Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
What shall we say then? [Simply this]: That the Gentiles, who did not attempt to become right with God [by how they lived] were made right with God, and this was the result of their faith [in Christ].
For I can testify that they have an enthusiasm for God, but it is without [true] knowledge.
Is the law of Moses contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could provide [never ending] life, then a person could be considered right with God by [obeying the requirements of such] a law.
As far as enthusiasm is concerned, I persecuted the church; as far as being righteous according to the law of Moses is concerned, I was without just blame.
This is because no human being can be considered right with God by [obeying] the requirements of a law. [Note: It is difficult to determine the exact sense in which "law" is used in these verses. It may be law generally, or the law of Moses specifically. See Bruce, pages 52-58]. For the knowledge of what sin is comes from the law of Moses.
For if [only] those who are obedient to the law deserve an inheritance, [then their] faith [in God] is for nothing, and God's promise is nullified.
What then? [Just this]: The very thing that the Israelites are looking for [i.e., a right relationship with God], they have not found. But God's selected ones obtained [this right relationship with Him] and the rest [of the Israelites] were made insensitive to God's call,
For all who seek to be right with God by trying to meet all the requirements of the law of Moses are under a curse [from God], because it is written [Deut. 27:26], "Every person is cursed [i.e., cut off from God] who does not continue to obey all of the requirements written in the law of Moses."
Yes, I declare to every person who attempts to require circumcision [as a means of gaining acceptance with God], that he must also obey everything else required by the law of Moses.
For, whoever observes the entire law [of God] and yet breaks one requirement [of it], becomes guilty of [breaking] all of it.
But many will be last [i.e., in importance and blessings] who [seem to] be first, and those [who seem to be] first will [end up] being last."
But many that [appear to] be first [i.e., in importance and blessings] will [end up] being last. And [those appearing to] be last will [end up] being first."