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16yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law.

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16. not justified by the works of the law—as the GROUND of justification. "The works of the law" are those which have the law for their object—which are wrought to fulfil the law [Alford].

but by—Translate, "But only (in no other way save) through faith in Jesus Christ," as the MEAN and instrument of justification.

Jesus Christ—In the second case, read with the oldest manuscripts, "Christ Jesus," the Messiahship coming into prominence in the case of Jewish believers, as "Jesus" does in the first case, referring to the general proposition.

justified by the faith of Christ—that is, by Christ, the object of faith, as the ground of our justification.

for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified—He rests his argument on this as an axiom in theology, referring to Ps 143:2, "Moses and Jesus Christ; The law and the promise; Doing and believing; Works and faith; Wages and the gift; The curse and the blessing—are represented as diametrically opposed" [Bengel]. The moral law is, in respect to justification, more legal than the ceremonial, which was an elementary and preliminary Gospel: So "Sinai" (Ga 4:24), which is more famed for the Decalogue than for the ceremonial law, is made pre-eminently the type of legal bondage. Thus, justification by the law, whether the moral or ceremonial, is excluded (Ro 3:20).




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