(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
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Paul says this because those who hear the law are not justified unless they believe in Christ, whom the law itself has promised. This is what it means to keep the law. For how does someone who does not believe the law keep it, when he does not receive the One to whom the law bears witness? But the one who appears not to be under the law because he is uncircumcised in his flesh, if he believes in Christ, may be said to have kept the law. And he who says he is in the law, i.e., the Jew, because what is said in the law does not penetrate to his mind, is not a doer of the law but a hearer only, for he does not believe in the Christ who is written about in the law, as Philip said to Nathanael: “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote.” Commentary on Paul’s Epistles.
What benefit is it if, while listening each day, we neglect to practice what we hear? Hence I beseech you, let us be zealous in practicing those very deeds (by no other way, in fact, is it possible to be saved) so that we may also wash away our sins and be granted the Lord’s lovingkindness at his own hands, thanks to the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Well does Paul say “before God,” because if they may appear before men to be dignified and to boast of great things, before God it is quite different: only the doers of the law are justified before him…. But how is it possible for someone who has not heard to be a doer of the law? Paul insists not only that it is possible but that those who have heard it might not be doers of it.
210. After confuting the human judgment with which the Gentiles and Jews judged one another and commending God’s judgment [n. 169], the Apostle now undertakes to show that the things in which the Jews gloried do not suffice for their salvation. First, he states his position; secondly, he answers arguments against his position, in chapter 3, there [n. 246] at Then what advantage has the Jew? The Jews gloried in two things, namely, the Law and circumcision, which stemmed not from the Law but from the patriarchs, as stated in John 7(:22). First, therefore, he shows that the Jewish Law heard or accepted was not enough for salvation; secondly, he shows the same about circumcision, there [v. 25; n. 237] at Circumcision indeed. In regard to the first he does two things: first, he sets forth his position; secondly, he clarifies it, there [v. 14; n. 213] at For when Gentiles. 211. In regard to the first he sets forth two things: one by rejecting; the other by asserting. For he rejects the Jewis...