ; and hence no one can rightly understand it, who does not continually level at this mark."  (Comments from 10:4) Calvin clearly believed Paul drew a contrast between the righteousness of the law and the righteousness of faith in Romans 10:5 and 10:6-8, but at the same time he asserted that the law, rightly understood, taught the righteousness of faith.  Calvin believed the law as a whole clearly taught the righteousness of faith, but he also saw a different way or sense in which Paul used the term "law," apart from its gracious righteousness of faith aspect, to refer only to its commanding aspect which included rewards and punishments based on performance.  The law in this context cannot even be obeyed by faith because even faith filled obedience falls short of God's perfect standard.  The law's function, in this sense, was to bring men to the end of themselves, show them their sinfulness, and drive them to Jesus.  The significance of the contrast for Calvin was to emphasize the fact that, regarding the issue of how a man is justified before a holy God, His  righteousness cannot be acquired by law keeping, even faith filled law keeping, but by faith alone.  Calvin wrote:  "To render it evident how much at variance is the righteousness of faith and that of works, he now compares them; for by comparison the opposition between contrary things appears more clear . . . But we ought to understand the reason why Paul harmonizes the law with faith, and yet sets the righteousness of one in opposition to that of the other: -- The law has a twofold meaning; it sometimes includes the whole of what has been taught by Moses, and sometimes that part only which was peculiar to his ministration, which consisted of precepts, rewards, and punishments. But Moses had this common office -- to teach the people the true rule of religion. Since it was so, it behooved him to preach repentance and faith; but faith is not taught, except by propounding promises of divine mercy, and those gratuitous: and thus it behooved him to be a preacher of the gospel; which office he faithfully performed, as it appears from many passages.  In order to instruct the people in the doctrine of repentance, it was necessary for him to teach what manner of life was acceptable to God; and this he included in the precepts of the law.  That he might also instill into the minds of the people the love of righteousness, and implant in them the hatred of iniquity, promises and threatening were added; which proposed rewards to the just, and denounced dreadful punishments on sinners. It was now the duty of the people to consider in how many ways they drew curses on themselves, and how far they were from deserving anything at God's hands by their works, that being thus led to despair as to their own righteousness, they might flee to the haven of divine goodness, and so to Christ himself. This was the end or design of the Mosaic dispensation.  But as evangelic promises are only found scattered in the writings of Moses, and these also somewhat obscure, and as the precepts and rewards, allotted to the observers of the law, frequently occur, it rightly appertained to Moses as his own and peculiar office, to teach what is the real righteousness of works, and then to show what remuneration awaits the observance of it, and what punishment awaits those who come short of it. For this reason Moses is by John compared with Christ, when it is said, "That the law             was given by Moses, but that grace and truth came by Christ." (John 1:17.)  And whenever the word law is thus strictly taken, Moses is by implication opposed to Christ:  and then we must consider what the  law contains, as separate from the gospel. Hence what is said here of the righteousness of the law, must be applied, not to the whole office of Moses, but to that part which was in a manner peculiarly committed to him.  (Comments from 10:5)
Fuller(Joey Rigney) Gentile have attained a righteous status from God Israel massively abused her law. The law as given by God is of faith. Israel should have pursued the law like it was a doctor’s prescriptions to a sick patient (by faith). Instead Israel turned the law into a job description to be performed for the needy God. Thus, the law is not opposed to faith but, properly understood, the law teaches faith Both should be translated as a righteous status from God. Israel was ignorant of the fact that you get right with God by turning to him in faith. Because of this ignorance, they sought to establish their own imaginary way of getting right with God, namely by works. Christ is the goal of the law in that he is the full embodiment of the law. They do not differ in what they require (the obedience of faith). The difference between Old Covenant and New Covenant is Christ, not the subjective experience of the human heart. However, in the Old Covenant, God did not by and large supply the Spirit to the Jews with the result that they abused God’s law. Comparision (Continuum). Paul is quoting Leviticus 18:5 and Deuteronomy 18:5 to show that the righteousness of the law and the righteousness of faith are saying the same thing. What both require is not too hard (you don’t need to do superhuman feats like go up to heave or down into hell in order to attain it). Rather, you simply believe and confess. The difference between law and faith is not the subjective experience of the human heart, but that in the New Covenant, faith is Christo-centric.
Cranfield(Jeremey Houlton) “To understand dikaiosu/nhn here in a different sense from that which it has in its two subsequent occurrences in this same verse, as some do, is surely extremely harsh, and it is clear that in both those other occurrences of the word the reference must be not to moral righteousness but to righteous status in God’s sight” (Romans, 506). “Israel’s pursuit of the law w`j evx e;rgwn was blindness to the law’s witness to Christ.  Its legalistic misunderstanding and perversion of the law and its rejection of Him were inextricably intertwined.  Its determination to establish its own righteousness by its works naturally made it blind to the righteousness which God was making available in Christ as a free gift…” (Romans, 512 – emphasis mine). “The ignorance of the unbelieving Jews consists in their failure to comprehend and to acknowledge the righteousness of God, that is, God’s proffered [to present for acceptance] gift of a status of righteousness in His eyes…And the act of disobedience resulting form this ignorance is their refusal to submit to God’s righteousness, that is, their refusal to humble themselves to accept it as an undeserved gift” (Romans, 515). “Christ is the goal, the aim, the intention, the real meaning and substance of the law – apart from Him it cannot be properly understood at all” (Romans, 519). “Israel has misunderstood the law, because it failed to recognize what it was all about” (Romans, 519). “…the point of the de. in v. 6 is the contrast between the righteous status which Christ has by his obedience, by His works, and the righteous status which men have through faith in Him” (Romans, pp?)
Hafemann(Brian Tabb) I think it means that they attained the righteous standing before God that comes from keeping the law or being covenant keepers -- i.e., that they are brought into the remnant of faithful Israelites from Israel's history since they too now have the law written on their hearts (I take this to pick up the point of Romans 2:12-16, which I understand to be about Gentiles who now do what the Law requires because it is written on their heart in fulfillment of Jer 31.).So 9:30 is speaking about the Gentiles who are doers of the law and hence are justified as the righteous (cf. Rom 2:13).  In the words of 9:30, they have attained righteousness as those called from the Gentiles (9:24).  They attained it of course by means of trusting in the messiah, i.e., “from faith.” In contrast, though Israel had the law, she did not keep the law, and hence did not attain to the law's purpose of producing righteousness (v. 31).  I read this verse to say, Israel, though seeking the law as it pertains to righteousness did not attain unto the law [in relationship to righteousness)."  Verse 32 says that Israel did not attain the law as it pertains to righteousness  because she sought it not from faith (i.e., not as that which was designed to point people to the coming of the messiah as the one who would make her righteousness possible; Christ is the goal of the law, 10:4) but "as from works" (i.e., as if the purpose of the law was simply to bring about living according to its commands as they functioned to distinguish Israel from the nations, that is, the law as it functioned under the old covenant.)  I do not think "works" refers to the law perverted into legalism (Fuller, Dunn, Cranfield, etc.), but to what the law itself taught, albeit under the old covenant.  "Works" is life under the law under the old covenant, or it can refer to Gentile life as a Gentile sinner under the old creation (it is amazing that Paul can equate life under the old covenant for the majority of Israel with life under the old creation for unbelieving Gentiles, both of which use their experiences to justify themselves).  Thus, because Israel thought the law under the old covenant was sufficient, they rejected the messiah (v. 33).  A key to my view is that the context is the eschatological move from the history of Israel to the new covenant community, both in 9:22-29 and 10:14-21, the former characterized by disobedience (10:21).  Both should be translated and understood in the same way -- no indication that they mean something different.  The different word order is for emphasis in the first instance.  I take this phrase always to mean:  God's own righteousness as his unswerving commitment to glorify himself by remaining faithful to his own Word/promises.  So they were ignorant of the fact that God was manifesting his righteousness by sending Christ to die in fulfillment of his promises and thus sought to establish their own righteous standing by sticking with the old covenant even though the new had arrived, and hence did not submit to God's righteousness as now being displayed in Christ.  The goal to which the law was driving from the beginning. Comparison.  The OT teaches the same as the NT and finds its fulfillment in it.  (Paul is drawing upon an eschatological contrast between “faith” and “works”)
Moo(Jonathan Philgreen) By faith the gentiles have attained a forensic righteousness: a right standing before God. (1) Israel stumbled over Christ.  It is not only the manner of Israel’s pursuit that was misguided but her very choice of a goal.  Israel kept their focus on the law, instead of embracing Christ the culmination of it.  (2) Israel was pursuing the law in terms of its promise of righteousness.  This promise could never be activated in practice. (626-627)(3)  Therefore, ultimately Israel failed to achieve a law that confers righteousness because she couldn’t produce the works necessary to meet the law’s demands and so secure the righteousness it promises. (627) “The ‘righteousness of God’ embraces on one side God’s activity of ‘declaring right’ and on the other the status of ‘being right’ with God that people receive when they respond in faith to that activity.  Paul’s language in this verse implies the presence of both these concepts” (633) teloV must have a temporal nuance: with the coming of Christ the authority of the law of Moses is, in some base sense, at an end.  However, it also has a teleological nuance, suggested not only by the contextual factors (such as attaining and pursuing in reference to the law),  Therefore, the meaning of goal and end are both useful, in the sense that the finish line is both the end and the goal of the race.  A good translation could be “culmination.” (640-641) a) Paul draws a contrast between Romans 10:5 and 10:8. b) Paul uses three “roughly” parallel contrasts (619)        (1) “the righteousness based on faith” versus “the law of righteousness”        (2) “the righteousness of God” versus “their own righteousness” (10:3)        (3) “the righteousness based on the law” versus “the righteousness based on faith” (10:5-6)
Schreiner(Jason Falck)          
Westerholm(Jason Abell) That the Gentiles have attained righteousness means that they have attained good or right standing with the God of Israel. Israel’s problem was that they tried to achieve right standing with God in a way (any way) different than he has always granted right standing, namely by his divine purpose and choice.  They did not recognize that right standing was a gift by a benevolent God and that he, and he alone, determines who receives the gift (cf 9:12, 14).  Their response was not faith in the one who revealed what he was about to do (all that is necessary).  Faith is not a work, either, in the same way that admiration evoked by beauty is not a work. The first “righteousness of God” (th.n tou/ qeou/ dikaiosu,nhn) should be translated, “the righteousness that is from God” and can be considered a gift of “acquittal” that the sinner receives from God by faith.  The second “righteousness of God” (th/ dikaiosu,nh tou/ qeou/) should be translated, “God’s righteousness.” The meaning of te,loj is “end,” with a secondary understanding of “goal.” Paul most certainly draws a contrast between Romans 10:5 and 10:6-8.  The significance of the contrast is to show that having a right standing before God is ultimately due totally to God and not anything a person can will or do, and to take into account the radical corruption of human nature.
Wright(Nick Nowalk) It means that Gentiles have attained covenant membership in the true people of God, even though they do not keep distinctively Jewish ‘works of the law’ such as circumcision, food laws and Sabbath.  Instead, the true Israel is now redefined around Messiah and faith.  Thus, the emphasis is not on how individual sinners are made right with a holy God (though in Wright’s more recent writings he acknowledges this more), but rather on how you define who the true children of Abraham are Israel’s problem was a misuse of the law.  However, contrary to Augustine/Luther/Calvin, this misuse was not through wrongly thinking that (individual) right standing before a holy God could be attained through obedience to the law.  The Jews of Paul’s day simply didn’t think like this—they knew they were saved by grace.  So, instead of using the law as a “legalist’s ladder” and “trying to pull themselves up by the moral bootstraps like good proto-Pelagians,” the Jews on the contrary were guilty of “national righteousness.”  This Wright defines as the attempt to selfishly confine covenant membership in the true people of God to ethnic Jews and Jews only, and he calls it Israel’s meta-sin.  Wright understands Israel’s attempt to “establish their own righteousness” in 10:3 as their effort to confine grace to one race, to the exclusion of Gentiles—in blatant disregard of God’s promise to Abraham that he would have a world-wide family, based not on race or ethnicity, but on faith like his (which by definition is available to all).  Thus racism, ethnocentrism and nationalistic zeal/pride were at the heart of Paul’s critique of Israel, and the real thrust behind his teaching on justification by faith apart from works of the law.  To be justified apart from works means that one does not need to become Jewish (i.e. circumcised) to enter the people of God. It means “covenant faithfulness.”  Wright draws a strong distinction between the righteousness of God (which refers to His character and especially His faithfulness to the promises He made to Abraham), and the righteousness which comes from God (a status of being considered to be in the people of God, to be “in the covenant.”)  The former (God’s covenant faithfulness) can never be shared, given, imputed, counted, etc. to human beings. It means that the Messiah is the climax of the Torah, in a very broad sense.  He is not merely the goal in the more narrow sense that the law—in its condemning, enslaving ministry—was to drive Israel to put their faith in the Messiah by showing them the futility of their works and the deficiency of their obedience to secure blessing.  Rather, Jesus is the climax of the Torah in a more sweeping sense.  He is the culmination of the story or narrative that the Torah was telling all along.  In Christ, everything God was doing under the Mosaic covenant came to fulfillment at the cross by expanding the boundaries of God’s people to believers of every race and ethnicity, thus ending Israel’s vain pursuit of a national righteousness.  Wright emphasizes that Jesus is the climax of the law so that righteousness (covenant membership) might be for all (Jew and Gentile) who believe (not who are marked out by works of the law). Comparison from a soteriological perspective; but contrast from an eschatological perspective.  That is, Wright does not agree with the Lutheran/Reformed view which holds that the righteousness based on the law requires perfect obedience to its commands (threatening a curse to all who fail to obey), while the righteousness based on faith (following the promise to Abraham) requires merely faith in Christ.  Wright sees no differing emphasis on ‘doing’ vs. ‘believing’, as Protestants have historically read Paul.  For Wright, the Jews of Paul’s day understood justification by grace along through faith as well as Christians do—that is, if you mean by that term what Luther did (which is not what Paul meant by it).  These Jews were not struggling with legalism or banking on their obedience to the law for final vindication before God.  So no contrast is meant if asking the question, “how is one saved, or delivered from God’s wrath?”  But the righteousness based on the law and on faith do differ in an eschatological (redemptive-historical) sense, in that covenant membership in the people of God—while still being by grace and through faith (as the law itself taught)—no longer requires adherence to the distinctively Jewish ‘works of the law’ which separate Jews and Gentiles.  Instead, the covenant membership of the new age requires only faith in the Messiah, apart from works of the law.  So in this sense they are different.
Dunn(Ryan Griffith)          
Piper(Alex Chediak) It means that the Gentiles have placed their faith in Jesus Christ and thus have been united to Him, with the result that they have received His merit transferred to their account (or imputed) to them by virtue of this union. Consequently, they have been counted righteous in Christ.  They did not believe on Christ for his righteousness as the goal of the law. They did not see "Christ for righteousness to everyone who believes" as what the law taught – what the law was aiming at. They missed the biggest point of the law. The law was saying, in its larger, long-term message: "You must look beyond the law for a perfect righteousness to be provided by God in due time. You must look beyond your obedience to the law for a perfect righteousness that God will provide, namely, ‘Christ for righteousness to everyone who has faith.’"  In 10:3a, the Jews are ignoring the fact that submitting to God’s righteousness means, first and foremost, receiving by faith alone the gift of “Christ for righteousness to everyone who believes." In 10:3b, they seek to establish their own righteousness in that they view the keeping of the commandments (with God’s help) as the way to be justified before God.  “When we seek justification by trying to obey God, even with God’s help, it dishonors "Christ as our righteousness."  That is why it is not submission to God’s righteousness. It means that the long-term goal of the law is Christ for righteousness to everyone who believes. The short-term message of the law was: Trust and obey God perfectly and you will be righteous and hence saved. Accomplish a perfect obedience of faith (meaning “through the power of the Holy Spirit”) and you will stand righteous before God.  Piper acknowledges that although no sinner could have possibly done this, the law hypothetically offered life to a perfect law-keeper. The sin-atoning provisions of the Pentateuch make sense within the framework of God’s requirement for perfect obedience. An Israelite was supposed to have been brought to repentance by the law, recognizing his inability to keep it. So the short-term goal of the law was to kill (II Cor 3:6), or to shut mankind up under sin (Gal 3:21-22). The long-term goal (τέλος) of the law was Christ for righteousness to everyone who believes.             Paul draws a contrast between Romans 10:5 and 10:6-8. In 10:5, Paul is focusing on the short-term message of the law: Perfect obedience to the law would obtain eternal life from God. If we would trust him and by his grace never sin, we would be saved and have everlasting life. So one way to get right with God is the “righteousness based on the law” – namely, by perfectly doing everything that the law commands. In 10:6-8, Paul refers to another way to get righteousness (i.e., right standing with God): Righteousness by faith in Christ (the only One who perfectly did everything that the law commands).           Deuteronomy 9:4 is quoted in Romans 10:6, “Do not say in your heart.” What Moses meant was, “Do not say in your heart…. ‘It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land.’” The Jews were to have understood that the gift of the promise land was not owing to how easy it was to keep the commandments, nor any human righteousness, but only to God’s undeserved grace apart from any human performances. Paul puts Christ where the commandment is in Deuteronomy to show that the earthly life of Christ (10:6) and the risen life of Christ (10:7) are in the place of human obedience to the commandments (for those who exercise empty-handed faith in Christ the redeemer).

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