GRACE: NOT BY MAN
Dead To The Law – Galations 2:15-19
Verse 15 – Peter had endeavored to keep the hearts of the Judaizers toward himself, thus, had acted in in contrary way to the gospel of Christ. He had given place and accredited the law as important toward salvation; nullifying grace; in the minds of others.
All the Jews who were in the faith of Christ knew there was no power of salvation in the law. Did Peter repent of his sin in Antioch? It seems so 2 Peter 3:15-18.
Verse 16 – The “works of the law” could only condemn. “Justification” is only through faith in Christ Jesus. The law cannot justify the sinner.
“Justification” is the declaration of God that one is just before Him. How can a just, holy, and righteous God declare a sinner just? If one could stand with holy God without holiness, then, God would cease being holy. If one could stand before the just God and not be just, then, God would cease being just. How can one a sinner stand in justness before this holy, just and righteous God?
A debt was owed to God by the human race; the sin debt. We owed the debt, but cannot pay the debt. We cannot attain the perfection that the law of God demands. Someone who was able to keep the law and attain that perfection would be the only one who could pay that debt. He would be the one who had the means to pay that debt.
God sent His Son, the only sinless sacrifice, and Jesus Christ paid the debt we owed. Because of the gift of Christ we are called “Just” before God.
Verse 17 – Writing of this verse the MacArthur Study Bible notes,
“2:17 we…are found sinners. If the Judaizers’ doctrine was correct then Paul, Peter, Barnabas, and the other Jewish believers fell back into the category of sinners because they had been eating and fellowshiping with Gentiles, who according to the Judaizers were unclean. minister of sin. If the Judaizers were right, then Christ was wrong and had been teaching people to sin because He taught that food could not contaminate a person (Mark 7:19; cf. Acts 10:13-15). he also declared that all who belong to Him are one with Him and therefore each other (John 17:21-23). Paul’s airtight logic condemned Peter, because by his actions he had in effect made it appear as if Christ was lying. This thought is utterly objectionable and causes Paul to use the strongest Gr. negative (‘certainly not’; cf. 3:21: Rom. 6:1,2; 7:13).”
God forbid that we should negate the words of Christ for the law.
Verse 18 – If we exalt the law over Christ we destroy the gospel of Christ. To place law, sacrament, tradition, or ordinance over the grace of Christ we become a transgressor.
Verse 19 – “Through the law… dead to the law…” Notice it does not say the law is dead, or that it has been put away. The redeemed, regenerated, saved individual is dead to the law. How are we dead to the law?
Paul wrote in Romans 7:1-6,
“Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. 4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”
We are dead to the law, through Christ who died by the law, for the sins of mankind.
-Tim A. Blankenship