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Volume 19 - Page 96 of 154 Index | Zoom | |
"no degree of obedience to law is necessary"; all such grounds of acceptance are
excluded. Law is as exclusive of faith as a means of righteousness as works are of grace;
they cannot exist together. The obedience of faith, the good works that come as a
result of salvation, are of course quite another thing. The very passages that most
resolutely rule out "works' as a means of salvation, urge them as en evidence and a fruit
(Eph. 2: 8-10; Titus 3: 5-8).
The word "conclude" in Rom. 3: 28 is a rendering of logizomai, which comes in
Rom. 4: 3, 4, 5 and 6, variously translated "reckon", "count", and "impute". It is a
logical reckoning. It is patent to all who have eyes to see, that if "a man is justified by
faith apart from deeds of law", then he has no ground of boasting in himself. All he can
do is to "boast in the Lord". With the words "a righteousness of God apart from law"
(verse 21) the section opened, and with the words "justified by faith apart from law"
(verse 28) it closes. Its insistence is upon faith as opposed to law, upon grace as opposed
to works, upon gift as opposed to wages. May we who by nature had sinned and come
short of the glory of God (Rom. 3: 23) know what it is to be able to "boast in hope of the
glory of God" (Rom. 5: 2).
"Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty
man glory in his might; let not the rich man glory in his riches, but let him that glorieth
glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me" (Jer. 9: 23, 24).
An explanation of the expression "imputed for"
(3: 30 - 4: 25).
pp. 88 92
As such epistles as that to the Romans or to the Galatians are read, it is impressed
upon the reader how strong is the desire of the flesh to find some ground of boasting,
some little thing to do or to endure to make salvation secure and justification complete.
The apostle has already stripped human nature of its last rags of self-made righteousness,
"all the world" of "Jew and Gentile" have had their mouths stopped, and all are brought
in guilty before God. Redemption by the blood of Christ, and free unmerited grace,
has been revealed as the only ground of acceptance with God. Boasting, law, and works
have all been excluded, and the conclusion of the matter expressed in the words of
Rom. 3: 28: "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of
This leads the apostle to the question: "Is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not
also of the Gentiles?" This can be answered in but one way: "Yes, of the Gentiles also;
seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by (ek) faith, and the
uncircumcision through (dia) faith" (Rom. 3: 29, 30). Exactly what distinction the
apostle intended by ek and dia may be difficult to decide. Not a few commentators
bluntly say that there is no difference, but this hardly accords with the scrupulous choice
of language that we have found marks the Scripture of truth. Calvin suggests a shade of