Andrew Fuller Fridays: Fuller on Passages that Seem Contradictory (Galatians 2:16 & James 2:21)


“By the works of the law shall no flesh living be justified.”—Gal. 2:16.

“Was not Abraham, our father, justified by works.”—James 2:21.

Paul treats of the justification of the ungodly, or the way in which sinners are accepted of God, and made heirs of eternal life. James speaks of the justification of the godly, or in what way it becomes evident that a man is approved of God. The former is by the righteousness of Christ; the latter is by works. The former of these is that which justifies; the latter is that by which it appears that we are justified. The term justification, in the former of these passages, is taken in a primary sense; in the latter; it is taken in a secondary sense only, as in Matt. 11:19, and in other places.

Fuller, A. G. (1988). The Complete Works of Andrew Fuller: Memoirs, Sermons, Etc. (J. Belcher, Ed.) (Vol. 1, pp. 667–684). Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications.

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