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Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by Blueridge Believer, Feb 13, 2008.
Sorry, Jim, I cross posted you. We were on the same wavelength.
No confusion, as we answer many inquieries, "It does not mean what it says"
Jacob, how does this answer my question regarding the first 6 verses of Romans 7? I do not fully understand the W Lee post by JM. I will repeat again:
Tell me what the apostle means in the first six verses of Romans 7, where he says that the believer is dead to the law, and free from the law; and let me know how that law can be his rule, when he is as dead to it, and as free from it, as a woman is from her husband when she has buried him. Is the woman still bound in ANY way to the dead husband as her rule of life? I believe she is not
The woman is able to remarry, but is she still bound to the first marriage, or is her first marraige to be the rule of her new life? Scripture says no, so why would Paul be inspired to use this analogy?
he is free from the curse of the law. He is free from the guilt that the law brings. He is certainly not free to sleep with whatever woman he wants to (as Paul's exhortations of the law in 1 Tim. 1:8)
One cannot divorce (no pun intended) the first 6 verses of Romans 7 from the rest:
Rom 7:12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
Rom 7:13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.
Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being,
Rom 7:23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.
Rom 7:24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
Rom 7:25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
One can and must at times Chris, or else we end up with contradicting statements. ROmans 7; 1-6 can stand on its own..And does quite well. The verses you posted say nothing about Law binding the NC believer and ruling his life. Again this still does not come close to answering my question. Please tell me someone can do better than this.
We make distinctions at times; we never make divorces. If we do, then we do have contradictions.
And I fear we are speaking past one another--and I just saw where. You wrote:
I will admit that in previous posts, if they were read, I may have equivocated on the term "binds." However, no one here is saying that the law rules the believer. We, with Luther and Proverbs, and Psalm 1, say the law is a good guide to the righteous.
I do not ask the following question in a spirit of anything other than clarification: do you adhere to the Reformed confessions on the law of God, particularly the moral law as summarized in the ten commandments? If so, then the rest of this thread is easy.
So what curse is the woman free from regarding her dead husband. Again this answer is true, but not regarding my question still.
I am asking, what does it mean to be binding and the rule of life. You answer: he is free from the curse of the law. He is free from the guilt that the law brings. A tertullian said correctly, "What does jerusalem have to do with Athens" WHat does your answer have to do with my question and Pauls statement in Romans 7;1-6?
I said nothing about sleeping with whomever she wants Jacob, I do not know why you even said this.
2For(A) a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. 3Accordingly,(B) she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.
4Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.
1) to render idle, unemployed, inactivate, inoperative
a) to cause a person or thing to have no further efficiency
b) to deprive of force, influence, power
2) to cause to cease, put an end to, do away with, annul, abolish
a) to cease, to pass away, be done away
b) to be severed from, separated from, discharged from, loosed from any one
c) to terminate all intercourse with one
There is nothing that could be more clear in what Paul has stated. One cannot even force one of the definitions of katargeō mean anything but. And there is n way that the Spirit would have implied that only the curse or guilt is to be understood.
the THEOLOGICAL DICTIONARY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT we are told that the word [katargeo] means (a.) "to condemn to inactivity" (b.) to destroy (c.) "to remove from the sphere of activity" (d.) religiously = "to make completelyinoperative."
Some other places where this word is used in our Bibles:
Death is to be ''abolished" [katargeo], in 2 Timothy 1:10 and 1 Corinthians 15:26. We have been "discharged" [katargeo] from the law (Romans 7:6). The Old Law, itself, was "done away" [katargeo] in Christ, (2 Corinthians 3:14) and by Christ (Ephesians 2:15). It could still be read in Paul's day as well as ours. no longer in force! In the same way, when "that which is perfect comes," the need and purpose for the gifts of prophecy and knowledge would be gone; when the divine revelation was complete, these gifts would stop via inactivity.
[Katargeo], then indicates coming to an abrupt end when the need has expired.Prophecies and knowledge would be "done away with" in the same way that sacrifices of the Old Law were "done away with." Paul said, in Ephesians 2:14-15, "For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one, and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing [katargeo] in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace...."
Concerning Rom. 7:1-6, it should be noted that the apostle's marriage/death/remarriage illustration of verses 1-3 required him to say in verse 4 that the law is dead. But this he would not say. Why? Because then he would be teaching the law has no influence on the believer's life whatsoever. This would contradict his own conviction that he delights in the law of God inwardly. So what does he say instead? That the believer is dead to the law. It is obvious from the tenor of his argument that the apostle was only referring to the law as a covenant bond (marriage). The believer is now in covenant with Christ, not with the law. And yet even upon making this general statement he immediately clarifies that the purpose of this new relationship is so that the believer "should bring forth FRUIT unto God;" and further, "that we should SERVE in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." The believer is still bound by moral obligation; but the obligation now arises from his union to Christ, not to the law.
This appears to be a big leap Matthew. Is Paul stating that the fruit is from the tree of Law? And this serving is serving Law? I just wish the Holy Spirit could have inspired Paul as clear as you can.
Example of how I understand this: "that we should SERVE in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter." We should be led by the Spirit, not the Law which is the 'oldness of the letter.
Your opinion does not address katargeō in the plain clear meaning of the word
OK, but I have heard it said it is the believers rule of life. Regardless of the semantics, how does it guide us? I know it guides one to Christ, that is the proposed 2nd use, I know it condemns us, the proposed 1st use, but what is different between 2 and 3?
Jacob, I am probably wrong anyway, but that does not push me to have faith by proxy. Yes I agree the ML is the 10 words. But what again does that have to do with my question
Your statement -- "I just wish the Holy Spirit could have inspired Paul as clear as you can" -- is uncalled for. I'm offering interpretation and made no claim to inspiration. Your rhetoric is a disgrace.
Your understanding of "spirit" is unproven. You simply assume it is something antithetical to law. The very fact that the apostle contrasts "spirit" with "letter" shows that he has in mind a certain "bearing" of the law and not the nature of law itself. The rest of the chapter clearly expresses the virtues of the law, and limits the weakness of the law to the sinner's own carnality. The Holy Spirit deals with the carnality so that the believer can serve in newness of spirit.
Finally, I have no difficulty with the meaning of "katargein" as provided. Whether it means "delivered," "released," or "discharged" amounts to the same thing. The issue is, what is the believer released from? And it is clear from the context he is released from his obligations to the law as a covenant bond, which is what marriage is.
This is no leap at all. You had better be careful here. Rev. Winzer simply stated Confessional orthodoxy on this very point. Your sarcasm is neither warranted nor appropriate for this board.
Being "led by the Spirit" does not mean some sort of gnostic impulse. You err in assuming that the phrase implies that the believer is now somehow freed from the very Word where he would hope to be led. What else is he supposed to turn to at this point to determine what pleases his Father?
Look, it's sort of like this. The flesh under the Law will only be able to see "Don't commit adultery..." and ask: "OK, got it, tell me the exact things that I can't do so I'll fulfull that goal." The man united to Christ is intended to look at the same command, meditate on it, and ask in what ways God is teaching us about His view of fidelity, honoring the marriage bed, putting to death our desires to objectify women, etc. It is a completely different inclination. The desire is to learn to love these things as our hearts and minds are conformed to them. They are not the basis of salvation but mortification of contrary desires and the increasing love of God are the outworking of our justification.
You cannot simply state: "Paul said we're led by the Spirit..." and make it seem like that answers the question as to what the Scriptures say that implies. It does not imply, as the moralists believe, that a man begins in the Spirit and then uses the Law to maintain favor with God because now we have strength to earn that favor so don't kill that strength and lose your blessing. Neither does it mean, however, that a believer is given a "the Spirit and me" gnosis that catapults him into all spiritual discernment without any reference to what God has revealed of Himself in the Law.
In response to the original OP, "Is this antinomian?", and having read the quotes given by JM, my opinion is that it is not necessarily antinomian. For, I understand antinomian to mean a lessening of the standard of righteousness, or a moving of its measuring stick to a lower level, and I don't conclude that the man is necessarily doing that. The author does not seem to be lessening the standard of perfection to some subordinate level. He is not saying adultry is acceptable, or murder, or idol worship, etc...
The main argument is over what he calls "law". Is the law or standard of God supposed to be found in the law of Moses, or in the principles behind the law of Moses? Is the standard to be the underlying characteristics of God himself that the law of Moses was built upon, or the law of Moses itself? He would tend to assert that the law of Moses did not exist but in principle, up until Sinai, that some underlying principle or rule of behavior has existed ever since the creation of man, for man was not created to be lawless or to have no standard of conduct to live by, and the underlying principle itself is God, and he is eternal. And, he would tend to say that the law of Moses was specifically given to govern a nation type of setting.
So, the author of these statements seems to be saying that we are no longer under the law of Moses, yet we are always to be governed by the underlying principles and standards that the law of Moses was built upon, as they will always be eternal, because the God whom they reflect is himself eternal. So, although he may not be confessional to the strict letter of the confession in this area, I wouldn't classify him as antinomian. For, I think "antinomian" ought to be a title reserved for those who create a standard of morality less then the standard of God himself. Luther himself was accused of antinomianism for the same reason, as he saw the law of Moses as temporary, yet the underlying principles as eternal.
I guess an example that the author might agree with is the idea of a schoolhouse. A student in the 3rd grade is under the rules of the 3rd grade teacher, who governed his class exactly the way the the principal instructed him to. Months later, the boy is released to be taught directly by the principal himself in a one-on-one setting in the principal's home after school. The principal used the same underlying principles of those rules he gave to the 3rd grade teacher, to govern his own instruction of the student in his home after school. Yet, for the 3rd grade teacher, the rules that he governed his class by appeared slightly different, due to the setting that he was in. It would be improper for the student to now act according to rules that were designed to govern a classroom full of students, while he is being instructed in a one-on-one setting in the principal's house.
So, I think the author would agree that the principle's underlying Moses' law remain the same, yet the actual rules in Moses' law were specific for the setting of governing a nation. When I read the writings of Luther and others like him, it helps me to put it in this perspective.
The active obedience of Christ
I would like to jump in here in reference to the last two sentences in Matthews post as I believe them to contain much of the solution to what has been discussed in this thread.
Earlier Matthew had posted the whole of romans 10:4 Christ is the end of the law for righteousness ,to everyone that believeth.
The very gospel itself has to do with the obedience of the Servant of the Lord magnifying the law
As the mediator of God's elect he even submitted to John's baptism on behalf of those given to Him.
As Rich posted earlier the law is the schoolmaster to lead us to Christ Gal 3:24. We are saved by His active obedience in law keeping and then taking the penalty of the broken law in our place.
This is the whole basis of the gospel without which there cannot be imputed righteousness. His sinless person and law keeping as propitiation .
The law as the avenger of blood has no claim on His elect any longer as His Holy life is our city of refuge.
In the New Covenant what is put into our hearts by the Spirit?
We must all learn to be careful with some of our trusted guides[pastors/teachers]
Even the best and godliest have areas of doctrine that they did not see clearly on, or were not given as much wisdom or understanding as they had on other areas.
Unless someone is going to defend the pope's infallibility in matters of faith and practice. Sometimes it is almost refreshing to pick up a book and see something in it that we do not fully agree on.
Ocasionally I have noticed that we do not seem to agree on everything in here also
The 2Cor 3 reference has to do with the "dead letter" in the sense that it could not give life, as the Spirit does. I hate when charasmatics say the word of God is a "dead letter".
Maybe Don Fortner has other strong areas, and how he is trying to explain this area of sanctification is not as clear as it could be.
I am enjoying all the imput on this thread however,and find it useful
I actually was not being sarcastic Rich, apologies if it seems so. I was serious that MAtthew has an understanding that is quick for him to speak. Whereas I am struggling to see it from Pauls words.
I know noone here is saying we use Law to maintain favor, I NEVeR said nor implied it. All I asked is what is the 3rd use. I get,"The rule of Life" then I ask what does that mean, and I get, the curse and penalty was paid for...We start with Law to condemn us, lead us to Christ out from bondange, then supposedly get pointed back to the Law. All I am asking is for what is the reason....What is the 3rd use. And how does it become our rule once again
Exactly, and that is all this is about. No covenant, no rule. If the woman is released from the cov bond of the first marriage, then how does it still remain in any aspect for her second marraige. Does she use the first marraige for anything in her life once remarried?
Ok, now do you see why I kept asking the adultery question? Since that commandment was under the old covenant, which no longer rules over us per your above statement, then, to be logically consistent, the adultery commandment no longer rules over us.
Unless, maybe Paul does have some role for the law in the life of the believer, to guide him perhaps. THat is why he speaks so positively of the law in 1 Timothy.
OK. Roger all. Thank you for clarifying. I don't think Matthew would state that it is necessarily something that is "quickly" grasped. I don't know that it is terribly hard to understand but because Paul uses the same word Law to refer to two different aspects then it can be confusing.
Incidentally, I wasn't accusing you of stating that we maintain favor by the Law but markedly rejecting the moralist who takes away with faulty views of sanctification what is supposedly granted by faith in justification. All is the fruit of justification.
I thought I described the 3rd use fairly clearly through a number of analogies. Are my descriptions confusing?
Why was the mountain where God gave the Law to Moses so threatening to the people? God's Holy presence was there but why would that seem like utter death to the people in the wilderness? Well, for one thing, Hebrews 3-4 note that these were stiff-necked and rebellious and were mostly unbelievers. The Law is an expression of God's Holiness and, to the flesh, it is fearful, frightening, and condemning. When we finally have eyes to see it, the Law kills us in our "flesh" and causes us to fall down at Christ's feet for deliverance.
Now, I wonder aloud, there is really no indication that Moses was afraid to approach the same mountain nor was he terrified of entering into God's presence even though the reflection of his face would scare the people after being in God's presence. I'm speculating but, given what Paul says about the new birth, I wonder if Moses really "saw" the same thing as the people did as he approached the mountain. Where they saw certain death in the mountain where God's Holy presence was (the Law), Moses was not terrified to enter because his disposition was completely different than theirs.
I said this earlier, the only thing the Law can do to the unregenerate is terrify them or judge them for their sin. The only thing the unregenerate can do with the Law is ask for the minimal boundaries that they believe they can stay within and still be considered obedient. They're not looking beyond the Law to a desire for God but merely looking at it as if it is a slavemaster or something to restrict them.
The redeemed individual, however, understands that Christ has fulfilled all righteousness and removed their reproach and the condemnation of the Law. They have eyes to see now that the Law is not what they suspected it was when they were blind and dead. They don't see in it a minimal set of performance markers but as something that reflects the character of God who they love. It is pursued not for the "thou shall not" but for its end which is to guide us deeper into our understanding of the God we love for redeeming us.
I hope this helps. I keep trying to use different analogies. The important key to remember is that the Law is not really the thing that changes. It's us. This is why Paul can say on the one hand that the Law kills us and then say that the Law is just, holy, and good. He's really saying that the Law stays the same but the effect it has on the individual is based upon the disposition of the heart of the individual.
Jacob, I am attempting to figure out the supposed 3rd use. Where does it differ from the first? I know adultery is wrong becasue God says it is wrong. THis is the first use, to point out sin. But after i go to Christ and realize I am cleansed from such sin, then where does the 3rd use come in? Is it a remender that it is sinful? Is that how it rules/guides? Becasue I do not see that as a guide or rule. For instance, when Christ healed the Lepers, He sent them to the priest, not back to the Law as a guide but to let them know they were now cleansed through Christ right?
I will try to respond to parts of it later.
Strictly speaking, leprosy is not sin, so the first use of the law is moot on this question. Secondly, by sending them to the priest Jesus was precisely obeying the law, and telling them to do the same on this point.
Right. Because it is revealed in the law. Now, I assume y6ou are a good Christian man and don't plan to commit adultery. That is obeying the law. Well and good.
I am losing the spcific meaning at times with analogies
I agree. This example is the first 2 uses of Law right? Point out sin then point us to Christ.
First use right? Condemn, point out sin. Yet the unregenerate are still commanded to obey Law.
Yes I agree here to a point Rich. So when I hear of this 3rd use of Law, that means it reveals the moral character of God to man? This is where I get confused. I thought Christ did that. Where the fullness of God dwells. I know we cannot turn grace into a lisence to sin, I hope noone here thinks I am espousing that. And think that because Christ fulfilled it i am now at liberty to break it willfully. Just becasue Christ fed the poor does not mean I am also not called to do that.. Where I think I am missing is the 3rd use seems to be telling me to affix a Mezuzah on each doorpost in our homes. every time I enter or leave, the mezuzah reminds me that I have a covenant with God. Not physically perhaps, but spiritually in my mind. Then i wonder, do I need to be reminded daily of what is right or wrong and can the Law do this for me or is it even designed for this purpose for the gentile? Acts 15 would have been a perfect point to exaplin this, yet it does the opposite:
5Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses."
6The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? 11No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."
23With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings. 24We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.
This seems to be it for the gentile believers. And we know this is not only about salvation, but how they should live according to the rules set forth. I just think it would have been a perfect time for Luke to say the 10 words are to be your rule of life. AS the pharisse believers wanted the Law of moses to be upheld completely. Yet they did not agree with them. I ask why not?
Look, guys, like I said earlier, I am probably wrong. To think I am against a great witness in questioning the 3rd use is nothing I take lightly.
So the 3rd use is obedience? I think this is what I have been after for the whole thread!!! I just do not know if I need to be reminded of this by Law not to do it. I see very little evidence Law kept anyone from sinning, and that is my struggle with the 3rd use. David for example.
Which is why I thanked Moral Neccessity for his most useful post #75. For he distinguishes between the Mosaic Law as God's moral principles expressed externally and applied to a particular nation in covenant with him, and, on the other hand, the character of God as the source of those principles.
My own comment is this (and I think I am following Paul's argument in Rom. 5-8,) is that since the elect are united with Christ as an ontological reality (Rom. 5:12-6:10, certain things are true of us. We are no longer in Adam but in Christ, and we are no longer living under the reign and rule of sin and death, but under the reign and rule of grace, just as Christ is no longer living under the reign of sin and death (Rom. 6:9). But since the Law came in so that sin increased (Rom. 5:20), once we are out of that realm of sin, we no longer relate to the Law as such. But being united with Christ (who is in union with God) in the realm of grace (Rom. 6:5,8-10) does not make us free from walking in those aspects of God's character that are expressed in what is called the moral law. For, at the lowest, the Christian is one who not only intellectually knows the concept that God is love, but is one who goes beyond an intellectual knowledge of the concept "God is love" to experiencing the love of God as a present reality. Jesus pointed out that if we love him we will obey his commands and abide in his love, "just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love" (John 15:10).
I would say that Paul's role for the moral law in the life of the believer is that of written statement of God's character teaching us what he likes and does not like, so that we may know what things please him so that we may do them and please him and continue to abide in his love.
Although Nicholas didn't supply proof for his understanding, he is arguably correct. For Paul specifically says that "We were made to die to the Law that we might be joined to another...that we might bear fruit for God" v.4. Inference: if we are still alive to the law in any way we are not bearing fruit for God.
Check of inference: v.6 "we have been released from the law, having died to that which we were bound"
Given the parallel passage: Gal 5:16-18 where "Spirit" is clearly the Holy Spirit as is made explicit in vv.22-25, it is quite possible that "newness of Spirit" in Rom. 7:6 is either a reference to the new man created in Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit or a shorthand for a new kind of life lived in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Timcat: you have touched on something here that I believe I am missing. The 3rd use of the Law is directly related to the understanding we need it for our sanctification. Why did it take me so long to realize what I am disagreeing with. Sheesh. For justification, I am pointed to Christ alone, the Cross, yet for some odd reason for sanctification I am pointed to Sinai. That once justified by Faith alone in Christ alone, the Spirit who now indwells the believer takes him back to sinai for sanctification.
Now I know the Law is Holy, but I also know it cannot make me holy. In fact the more law the more I know I am unholy. Doesnt Paul set forth the believer’s RULE OF LIFE in Galatians 6:14-16, "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk ACCORDING TO THIS RULE, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God."
I would say rather that the last clause should read "the Spirit who now indewlls the believer takes us back to God's character as expressed through pre-Mosaic teachings, Mosaic teachings and New Testament teachings in order that we may learn how to please God." It is God's character, and not Sinai itself as a system, that is the ultimate source material for the
"3rd use of the law".
No disagreement here, but how does the new creature know what to do? and why does he do it? are the key questions.
One thing to mention...The moral law existed prior to Sinai and if we view the moral law as a representation of God's righteous character it will have existed even prior to creation and the Covenant of Works. I have seen a couple of times people have posted about living according to Sinai. Just want to reiterate that the moral law existed prior to and in fact if we look at Sinai it was actually a part of the Covenant of Grace. In the NT there are still imperatives. We want to properly see them after the indicative. Because we are now sons and daughters...do this. But if we look closely at the decalogue, we also see that in the Preamble God professes to be Covenant LORD and had delivered them out of Egypt out of the house of bondage.
We keep the law (our Father's commands/wishes) out of love and gratitude. We want to please Him - not obedience for fear or obedience's sake.
I'm pretty sure this is the classic reformed/confessional understanding of the law in the life of the believer. Open to correction.
Chris, when speaking of the 3rd use of Law, we are specifically talking of the 10 words given clearly at Sinai. Is there another one that I am amissing prior to Sinai? It is obvious the mosiac code was cut at sinai, the 10 words. Or else why would God speak of " delivering them out of egypt" to Abraham?
Sure the 10 words were given at Sinai but they are a summary of the moral law not the totality of or a new law itself. The moral law existed prior to Sinai. It was wrong to murder, committ adultery, bear false witness etc. during Abraham's time and before. Sabbath is a creation ordinance and is perpetual as well. So the 3rd use of the law has always been around. OT believers were justified by faith just as NT believers. After Abraham was justified he entered into sanctification (as did Moses etc.) and the law wasn't contrary to their Christian walk.