Justification by faith in Galatians 2.15-21: An exegetical study
Cosme De Moraes, L.
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This research seeks to examine the Pauline concept of justification by faith in Galatians 2.15-21. In this text, the apostle Paul presents justification by faith through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ as the essence of the gospel message. Galatians 2: 15-21 is a text replete with exegetical, semantic and theological difficulties. Therefore, the author of this research seeks to deal with the subject from a detailed exegetical study of Galatians 2.15-21. The main purpose is to discover and expose what the apostle Paul actually said about justification by faith in Galatians 2.15-21. The basic assumption of this investigation is that believers in the Pauline understanding are "declared righteous" and "members of the covenant people of God" based on the fulfillment of God's promise by faithfulness or faithful obedience of Jesus Christ. The faithful work of Christ is the necessary and sufficient condition for the justification of believers. Through his obedient life and death, Jesus Christ fulfilled the Torah and the prophets (Mt 5.18; Lk 24.44). The inheritance he attained, according to the covenant of the law (= Old Covenant), is now possessed by the believers of the New Covenant according to God's promise to bring justification to everyone by the seed of Abraham. In seeking justification before God through the temporal and conditional alliance of the law (Gl 3.23-4.7, Hb. 8.13), Paul's opponents were in truth, excluding themselves from the one in whom they could be found acceptable. That, because it is under the law is, for those who violate it, equivalent to the curse (Gl 3.10). In the New Covenant, however, all blessings have Christ and his obedience as the sole basis for qualifying us as heirs. In addition, those who inherit the blessing of justification live by the faithfulness of the Son of God and know the reality of Christ living in them (Gl 2.20; 5.13-6.10). The Spirit of Christ nourishes and leads the initial response of faith in the gospel to a continual life of faithfulness to God (2.20) and service to others in love (Gl 5.6,13,14). Consequently, the status of the justified (Gl 2.16,21) is never separated from the internal renewal (Gl 2.19-20).
- Theology