because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
Some believe that by keeping God’s law they can make themselves pleasing and acceptable to the Lord. Paul shatters that misperception here. Although the law is holy, righteous and good (Rom. 7:12), it has no power to make you holy, righteous and good. Rather, its purpose is to give you knowledge of sin revealing your need for a Savior (Gal. 3:24).
Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.
Paul says again and again that we are to live by faith not law (Rom. 3:28, 4:14), but living by faith does not make one anti-law. On the contrary, it is by faith that we establish or uphold the law. How does this happen?
You do not establish the law by trying to keep it (you can’t) or by mixing it with grace (you’ll end up alienated from Christ). Nor do you uphold the law by posting it on your Sunday School wall (it’s a ministry that condemns) or by telling yourself “it’s part of our Christian heritage” (it never was). Rather, you uphold the law by putting your faith in the One who fulfilled all the righteous requirements of the law on your behalf and who offers you his perfect righteousness as a gift (Rom 10:4).
Further reading: “How does faith establish the law?”
The Grace Commentary is a reader-funded website. Got something to say about the commentary? Please use the Feedback page. To report typos or broken links or give feedback on this specific page, please use the comment form below.