As a former Pharisee, Paul's understanding of faith was shaped by the Mosaic Covenant and its relationship between faith and works.
True obedience to the Law was an outward expression of the Hebrew's inward disposition of faith and fear of God in a covenant
relationship with Him.
However in time, the nation of Israel perverted obedience to the Law into a condition for salvation and blessing.
Judaism became a religion that emphasized the knowledge and practice of the Law as the basis of faith; for the Jew, proving one's worth
constituted authentic testimony.
Not unlike Judaism, obedience is a reflection of genuine faith. For example, in his letter to the Romans, Paul opens and closes by
encouraging "the obedience of faith" among all Believers (Rom 1:5;
However Paul challenges the Jews about the object of their faith.
For Paul genuine faith is active; the act of believing is exhibited by obedience to Jesus Christ.
For deeper study:
What does Paul say about "faith"?
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