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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pieper and the polemic of Scripture re. justification

Two more paragraphs from Pieper's Dogmatics


2. The polemic of Scripture against the indubitable false impregnation of works in justification.

5. The Scripture teaches not only that the justification is completely independent of works but it turns into a more abundant and sharp polemic against the introduction of the works in the justification before God calls the garments through works before God to do justice to be foolishness, they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge, the religion of the flesh, having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?; denial of Christ’s death for if 

justification were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose, with rejecting Christ and grace, You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. They say of all who want to be justified by works before God that they do not acquire justification, but rather the curse for all who rely on works of the law are under a curse, Galatians 3,10; and all the teachers, who mix works into justification, Paul twice speaks the anathema. The apostle used the characterization and proper assessment of such teacher with expressions that are our delicate to our ears and almost unbearable. He calls them in Philippians 3,2 „dogs, evildoers, those who mutilate the flesh“. The sharp expressions by the apostle, was needed at this point against the Jewish teachers of works, for some exegetes had made it a necessity. 


6. This „intense emotion expressions“ do not seem to fit the „delicate tone“, which characterizes the Epistle to the Philippians, and especially not where the apostle urges the congregation to rejoice in the Lord in the immediately preceding words. But the context is obvious. Seeing the magnificent results of the grace of God in the church at Philippi, the apostle violently erupted in holy wrath against the Judaizing heretics who threatened the whole foundation of the Christian faith and life with their doctrine of works.