The Legal Principle in Moses

The Mosaic law itself did not originate the notion of personal obedience de novo, since it recapitulated a more fundamental creational principle of righteousness through obedience to the Creator’s covenant stipulations. Further, the Mosaic law did not introduce a new way of salvation through a covenant of works, but it did embody this principle for pedagogical and typological functions in the history of redemption. But Paul does not elaborate on these sorts of essential qualifications n Galatians 5:1-6. Rather this passage is his urgent testimony to avoid even placing one foot on the path to a righteousness based on personal law-keeping whether mixed with supposed divine grace or Christ’s mediation or not. The two are not compatible, as Paul makes abundantly clear.

S. M. Baugh, “Galatians 5:1–6 and Personal Obligation—Reflections on Paul and the Law” in The Law is Not of Faith, 279–80 (HT: Jack Miller)

Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!