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parison with the Promise. In man the Promise
presupposes faith only, and may be compared to a
testament, which could not be invalidated by a posi-
tive decree such as the Law delivered 430 years later
(Gal3 15 - 18 ). In the section of Rom. (9-11) which
deals with the rejection of Israel, he returns again
to the biblical arguments for the righteousness of
faith, which excludes justification by the Law
(ID 3 - 17 ). But the decisive proof of his contention
that the Law is incapable of justifying sinners lies
for St. Paul in the Death of Christ proclaimed in the
gospel (Gal 2 16 ' 21 ; cf. Ro 3 24 '-). It is his absolute con-
viction that, if righteousness could be secured by the
Law, then Christ died for nought ( v. 21 ; cf. Ro lO 3 *-).
Nor is the synthesis of the two kinds of righteous-
ness a possible conception. The Law is no more
based upon faith (Gal 3 12 ) than the grace of Jesus
Christ (Ro 5 15 ) is based upon works (Ro II 6 : ' if by
grace, then no more of works ; otherwise, grace is
no more grace').

How does it come about, then, that the ab-
stractly possible righteousness by the works of the
Law (Ro 2 13 ) is impossible in the sphere of actual-
ity? Or, otherwise, why is man incapable of ful-
filling the Law ? The answer is given in the
Apostle's idea of the carnal constitution of man,
which is antagonistic to the spiritual character of
the Law (7 14 ). Man, by reason of his carnal nature,
is sold into the servitude of sin, for the mind of
the flesh is hostile to God, and cannot become
subject to His (spiritual) Law. No doubt the Law


of God includes commandments which, because of
their external character, may quite well be obeyed
by the ' flesh ' (Gal 3 s ; cf. 4 10 ), but its most distinct-
ive requirement, the law of love, is repugnant to
the flesh. For with St. Paul the term ' flesh ' (ffdp)
is by no means restricted to the sensuous corporeal
aspect of human nature as if the principle of sin
were rooted in man's physical constitution (cf. Gal
5 12ff -) ; on the contrary, the flesh penetrates even
to his inmost soul, so that we may speak also of
a ' mind of the flesh ' (Col 2 18 ). The ' works of the
flesh,' accordingly, embrace not only sins of
sensuality, but also sins of the selfish will (Gal
5 19 ' 21 ), and hence, in a passage immediately pre-
ceding this, St. Paul contrasts brotherly love with
the misxise of liberty as an occasion to the flesh
(5 13f -). Even in the regenerate man, the Christian,
the flesh maintains its power so persistently (5 16 " 24 )
that he cannot conquer sin by the Law, but can
triumph over it only by the Spirit of God (Ro
7 14 -8 13 ).

If, however, the Law does not bring salvation to
man, and was not designed to do so, what is its
real function ? The most comprehensive answer to
this question is given in Ro 3- 0b : 'through the
law comes the knowledge of sin.' The answer is
defined more concretely in a number of kindred
statements (cf. 4 15 5-' M 7 6 ' 7ff -, 1 Co 15 s6 , Gal
3 19 ). The Law not only serves to make sin known
as sin, and to condemn the sins of men, but it re-
solves ill-doing into aggravated sin, giving it the
character of trespass against the commandments
of God : ' where there is no law, neither is there
transgression ' (Ro 4 15 ), ' and therefore sin is not
imputed' (5 13 ). But the actual operation of the
Law in thus resolving sin into positive transgres-
sion and guilt must, according to the teleology of
the Apostle, have been the Divine purpose of the
Law (Gal 3 19 : TUV irapapdo-euv x&P lv > ' ln order to
bring forth the conscious transgressions as such ' ;
cf. Ro 5 20 : ' that the Fall might be increased ' ;
7 13 : ' that sin might be shown to be sin ').

Thus the Law produces a qualitative intensifica-
tion of sin : sin becomes guilt. The evil done by
those who have not the Law is relatively blameless.
But the Law, which invests sin with the character of
guilt, evokes wrath, i.e. in God (Ro 4 16 ). Sin, how-
ever, is not only qualitatively intensified, but also
q uantitati vely increased, by the Law. For, accord-
ing to Ro 7 5 j the Law tends to rouse the slumber-
ing power of sin, which then breaks out in all kinds
of appetites and passions. Just as an innocent
youth, who has, say, listened to some explanation
of sexual matters, may thus be wrought upon by
sinful inclinations hitherto unfelt, so the Apostle s
idea would seem to have been something of this
kind the as yet relatively blameless man is brought
under the influence of evil desires by the Law's
very prohibition of such desires. This in no sense,
however, proves that the Law is sinful, but simply
shows the awful power of the sin that dwells in the
flesh ; for man's conscience, his better self, agrees
with the Law, and cannot but attest its holiness
(cf. 79- 7-i3. 16. 22) Here the Apostle is probably
not thinking of an outward multiplication of sins ;
he rather assumes, indeed, that generally the Jews
live on a higher moral level than the heathen
(Gal2 15 ; cf. Ph3 6 ), and his idea is in all likelihood
that of an inward development in the shape of sins
of thought.

The Law, in thus aggravating the power of sin
both qualitatively and quantitatively, brings man
into a state of deeper misery than he ever experi-
enced while still without the Law ; it works in
him the apprehension of God's wrath and curse
(Ro 4 15 , Gal 3 10 ), and of death (Ro 7 10 - 24 , 2 Co 3 6 ' 9 ,
1 Co 15 56 ), and yet at the same time the most pro-
found yearning for salvation.
VOL. I. 44



It is true that death, as a result of Adam's sin,
reigned over mankind even before the Law (Ro 5 14 ,
1 Co 15 21t ). Even so, however, the individual
could live in relative unconcern (Ro 5 13 7 9 ) ; the
Law written in his heart asserted itself but feebly.
Accordingly, when God determined to institute
salvation for the race of man, and chose a people
as its depositary, He began by giving to Abraham,
the father of that people, simply the Promise, the
condition of which was faith alone ; subsequently,
however, He added the Law, not indeed with the
design of laying down a new condition co-ordinate
with, or as a substitute for, faith, but rather, as it
were, for the purpose of keeping His people in
ward and custody, the Law acting as a stimulus to
the power and guilt of sin in such wise as to exclude
every hope except that of justification by faith
in Christ as the medium of salvation (Gal 3 6 - ^
Ro 4 13ff - ). Had Christ appeared without the pre-
vious intervention of the Law, the misery of man
would not have been so great ; but also the glory
of Divine grace would have been less transcendent
(Ro 5 1 -). In the historical outworking of redemp-
tion, therefore, the Law had merely a pedagogic
function ; it was our moral guardian (irat.daywy6s)
until Christ came, so that we might be justified
through faith, and through faith alone (Gal S 23 ' 25 ).

(c) The abolition of the Law. If the function
of the Law was, as we have just seen, merely
pedagogic, it must also have been but temporary.
' Now that faith [or its object, Jesus Christ] is
come, we are no longer under a tutor ' (Gal S 25 ; cf .
4 1 " 7 ) ; ' Christ is the end of the law unto righteous-
ness to every one that believeth ' (Ro 10 4 ). In
Eph 2 15 St. Paul asserts that Christ has actually
abolished the law of commandments contained in
ordinances ; and, objectively, the Law, as a statu-
tory system, was abrogated when Christ made
satisfaction to it by His Death, or, as the Apostle
puts it, bore its curse (Gal 4 4 3 13 ; cf. Col 2 14 ). But
this is not to be understood in the sense that from
the time of Christ's Death every man, every Jew,
is absolved from the Law ; subjectively, the in-
dividual is freed from its dominion only when he
becomes a Christian, and is united to Christ by
faith and baptism, so as personally to appropriate
His Death and Resurrection. Just as Christ Him-
self was released from the Law's domain only
through His Death on the Cross, in order that, as
the Risen One, He might thereafter live a new life
in immediate union with God, so His followers are
loosed from the Law only through their communion
with their Crucified and Glorified Lord (Ro 7 1 " 6 ,
Gal 2 19f -). This is to be taken, first of all, in a
legal sense : ' the law hath dominion over a man
as long as he lives.' Just as, when a husband dies,
a wife is loosed from the law which bound her
to him, and may marry another, so, when Christ
died, His community became exempt from the Law,
and was free to yield itself to another, viz. the risen
Christ (Ro 7 1 " 4 ). Once the curse of the Law, which
is death, has been carried out upon the transgressors
of the Law, the Law can demand no more ; we are
then redeemed not only from its penalty, but also
from its obligation (Gal 3 13 4 4 '-). It is true that
many interpreters refer this exemption from obliga-
tion not to Christ's passive but to His active obedi-
ence to the Law an interpretation that may be
right in so far as His active obedience was the pre-
condition of the propitiatory significance of His
passive obedience. But, taken all in all, the
Apostle's view is that we have been made free
from the Law by Christ's Death (cf. also Gal 2 19f -,

Co l 2 14.20 j E p h 2 1).

St. Paul, however, goes far beyond this purely
juridical conception. He also represents our deliver-
ance from the Law as a transaction ethically con-
ditioned. From the mystical union with the




Crucified and Risen Lord comes a power which
transforms and re-creates our nature, and thus
enables us of ourselves to fulfil the requirements
of the Law (Ro 8 2ff -, Gal 5 18 ; cf. v. 23 ). The Apostle
traces this power to the Spirit of God and of Christ :
' if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under the
law ' (Gal 5 18 ) ; against such as bring forth the
fruits of the Spirit the Law is not valid (v. 23 ) ; the
Law is not imposed upon a righteous man (1 Ti I 9 ).
Thus freedom from the Law is in no sense a merely
legal freedom ; it is an ethical freedom which is
quite different from mere arbitrary choice, and
implies that we fulfil the demands of the Law not
through compulsion or fear, but in zeal and love
(cf. Ro 8 1 "-, 2 Co 3 17 H Hence the Christian is not
free in the sense of being his own master ; on the
contrary, he is subject to the Lord Jesus and God
(Ro 14 7 ' 9 ), but serves Him from the dictates of the
inmost heart, having yielded himself with consum-
ing gratitude and love to the Saviour who died for
him (2 Co 5 14f -).

(d) The Law abolished yet continuing in force.
St. Paul thus teaches that the Law is abolished,
and that nevertheless it abides. It is abolished
by Christ in the sense that it has no longer any
validity for the Christian as a statutory system ;
justification is effected through faith alone, and
without the works of the Law (Ro 3 28 , Gal 2 18 ).
This holds both for Jews and for Gentiles
(Ro I 16f - 3 21f> ); here there is no difference between
them. The place of the Law is now taken by
Christ (Ro 10 4 ). Everything turns upon our union
with Him, and works are not to the purpose ; in
other words, all depends upon faith, which is simply
the acceptance of the gospel, or of Christ, and the
invocation of His name (Ro 10 5 ' 17 ). In particular,
the ordinances which had hitherto obstructed
religious intercourse between different peoples, as
Israelites and Goyim, had all been done away in
Christ (Eph 2 11 - 22 ; cf. Gal S 28 , Col 3 11 ). In Him
circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision noth-
ing (Gal 5 6 6 16 , 1 Co 7 19 ). Hence St. Paul, a Jew,
can become as a Gentile to the Gentiles (1 Co 9 21 ),
just as St. Peter and other Jewish Christians had
done in Antioch (Gal 2 12 ' 14 ). In the religious sense,
i.e. as regards salvation, the Jewish Christians too
were now free from the Law.

On the other hand, however, the Apostle also
affirms the permanence of the Law. The impera-
tive of the Law remains valid not only because
it still retains its juridical authority over non-
believers, but also because it furnishes the ethical
standard of the Christian life generally, and of the
religious life of Jewish Christians in a special degree.
Thus the idea of a ' tertius usus legis,' of which the
Reformers spoke, corresponds exactly to the Pauline
view. Not only does St. Paul regard the all-
embracing requirement of the Law the command-
ment of love as a permanent expression of the
Divine will (Ro 13 8 ' 10 , Gal 5 14 ), but he also borrows
moral precepts and rules of discipline from the
Mosaic legislation (see art. COMMANDMENT). He
is confident, no doubt, that the Spirit supplies not
only moral power but also moral insight (Gal 5 16 ;
cf. Ro 12 2 ) ; but the Spirit does not operate only in
the individual soul, but operates also, and mainly,
through prophecy and through the written Law,
which indeed is spiritual (Ro 7 14 ), and must there-
fore be spiritually understood (cf. e.g. 1 Co 9 8 " 10 ).

Here we undoubtedly light upon a difficulty in
the Pauline view. On the one hand, the Apostle
incisively challenges the Judaistic claim to impose
the ordinances of the Law upon the Gentiles, while,
on the other, he upholds the authority of the Law
under the term ' Scripture.' The latter contention
might readily lead to a new kind of legalism, and
lias frequently in some measure done so. St. Paul
himself, however, rejected this inference, and even

suggested a rule for the spiritual application of the
Law, viz. in his doctrine of the Law as having a
typological or allegorical significance for Chris-
tianity ; cf. Col 2 16 '-, where he says that the ordin-
ances relating to foods, feast-days, etc., are only
prefiguring shadows of the reality, which is Christ,
just as the circumcision of the flesh has found its
true fulfilment in Christian baptism (v. 11 * 1 ).

In connexion with this problem we must also
consider the peculiar relation of the Jewish Chris-
tians to the Law. According both to Acts and to
the Pauline Epistles, the Apostle maintained that
the Law had a peculiar binding force upon Chris-
tians belonging to the race of Israel. As regards
Acts, we need refer only to 21 21 - 26 16 s 18 18 . When
St. James spoke to St. Paul of the rumour that he
taught the Diaspora to forsake Moses, St. Paul
promptly gave the required practical evidence for
the falsity of the report, and for his own allegiance
to the Law (21 21ff> ). He even circumcised Timothy,
a semi-Gentile (16 3 ). According to his own
Epistles, again, he was to the Jews as a Jew
( 1 Co 9 19 ), and he counsels the Jewish members of the
Church in Corinth not to undo their circumcision
(7 18 ), since every man should remain in the condition
in which he was called (v. 2u ). In Gal 5 s he solemnly
declares that every one who receives circumcision
is under obligation to keep the whole Law an
assertion designed to traverse the foolish idea
which the Judaizers had tried to insinuate into
the minds of the Galatians, viz. that circumcision
was a matter of no great importance. This
declaration, no doubt, was made from the stand-
point of those who believed that justification was
to be obtained by the works of the Law. At all
events, where higher issues are at stake, the
Apostle assumes that he is absolved from the
strict letter of the Law, as, e.g., for the sake of
brotherly intercourse with the Gentile Christians
(cf. 1 Co 9 21 with Gal 2 12 ' 14 ). There is another
fact that points in the same direction. In Ro 11
St. Paul asserts that the Chosen People are to
occupy a permanently distinct position in the
Divine process of history. But the persistence of
the distinctively religious character of Israel would
seem to involve their permanent retention of
circumcision and the Law.* How such segregation
is to be effected and maintained in mixed com-
munities without violating full religious fellowship
is a problem with which missions to the Jews are
still greatly concerned ; cf., e.g., the relation be-
tween the Sabbath and Sunday. But it is implied
in the whole tenor of Pauline teaching that in
such conflicts the principle of freedom shall in the
last resort prevail. For, as has already been said,
all the commandments are comprehended in the
law of love, and rites and ceremonies, such as
circumcision, purifications, and observance of the
Sabbath, are but shadows of the reality that we
have in Christ. In relation to God circumcision is
in itself of no value. Hence, when St. Paul as-
serts that it is the doers of the Law who will be
declared righteous in the Day of Judgment (Ro 2 13 ),
he is thinking, as the context shows, not of an
external obedience, a performance of the law 'in
the flesh,' but of a circumcision of the heart and of
a moral righteousness (cf. 2 14f - 25 - 29 ).

(e) Survey. When we survey the Pauline
doctrine of the Law as a whole, we see that it is
quite wrong to attribute to the Apostle any form
of antinomianism. Of the operation and purpose
of the Law he doubtless uses language which could
not but have a decidedly antinomian sound to the
ears of a Jewish Christian. When he speaks of
the Law as a power that stimulates sin and brings
about death, and of the ministration mediated by

* Cf. on this point generally, A. Harnaok, Neue Untersuch-
ungen zur Apostelgeschichte, Leipzig, 1911, p. 21 S.




Moses as a ministration of condemnation (2 Co
3 6 " 11 ), one involuntarily asks how such utterances
can be reconciled with the praise of, and the
delight in, the Law which we find, e.g., in the
Psalms (cf. Ps 19**. 499 119 passim). And how
does his description of the period between Moses
and Christ as a time during which there was no
faith and the people groaned under the yoke of the
Law (Gal 3 19 ' 25 ) harmonize with the OT ?

As regards the latter question, the Apostle does
not of course mean to deny that faith was a power
among God's people after Moses as well as before
him. He is quite assured that, besides the Mosaic
legislation, Israel had also the adoption, the cove-
nants, the Temple service, and the promises (Ro 9 4 ),
that it was the people of hope (Eph 2 12 ), and that
in a sense Christ was with it (1 Co 10 4 - 9 ), just as
in the wilderness wanderings the people received
prototypes of the Christian sacraments (vv. 2 " 4 ), and
in their sacrificial worship prototypes of the sacri-
fice of Christ (5 7 ; cf . Eph 5 2 ). As a matter of fact,
St. Paul saw in the OT dispensation in general, as
recorded in the Scriptures, a typical prefiguration
of the NT dispensation (cf. 1 Co lO 6 - 1 *, Ro 15 4 , Col
2 17 ). And, although he speaks of the NT salvation
in its universal application as having been a Divine
mystery until its manifestation in Jesus Christ
(Ro 16 2 *'-, Eph I 9 3 s - 9 , Col I 26 ), yet he regards it as
having been foreshown in the prophetic writings
(Ro I 2 3 21 16 26 ). Hence the people of the Law can-
not have been wholly without faith, and thus what
St. Paul means in Gal S 23 is simply that Christian
faith as the one exclusive principle of righteousness
was not revealed until Christ came.

In the OT, doubtless, the supreme principle was
the Law. Yet the Law did not operate in a
vacuum ; devout Israelites always saw it against
the background of grace. Every expression of
delight in the Law presupposes faith in the
gracious and merciful God who ' passes over trans-
gression.' Moreover, the Law was not as yet
recognized in all its depth and rigour ; in reality,
the people lived in a spiritual environment of
mingled Law and grace. Such a state of matters,
however, could not be permanently borne. The
two elements necessarily tended to disengage and
separate themselves from each other. In Pharisaic
Judaism the principle of the Law moved ever
further apart from tne principle of grace, and the
Law itself came to be regarded more and more as
a legal contract by which performance and recom-
pense were rigidly adjusted to each other. The
religious untenability of such a position could
remain unrecognized only so long as the Law was
understood in a purely external sense. But as
soon as it came to be interpreted in that profound
inner sense which Jesus indicated, it necessarily
became obvious that legalism could only lead to
despair, and that there could be no other principle
of salvation than grace. The Judaizers, the op-
ponents of St. Paul who started from Pharisaism,
were legalists in their way of thought, conceiving
of grace and faith as in a proper sense merely
supplementary to an imperfect fulfilment of the
Law ; in other words, they regarded Christianity
as only a perfected Judaism. St. Paul, on the other
hand, although his starting-point too was Pharisaic
legalism, combined therewith that inward inter-
pretation of the Law which Jesus had instituted,
and saw that the question at issue was not that of
a synthesis of Law and faith, but simply that of a
choice between the two, i.e. between Judaism as
a religion of Law and Christianity as the religion
of grace. If we are to estimate aright his utter-
ances regarding the function of the Law, \ve must
always bear in mind that they have a polemical
setting, and that he is speaking of the Mosaic
legislation and the Old Covenant not in their

historical conditions, but in their character as
principles. This explains the apparent bias of his
statements regarding the Law.

Taken as a whole, however, St. Paul's doctrine
of the Law does not issue from a belief that the
miserable state of mankind is due to the Law in
itself, and that accordingly God had abolished the
Law, and set grace in its stead. The Apostle's
view is rather that human wretchedness arises
from the sinful flesh, and from the Law only in so
far as it is made impotent by the flesh (Ro 8 s ),
and so intensifies the misery of sin. Thus the
work of Christ was to dissolve the immemorial
connexion between these two powers law and sin
on the one side, and man on the other. But
what the work of Christ is in the last resort de-
signed to secure is that the ideal demand of the
Law shall be fulfilled (Ro 8 4 ). The essential
purport of the Pauline doctrine has been aptly
expressed by Augustine in the words : ' The Law
is given that Grace may be sought ; Grace is given
that the Law may be fulfilled.'

5. The Law in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
Paulinism was fully vindicated by the historical
development that took place on the soil of Judaism.
Not only did the Jews of the Diaspora harden
their hearts more and more against the Pauline
Christian mission, but those resident in Palestine,
notwithstanding the conservative attitude of the
mother Church towards the Law, became ever the
more hostile to Christianity. In the sixth decade
of the 1st cent, the antagonism developed into
open persecution, and James the Just fell a victim
to it. The Christians in Jerusalem, and in Palestine
generally, were thus brought to a point where they
had to choose between their aftection for their
fathers' religion and their confession of Jesus ; in
particular, their connexion with the fellowship of
the synagogue and their participation in the
Temple service were involved, and these at last
could be retained only at the price of their cursing
the name of Jesus. Such is obviously the situa-
tion presupposed in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
In the opinion of the present writer, this Epistle
can have been addressed only to Jewish Christians
in Palestine who were tempted by their passionate
attachment to their old religion to apostatize from
Christ. The author of the Epistle will therefore
exhibit the pre-eminence of the NT revelation and
the NT priesthood. The essential core of the
Epistle is its portrayal of Jesus as the Melchizedek
high priest. Inasmuch as such a high priest has
been installed, the old legal priesthood the
Aaronic is eo ipso brought to an end. But, if
the priesthood is changed, the change must neces-
sarily also affect the Law (He 7 U ). The ancient
commandment is annulled because of its weak and
unprofitable character 'for the law made nothing

Eerfect ' (o68iv tTeXetaxrev, v. 19 ). Hebrews no doubt
>oks at the Mosaic Law mainly under the aspect
of the priestly and sacrificial legislation, but its
view comes to embrace the Old Covenant as a
whole (8), in the place of which, as foretold by
Jeremiah, God has instituted a New Covenant,
writing His law upon the minds and hearts of men,
entering into immediate fellowship with them,
and forgiving their sins (8 7 ' 13 10 16 ). The weakness
of the Old Covenant really lay in the external
nature of its institutions. Its oblations were

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