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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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  • « Conversion proceeds from... | Main | "I've Been Reading...": Quotable Quotes from Excellent Books, Issue 6- C. R. Biggs »

    "I've Been Reading...": Quotable Quotes from Excellent Books, Issue 5- C. R. Biggs

    Some Thoughts on the Law of God in Paul's Epistles by Herman Ridderbos (from 'Paul: An Outline of His Theology'- -a "must have" if you are a person interested in getting a better grasp at the Pauline Corpus).

    "Zeal for the law can altogether alienate man from God, and has precisely the effect of making him a sinner. This occurs when faith is no longer the point of departure for the fulfilling of the law, but man addresses himself to what he takes for the work of the law. For the law then becomes detached from God, in the sense that man no longer trusts in God for his righteousness but in his works. And man in this way no longer arrives at the law, that is to say, no longer at the righteousness and at the life to which the law points him.

    The apostle is therefore able to demonstrate the impossibility of acquiring righteousness and life in the way of works at one time to those who praise the law with their mouth but in reality grossly transgress it (Rom. 2:17ff), at another to those who with all their zeal and irreproachableness likewise do not find what they are seeking (Rom. 9; Phil. 3). In both cases man with the law in hand is faced with his bankruptcy. And surely the second is less evident and easy to accept. But it is not on that account any less real, indeed it is in a certain sense still more drastic because it strikes man in his moral earnestness and exertion; because it not only confronts him with his deficiency, but also casts his 'gain' into the balance and compels him not only to acknowledge his sin, but also to renounce his very virtues before God." -Herman Ridderbos, 'Paul: An Outline of His Theology', Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975.

    Galatians 3:10-15- "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." But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith." Yet the law is not of faith, but "the man who does them shall live by them." Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

    Posted by Charles Biggs on June 22, 2007 06:21 PM

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