This is the week leading to Reformation Sunday. For most Reformed churches that means the best sermons on Justification by Faith are on the way. But for me and Texas Oaks Baptist Church, this week was yesterday. With this in mind I'm going to be touching ever so briefly on a far justification texts.
I give a fair warning. I've been influenced by N.T. Wright. While I don't purchase everything he is selling, I am certainly working to synthesis the New Perspective and Traditional View.
This text is a classic example of a problem text for the Traditional View without appended understanding. This text is about justification. This text is about the "law of faith". This alone should cause some serious stop of consideration. Boasting is not excluded by something apart from the law. But from the very law of faith. It is within this context that the word "law" cannot certainly mean a list of things that are accomplished and meritorious. But instead it almost certainly is the commendation and judgment of "the law". It is faith that is our good testimony before God and the world. And it is this faith that justifies.
But what about the following verses? Somehow justification is the event that changes a man's relationship to God by covenant. Here Paul is saying that justification is available for the Gentile. In fact it is solely possible because God is and can be the God of the Gentile. This is justification.
This justification occurs apart from justification. Apart from circumcision. This justification before God is not based upon ceremony or merit. It is not based upon works of law but upon faith in what God promises.