The Berean Expositor
Volume 16 - Page 136 of 151
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something distinct from sanctification, but, as Liddon says, only "as are the arterial and
nervous systems in the human body: but in the living soul they are coincident and
inseparable". John's dictum is universally true, "Let no man deceive you, he that doeth
righteousness is righteous" (I John 3: 7).
The righteousness of God.
It seems that we are shut up to one of two meanings, for the above expression:--
1.
The righteousness of God as Judge.
2.
The righteousness provided by God through Christ.
The righteousness of a judge meeting the unrighteousness of a sinner can have but one
issue--condemnation. This can hardly be the meaning of the apostle, for he declares that
this righteousness of God constitutes the very power of the gospel, and its issue in
salvation. Phil. 3: 9 speaks of a righteousness of God by faith, which is contrasted with
"mine own righteousness which is of the law". This righteousness of God is, moreover,
contrasted with "their own righteousness" in Rom. 10: 3, and is proved by the next verse
to be Christ Himself, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that
believeth" (Rom. 10: 4), which is further contrasted with the righteousness of the law as
"The man that doeth these things shall live by them" (Rom. 10: 5).
Moses and Habakkuk.
With Rom. 10: 5 and Rom. 1: 17 we arrive at a point when the truth emerges into
light. The two quotations made by Paul settle the matter:--
"The righteous by faith shall live." . . . . .
The is GOSPEL.
"The man that doeth shall live." . . . . .
The is LAW.
There are two ways revealed by Scripture whereby a man may be saved. Whether it is
possible for anyone to "do" the things of the law, we shall see as we go through the
epistle. What we have learned is that the term, "the righteousness of God", refers to that
"gift" (Rom. 3: 22, 5: 17) of God in the virtue of which the sinner may be justified and
saved.
From faith to faith.
Ek piste§s eis pistin: How are we to understand these words? The problem is mainly
the question as to whether ek piste§s belongs to dikaiosunē, "righteousness", or to
eis pistin, "to faith". Many authorities have decided in favour of the latter. Theophylact
says: "Our first faith is not sufficient, but we must ascend from inceptive faith to a more
perfect degree of it." We ourselves have leaned rather to the idea that "out of faith"
refers to the faith or faithfulness of Christ, and "unto faith" to the faith of the believer.
Now that the passage is before us, we must examine it afresh, and if need be adjust our
previous views. First, what is the demand of the passage?