How the Bible Teaches that Righteousness Has Always Been By Faith Apart From Works
Righteousness Has Always Been by Faith Apart from Works
Righteousness is often associated with both faith and works not only for Christians in the present time but especially when people consider the Old Testament. Because the Old Testament saints offered sacrifices and eventually had the law, it is often assumed that justification at one time was a matter of both faith and works. However, according to the Old Testament, righteousness has always been by faith apart from works. The Apostle Paul emphasizes this point in his letters to the Galatians and Romans, citing examples of Old Testament figures who were justified by faith alone, such as Abraham and David. Paul also explains that justification and imputed righteousness come through faith, regardless of whether one is under the Law or not. This truth applies to both the age of the body of Christ and the Patriarchs and fathers, as evidenced by the examples given in Romans 4:23-25. Ultimately, it is faith in Christ that secures right standing with God, never a mix of faith and works. Paul teaches that if righteousness could ever have come through works, Christ died in vain (Gal 2:22).
Examples of Old Testament Figures Justified by Faith
In Romans 4:3 and Galatians 3:6, Paul cites Abraham as an example of someone who was justified by faith alone. Genesis 15:6 (KJV) states that “And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” David is another example, as Psalm 32:1-2 (KJV) reads, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity.” Paul mentions both of these examples in Romans 4:6-8 as evidence that righteousness comes through faith, not works.
Justification and Imputed Righteousness Through Faith
According to Paul, justification and imputed righteousness come through faith, whether one is under the Law or not. In Romans 4:9-12, Paul argues that Abraham was justified by faith before the Law was given. And in Galatians 3:10-14, Paul explains that those who are under the Law are cursed if they do not keep it perfectly, but Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us. Therefore, we are justified by faith in Christ, not by keeping the Law.
Keywords: righteousness, faith, works, Old Testament, justification, imputed righteousness, Apostle Paul, Galatians, Romans 4, Patriarchs.
I. Righteousness has always been by faith apart from works
A. Examples of Old Testament figures justified by faith (Romans 4:3, 22; Galatians 3:6)
- Abraham (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3)
- David (Psalm 32:1-2; Romans 4:6-8)
B. Justification and imputed righteousness through faith, apart from works
- Before the Law (Romans 4:9-12)
- Under the Law (Galatians 3:10-14)
C. True for both the age of the body of Christ and the Patriarchs and fathers (Romans 4:23-25)
- How to Know from the Scriptures that the Patriarchs were Justified by Faith
- How Righteousness has Always Been by Faith Apart from Works, Even in the Old Testament
- How Did the Command “Thou Shalt Not Covet” Slay Paul?
- How the Gospel Reveals the Righteousness of God
- How Was the Gospel Known to People Like Abraham and Abel?