Romans 3:19-20

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Dr. Walter, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. Dr. Walter

    Dr. Walter
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    Romans 3:19 ¶ Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
    20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.


    The alert observer can readily see that the following phrases found in Romans 3:19-20 are synonomous:

    1. "the law"
    2. "under the law"
    3. "by the deeds of the law"
    4. "by the law"

    There are those on this forum who believe these references to the Law refer to the non-canonical traditions and so this text should read as follows:

    Romans 3:19 ¶ Now we know that what things soever the traditions saith, it saith to them who are under the traditions: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
    20 Therefore by the deeds of the traditions there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the traditions is the knowledge of sin.


    It should be easy to see this veiw is utterly rediculous as it makes the non-canonical uninspired traditions the definer of what sin is! Furthermore, it asserts that the non-canonical uninspired traditions have a universal application in regard to condemning sin world wide before God - "all the world may become guilty."

    There are others on this forum that believe this verse applies only to the Judaism and the Mosaic law in the sense of Jewish representation of humanity before God. Hence, they would read it as follows:

    Romans 3:19 ¶ Now we know that what things soever the Mosaic law saith, it saith to them who are under the Mosaic law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
    20 Therefore by the deeds of the Mosaic law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the Mosaic law is the knowledge of sin.


    There is an element of truth in this position as the Mosaic law is the most comprehensive law ever given to men by God. However, the error of this positionis that this text says nothing about the "JEWISH PEOPLE" being representative of the world, but rather it is the Jewish LAW that is representative of all laws given by God. Therefore it does comprehend all other divine revelation of God's righteousness. Jesus summarized this entire law as follows:

    Mt. 7:12 ¶ Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

    In this very epistle to the Romans Paul summarized the entire Mosaic Law as follows:

    Rom. 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    The very same Author of the Mosaic law is the very same Author who has written the law upon the conscience of men Jew or Gentile as Paul in this very same epistle writes:

    Rom. 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
    15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

    The law written upon the conscience of the Gentile is the basis for God to judge the Gentiles for sin (Rom. 2:12) as there is no sin where there is no law and the Gentiles have sinned without the Jewish law and therefore they will perish without the Jewish law by the law they have violated which has been written upon their conscience by God.

    Rom. 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;....14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
    15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

    Romans 3:19-20 supports this conclusion and thus the INCLUSION of God's law written on the conscience because the text applies this BEYOND THE JEWS to all the world, to every mouth so that no flesh is omitted by its condemnation. Thus it should be understood as though it read

    Romans 3:19 ¶ Now we know that what things soever the law of God saith, it saith to them who are under the law of God: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
    20 Therefore by the deeds of the law of God there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law of God is the knowledge of sin.


    To those who might object to the prepositional phrase "of God" being added then the immediate context which follows proves this added insertion is the intended design of Paul as he goes on to say:

    21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

    Paul plainly states that the law which he was previously speaking about gives witness to "the righteousness OF GOD." However, verse 21 is designed to deny that the righteousness of God manifested in "the law and the prophets" is restricted only to "the law" but is now revealed in the person of Jesus Christ (v. 22). The righteousness of God is not revealed in the non-canonical traditions of the Jews but rather Jesus says those traditions transgress the commandments of God.

    In conclusion, the preceding context demands that both the law written upon the conscience of the Gentile is comprehended in the law given by God to the Jews as verses 19-20 is simply the contextual conclusion of verses 9-18 that is inclusive of both Gentiles and Jews and their violation of God's law whether written upon conscience or in stone or upon other materials:

    Rom. 3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
    10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
    11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
    12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
    13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
    14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
    15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
    16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
    17 And the way of peace have they not known:
    18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

    19 ¶ Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

    CONCLUSION: Paul is concluding that there is "NONE, no, NOT ONE" Gentile or Jew who has not violated God's law, whether written upon their conscience or given by special revelation. Therefore, there is "NONE, no, NOT ONE" who can be justified by "WORKS' or "DEEDS" that try to KEEP THE LAW as they have already violated it, sinned, and under its curse:

    What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;.........for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

    That is precisely why "ALL" both Jew and Gentile need salvation through the provision of God by Jesus Christ and there is no justification the law of works - good deeds - as the law has already been violated, they are already under wrath of that law and there is no other way of salvaiton but through faith IN Christ's satisfaction of the Law's wrath and righteousness.
     
    #1 Dr. Walter, Aug 21, 2010
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  2. billwald

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    Romans 3:19 ¶ Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
    20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.


    >The alert observer can readily see that the following phrases found in Romans 3:19-20 are synonomous:

    1. "the law"
    2. "under the law"
    3. "by the deeds of the law"
    4. "by the law"

    Paul is a sloppy writer because he doesn't specify the law to which he is referring. One might conclude he was a reconstructionist.

    There never was a time when humans didn't have some law imposed by God, not since God showed Adam the tree just as at no time were the effects of gravity not imposed. Paul might as well said, "by falling is the knowledge of gravity" which would have made as much sense.
     
  3. Dr. Walter

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    The Mosaic law was the most comprehensive law, God ever gave to human beings. In dealing with the most comprehensive law Paul includes all lessor laws given by God and thus any and all laws that reveal the righteousness of God (v. 21). Hence, it is better to understand it as "the law of God" regardless of the time, the people and the particular law given. Law is not optional but makes demands. Violation of law brings condemnation. Hence, obedience to any law requires doing what is "GOOD" in keeping with that law or "good works". Thus in versre 27 Paul reduces all such laws to the "law....of works" or what man DOES in order to be justified under whatever law God gives man at any particular time.

    However, the verdict of law abiding citizens is Romans 3:9-20 - "there is NONE, that DOETH GOOD, no, NOT ONE...."

    Hence, all good works under all laws of God by any people at any time does not justify them as law shuts "every mouth" so that "no flesh" in "ALL THE WORLD" can be justified by the law of God.
     
  4. billwald

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    >The Mosaic law was the most comprehensive law, God ever gave to human beings.

    The 613 positive and negative statements?

    >However, the verdict of law abiding citizens is Romans 3:9-20 - "there is NONE, that DOETH GOOD, no, NOT ONE...."

    Agree! Sin corrupts all humans and human institutions including the church. Even people who think they are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
     
  5. Dr. Walter

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    Paul's point is that "good" works do not exist OUTSIDE of Christ (Rom. 3:9-18). Therefore, "good" works cannot justify anyone or be a means to enter into Christ. Good works are the result/consequence of being already in Christ (Eph. 2:10) and as such, a consequence, cannot be the cause for entering in Christ and thus cannot be a cause for maintaining our position in Christ. God's design for good works is other than eternal salvation as that is obtained already by Christ and His works not by us and our works.
     
  6. Chowmah

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    Lets keep in mind, no matter how you interpret the words of Romans 3 about the law and faith.....

    Romans 3:31
    Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
     
  7. Dr. Walter

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    Romans 3:31 must be interpreted by the immediate preceding and foregoing context. Justifying faith is faith "IN" Jesus Christ and his satisfaction of all the laws demands (Rom. 3:24-26). Thus Christ validates the just demands of God's Law and fully satisfies them IN BEHALF OF THE BELIEVER through faith "IN" His person and work.

    Indeed, justification by faith is the ONLY way the law will be validated and satisfied as all other men have sinned and come short and there "NONE, no, NOT ONE" that doeth good or is righteous and therefore Christ, by his actions as the second Adam obtains for us through faith what we cannot by our own works (Rom. 5:19).
     
  8. Chowmah

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    Thing is, the Word says you can only come to "faith" in Christ by 1st going to the schoolmaster.
     
  9. Dr. Walter

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    No, it does not say that. It only says the law acted as a school master to bring us to Christ. Gentiles were never under the Mosaic law as such and yet come to Christ. They were under the law as written in their conscience and were first convicted of sin by their conscience as empowered by the Holy Spirit in use of the Word of God.
     
  10. Chowmah

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    In the book of Romans we can find words written that say we are not under the law. Its really not easy to understand what this means. Is it the penalty of the law if we are walking in the spirit of the law? Is it speaking of the law of circumcism? After you graduated from law school (the schoolmaster)? Even Peter understood that Pauls writings were hard to understand.

    2 PETER 3 [15] And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; [16] As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which THEY THAT ARE UNLEARNED AND UNSTABLE WREST, AS THEY DO ALSO THE OTHER SCRIPTURES, UNTO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION.

    But if you were to go through the whole book of Romans you would have to conclude that we still must keep the law.

    ROMANS 2 [12] For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; [13] (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but THE DOERS OF THE LAW SHALL BE JUSTIFIED.

    ROMANS 3 [30] Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. [31] DO WE THEN MAKE VOID THE LAW THROUGH FAITH? GOD FORBID: yea, we establish the law.

    Romans 3 is clearly pointing out that we could never be justified by the works of the law. We can only truly be justified by grace through faith. For all have sinned, and come short of keeping the commandments. Filthy rags we are! With all that being said, are we to make void the law? GOD FORBID!

    ROMANS6 [1] What shall we say then? SHALL WE CONTINUE IN SIN, that grace may abound? [2] GOD FORBID. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

    ROMANS 6 [10] For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. [11] Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. [12] LET NOT SIN THEREFORE REIGN IN YOUR MORTAL BODY, THAT YE SHOULD OBEY IT in the lusts thereof. [13] Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

    ROMANS 6 [14] For sin shall not have dominion over you: for YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW, BUT UNDER GRACE. [15] What then? SHALL WE SIN, because we are not under the law, but under grace? GOD FORBID. [16] Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

    All these scriptures out of Romans are telling us the same thing. We as christians are saved by grace but we are still capable of sinning. We are then told we are not to sin. So......according to the bible (The Word of God), what is sin?

    1 JOHN 3 [4] Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for SIN IS THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW
     
  11. billwald

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    >Paul's point is that "good" works do not exist OUTSIDE of Christ (Rom. 3:9-18)

    It bothers me when people claim there is no such thing as an intrinsically good or evil act.
     
  12. Chowmah

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    GALATIANS 3 [23] But BEFORE FAITH CAME, WE WERE KEPT UNDER THE LAW, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. [24] Wherefore THE LAW WAS OUR SCHOOLMASTER TO BRING US UNTO CHRIST, that we might be justified by faith. [25] But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. [26] For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. [27] For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

    Yeah, the "many" say we are no longer under Gods law. Thats why only a few will be saved to the kingdom. So please explain how above scripture does not really say what it says. The way you explain it the gentiles are born with faith because Jesus has come. But the scripture says what it says. Just read it. It says what it says
     
  13. Dr. Walter

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    iF you will look at the preceding context, you will discover that our example for justification by faith - Abraham - was justified "in Christ" (v. 17) 430 years before "the law" in question was ever given. Hence, our role model was justified by faith without the law.

    However, Paul asks, why then was the law "ADDED." He explains it was added at the time of Moses and that this pertains to the Jews not to gentiles as gentiles are justified by faith just like Abraham (Rom. 4:9-12).

    So he is referring to the Law of Moses and to the nation of Israel - the Jews. However, he also denies that while the law was in effect that it was able to provide life. Hence, no salvation by law keeping occurred. How did salvation occur between Moses and Christ then? The same way it did with Abraham and with Gentiles - by faith in the gospel (Acts 10:43; Heb. 4:2). However, the Jews were kept under the law covenant until the gospel promise was fulfilled in the first coming of Christ, then there was a change of public administration from the temple to the church and from the law to the covenant of grace. In the coming of Christ all the types and ceremonial patterns found their fulfillment in Christ (Heb. 10:1-4; Col. 2:16).

    So, "NO FLESH" (Rom. 3:19-20) was ever justified by observing the law through obedience to the deeds of the law as Galatians 3:10-12 also points out. Salvation has always come by faith without law keeping just as in the case of Abraham (Gal. 3:6-8) who is the father of "ALL WHO BELIEVE." In contrast the law is the father of no beleiver because justification by law is impossible because all have already failed, come short, violated the law's standard for justification - no failure in even one point (James 2:10-11).


     
  14. Chowmah

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    Yeah, i know that most denominations (the many) say the gentiles were never under the law

    Jeremiah 16:19
    O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.

    I wish you the best good doctor
     
  15. DHK

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    You have a very nice way of twisting Scripture, but this verse does not prove your point. It is a red herring.
     
  16. Chowmah

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    GENESIS 26 [3] Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; [4] And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; [5] Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

    Well Dr. Abraham heard “the voice” of God and was told to keep His 10 commandments. And thats just what honest Abe did.

    DEUT. 27 [8]And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly. [9] And Moses and the priests the Levites spake unto all Israel, saying, Take heed, and hearken, O Israel; this day thou art become the people of the Lord thy God. [10] Thou shalt therefore obey the voice of the Lord thy God, and do his commandments and his statutes, which I command thee this day.

    Moses heard that same voice and the voice was telling him the same thing

    JOHN 10 [27] My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: [28] And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

    Hmmm....His sheep also hear that same voice and they know Him
     
    #16 Chowmah, Aug 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2010
  17. Chowmah

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    Just came to mind

    1JOHN2 [3] AND HEREBY WE DO KNOW THAT WE KNOW HIM, IF WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS.[4] He that saith, i know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.[5] But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
     
  18. Dr. Walter

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    PLEASE READ AND CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING VERY CAREFULLY BEFORE MAKING A HASTY RESPONSE:


    Matthew 7:21-23 are "many" who called upon the name of the "Lord, Lord" and professed that all they did was "in thy name" with full expectation to be allowed entrance into heaven but instead were told that Christ "NEVER" knew them. Not that He knew them at one time and then later failed to know them. Obviously, simple foreknowledge is not in view here as Christ knows every single human being just as he knows every star. He is talking about knowing them in the covenant of redemption. They are not those in Romans 8:29-31 "for whom God did FOREKNOW, them He also did...."

    Those in Matthew 7:21-23 did not build their lives on the solid rock, the only foundation for salvation (I Cor. 3:11) but upon the sand - the mixture of faith in Christ PLUS their good works as the basis to enter heaven. They were not justified by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone WITHOUT WORKS. They refused to do the will of the Father as expressed earlier in this same sermon in Matthew 5:20-48. Just like the pharisees, they interpreted the Law of God (Mt. 5:21-47) on a LOWER level of righteousness that permitted them to measure up to its standards and be justified by it.

    If you will take careful note in verses 21-47 you will find this contrast repeatedly:

    21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time....22 But I say unto you,
    27 ¶ Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time......28 But I say unto you,
    31 It hath been said.....32 But I say unto you,
    33 ¶ Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time.....34 But I say unto you,
    38 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said....39 But I say unto you,43 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said.....44 But I say unto you,


    Jesus is countering the oral traditional interpretations of the Law by the famous Jewish sages with the proper interpretation of the Scriptues by the Living Word of God.

    Here is the key problem. They reduced the standard of God's righteousness to an external level that religious men could measure up to. Thus produced justification "by the deeds of the law" mentality.

    Jesus repudiated this lower level of justification by the deeds of the law in Matthew 5:20 and 5:48 or the two scriptures that encapsulizes, encloses this corrective passage (5:21--47).

    In Matthew 5:20 he raises the standard of righteousness above the Scribes and Pharisees interpretative view of the Law's standard by saying:

    For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    He closes the corrective passage (Mt. 5:21-47) with exactly what that righteousness that must EXCEED the Scribes and Pharisess must EQUAL:

    48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

    The Father in heaven has never once sinned in His PAST, never once in the PRESENT and shall never once sin in the FUTURE. In the words of James, the righteousness of the Father has never once violated the Law in a single POINT and so Jesus could say to the rich young ruler "there is NONE GOOD but one and that is God."

    Righteousness necessary to justify a sinner before God is a SINLESS righteousness and it is only found in the provision of Christ and obtained exclusively

    1. BY GRACE ALONE:

    24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:


    2. THROUGH FAITH ALONE IN THE CHRIST PROVISION

    25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

    26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.



    3. WITHOUT WORKS

    27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
    28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.


    This is the only FOUNDATION, the only ROCK to build your life upon and to boast in for entrance into heaven. Not a SAND mixture of "Lord, Lord....have WE not DONE many wonderful works....."

    This is the confession that Paul refers to that must originate in the heart and then profess with the mouth in Romans 10:

    3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
    4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.....8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
    10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
    12 ¶ For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
    13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.


    This is the true gospel of salvation. Those who call upon the Lord to save them on this BASIS alone, with this belief about Christ from the heart shall be saved.
    Those who come with any other MIXTURE of "Lord, Lord....have WE not DONE many wonderful works" as a basis for justification before God, to call upon the Lord for salvation, for entrance into heaven will hear the same words those in Matthew 7:21-23 heard:

    "Depart from me ye WORKERS of iniquity for I never knew you"

    That is exactly what your works are before God (Isa. 64:6) when it comes to justification before God as only a righteousness that EXCEEDS the best of men (Mt. 5:20) and EQUALS the best of God (Mt. 5:48) serves to justify sinners before God.

    For anyone to be saved they MUST first turn from such works "repentance from dead works" and believe solely in the gospel promise based upon the gospel provision found completely and entirely in the Person and work of Jesus Christ alone.
     
  19. Chowmah

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    Time and time again i have said you are saved by the grace of God alone. It is a free gift. We simply difer on to whom this gift is givin. Even when you look at the big picture of the new testament you see John the baptist coming and saying repent of your sin (sin is the transgression of the law) and then came Jesus.

    Mark 1:15
    And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
     
  20. Chowmah

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    Do you know the passage that says drunkards will not enter the kingdom. I know a few drunks that say they believe in Christ. Do you believe they might go to the kingdom if they continue in the drinking? Is their only chance to get there based on their WORK to be sober?
     

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