June 26th Romans 3
1: What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? 2: Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. 3: For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? 4: God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. 5: But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) 6: God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? 7: For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? 8: And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.
Everyone has sinned
9: What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10: As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12: They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13: Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15: Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16: Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17: And the way of peace have they not known: 18: There is no fear of God before their eyes. 19: Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20: Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
C. The Gospel of God concerning his Son (Justification) God’s way for making us right
21: But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22: Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24: Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26: To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27: Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28: Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. 29: Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: 30: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. 31: Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
Paul anticipates the next question. (He has heard it so many times before) If the judgment of God comes on all men in a completely fair way then what is the advantage of being a Jew? And what benefit is circumcision? Paul says, look the Jews have lots of benefits. The first being, that they are the custodians of the word of God. Paul is arguing that the justice of God is going to be fair on all men outside of Grace. Will God be wrong to judge Jewish men for their deeds? And the answer is – God forbid. How can God judge any men if he does not judge them all. There are those who say that l say that we can do evil so that good will come of it. This is a wicked thing to say. Are Jews better than Gentiles? No absolutely not. We have already established that both Jews and Gentiles are both under sin. The Bible says that, There is none righteous no not one. There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. (There was a righteousness of the law that Jews stood before God in, but one of the purposes of the law was to exposes the sinfulness of men. When a Jew found that he had sinned to came to the priest and offered a sin offering and his sin was covered. So Paul is not saying that there is no righteousness of the Law but that the Law alone could not make a man ultimately right with God.) They have all gone out of the way; they have together become unprofitable; there are none that do good, no, not one. Their throat is like an open grave; with their tongues they have spoken deceit; the poison of snakes is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. What an indictment on the Jewish nation. Paul says that we know that what the law says it says to those under the law so that every man under the law might be silenced in the presence of God. And that the entire world might realise that they are guilty before God. So we can see that by doing the deeds of the law no sinner is declared righteous before God. The law only brought the knowledge of sin. However, now a righteousness of God has been revealed to the world, a righteousness which is witnessed in the OT, but is only now revealed. It is the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ (unto all and upon all them that believe – for there is no difference between all men, because all have sinned and fallen short of the glorious standard of God.) God declares those who believe to be righteous. And it is completely free to them; it is by his grace through the redemption that is found in Christ Jesus. God has made Christ to be a sacrifice for sin and men receive forgiveness of sins by faith in his blood. God is declared at this time to be just and the justifier of those who believe in Jesus. God remains holy and righteous but he is now able to make men holy and righteous. So who can boast before God? Boasting is completely excluded before God. Is it on the basis of merit? No it is because men must come to God only on the basis of faith. So says Paul we must conclude that a man is justified by faith in Christ and not by the doing the deeds of the Mosaic Law. And is this God the God only of the Jews? Is he not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, He is the God of Jews and Gentiles. There is one God and he justifies both the Jew and Gentile through faith. Paul comes to the last question for now. Has this truth made the Mosaic Law pointless? Again he says God forbid; the Law has been vindicated in all this.
- How does Paul answer the objection – Whats the point of being a Jew if we are to stand in line under the judgment of God with the Gentiles?
- What are the great advantages that the Jews have?
- What blessings did the keeping of the law bring?
- How can a man be justified before God apart from the law?