But this is what the Scriptures say about being made right through faith: “Don’t say to yourself, ‘Who will go up into heaven?’” (This means “Who will go up to heaven to get Christ and bring him down to earth?”)
But ·this is what the Scripture says about being made right through faith [L the righteousness by faith says; C righteousness is personified as speaking]: “Don’t say ·to yourself [L in your heart; Deut. 9:4], ‘Who will ·go up [ascend] into heaven [Deut. 30:12]?’” (That means, “Who will go up to heaven and bring Christ down to earth [C a reference to the Incarnation, Christ coming to earth as a human being]?”)
But this is what the Scripture says about being made right through faith: “Don’t say to yourself, ‘Who will go up into heaven?’” (That means, “Who will go up to heaven to get Christ and bring him down to earth?”)
Moses writes of righteousness-by-the-Law when he says that ‘the man who does those things shall live by them’—which is theoretically right but impossible in practice. But righteousness-by-faith says something like this: ‘Do not say in your heart, Who will ascend into heaven?’ to bring Christ down to us, or ‘who will descend into the abyss’ to bring him up from the dead? ‘The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart’. It is the secret of faith, which is the burden of our preaching, and it says, in effect, “If you openly admit by your own mouth that Jesus Christ is the Lord, and if you believe in your own heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” For it is believing in the heart that makes a man righteous before God, and it is stating his belief by his own mouth that confirms his salvation. And the scripture says: ‘Whoever believes on him will not be put to shame’.
The earlier revelation was intended simply to get us ready for the Messiah, who then puts everything right for those who trust him to do it. Moses wrote that anyone who insists on using the law code to live right before God soon discovers it’s not so easy—every detail of life regulated by fine print! But trusting God to shape the right living in us is a different story—no precarious climb up to heaven to recruit the Messiah, no dangerous descent into hell to rescue the Messiah. So what exactly was Moses saying? The word that saves is right here, as near as the tongue in your mouth, as close as the heart in your chest. It’s the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us. This is the core of our preaching. Say the welcoming word to God—“Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: “God has set everything right between him and me!”
But this is what the Scripture says about being made right through faith: “Don’t say to yourself, ‘Who will go up into heaven?’” (That means, “Who will go up to heaven and bring Christ down to earth?”)
But the way to do what God requires must begin by having faith in him. Scripture says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will go up into heaven?’ ” (Deuteronomy 30:12) That means to go up into heaven and bring Christ down.
Whereas the Tzidkat Emunah (righteousness which is from faith) speaks thus: "Do not say (looking for Messianic salvation being merited by superhuman attainments in works) in your lev, ‘Who will go up into Shomayim?' (that is, to bring Moshiach down)?
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