Paul Disagrees With You

Ergōn Nomos, “works of the law”, has nothing to do with earning your way to Heaven.

Paul and those in Jerusalem weren’t at all arguing about whether believing “Holy Creeds” or doing “Holy Creeds” earn you salvation! James, Peter, and John were demanding that one must become a Jew in order to be Christian. Paul argued that no creed, no tradition, no doctrine, no belief lead to salvation. Torah isn’t salvation. Torah was Jewish identity. Christ is the Christian’s.

The idea that we’re saved either by beliefs or by works — which are identical anyway! — is from very poor Protestant exegesis, of which they have a horridly long tradition.

Salvation, says Paul, is happening to everyone, especially to those who believe. To act toward the good is belief. To be drawn to the good is faith. To perceive goodness is grace. Salvation is by grace through faith for all who believe. To believe in Christ is to believe he is the revelation of the fullness of humanity that’s possible for us all, and that he shows us exactly what God thinks of us and what God is like.

That’s it. And as the Jewish Rabbi Hillel said, “The rest is commentary”. Something to think about.

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