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Apostle Paul’s Argument:
The central theme of Apostle Paul’s argument in his letter to the church at Rome is found in Romans 3:21-4:25. The first paragraph in this passage was regarded as the most important section of the Bible by Martin Luther King Jr. The significance of this text is attributed to the fact that it provides Paul’s argument regarding the concept of salvation, which he approves in Romans 5:1. In essence, this portion of Scripture not only affirms but also examines the way of justification, which is provided by God through the atoning work of Jesus Christ. However, there seems to be tension between Paul’s conclusion regarding the way of justification and the conclusion in James 2:14-26.
Paul’s thesis in this section of the Bible is that God’s righteousness that is distanced from law is currently available to all believers in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21-22). This salvation that is provided in Christ through faith is also deeply individualistic since every individual must accept the gift personally i.e. for himself or herself . Since this righteousness or salvation offered apart from law, it is received through faith rather than obedience to the law. Nonetheless, this righteousness establishes the former law i.e. the Law of Moses and the Prophets instead of destroying the law.
After introducing his thesis, Apostle Paul builds his case by discussing three implications of justification through faith instead of deeds or works. The first implication is provided in Romans 3:27-28 where he argues that this justification excludes personal boasting because it does not come through works but by trusting Christ. Therefore, this justification is a by-product of what Christ has done rather than a person’s deeds. Second...

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.... Paul’s conclusion does not consider the law as an agent of salvation but as a powerful guide to God’s will, which is lived out by those sanctified by grace and faith in Jesus Christ. While these scriptures seem to contradict each other, they are basically addressing two different concepts. Apostle Paul is considering how a person can be justified before a righteous God while James examines the kind of faith that saves . By using Abraham as an illustration to explain his argument, James assumed Abraham’s faith throughout his explanation. He not only acknowledged Abraham’s faith in God but also recognizes the authenticity of Abraham’s faith. Therefore, James acknowledges that Abraham was declared righteous by God or justified on the basis of his faith rather than works. This affirms Paul’s conclusion that justification is by faith in Christ rather than works.
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