Jew. Where is boasting, then? - 'η καυχησις, This glorying of ours. Have we nothing in which we can trust for our acceptance with God? No merit of our own? Nothing accruing to us from our circumcision and being in covenant with God.
Apostle, It is excluded - εξεκλεισθη, It is shut out; the door of heaven is shut against every thing of this kind.
Jew. By what law? - By what rule, doctrine, or reason is it shut out? by the law of works? The rule of obedience, which God gave to us, and by which obedience we are accepted by him?
Apostle. Nay - Not by the law of works; glorying is not cut off or shut out by that; it stands in full force as the rule of life; but you have sinned and need pardon. The law of works grants no pardon, it requires obedience, and threatens the disobedient with death. But all glorying in the expectation of salvation, through your own obedience, is excluded by the law, the doctrine of faith: faith alone, in the mercy of God, through the propitiation made by the blood of Jesus, ( Romans 3:25;), is that by which you can be justified, pardoned, and taken into the Divine favor.
Where is boasting then? - Where is there ground or occasion of boasting or pride? Since all have sinned, and since all have failed of being able to justify themselves by obeying the Law, and since all are alike dependent on the mere mercy of God in Christ, all ground of boasting is of course taken away. This refers particularly to the Jews, who were much addicted to boasting of their special privileges; See the note at Romans 3:1, etc.
By what law? - The word “law “here is used in the sense of “arrangement, rule, or economy.” By what arrangement, or by the operation of what rule, is boasting excluded? “(Stuart).” See Galatians 3:21; Acts 21:20.
Of works - The Law which commands works, and on which the Jews relied. If this were complied with, and they were thereby justified, they would have had ground of self-confidence, or boasting, as being justified by their own merits. But a plan which led to this, which ended in boasting, and self-satisfaction, and pride, could not be true.
Nay - No.
The law of faith - The rule, or arrangement which proclaims that we have no merit; that we are lost sinners; and that we are to be justified only by faith.
Those who have been truly converted have been buried with Christ in the likeness of His death, and raised from the watery grave in the likeness of His resurrection, to walk in newness of life. By faithful obedience to the truth they are to make their calling and election sure (Manuscript 57, 1900). 6BC 1115.2
6 (ch. 2:7; see EGW on Matthew 3:16, 17; Luke 17:10; Ephesians 1:20, 21; Hebrews 4:15, 16; 9:24). Exalting Christ's Character—The most gifted men on the earth could all find abundant employment, from now until the judgment, for all their God-given powers, in exalting the character of Christ. But they would still fail to present Him as He is. The mysteries of redemption, embracing Christ's divine-human character, His incarnation, His atonement for sin, could employ the pens and the highest mental powers of the wisest men from now until Christ shall be revealed in the clouds of heaven in power and great glory. But though these men should seek with all their power to give a representation of Christ and His work, the representation would fall far short of the reality.... 6BC 1115.3Read in context »
(1 John 2:4.) Faith Manifested by Works of Obedience—God requires at this time just what He required of the holy pair in Eden, perfect obedience to His requirements. His law remains the same in all ages. The great standard of righteousness presented in the Old Testament is not lowered in the New. It is not the work of the gospel to weaken the claims of God's holy law, but to bring men up where they can keep its precepts. 6BC 1073.1
The faith in Christ which saves the soul is not what it is represented to be by many. “Believe, believe,” is their cry; “only believe in Christ, and you will be saved. It is all you have to do.” While true faith trusts wholly in Christ for salvation, it will lead to perfect conformity to the law of God. Faith is manifested by works. And the apostle John declares, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar” (The Review and Herald, October 5, 1886). 6BC 1073.2
Disconnect the Law and the Gospel?—The enemy has ever labored to disconnect the law and the gospel. They go hand in hand (Manuscript 11, 1893). 6BC 1073.3Read in context »
The light given me of God places this important subject above any question in my mind. Justification is wholly of grace and not procured by any works that fallen man can do. The matter has been presented before me in clear lines that if the rich man has money and possessions, and he makes an offering of the same to the Lord, false ideas come in to spoil the offering by the thought he has merited the favor of God, that the Lord is under obligation to him to regard him with special favor because of this gift. FW 20.1
There has been too little educating in clear lines upon this point. The Lord has lent man His own goods in trust—means which He requires be handed back to Him when His providence signifies and the upbuilding of His cause demands it. The Lord gave the intellect. He gave the health and the ability to gather earthly gain. He created the things of earth. He manifests His divine power to develop all its riches. They are His fruits from His own husbandry. He gave the sun, the clouds, the showers of rain, to cause vegetation to flourish. As God's employed servants you gathered in His harvest to use what your wants required in an economical way and hold the balance for the call of God. You can say with David, “For all things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee” (1 Chronicles 29:14). So the satisfaction of creature merit cannot be in returning to the Lord His own, for it was always His own property to be used as He in His providence should direct. FW 20.2Read in context »
A Sign to the World—Justification by faith in Christ will be made manifest in transformation of character. This is the sign to the world of the truth of the doctrines we profess. The daily evidence that we are a living church is seen in the fact that we are practicing the Word. A living testimony goes forth to the world in consistent Christian action. 6BC 1071.1
It declares to a world apostatized that there is a people who believe that our safety is in clinging to the Bible. This testimony is in unmistakable distinction from that of the great apostate church, which adopts human wisdom and authority in place of the wisdom and authority of God (Letter 83, 1896). 6BC 1071.2Read in context »