Paul the Apostle, His Life, Letters and Thought—Part Forty Two


p. 610—- Sanders notes the big difference between Gal. where there is no righteousness by the law, but here in Phil. there is such a thing 3.6,9— indeed Paul says he had a righteousness under the law, blamelessness. What really counts or matters is having the righteousness that comes by faith in Christ which involves sharing in his sufferings and becoming like him in his death. Whatever righteousness from the law was, it didn’t unite you to Christ and provide salvation and so is a fatal shortcoming. Paul doesn’t use the term old cov. In Phil. but when he says we are the circumcisions he means we have the blessings of the old covenant [or does it mean we are Israel, the people of God?].

pp. 611-12- the fault of Judaism is that it did not lead to salvation through faith in Christ and salvation thru Christ is what matters. Paul did not think righteousness by the law was bad because it made one boastful or anxious if you don’t achieve it. But how does Christ provide resurrection and new life to the convert— answer by knowing him, by having union with him. The righteousness language was inadequate to convey this. The righteousness by faith language comes from the Abraham story but Paul’s own terminology is being in Christ, being one with him.

p. 613— being one person in Christ is the grand conclusion of both Gal. 3.22-29 and Phil. 3.9-11. The terminology of righteousness by faith is not about imputed righteousness, righteousness by faith is the same as sharing in the death and res. of Christ. It is a synonym for being one in him. This is the mysticism of Paul— inner experience of Christ is the secret of Paul’s spiritual life. Christ lives in Him and he in Christ as A. Deissmann said.

p. 614— faith in Christ leads to suffering with him and so union with him in death and resurrection.

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