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Works of the Law
Posted by: SeniorSeeker
Date: October 17, 2011 10:10AM
Works of the Law

Paul says three times in Galatians 2:16 that a person is not justified by "works of the law". What does he mean by the expression "works of the law"? How do these texts (Gal. 2:16, 17; 3:2, 5, 10; Rom. 3:20, 28) help us understand his meaning?

Galatians 2:16-17
16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. 17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not!

Galatians 3:2
2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Galatians 3:5
5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Galatians 3:10 The Law Brings a Curse
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them."

Romans 3:20
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Romans 3:28
28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

Before we can understand the phrase "the works of the law", we first need to understand what Paul means by the word law. The word law (nomos in Greek) is found 121 times in Paul

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