Righteousness Looks Down

There is none who does good, not even one.
PSALM 14:3
Righteousness Looks Down
Paul uses Psalm 14:3 to prove that "a person is not justified by works of the Law," Galatians 2:16. Thus Luther writes:] Therefore the works of the Law must be sins; otherwise they would certainly justify. Thus it is clear that Christian righteousness and human righteousness are not only altogether different but are even opposed to each other, because the latter comes from works, while works come from the former. No wonder, therefore, that Paul's theology vanished entirely and could not be understood after Christians began to be instructed by men who declared falsely that Aristotle's ethics are entirely in accord with the doctrine of Christ and of Paul, by men who failed completely to understand either Aristotle or Christ. For our righteousness looks down from heaven and descends to us. But those godless men have presumed to ascend into heaven by means of their righteousness and from there to bring the truth which has arisen among us from the earth. Therefore Paul stands resolute: "No flesh is justified on the basis of works of the Law," as Psalm 143:2 also says: "No man living will be justified before Thee."

From [First] Lectures on Galatians (Luther's Works 27:224-25)
February 28
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