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From Plight to Sollition in Romans

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Chapter Summary

Paul's attitude toward the law in Romans is frequently considered less harsh than that in Galatians. It is said that Paul's thinking has matured, is presented in a more systematic way, or has become more moderate under the disapproval of his Jewish-Christian peers. This chapter shows that Paul's comments about the law in Romans are not motivated solely by his Christology but are built upon the plight-solution framework. It first discusses that Paul reserves an important place for the law within the eschatological situation which the gospel has introduced, and second that his negative statements about the law are largely claims that outside of Christ the law is impossible to obey and brings upon the sinner the curse of disobedience. Thus in Romans, as in Galatians, Paul remains within the pattern. Believers have received the eschatological gifts of atonement, forgiveness, participation in Christ's death, and the Spirit.

Keywords: Christology; eschatological spirit; Galatians; law in Romans; Paul's negative statements; plight-solution framework



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