Paul said, concerning his former state BEFORE his conversion, in Philippians 3:5-6 "I was circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. As regards the Law, I was a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; regarding the righteousness in the Law, blameless."
Paul did not mean he was blameless in the sight of God. Paul, before his conversion, was deceived about his law obedience. He THOUGHT he was blameless. He didn't hear what the law was saying. Paul, after he became a believer, admitted he was a previous blasphemer and we also know he killed Christians before he was converted. How on earth could he be actually "blameless"?
Many of Paul's peers maybe THOUGHT Paul was blameless, but he was the furthest thing from it. Those who didn't know how to judge saved and lost by the gospel and judge, rather, by the law, look to outward appearance rather than clear gospel principles. People often look at the self righteous religious folks and say, "If they aren't saved, then who can be?"
Paul, in Romans 3:19, wrote - "But we know that whatever things the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law; so that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may be under judgment before God," This is Paul talking about unbelievers like he was when he THOUGHT he was blameless. Why would Paul write this in Romans if he REALLY thought he was actually blameless in reality in his former religion under the law?
The answer - Paul, in his unregenerate state, merely thought he was blameless and a law keeper. Even if we would consider Paul, in his unconverted state and without even considering Adam's sin imputed to him, he STILL would not be blameless according the law.
The ONLY Person who ever kept the law was the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone was the only blameless One. He was perfect Deity as God in the flesh and sinless in His humanity. He was impeccable as the God-Man. His righteousness even exceeded that of Adam before his fall into sin. Christ is to actually be worshiped for His righteousness. Nobody else can lay claim to that. He had His own righteousness in His own Person and the righteousness He established for His people in His whole merit of His work as Representative of His elect sheep.
The stark contrast between the sinfulness of man as law breakers in their total depravity and the perfect holiness and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ should always be shown. These are the areas where religion will raise man up and lower God down to form a lowered standard they think God will accept. Free and sovereign grace will always be a defense and guard against this.
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