Romans 3

All are under sin. By the works of the law no flesh is justified

Text Comments
 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.
  1 - What advantage? As far as salvation is concerned there is no advantage.
  3 - Some did not believe Paul recognized individual responsibility.
  2 - Much ... because ... oracles This is the only advantage mentioned.
  6 - God forbid Should be "May it not happen."
  7 - Truth ... abounded through my lie The logic here is that the triumph of truth is seen more clearly in contrast to sin but the individual's part in making it shine does not earn him any credit. This develops the thought in v3. The new truth, especially its being preached to the Gentiles, was launched by the disbelieving Jews who persecuted the followers of Christ.
 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.
  9 - Are we better? That is, by being slandered. The point is that we are not judged by comparison to others but by the divine standard.
.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.
 21  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
   19 - Under the law We are under the law when we look to it as our channel of salvation. This problem was developed by the contemporary Jewish teaching. It's true that blessings accompany obedience de2801, but blessings are gifts from God. See on ro0614.
   20 - Deeds do not justify This seems only logical. Why should Paul write about it at length? Because God's professed people at the time had slipped into a salvation-by-works attitude. It was fueled by their leaders' thirst for power and wealth. A church that makes the rules and presumes to grant or withhold salvation can manipulate its people to these ends mr0706, jn1907.
.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.
  26 -  it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus. (RSV)
  25 - Set forth Apparently as the way of justification in comparison to the works of the law. v20. He was publicly crucified ga0301 as the answer to all human need. Compare jn0314.
  25 - Propitiation From hilasterion. It occurs elsewhere in the Bible only in he0905 where the mercy seat of the ark is indicated. The word does not imply cooling the anger of a selfish God.
  25 - For Should read "because of."
  25 - Remission Not from the usual Greek word. It means "passing over" rather than forgiveness.
  25 - Sins Or "individual acts of sin." See the word hamartema also in mr0328, 1co0618.
  25 - Sins that are past Before the death of Jesus, sins were forgiven subject to that sacrifice.
  25 - Forbearance God has shielded people from the full result of their sins and they have misconstrued His character ps05021, ec0811.
.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.
   28 - Deeds of the law Literally, "works of law." Only the religion of Christ removes past sins. This does not come by obedience to the law. However, Paul teaches that, in their place, good works are important 2ti0317; tt0207; tt0214; 1ti0510.
   31 - Make the law void Paul realizes that some may misinterpret his comments about the law. The chapter break disguises the connection of this verse with those that follow at the beginning of the next chapter. Click "next" below.
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