Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 3 Study # 3
June 21, 2005
Lincolnton, N.C.

<134> Thesis: The righteousness which God gives to men is rooted in faith. Introduction: We have, for a long time, been looking at the fact that humanity is enslaved by sin. In our last two studies, we have argued that Paul's perspective on "Jewishness" is that it brought this human condition to its greatest clarity. If some "men", to whom God gave the highest privileges, were guilty of turning on God in a murderous way, then it should be crystal clear that there is something horrifically wrong with mankind. Who can argue that the Jews were not given the greatest opportunity to fulfill the identity of humankind as God's created servants? God did not create mankind to take His place; He created mankind to participate in His Servant-Life. The Jews were put on "center stage", under the most "provisioned" conditions since the Garden of Eden, and, on that stage, they proved beyond debate that man is "under sin". Paul's argument is that it was the divine intent for the giving of the Law to make this point. The most critical conclusion of this argument is that God never intended for the Law to be used by men to establish their own righteousness. That brought us to the claim that Paul made in our last study: there is a completely different way to approach the problem of man's lack of righteousness before God. It is a way that was revealed by both the Law and the Prophets. It is a way that was confused by man's depraved twisting of the purpose of the Law and the Prophets into a way to establish their own righteousness. It is a way that is completely separate from the fundamental principle of Law (which is the principle of divine demand/human performance in a context of disunity). This evening we are going to look further into this "completely different way" of approaching the problem of man's lack of righteousness before God.