Thursday, 2 February 2012

Chrysostom: The Just Shall Live By Faith

"For all have sinned, and are under the curse. However he does not say this yet, lest he should seem to lay it down of himself, but here again establishes his point by a text which concisely states both points; that no man has fulfilled the Law, (wherefore they are under the curse,) and, that Faith justifies. What then is the text? It is in the book of the prophet Habakkuk, "The just shall live by faith," (Hab. ii: 4) which not only establishes the righteousness that is of Faith, but also that there is no salvation through the Law. As no one, he says, kept the Law, but all were under the curse, on account of transgression, an easy way was provided, that from Faith, which is in itself a strong proof that no man can be justified by the Law. For the prophet says not, "The just shall live by the Law," but, "by faith".

John Chrysostom, Homily on Galatians 3


John Chrysostom said...

[From the same chapter:]

Ver. 2. “This only would I learn from you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith?”

Ye have received, [Paul] says, the Holy Spirit, ye have done many mighty works, ye have effected miracles in raising the dead, in cleansing lepers, in prophesying, in speaking with tongues,—did the Law confer this great power upon you? was it not rather Faith, seeing that, before, ye could do no such things? Is it not then the height of madness for these who have received such benefits from Faith, to abandon it, and desert back to the Law which can offer you nothing of the same kind?

Ver. 3. “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now perfected in the flesh?”

For to work miracles is spiritual, but to be circumcised is carnal. And after miracles ye have passed to circumcision, after having apprehended the truth ye have fallen back to types...

Here were men who had received the Spirit, worked miracles, become confessors, encountered a thousand perils and persecutions for Christ’s sake, and after so many achievements had fallen from grace.

Ver. 5. “He therefore that supplieth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”

Have ye been vouchsafed, he says, so great a gift, and achieved such wonders, because ye observed the Law, or because ye adhered to Faith? plainly on account of Faith.

For it was when ye obeyed Faith, he says, not the Law, that ye received the Spirit and wrought miracles.

Even the miracles done by themselves, he says, declare the power of Faith...
[Obviously, the greatest miracle of all is regeneration].

joel in ga said...

Interesting story. I've passed it along to a Christian friend who likes that genre. In decades past, I used to listen to quite a bit of heavy metal. It was of a piece with my interest in theology. Heavy topics, life and death issues addressed, a contrast to superficial pop music that is of a piece with today's contemporary Christian music.

Acroamaticus said...


For some reason your comment came through on this post. I'll copy and paste it for relevance's sake. Happy to hear you were able to share it with someone who might benefit.