And this is the very conclusion our apostle draws in the 20th verse.  No flesh, at any time or in any place wheresoever in all of God’s creation, can be justified by the deeds of the law.  Sin makes it impossible.  It is not because God’s law is too harsh of a standard, but it is because we are too depraved and wicked.  Man’s sin is the issue, not God’s law.  The apostle will tell us a little later in the epistle that Christ did what the law could not do, because the law was weak “through the flesh.”  The man who could perform all the demands of the law perfectly would be justified, but his flesh is too weakened and enervated by sin to be able to accomplish the task.  When we commit one sin, we are convinced of the law as transgressors, for as James tells us, the law is such a perfect unit that if we keep all of it, offending in only one point, we are guilty of all. 

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The law does not reveal to us a way of salvation, except as we may perhaps say hypothetically.  It is true, the law states that the man who does it shall live in it.  But man in his sinful and depraved condition finds it impossible to keep the law, for his carnal mind is enmity against that law.  Therefore, all the law does is reveal sin to us, and show us that we are enemies to God and His righteousness.

 

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