12 August 2009

Aquinas: Galatians 3:10

As many as are of the works of the law are under a curse. --Gal 3:10

It should be noted that the Apostle does not say, 'As many as observe the works of the Law are under a curse,' because this is false when applied to the time of the Law. He says rather: as many as are of the works of the Law, i.e., whosoever trust in the works of the Law and believe that they are made just by them are under a curse. For it is one thing to be of the works of the Law and another to observe the Law. The latter consists in fulfilling the Law, so that one who fulfills it is not under a curse. But to be of the works of the Law is to trust in them and place one's hope in them.

--Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Saint Paul's Epistle to the Galatians (trans. F. R. Larcher; Albany, NY: Magi, 1966), 79; quoted in Moises Silva, Interpreting Galatians (2d ed.; Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001), 235

We all know works of the law can't mitigate our falling short of the glory of God. But the question is deeper than that: what are you of? Not: what is your creed? What do you assent to doctrinally? But, at 7:30 p.m. in the living room with the family, what are you of? 'Do this and you will live' or 'the righteous will live by faith'? Which of those, when you or I get emotionally cut, bleeds out of us?

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