Featured

Justification vs. Righteousness

Romans 3:20 & 28 20For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin… 28For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.

A critical error of interpretation regarding these verses has been the assumption that ‘justification’ is the same as ‘righteousness’. Many in mainstream theology reason incorrectly, trying to make them mean the same thing.

Webster’s Dictionary 1828 Edition defines “Justification” as: remission of sin and absolution from guilt and punishment; or an act of free grace by which God pardons the sinner and accepts him as righteous, because of the atonement of Christ; and “Righteousness” as: in Scripture and theology, in which it is chiefly used, is nearly equivalent to holiness, comprehending holy principles and affections of heart, and conformity of life to the divine law. Applied to persons (us), it denotes one who is holy in heart, and observant of the divine commands in practice.

To be Justified is to be legally acquitted, exonerated, pardoned and pronounced free of any guilt from past sins; this is what the blood of the Lamb has done for us. Once we have asked to be forgiven and repented from our heart, which is turning away from our past sins and going back to God’s ways, we are then “under” the blood, forgiven and legally declared free of that guilt. That’s what Jesus did for us!

To be Righteous is to be ‘set-apart’, or ‘Holy’, practicing and observing the divine commands of God. That’s what we do for him!

Righteousness is the quality of a person’s appropriate conduct; the measure of ethical behavior defined by God.

Justification is the legal acquittal or deliverance from the charge of breaking God’s Law; the measure of ethical relationship with God.

The standard for both “measures” has been predetermined by God, because only He can define what is just and unjust, what is righteous and unrighteous. God defined His standard of Righteousness for us in His Instructions, His Laws; Not for justification (or salvation), but because it’s God’s requirement of right behavior for His ‘set-apart’ people.

We are all sinners and have at one time or another broken God’s commands; “all have sinned and fallen short”. That’s why Paul is telling us here in Romans 3 that no one will be justified {acquitted, exonerated, pardoned} by keeping the Law, because it’s too late, we have already broken the Law. We have all of us sinned, i.e. broken God’s Law given through Moses. We all need a deliverer, a redeemer to atone for those sins we committed. Praise God for Jesus’ atoning blood!

“However”, in the same sentence of Romans 3:20 at the beginning of this blog, Paul also shows us the time-honored truth, that the only way to know what sin is, is through knowing the Law of God. How can there be sin if there’s nothing to sin against? Paul himself tells us that only by knowing the Law can we know what sin is.

What does the text say?

Romans 3:20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

Romans 7:7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”

This is not some new revelation by Paul. God’s definition of sin has always been determined by His Instructions, i.e. His Laws. Paul is only repeating what he learned at the feet of Gamaliel ~

Numbers 15:22-23 22But if you sin unintentionally, and do not observe all these commandments that the LORD has spoken to Moses, 23all that the LORD has commanded you by Moses, from the day that the LORD gave commandment, and onward throughout your generations,

Psalm 119:10-11 10With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments 11I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Sin has been and always will be ‘wandering from‘ and ‘not observing‘ the commandments of God.

This is echoed by John ~

1 John 3:4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.

The atoning blood of the Messiah has washed us free of guilt from the sins we have committed, “declaring” us justified and reconciling us back into a right relationship with the Father. However, it does not instantaneously transform us into a perfect sinless human being, incapable of sinning. We do have free will and we still can choose to walk in rebellion to God’s will.

Paul’s letters make it crystal clear that we are to us that free will to pursue righteousness! His letters have scores of verses commanding and imploring us not to be unrighteous, not to be lawless, not to sin. If” Jesus’ atoning act made us “forever righteous” no matter how we acted, and “if” we’re not required to do anything going forward in our walk of faith, then why, oh why does Paul command us to be righteous and uphold the Law? 

What does the text say?

Romans 3:31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. (Please read ‘Paul Commands Us to Uphold the Law‘)

Why does it even matter how we behave? Why doesn’t Paul just say, “go ahead and behave anyway that you want to, you’re righteous no matter what you do”? Where is that verse?

Our spiritual growth in Godly righteousness is a process, one that we are required to put into practice to show what we believe, to prove our faith. If I claim to believe something but my actions don’t back it up, my words are empty and meaningless.

Tit 2:11-14 11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Our Savior “redeemed” or bought us out of our bondage to lawlessness (sin), so that we would now be godly, lawful, and zealous for good works. We have been redeemed/saved from our bondage to sin/lawlessness.

Jesus did not redeem us from lawlessness so that we could continue in lawlessness.

We are justified by the faithful work of our Redeemer. However, one does not remain justified, i.e. pardoned, not-guilty, if one chooses to continue living in sin, i.e. unrighteousness. The unrighteous will not see the Kingdom of God; that’s why Paul tells us not to perform the following unrighteous ‘works’.

What does the text say? ~

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 9Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19-21 19Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Ephesians 5:5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Hebrews 12:14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

Why would Paul warn us about such behavior and the consequences of such behavior if it had no bearing on our walk before God? Why even mention it?

Paul is telling us that we are to behave in a righteous manner going forward in our walk of faith. Sin is disobeying God and obedience to God is walking in righteousness, at least according to the Apostle Paul…

What does the text say? ~

Deuteronomy 6:25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.

Psalm 119:172 My song sings of Your word, for all of Your commandments are righteousness

Romans 2:13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be righteous.

Romans 6:1-2 1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

Romans 6:15-16 15What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?

Romans 6:12-13 12Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness;

Colossians 3:5-8 3Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth;

Ephesians 4:22-24 22to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness;

These few verses are just the tip of the iceberg. Almost all of Paul’s letters proclaim this theme. He implores us to “put off our old self” and put on the “likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness”! He implores us to act righteously because he knows this is how God wants us to act as his set apart, holy, people ~

Matthew 5:48-6:1 48You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. 1“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 7For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

1 Peter 1:15-16 15but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.

Jesus, Paul, and Peter did not come up with some new doctrine for “new testament” times. All three of them are quoting Moses, and Moses is quoting the Lord GOD ~

Leviticus 11:44 For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy.

Leviticus 19:1 “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, you shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.

God has always required His people to be Holy, and His definition of Holy has never changed.

Malachi 3:6 “For I the LORD do not change

God’s Holy Spirit, through John, sums it up quite nicely I think ~

1 John 2:29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

1 John 3:4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.

1 John 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.

Again, as the Holy Spirit through John says, the one who is righteous is the one who practices righteousness, and the one who practices lawlessness, breaking the Law, this person is sinning.

God’s definition of sin has never changed since the days of Adam until this very moment. Sin has been and will always be ‘disobedience and rebellion towards the instructions and will of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’.

What does the writer of ‘Hebrews’ tell us about sinning and the Law of Moses ?

What does the text say?

Hebrews 10:26-28 26For if we deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire about to consume the adversaries. 28If anyone disregards Moses’ law, he dies without mercy, based on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

Did you notice how verse 28 declares how “if anyone disregards the Law of Moses, he dies”!

The word ‘disregards’ in the Greek is ἀθετήσας/athetēsas, Strong’s G114. Thayer’s Greek lexicon states this to mean: properly, do away with; reject what is already laid down; to set aside (disregard as spurious); nullify, make void. This in an Aorist Active participle and  refers to action described as a “simple occurrence”, regardless of the time in which it happened.

The word ‘dies’ in the Greek is in the Present Tense !

If you deliberately sin, means that you still can choose to sin. If you do then the Messiah’s sacrifice for your sins is null and void. This is why Paul preaches so adamantly for us to obey righteousness, to live Holy/Set-apart lives and to not sin.

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has documented for all time His Set-apart Will and Set-apart Instructions for His Set-apart people in His Set-apart Scriptures, and they are Set-apart “Forever” (see the “Forever Verses” at the bottom of this Blog, as well as, ‘Forever Means Forever‘ and ‘Examining the Scriptures‘).

At the very beginning of this blog what does Romans 3:20 say? Does Paul say the Law is abolished or does Paul say that the Law gives us the “knowledge” of what sin is?

What does the text say?

Romans 3:20b since through the law comes knowledge of sin…

This is a statement of fact that Paul is making; ‘through the law we know what sin is’.

Period.

He does not say it’s abolished or rescinded or no longer to be kept. He says it ‘exists’ to tell us what sin is.

Period.

The disconnect is this: because Paul chastises some believers in his letters for “trying to be justified” by keeping the Law, we have errantly assumed that Paul is telling everyone everywhere that ‘keeping the Law’ is by default “trying to be justified”.

Just because we aren’t justified, pardoned, or acquitted for following the Law does Paul say that the Law is no good and needs to be abolished, overthrown or made void?

Read what Paul says 10 verses later. ~

What does the text say?

Romans 3:31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! May it never be, on the contrary, we uphold the law.

(Please read ‘Paul Commands Us to Uphold the Law‘)

Paul asks this question I believe, because he knows that he can be misunderstood. “Do we overthrow the Law by our faith? By no means! May it never be! Clearly, he states the Law is not overthrown or abolished or annulled by faith!

What then becomes of the Law?

Paul very clearly states “we uphold the Law“! The word “uphold” in the Greek is Strong’s G2476 – ἱστάνομεν – histemi: to stand by, to stand firm, to establish, to keep in place, to uphold, to continue safe and sound (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). This is Present Tense, Indicative Mood in the Greek. When used in the indicative mood, the ‘Present Tense’ denotes action taking place or going on in the present time as a statement of fact. So, according to the Apostle Paul, is God’s Law abolished or overthrown by our faith? Paul fervently states, “May it never be!

Paul never taught that the Law of God was abolished nor had passed away (Please read ‘Zealous for the Law‘ and ‘You Yourself Also Live in Observance of the Law‘).

In Romans 3:31 Paul states in his Present Tense just the opposite;on the contrary we uphold/establish/keep in place/continue/stand firm by the Law! Not for justification, but because it’s the righteous behavior that God wants His people to live by.

It is the will of God for us to be righteous, but for us to be righteous His Word says we are to practice righteousness; and this proves that we have been born of him.

And what is the ‘will of God‘?

What does the text say? ~

Psalm 40:8 I delight to do your will, O my God, your law is within my heart.”

Deuteronomy 5:29 Oh that they had such a heart as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and with their descendants forever!

Matthew 7:21-23 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Matthew 12:50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Mark 3:35 For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

Romans 2:17-18 17But if you call yourself a Jew 18and rely on the law and boast in God 19and know his will and approve what is excellent,because’ you are instructed from the law; {Paul’s present tense in the Greek}

Final thought: When God-in-the-flesh was walking this earth and speaking these truths here in Matthew 12 and Mark 3 directly above, what was the will of the Father?

  • For further study of Paul’s teachings, as well as, the original Greek please see the blog posts at the bottom of this page. Be a Berean, and test Paul’s doctrines to the “Scriptures”. Please share this study. Thank you for your time!

Are You Grafted In? Part 3: The Word of ‘Faith’

Romans 11:19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”

As the approach to Paul’s ‘Grafted-in’ discourse in chapter 11 nears, we now have two critical points of the context understood: 

In Part 1, we learned from Paul that the people he was talking to in Rome were the ‘scattered sheep of the House of Israel’. He specifically referred to them as this by stating that the ‘Prophetic Scriptures’ (Hosea and Isaiah) were speaking about them. These Prophecies, which are about the ‘House of Israel’, were being fulfilled at his telling.

Then in Part 2, Paul explained the proper way to follow after the Law of Moses, which he actually called the “Law of Righteousness”, and not ‘bondage’ or ‘legalism’. He explained for us the correct way to pursue the Law, which is ‘from out of faith’.

Part 2 finished with the infamous Romans 10:4 verse, which in the Greek, tells us that the goal of the Law is Christ “into” righteousness for those who are believing. The study entitled ‘Is Christ the End-ing of the Law?’ breaks down this verse word-by-word in the original Greek, so I highly recommend reading it before going further in this study.

Let’s proceed in Romans 10 with understanding that Paul is continuing his discourse from chapter 9. His original letter did not have verse, or chapter breaks; it was free-flowing letter. Another important item to keep in mind is that Paul did not have 2 or 3 different concepts or definitions of what faith/belief was. Can we be honest and admit that whenever Paul mentions “faith” in one verse, and then mentions it again in the next verse or chapter, he’s still talking about the same “faith”.

I know that may seem obvious to you, but I needed to put that out there. So many verses are plucked-out all by themselves and quoted as “proof-texts” without the surrounding verses for context. Inevitably we’re left with half-truths or worse, false doctrines.

Both of the English words ‘belief’ and ‘faith’, that we find numerous times in Paul’s letters, come from the same root word, Strong’s G3982 πείθω/peithó. ‘Belief’ is the verb, Strong’s G4100 πιστεύω/pisteuó, and ‘faith’ is the noun, Strong’s G4102 πίστεως/pisteōs. The noun, pisteōs is defined by Thayer’s Greek Lexicon as: conviction of the truth of anything, belief; springing from faith (and availing) to (arouse) faith (in those who as yet have it not) as it pertains specifically to Romans 9:30 and 10:6.

Romans 9:30-32 30What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith 31but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. 32Why? Because they did not seek it by faith

Remember, in Part 2 we learned from Paul that the error Israel made was not that they pursued ‘the Law of Righteousness’, but that they did not pursue it ‘from out of faith’ ~

Paul proceeds to explain this; Israel did not seek/pursue the ‘Law of Righteousness’ from faith because”:

  1. they were ignorant of God’s righteousness…
  2. they sought their own righteousness, not God’s…
  3. which they should have ‘submitted’ to…

What does the text say?

Romans 9:31-32 & 10:3 31But Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. 32Why? Because they did not seek it by faith… 3For they (Israel) being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.

The word submitted is Strong’s G5293, hypetagēsan/ὑπετάγησαν in the Greek. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon states this to mean: to obey, subject oneself, specifically with regards to Romans 10:3.

What is the “righteousness of God” that Paul is telling us Israel should have submitted to ‘from out of faith’?

Paul tells us in the very next verse, so let’s read verses 3 & 4 together for context ~

Romans 10:3-4 3For they (Israel) being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4For the goal of the Law is Christ into righteousness for all who are believing.

So… as I mentioned earlier, if you aren’t familiar with that rendition of Romans 10:4, then I strongly suggest you read ‘Is Christ the End-ing of the Law’, which breaks down that verse, word-by-word in the Greek. We have been lied to from mainstream theology with regards to the actual Greek context, grammar and definitions of this verse; whether it has been on purpose or in ignorance, it’s still deception.

Paul is telling those in Rome (and us), that the ‘Law of Righteousness’ that Israel ‘pursued after’, is to be submitted to because the “purpose” of that Law is “Christ into Righteousness” for those who are believing, which they stumbled over.

It wasn’t by accident, that in verse 4 Paul uses the word into, which is Strong’s G1519, eis/εἰς in the Greek. Strong’s Concordance defines this preposition as: to or into (indicating the point reached or entered, of place, time, fig. purpose, result). Thayer’s Greek Lexicon states this word to mean: the end which one has in view, i.e. object, purpose.

Paul says the goal/purpose of the “Law of Righteousness” to lead us into or result in our “Righteousness”. The Messiah, “the-Word-made-flesh” is the epitome of “Righteousness”. Israel that did not ‘attain the Law of Righteousness’ sought their own; Paul is telling us Christ is what we are to “aim” for, He is our “goal”. As he tells us often in his letters, Paul wants us to imitate him as he imitates the Messiah, and John says the same thing ~

1 Corinthians 4:16 I urge you, then, be imitators of me.

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

1 John 2:5-6 By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him (Jesus) ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

1 John 2:29 If you know that he (Jesus) is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.

1 John 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he (Christ) is righteous.

Now, to understand what Paul says next in verses 5 through 8, let’s read his dialogue in context ~

Romans 9:30 – 10:8 30What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith/pisteōs; 31but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness has not attained to the law righteousness. 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith/pisteōs, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. 33As it is written, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes/pisteuōn on Him will not be put to shame.” 1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to all those believing/pisteuonti. 5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” 6 But the righteousness of faith/pisteōs speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” that is, to bring Christ down from above, 7 or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” that is, to bring Christ up from the dead. 8But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”, that is the word of faith/pistis that we proclaim.

Paul quotes the Law in verse 5, “for Moses writes about the righteousness of the law”, right after he told us in verse 4 that the result/purpose/goal of the Law is Messiah which leads into righteousness ~

Romans 10:5 For Moses writes (Present Tense) about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.”

Leviticus 18:5 You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the LORD.

How does Paul know that the Law is ‘righteousness’?

Deuteronomy 6:25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.

Psalm 119:172 My song sings of Your word, for all of Your commandments are righteousness

Romans 2:13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be righteous.

Romans 7:12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

Then in verses 6-8 we have Paul quoting Moses, again (check your reference bibles). Mainstream theology would have us believe that Paul is just waxing lyrical and preaching a ‘new’ doctrine; he is not! Though he is paraphrasing, Paul is quoting Moses, and equating Jesus with the “Law/Word of God”; well, isn’t Jesus the actual “Word of God” or isn’t He?

‘John’ Chapter 1…

What does the text say?

Romans 10:6-8 6(But/And) the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, Who will ascend into heaven?’” that is, to bring Christ down from above, 7 or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” that is, to bring Christ up from the dead. 8But what does it say? “The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart

Deuteronomy 30:11-14 11“For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. 12It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14But the Word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.

You probably notice that I started out verse 6 with (But/And). The reason I did that is because grammatically speaking the “English” word “But” is wrong; we have been taught wrong about what ‘δέ/de’ means.

In English, the word ‘but’ is always adversative; it’s always used to introduce a phrase or clause that opposes, contradicts or contrasts what has already been mentioned. In English, the word ‘and’ is continuative; it’s always used to introduce a phrase or clause that is in

However, in the Greek the word ‘δέ/de’ is the word for both ‘but’ or ‘and’, depending on the context.

We are forced to read ‘but’ in almost every single modern translation, except for ‘Young’s Literal Translation’, because mainstream theology teaches that the Law of Moses is abolished, therefore, Paul must be teaching a new doctrine that contradicts Moses.

If you read the Lexicons and Concordances you will see that the Greek word ‘δέ/de’, Strong’s G1161, is translated as ‘but’ or ‘but rather’ if the preceding sentence is in the negative; verse 5 is not in the negative. The Greek word δέ/de is a conjunction that carries both an adversative and a continuative meaning, depending on the context of the verse.

We now know the context of verse 4 does NOT mean that ‘Christ is the termination of the Law of Righteousness’, but that He is the goal/aim/purpose of the Law which leads into Righteousness. Paul then explains what that ‘context’ looks like in verse 5; a man who does ‘the Law of Righteousness’ shall will live by them”, as per Moses. Therefore, Paul is not making up a new “righteousness” nor a “new faith” in verse 6.

Mainstream theology claims that the ‘righteousness of faith’ in verses 6-8 is completely different and opposite to the ‘righteousness that we are to live by’ in verse 5. The claim is that ‘faith is a ’New Testament Thing’, AND that it only happens in your mind; the writer of ‘Hebrews’ begs to differ…

What does the text say?

Hebrews 11:4-34 4Because of faith Abel offered… 5 Because of faith Enoch pleased God… 7Because of faith Noah constructed an ark… 8Because of faith Abraham obeyed… 11Because of faith Sarah considered Him faithful… 17Because of faith Abraham offered up Isaac… 20Because of faith, Isaac invoked future blessings… 21Because of faith Jacob blessed each of the sons of Joseph… 22Because of faith Joseph made mention… 23Because of faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden… 24Because of faith Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter… 27Because of faith he left Egypt… 28Because of faith he kept the Passover… 29Because of faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land… 30Because of faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.

Another very important point is the fact that Moses wrote about the ‘righteousness of the law that we are to live by’ in Romans 10:5, as well as, the ‘righteousness of faith’ in verses 6-8; so, I ask you, how can Moses contradict Moses???

The “word of faith” that Paul is “proclaiming” in Romans 10:6, is the exact same “faith” he has been discussing for the past 12 verses.

Do you remember what the Greek word for ‘faith/belief’ is; Pistis

The word of faith/pistis, according to the apostle Paul, is:

  • the word of faith
  • the word of belief
  • the word of trust
  • the word of confidence
  • the word of fidelity
  • the word of faithfulness

This word of faith, belief, trust, confidence, fidelity, faithfulness that Paul is proclaiming in Romans 10:6 is the submission and obedience to God’s Righteousness, from Romans 10:3. This is the Righteousness that is based on ‘faith’, so says Moses, whom the apostle Paul quotes twice to make his point.

In conclusion, when Paul started talking about ‘faith’ it was in chapter 9, verse 30; the Righteousness from out of ‘faith’. He then stated that some in Israel were not pursuing the Law of Righteousness from out of that ‘faith’. He then explains their lack of faith was because they did not submit/obey God’s Righteousness. The apostle Paul then tells us that Christ is the goal/aim of the Law of Righteousness by quoting Moses twice; paralleling Messiah and the Law of Moses. “That” is the “Word of Faith” he is proclaiming…

Final Thought: In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of Old Testament, the word G1402 πίστεως/pisteōs is always translated from either H530 אֱמוּנָה/emunah or

Part 4 coming soon …

  • For further study of Paul’s teachings, as well as the original Greek, please see the blog posts at the bottom of this page. Be a Berean, and test Paul’s doctrines to the “Scriptures”. Please ‘share’ this study, and thank you for your time!
Advertisements