Faith and righteousness (Gal. 3:11)

“Now it is evident

That no man is justified

Before God

By the law.

‘The one who is righteous

Will live

By faith.’”

ὅτι δὲ ἐν νόμῳ οὐδεὶς δικαιοῦται παρὰ τῷ Θεῷ δῆλον, ὅτι Ὁ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεως ζήσεται·

Paul said that it is evident (δῆλον) that no man is justified (οὐδεὶς δικαιοῦται) before God (παρὰ τῷ Θεῷ) by the law (ὅτι δὲ ἐν νόμῳ).  “The one who is righteous (ὅτι Ὁ δίκαιος) will live (ζήσεται) by faith (ἐκ πίστεως).”  Paul cited the prophet Habakkuk, chapter 2:4, to bolster his claim that the law does not make a man righteous or justified, since a human becomes justified or righteous by faith.  Habakkuk was probably a prophet during the Babylonian exile in the sixth century BCE, who said, “Look at the proud!  Their spirit is not right in them.  But the righteous live by their faith.”  Yahweh warned that these proud people would have a hard time, because their spirit was not right.  The main theme of this simple response was that the righteous live by their faith.  This idea that the righteous live by faith was a strong part of the apostle Paul’s message.  On the other hand, wealth was treacherous for the greedy.  Habakkuk was not talking about the law but the proud Israelites.  Paul emphasized the importance of faith, not the law.  Do you live by faith?

Faith and righteousness (Rom 10:6)

“But the righteousness

That comes from faith says.

‘Do not say

In your heart.

‘Who will ascend into heaven?’

That is

To bring Christ down.”

ἡ δὲ ἐκ πίστεως δικαιοσύνη οὕτως λέγει Μὴ εἴπῃς ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου Τίς ἀναβήσεται εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν; τοῦτ’ ἔστιν Χριστὸν καταγαγεῖν·

Paul said that this righteousness (δικαιοσύνη οὕτως) comes from faith (ἡ δὲ ἐκ πίστεως) says (λέγει).  “Do not say in your heart (Μὴ εἴπῃς ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ σου).  ‘Who will ascend into heaven (Τίς ἀναβήσεται εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν)?’  This is to bring Christ down (τοῦτ’ ἔστιν Χριστὸν καταγαγεῖν).”  Paul used a citation from Deuteronomy, chapter 30:11-14, where Yahweh said to Moses.  “Surely, this commandment that I am commanding you today is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away.  It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?’”  In other words, you did not need to send someone to heaven to find out about this law.  These were not impractical laws, but something everyone could follow.  These words were very near to everyone, within them.  They are not that hard.  They were not in heaven, but in their mouths and hearts.  In a certain sense they resemble the ‘natural law’ of the scholastics.  The word of God that was written by Moses, the Mosaic law was available to them.  Then Paul threw in the comment about Jesus who had descended from heaven for them already.  What role does the Mosaic law play in your life?