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.
Galatians 2:16 (NIV)
faith Three times in this verse Paul declares that salvation is only through faith in Christ and not by law. The first is general, "a man is not justified"; the second is personal, "we might be justified"; and the third is universal, "no flesh shall be justified."
justified. This basic forensic Gr. word describes a judge declaring an accused person not guilty and therefore innocent before the law. Throughout Scripture it refers to God's declaring a sinner not guilty and fully righteous before Him by imputing to him the divine righteousness of Christ and imputing the man's sin to his sinless Savior for punishment, (see notes on Rom. 3:24; Phil. 3:8, 9).
works of the law. Keeping the law is a totally unacceptable means of salvation because the root of sinfulness is in the fallenness of man's heart, not his actions. The law served as a mirror to reveal sin, not a cure for it (see notes on 3:22-24; Rom. 7:7-13; 1 Tim. 1:8-11).
MacArthur, John Jr: The MacArthur Study Bible. electronic ed. : Word Pub., 1997, c1997, S. Tit 2:11
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