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 Romans Chapter Three - Part Two

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PostSubject: Romans Chapter Three - Part Two   Thu Jul 26, 2012 6:23 pm

Romans Chapter 3 – Part Two

Romans 3:19-20

All Are Conscious Of Sin
Paul concluded his discussion with a final statement to the Jews concerning the purpose and ministry of the Law. He included himself with his Jewish readers when he said, Now we know. The principle is obvious: the Law’s pronouncements are to those who are under the Law. This is speaking of every unredeemed human being.
Just the fact the Jews had the law did not make them not guilty of sin. In fact, if anything, it made them guiltier, because they had the law and did not keep it. All have sinned. All have come short of the Glory of God.
“Every mouth … stopped … guilty:” There is no defense against the guilty verdict God pronounces on the entire human race.
The Law was not a special talisman that the Jews could obey or ignore as they wished; they were “under” it and accountable to God (cf. Jews and Gentiles being “under sin,” Rom_3:9). The Law’s ministry was so that every mouth may be silenced (lit., “stopped”), and the whole world held accountable (lit., “become answerable”) to God. The law just made it even more apparent that all have sinned and needed a Saviour. We will read in chapter 5 of Romans that Jesus died for the ungodly. We cannot be good enough to be saved. Jesus Christ is the only person that ever lived without sin.
No one can argue in his own defense that he is not under sin. The Law points up God’s standards and illustrates people’s inability to live up to them.
Finally, the Law is not a way for a person to be declared righteous (justified) in His sight (cf. Rom_3:28). That was not its purpose (Act_13:39; Gal_2:16; Gal_3:11). Instead, the Law was given so that through it we become conscious (lit., “through the Law is full knowledge”) of sin (cf. Rom_5:20; Rom_7:7-13). The Mosaic Law is an instrument not of justification but of condemnation.
Romans 3:21

God’s Righteousness Revealed in Justification
In God’s condemnation of the human race His own personal infinite righteousness was revealed along with the fact that not a single human being — the Lord Jesus Christ excepted — has ever or will ever be able to meet that standard and be accepted by God on his own merit. Now in this second major section of Romans Paul discussed God’s “provided righteousness” for people through Jesus in justification. Justification is a forensic declaration of righteousness as a result of God’s imputing to believers Christ’s righteousness, provided by God’s grace and appropriated through faith.
Provided righteousness explained
By the words but now Paul introduced a sharp contrast with what preceded. He had just affirmed, “No one will be declared righteous in His [God’s] sight by observing the Law” (Rom_3:20). This is now followed by the statement, Apart from Law (in the Gr. this phrase is in the emphatic first position) a righteousness from God… has been made known (i.e., made plain). This in essence repeats the words of Rom_1:17. But Paul added the fact that the Law and the Prophets testify to this fact. Paul, having shown the impossibility of gaining righteousness by human effort, he turns to explain the righteousness that God Himself has provided.
This righteousness is unique:
(1) God is its source
(2) It fulfills both the penalty and precept of God’s law. Christ’s death as a substitute pays the penalty exacted on those who failed to keep God’s law, and His perfect obedience to every requirement of God’s law fulfills God’s demand for comprehensive righteousness, and
(3) Because God’s righteousness is eternal, the one who receives it from Him enjoys it forever.
Doing perfectly what God’s moral law required is impossible, so that every person is cursed by that inability. By the law is knowledge of sin, therefore the law only makes sin known, it cannot save. It is our schoolmaster.
Galatians 3:24: Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
What Paul was introducing about God’s righteousness was not foreign to the Old Testament. “The Law and the Prophets” was often used of the entire Old Testament (see references at Mat_5:17), the Law referring to the first five books and the Prophets, the other books. In Rom_4:1-25 Paul illustrated this truth from the Law (Abraham: Gen_15:6; Rom_4:1-3, Rom_4:9-23) and from the Prophets (David: Psa_32:1-2; Rom_4:4-Cool.
Romans 3:22

The first part of this verse is not a new sentence in the Greek; it is an appositional clause, and could be rendered, “a righteousness from God through faith.” These words reminded Paul again of the Jewish insistence on their special position before God. As a result he added, There is no difference (cf. Rom_10:12), introduced in the Greek by the word “for” to tie it to what precedes. True saving faith is supernatural, a gracious gift of God that He produces in the heart and is the only means by which a person can appropriate true righteousness. Saving faith consists of 3 elements:
(1) Mental: the mind understands the gospel and the truth about Christ
(2) Emotional: one embraces the truthfulness of those facts with sorrow over sin and joy over God’s mercy and grace; and
(3) Volitional: the sinner submits his will to Christ and trusts in Him alone as the only hope of salvation.
(4) Genuine faith will always produce authentic obedience.
Our righteousness is but filthy rags in ourselves. Our righteousness that is acceptable to God is the righteousness of Jesus Christ that we put on when we accept Jesus as our savior and Lord.
Any prior privilege the Jews had is gone in this Age when God is offering a righteous standing before Him to all sinful people on the basis of faith in Christ alone. Since all are “under sin” (Rom_3:9), salvation is available “to all” on an equal basis.
Romans 3:23

Paul explained that “no difference” existed among human beings because all have sinned. The Greek is literally, “all sinned” (pantes hēmarton). The same two Greek words are used in Rom_5:12. Since the entire human race was plunged into sin with Adam, all (whether Jews or Gentiles) are sinners. It is impossible to say there is a “difference,” that the Jews’ privileges (Rom_2:12-21; Rom_3:1) exclude them from God’s condemnation.
Not only did all sin, but also all fall short. This single Greek verb is in the present tense, stressing continuing action. It can be translated “keep on falling short.” The simple fact is that as a sinner not a single human being by his own efforts is able to measure up to the glory of God. God’s glory is His splendor, the outward manifestation of His attributes. God desires that humans share that splendor, that they become like Him, that is, Christ like (cf. “glory” in Rom_5:2; 2Co_3:18; Col_1:27; 2Th_2:14). Yet their sin keeps them from sharing it. This is not just the heathen, but the Jew, as well. No one can live completely free of sin. Our justification in Jesus is (justification meaning: just as if we had never sinned). We have sinned, but we are not guilty, because we have been washed in the blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ).
These last two verses contain a parenthetical comment explaining that God can bestow His righteousness on all who believe, Jew or Gentile, because all men, without distinction, fail miserably to live up to the divine decree.
“All have sinned”: Paul has made this case beginning with 1:18 – 3:20.
Romans 3:24

In view of man’s sin God has stepped in with His provided righteousness, because all who believe are justified (the pres. tense may be trans. “keep on being declared righteous,” i.e., each person as he believes is justified). “Justify” (dikaioō) is a legal term, meaning “declare righteous” (not “make righteous”; cf. Deu_25:1).
God’s justification of those who believe is provided freely (dōrean, “as a free gift,” i.e., without charge) by His grace. God justifies by the instrument of His grace, His unmerited favor. Grace too is a favorite word of Paul’s, used by him in Romans 24 times (in the Gr.). But God would not declare a person righteous without an objective basis, without dealing with his sin. That basis is the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. This verb (justified), and related words from the same Greek root (such as justification), occur some 30 times in Romans and are concentrated in 2:13 – 5:1. This legal or forensic term comes form the Greek word for “righteous” and means “to declare righteous.” This verdict includes: Pardon from the guilt and penalty of sin, and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the believer’s account, which provides for the positive righteousness man needs to be accepted by God.
God declares a sinner righteous solely on the basis of the merits of Christ’s righteousness. God imputed a believer’s sin to Christ’s account in His sacrificial death. (Isaiah 53:4-5; 1 Peter 2:24), and He imputes Christ’s perfect obedience to God’s law to Christians.
The sinner receives this gift of God’s grace by faith alone.
Sanctification is the work of God by which He makes righteous those whom He has already justified and is distinct from justification but without exception, always follows it.
“Freely by His grace”: Justification is a gracious gift God extends to the repentant, believing sinner, wholly apart from human merit or work.
“Redemption”: The imagery behind this Greek word comes from the ancient slave market. It meant paying the necessary ransom to obtain the prisoner or slave’s release. The only adequate payment to redeem sinners from sin’s slavery and its deserved punishment was “in Christ Jesus”, and was paid to God to satisfy His justice.
The Greek word for “redemption” is apolytrōsis, from lytron, “a ransom payment.” Apolytrōsis is used 10 times in the New Testament (Luk_21:28; Rom_3:24; Rom_8:23; 1Co_1:30; Eph_1:7, Eph_1:14; Eph_4:30; Col_1:14; Heb_9:15). The death of Christ on the cross of Calvary was the price of payment for human sin which secured release from the bondage of Satan and sin for every person who trusts God’s promise of forgiveness and salvation.


Romans 3:25-26

God’s purpose in Christ’s death was to demonstrate His justice (i.e., God’s own judicial righteousness, dikaiosynēs; cf. comments on Rom_1:17) because in His forbearance (anochē, “holding back, delay”) He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished (cf. Act_17:30). This great sacrifice was not accomplished in secret, but God publicly displayed His Son on Calvary for all to see.
“Propitiation”: Crucial to the significance of Christ’s sacrifice, this word carries the idea of appeasement or satisfaction; in this case Christ’s violent death satisfied the offended holiness and wrath of God against those for whom Christ died. The Hebrew equivalent of this word was used to describe the mercy seat – the cover to the Ark of the Covenant – where the High Priest sprinkled the blood of the slaughtered animal on the Day of Atonement to make atonement for the sins of the people. In pagan religions, it is the worshiper not the god who is responsible to appease the wrath of the offended deity. But in reality, man is incapable of satisfying God’s justice apart from Christ, except by spending eternity in hell.
“Forbearance”: means to hold back. Rather than destroying every person the moment he or she sings, God graciously holds back His judgment.
“Remission of sins”: This means neither indifference nor remission. God’s justice demands that every sin and sinner be punished. God would have been just, when Adam and Eve sinned, to destroy them, and with them, the entire human race. But in His goodness and forbearance, He withheld His judgment for a certain period of time.
II Corinthians 5:21 "For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
Why did God not always punish sins in the past? Does this mean He is not righteous after all? Previously Paul said God was forbearing because He wanted to lead people to repent (Rom_2:4). Here God is said to be forbearing because He anticipated His provision for sins in the death of Jesus Christ. Such forbearance was an evidence of His grace (cf. Act_14:16; Act_17:30), not of His injustice.
Paul was so insistent that God’s righteousness be recognized that (Rom_3:26) he repeated (from Rom_3:25) the words to demonstrate His justice (dikaiosynēs, “righteousness”). God’s purpose in the redemptive and propitiatory death of Jesus Christ was so that He could be seen to be just (dikaion, “righteous”) and the One who justifies (dikaiounta, “the One who declares righteous”) the man who has faith in Jesus. “To declare … His righteousness”: through the incarnation, sinless life, and substitutionary death of Christ.
The wisdom of God’s plan allowed Him to punish Jesus in the place of sinners and thereby justify those who are guilty without compromising His justice.
God’s divine dilemma was how to satisfy His own righteousness and its demands against sinful people, and at the same time how to demonstrate His grace, love, and mercy to restore rebellious, alienated creatures to Himself. The solution was the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, God’s incarnate Son, and the acceptance by faith of that provision by individual sinners. Christ’s death vindicated God’s own righteousness (He is just because sin was “paid for”) and enables God to declare every believing sinner righteous.
Romans 3:27-28

After explaining God’s provided righteousness for sinners, Paul considered five questions (in Gr.) which he anticipated his readers might ask. Two are in Rom_3:27, two in Rom_3:29, and the other in Rom_3:31. The first is, Where, then is boasting? How can Jews have any boasting in their special position? (Rom_2:17-20, Rom_2:23) Paul’s response was abrupt: It is excluded (“completely shut out”). God disdained human wisdom, not only by disallowing it as a means to knowing Him, but also by choosing to save the lowly. He does not call to salvation many whom the world would call wise, mighty and noble.
Ephesians 2:8-10 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:" "Not of works, lest any man should boast." "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
God’s wisdom is revealed to the foolish, weak, and common, i.e., those considered nothing by the elite, who trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. God clearly received all the credit and the glory for causing such lowly ones to know Him and the eternal truths of His heavenly kingdom.
No saved sinner can boast that he has achieved salvation by his intellect.
Since justification is by grace (Rom_3:24) through faith (Rom_3:22, Rom_3:25-26), boasting because of one’s accomplishments (works) is ruled out. This prompted a second question: On what principle? (“Law” here in the Gr. means “principle.”) On that of observing the Law? (lit., “through works”) Paul’s response was, No (lit., “not at all,” an intensive form), but on that of faith. Doing works (i.e., observing the Law) is no basis for boasting for the Law cannot justify. It was not given for that purpose (cf. Rom_3:20). The apostle then summarized, For we maintain (the verb logizometha, “to reckon,” here has the idea of coming to a settled conclusion) that a man is justified (“declared righteous”) by faith (cf. Rom_3:22, Rom_3:25-27) apart from observing the Law (lit., “apart from works of Law”). Keeping the ordinances of the law will not do away with sin and will not save anyone. Without faith it is impossible to please God.
Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
To find out what faith can do for you and did do for many, read all of Hebrews chapter 11.
Romans 3:29-30

The next two questions cover the same issue of Jewish distinctiveness from a different angle. Because the Gentiles worshiped false gods through idols, the Jews concluded that Yahweh, the true and living God (Jer_10:10), was the God of Jews only. That was true in the sense that the Jews were the only people who acknowledged and worshiped Yahweh (except for a few proselyte Gentiles who joined with Judaism). But in reality Yahweh, as the Creator and Sovereign of all people, is the God of all people. Before God called Abraham and his descendants in the nation Israel to be His Chosen People (Deu_7:6) God dealt equally with all people. And even after God’s choice of Israel to be His special people, God made it plain (e.g., in the Book of Jonah) that He is the God of everyone, Gentiles as well as Jews. God was the Creator of all mankind. Mankind both Jew and Gentile was made in the image of God. We are His workmanship. All He created was for the benefit of mankind. He prepared the world for man. God is God of all. We are all part of God's family. There is one God and Father of us all.
Ephesians 4:6: "One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all."
And now since there is “no difference” among people for all are sinners (Rom_3:23) and since the basis for salvation has been provided in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, God deals with everyone on the same basis. The circumcision are the Jews and the uncircumcision refers to the Gentile, and both can only be saved by faith in Jesus Christ.
John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
Thus there is only one God (or “God is one”). Paul no doubt had in mind here the “Shema” of Israel: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD [Yahweh] our God [’Ĕlōhı̂m], the LORD [Yahweh] is One” (Deu_6:4). This one God over both Jews and Gentiles will justify all who come to Him regardless of background (circumcised or uncircumcised) on the same human condition of faith.
Romans 3:31

The final question is, Do we, then, nullify the Law by this faith? Paul responded in his characteristic expletive, Not at all! (mē genoito, “Let it not be”; cf. comments on Rom_3:4) and then explained, Rather, we uphold the Law. The purpose of the Mosaic Law is fulfilled and its place in God’s total plan is confirmed when it leads an individual to faith in Jesus Christ (cf. Rom_3:20; Gal_3:23-25). Paul repeatedly affirmed that faith, not works of the Law, is the way of salvation. He wrote the word “faith” eight times in Rom_3:22-31! (See Rom_3:22, Rom_3:25-28, Rom_3:30 [twice], and Rom_3:31.) Knowing he would be accused of antinomianism (being against the law) for arguing that a man was justified apart from keeping the law, Paul introduced here the defense he later developed in chapters 6 and 7.
Salvation by grace through faith does not denigrate the law, but underscores its true importance:
(1) By providing a payment for the penalty of death, which the law required for failing to keep it;
(2) By fulfilling the law’s original purpose, which is to serve as a tutor to show mankind’s utter inability to obey God’s righteous demands and to drive people to Christ; and
(3) By giving believers the capacity to obey it.
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Romans Chapter Three - Part Two
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