Counsel of Chalcedon
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Paul's View of the Law

The Apostle Paul sets before us in Romans the 3rd chapter the hope that we have because God has set forth now a righteousness that's apart from the law. That's how vs. 21 begins in our text. "But now apart from the law a righteousness of God has been manifested being witnessed by the law and the prophets." You see, if you consider nothing other than your effort and the justice of God, there is no hope for you. But Paul introduces this "but now." This is a turning point in the epistle. Paul has set forth the righteousness of God. He has shown the wrath of God because of that righteousness being revealed from heaven; He has shown that all mankind is under God's wrath because of their sinfulness, Gentiles because they suppressed the truth in unrighteousness, Jews because they had been given the oracles of God and are hypocrites, and will not live up to that great favor. All mankind comes under the judgment of God. And so if your righteousness is that which is geared to the law, you are lost. But now another kind of rightousness has been manifested. What a glorious mercy. "But now apart from the law God has manifested a righteousness being witnessed by the law and the prophets."