Not by your Righteousness

1000 Verses - a project of Judaism Resources

Not by your Righteousness

One of the central teachings of Protestant Christianity is that no man is justified through their own good deeds (Romans 3:20). At first glance it would seem that this sentiment expressed by Paul is an echo of Elihu’s declaration in the book of Job (35:7): “If you were righteous, what have you given Him, or what has He taken from your hand?” However, when we get beyond the superficial similarity, it becomes obvious that these two concepts are actually polar opposites.

Elihu is giving expression to the central theme of the Jewish Scriptures: that God alone is the absolute sovereign. As beings that were created by God, who are constantly sustained by God and who can only operate in the arena provided by God, we can never give to God that which does not already belong to Him. If a man were to live a perfectly…

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