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22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction,

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22. Even the righteousness of God, etc. 115115     The words which follow, διὰ πίστεως Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ “by or through the faith of Jesus Christ,” mean not the faith which is his, but the faith of which he is the object. They ought to be rendered “through faith in Jesus Christ.” The genitive case has often this meaning: “Εχετε πίστιν Θεοῦ — Have faith in (of) God,” Mark 11:22; “Εν πίστει ζῶ τὟ τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ — I live by the faith of the Son of God;” [Galations 2:20;] it should be in our language, “I live by faith in the Son of God.” This genitive case of the object is an Hebraism, and is of frequent occurrence. — Ed. He shows in few words what this justification is, even that which is found in Christ and is apprehended by faith. At the same time, by introducing again the name of God, he seems to make God the founder, (autorem, the author,) and not only the approver of the righteousness of which he speaks; as though he had said, that it flows from him alone, or that its origin is from heaven, but that it is made manifest to us in Christ.

When therefore we discuss this subject, we ought to proceed in this way: First, the question respecting our justification is to be referred, not to the judgment of men, but to the judgment of God, before whom nothing is counted righteousness, but perfect and absolute obedience to the law; which appears clear from its promises and threatenings: if no one is found who has attained to such a perfect measure of holiness, it follows that all are in themselves destitute of righteousness. Secondly, it is necessary that Christ should come to our aid; who, being alone just, can render us just by transferring to us his own righteousness. You now see how the righteousness of faith is the righteousness of Christ. When therefore we are justified, the efficient cause is the mercy of God, the meritorious is Christ, the instrumental is the word in connection with faith. 116116     The original is this, “Ut ergo justificemur, causa efficiens est misericordia Dei, Christus materia, verbum cum fide instrumentum — When therefore we are justified, the efficient cause is God’s mercy, Christ is the material, the word with faith is the instrument.” — Ed. Hence faith is said to justify, because it is the instrument by which we receive Christ, in whom righteousness is conveyed to us. Having been made partakers of Christ, we ourselves are not only just, but our works also are counted just before God, and for this reason, because whatever imperfections there may be in them, are obliterated by the blood of Christ; the promises, which are conditional, are also by the same grace fulfilled to us; for God rewards our works as perfect, inasmuch as their defects are covered by free pardon.

Unto all and upon all, 117117     Εἰς πάντας και ἐπι πάντας. He makes a similar difference in his expressions in verse 30. This righteousness, as some say, came to the Jews, as it had been promised to them, and upon the Gentiles, as a gift with which they were not acquainted, and it was conferred on them. But the possession was equal and belonged to all who believed, and to none else, whether Jews or Gentiles.
   Stuart connects these words with “manifested,” or revealed, in verse 21. It is manifested to all, and manifested for all; that is, for the real benefit of all who believe; in other words, it is offered to all, but becomes of real advantage only to those who believe. But the simpler mode is to consider the words, which is, as in our version, to be understood. ‘Ερχομένη is the word which Luther adopts. — Ed.
etc. For the sake of amplifying, he repeats the same thing in different forms; it was, that he might more fully express what we have already heard, that faith alone is required, that the faithful are not distinguished by external marks, and that hence it matters not whether they be Gentiles or Jews.




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