Acquittal Aside Attainable Christ Dead Death Died Effect Frustrate Gained Grace Guilt Justification Law Needlessly Nothing Nought Nullify Obtainable Purpose Righteousness Vain Void

2:21 {5} I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead {e} in vain.

(5) The second argument taken from an absurdity: if men may be justified by the Law, then it was not necessary for Christ to die.

(e) For there was no reason why he should do so.

2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God. Make void, in the Revised Version. He would do so, if he went back to the Jewish law, and trusted in it. If it gave righteousness, then the gospel was not needed, and Christ died in vain.

NOTE.--The account in this chapter of Paul's visit to Jerusalem, and of his controversy with Peter, is utterly inconsistent with the Romish doctrine of the supremacy of Peter. No Pope could or would allow a bishop or cardinal to rebuke him openly, as Paul did Peter. So, too, the reference of the controversy in Acts 15, to the apostles and elders (Ac 15:6), instead of to Peter, and the final judgment of James, which was received, contradict the Vatican system. Indeed, the doctrine of popedom is utterly inconsistent with the whole tenor of the Acts, and the Pauline Epistles. This meeting at Antioch is the last between Peter and Paul of which the New Testament gives record. Early church tradition, however, reports that they met once in Rome, where they were tried and condemned on the same day, and then parted, Peter to be crucified on the hill of the Janiculum, and Paul, the Roman citizen, to be beheaded at the Three Fountains on the Ostian Way. Could we rely upon this tradition it would seem fitting that the two greatest apostles, of the Circumcision and of the Uncircumcision, should lay down their burdens together and go side by side to report their work to their common Lord.

2:21 Meantime I do not make void - In seeking to be justified by my own works. The grace of God - The free love of God in Christ Jesus. But they do, who seek justification by the law. For if righteousness is by the law - If men might be justified by their obedience to the law, moral or ceremonial. Then Christ died in vain - Without any necessity for it, since men might have been saved without his death; might by their own obedience have been both discharged from condemnation, and entitled to eternal life.

2:20,21 Here, in his own person, the apostle describes the spiritual or hidden life of a believer. The old man is crucified, Ro 6:6, but the new man is living; sin is mortified, and grace is quickened. He has the comforts and the triumphs of grace; yet that grace is not from himself, but from another. Believers see themselves living in a state of dependence on Christ. Hence it is, that though he lives in the flesh, yet he does not live after the flesh. Those who have true faith, live by that faith; and faith fastens upon Christ's giving himself for us. He loved me, and gave himself for me. As if the apostle said, The Lord saw me fleeing from him more and more. Such wickedness, error, and ignorance were in my will and understanding, that it was not possible for me to be ransomed by any other means than by such a price. Consider well this price. Here notice the false faith of many. And their profession is accordingly; they have the form of godliness without the power of it. They think they believe the articles of faith aright, but they are deceived. For to believe in Christ crucified, is not only to believe that he was crucified, but also to believe that I am crucified with him. And this is to know Christ crucified. Hence we learn what is the nature of grace. God's grace cannot stand with man's merit. Grace is no grace unless it is freely given every way. The more simply the believer relies on Christ for every thing, the more devotedly does he walk before Him in all his ordinances and commandments. Christ lives and reigns in him, and he lives here on earth by faith in the Son of God, which works by love, causes obedience, and changes into his holy image. Thus he neither abuses the grace of God, nor makes it in vain.

Acquittal Attainable Christ Dead Died Effect Frustrate Gained Grace Guilt Justification Law Nought Nullify Purpose Righteousness Vain Void

Acquittal Attainable Christ Dead Died Effect Frustrate Gained Grace Guilt Justification Law Nought Nullify Purpose Righteousness Vain Void