1. Galatians 2:16 (ESV)
  2. Exposition

What does Paul mean when he talks about the law?

Galatians 2:16 (ESV)

16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

Paul uses the term law to refer to everything that is commanded in the law of Moses.1 It includes civil, ceremonial, and moral laws.2 Paul cites Psalm 143:2 to affirm that it is not possible for any man to be justified by legal works, whether Jew or Gentile.3