This five-part study is based on a thought-provoking discussion I had a while back with a believing friend of mine (who, for the sake of anonymity, I’ll be referring to as “Frank”). As this study further demonstrates and emphasizes the differences between the ministry/administration of those heralding the evangel of the Uncircumcision (e.g., Paul, Apollos and Timothy) and that of those heralding the evangel of the Circumcision (e.g., Peter, James and John), it can be seen as a continuation of my previous study on the two evangels. My discussion with Frank touched on a number of related topics, but the primary focus of our discussion was on the subject of “justification by faith without works,” and the identity of the recipients of this particular blessing.
According to Paul, it is by believing in Christ Jesus (in accord with the truth of Paul’s evangel) that we are justified through and by the faith of Jesus Christ. The meritorious basis for our justification is thus not our own faith, but the faith of Christ. Since the “righteousness of God” that one receives when believing Paul’s evangel is based on Christ’s faith - i.e., the faith that Christ had when, in obedience to God, he laid down his life on the cross - it follows that the righteousness of God that is “reckoned” to those who believe Paul’s evangel is a perfect, absolute righteousness.