Where then is the boasting? Justification eliminates human arrogance. Boasting is an expression of arrogance where either a system of self-righteousness or a system of human works is concerned. God’s righteousness and man’s self-righteousness are mutually exclusive. Since boasting is an expression of arrogance, self-righteousness and human good, it is a sign of maladjustment to the justice of God. Arrogant people are totally self-centered. Furthermore, self-centered people are incapable of having capacity for life or capacity for happiness. Self-righteousness directed toward God is the blasphemous assumption that God’s righteousness is not enough. Therefore, self-righteousness tries to help God and then boasts about it.
It is excluded is the Greek verb “ekkleo,” which means to shut off, to exclude or to shut out. Man’s self-righteousness does not glorify God. To the contrary, God’s integrity condemns man’s self-righteousness. No one can establish or promote God’s righteousness. No one can add anything to the integrity of God. Boasting is excluded.
By what kind of law? “Nomos” is the Greek word for law and here it means a rule or principle governing one’s action. It doesn’t refer to the Mosaic Law in this case. The question is: What principle excludes boasting, arrogance and self-righteousness?
Of works? No, but by a law of faith begins with the Greek word “ergon” meaning a deed or human good work. Law, once again, is the Greek word “nomos” meaning the same here – a rule or principle. The law or principle of faith is that by which the human race enters into a relationship with the integrity of God on terms of grace. Faith must have an object since faith has no merit in itself. The object of salvation is Jesus Christ.
Justification by faith is an action of divine integrity whereby God is free to provide eternal salvation from the source of His justice. The grace principle of justification by faith eliminates any boasting or self-righteousness, the entire system of human works. Boasting erroneously concludes divine approbation for any system of self-righteousness. But the law of faith recognizes that God loves His plan, not man’s plan. God loves His works, not the works of man. Response to the plan of God and entrance into a relationship with God is based in His integrity, and at the point of faith in Jesus Christ we have our first adjustment to the justice of God.
For we maintain that man is justified by faith begins with the Greek word for maintain, which is “logizomai” meaning an act of thought according to strict logical rules or reaching a logical conclusion. Logical thinking excludes emotion.
Apart from works of the Law is the Greek words “ergon” for works and “nomos” for Law (here it is a reference to the Law of Moses). Justification by faith means salvation adjustment to the justice of God by faith in Christ. The justice of God immediately imputes God’s righteousness; and it is credited to our account totally apart from human works. Having received this divine righteousness from the justice of God, the believer is pronounced righteous, vindicated and justified. The works of the Law represent any system of salvation by works.
There are seven categories of salvation by works which are practiced at the present time. 1) Verbal works which adds to faith in Christ: repent, confess, beg God to save you, “plead the blood,” invite Christ into your heart, acknowledge Christ publicly; 2) Ritual works: circumcision, baptism, and rarely but occasionally the Lord’s Table; 3) Psychological works: appeal to the emotion, raise your hand, walk the aisle, etc.; 4) Corporate works: joining the church for salvation, tithing or giving money, some system a church sets up; 5) Religious works: keep the Law, do penance, practice the Lordship of Christ, some candle-light service, taking vows, the functions of asceticism; 6) Behavioral works: giving up something obnoxious, following a set of taboos, change your personality; 7) Emotional works: any system of ecstatics, emotional stimulation being added, speaking in tongues, weeping tears at the altar, etc.
Or is God the God of the Jews only? God is not limited to one race in the concept of blessing from His integrity. Race is never the issue, only the integrity of God. God is not God if He provides blessing for one race only or for one race to the exclusion of other races. The very foundation of the Jewish race was total relationship with the integrity of God. Abraham had maximum adjustment to the justice of God before he became the father of the Jewish race. The very foundation of the Jewish race known as Israel was a total relationship with the integrity of God. So the race and the nation are related to two mature believers who had total relationship with the integrity of God. Everything God has promised and everything God has done for the Jews is also available to the Gentiles. Every blessing from God to man is from the source of His integrity. The functioning part of His integrity is divine justice.
Is he not the God of the Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also. Gentiles who adjusted to the justice of God were blessed from the integrity of God in the Old Testament just like the Jews. The source of blessing for all members of the human race is directly related to the integrity of God and no race is an exception. Therefore, no race has any advantage over any other race, except as that race exploits the grace of God through adjustment to the justice of God.
Since the God of the Jews is also the God of the Gentiles there is a common way of having relationship with the integrity of God for all races. Jesus Christ is the only Savior. The justice of God judged the sins of all races. Therefore both Jews and Gentiles adjust to the justice of God at salvation in exactly the same manner — faith in Christ. Since God saves the Jews and the Gentiles in the same way neither the Law nor any other factor of race can save. Since the Law cannot be the source of salvation adjustment to the justice of God, neither can any work or plan or talent or function of man have anything to do with salvation.
Since the Law was given exclusively to the Jews at the foundation of their nation, and since circumcision was given to the Jews at the beginning of their race, neither the Law nor circumcision can have anything to do with salvation adjustment to the justice of God. For all races adjustment to the justice of God at salvation is based on faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation adjustment to the justice of God is based on God’s righteousness, not on man’s self-righteousness or works righteousness. In other words, salvation is the judicial process of the grace of God. Justice and righteousness, the attributes of divine integrity, are the basis of our eternal salvation.
Since indeed God who will justify the circumcision by faith and the uncircumcision through faith is one emphasizes the fact that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit have attributes that are co-equal and co-eternal, which include divine righteousness and divine justice. The integrity of One member of the Godhead belongs to the other members. This also emphasizes that there is only one true God Who is the God of both Jews and Gentiles.
Do we then nullify the Law through faith? The true function of the Mosaic Law has never been cancelled, has never been nullified through distortion. Many people have distorted the Law into a system of self-righteousness. That does not cancel the true purpose of the Law, which is fulfilled when anyone sees from the Law that he is a sinner, he is condemned, he is spiritually dead and he responds by believing in Christ.
May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law. We who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior establish the Mosaic Law by fulfilling its true purpose, which was to point a person to the Messiah (Jesus Christ). The Greek word for establish is “histemi,” which means to cause to stand. The Mosaic Law stands true when its proper purpose is fulfilled by anyone, Jew or Gentile.