“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”
King James Version (KJV)
2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law - Not even of the moral, much less the ceremonial, law. But by the faith of Jesus Christ - That is, by faith in him. The name Jesus was first known by the gentiles; the name Christ by the Jews. And they are not always placed promiscuously; but generally in a more solemn way of speaking, the Apostle says, Christ Jesus; in a more familiar, Jesus Christ. Even we - And how much more must the Gentiles, who have still less pretence to depend on their own works! Have believed - Knowing there is no other way. Because - Considering the demands of the law, and the fate of human nature, it is evident, that by the works of the law - By such an obedience as it requires. Shall no flesh living - No human creature, Jew or Gentile, be justified. Hitherto St. Paul had been considering that single question, Are Christians obliged to observe the ceremonial law? But he here insensibly goes farther, and, by citing this scripture, shows that what he spoke directly of the ceremonial, included also the moral, law. For David undoubtedly did so, when he said, #Psalm 143:2|, the place here referred to, In thy sight shall no man living be justified; which the Apostle likewise explains, #Rom 3:19|,20, in such a manner as can agree to none but the moral law.
Ga 2:16 Knowing. There were certain facts that both of them knew. One of them was that men were justified, that is, forgiven, not by the works of the law, of Moses, but by the faith of Jesus Christ; that is, by the gospel. Both had believed on Christ in order that they might be justified. For by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. This passage is found in Ps 143:2 Ro 3:20.