"We who are Jews by birth and not 'Gentile
sinners' know that a man is not justified by
observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.
So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus
that we may be justified by faith in Christ and
not by observing the law, because by observing
the law no one will be justified."
Justification by Faith
Paul establishes a contrast between Jews and
Gentiles in proving his point about
justification. Jews lived their life in an
attempt to live according to the law. In
the end they failed miserably because they were
unable to follow the law in the slightest bit.
Paul warns Gentile believers who did not
become Christians out of the Jewish system that
they can't earn their salvation. Even
though we understand that it is faith that saves
us, there is still a tendency to strive to
follow the law in an effort to earn or maintain
There are good reasons to follow the law -
our love for God, our desire to avoid the
consequences of sin, and our yearning for
holiness - but these are unrelated to our
salvation. Justification by faith means
that we do nothing to earn our salvation and no
sins can cause us to lose our salvation.
We are justified by faith and as long as we
maintain that faith in Jesus, we are saved.
Whether we can stop having faith and thus lose
salvation is an issue for another time. As
far as following the law goes, it didn't save us
and it won't keep our salvation. We are
justified by faith alone.