David Guzik's Commentary on the Bible
Romans 3 - JUSTIFIED FREELY BY HIS GRACE
A. The righteousness of God’s judgments.
1. (Romans 3:1-2) The advantage of the Jewish people.
What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God.
a. What advantage then has the Jew: Paul has carefully explained in Romans 2 that the possession of the law or circumcision will not save a Jewish person. If this is the case, then what is the advantage of being “God’s chosen nation”?
i. After all, if there is no partiality with God (Romans 2:11), what good is it to be Jewish?
b. Much in every way! Paul knows there are many advantages God gave to the Jewish people. In particular, He entrusted them with the oracles of God, which speaks of God’s written revelation before the time of Jesus. He gave the Jewish people His Word, and that is an indescribable gift.
i. “This was their prime privilege, that they were God’s library-keepers, that this heavenly treasure was concredited to them.” (Trapp)
ii. Paul will later expand on the advantage of the Jewish people in Romans 9:4, explaining that Israel also had the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises.
iii. Poole on the word oracles: “Profane writers make this word to signify the answer that was given by the demons, or heathen gods; and yet the Holy Ghost doth not disdain to make use of this word (as well as divers others,) though abused to heathenish superstition.”
2. (Romans 3:3-4) Jewish unbelief does not make God wrong.
For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, and may overcome when You are judged.”
a. For what if some did not believe? The fact that the Jewish people as a whole to that point had rejected the gospel did not mean that God’s faithfulness to them was in vain. It did not mean that God’s work was futile or without effect.
i. “I have to say, with Paul, ‘What if some did not believe?’ It is no new thing; for there have always been some who have rejected the revelation of God. What then? You and I had better go on believing, and testing for ourselves, and proving the faithfulness of God, and living upon Christ our Lord, even though we see another set of doubters, and another, and yet another ad infinitum. The gospel is no failure, as many of us know.” (Spurgeon)
b. Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar: Instead, we are reminded that God will be justified in all His actions. In the end, it will be demonstrated that even our unrighteousness somehow proclaimed His righteousness and glory, even if only in judgment.
i. “Should any man say that the promise of God had failed toward him, let him examine his heart and his ways, and he will find that he has departed out of that way in which alone God could, consistent with his holiness and truth, fulfill the promise.” (Clarke)
ii. Spurgeon on let God be true but every man a liar: “It is a strange, strong expression; but it is none too strong. If God says one thing, and every man in the world says another, God is true, and all men are false. God speaks the truth, and cannot lie. God cannot change; his word, like himself, is immutable. We are to believe God’s truth if nobody else believes it. The general consensus of opinion is nothing to a Christian. He believes God’s word, and he thinks more of that than of the universal opinion of men.”
3. (Romans 3:5) Raising an objection regarding the unrighteousness of man and the righteousness of God.
But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.)
a. But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Paul brings the counter-argument of an opponent: “If my unrighteousness will demonstrate God’s righteousness, how can God judge me? My sin ultimately serves to bring Him more glory, and that is good!”
b. Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? Paul was familiar with the line of thinking that says, “God is in control of everything. Even my evil will ultimately demonstrate His righteousness. Therefore God is unjust if He inflicts His wrath on me, because I’m just a pawn in His hand.”
i. In theory, the most dramatic example of someone who might ask this question is Judas. Can you hear Judas make his case? “Lord, I know that I betrayed Jesus, but You used it for good. In fact, if I hadn’t done what I did, Jesus wouldn’t have gone to the cross at all. What I did even fulfilled the Scriptures. How can You judge me at all?” The answer to Judas might go like this: “Yes, God used your wickedness but it was still your wickedness. There was no good or pure motive in your heart at all. It is no credit to you that God brought good out of your evil. You stand guilty before God.”
c. When Paul says I speak as a man, he isn’t trying to imply that he no longer speaks by inspiration of the Holy Spirit and proper apostolic authority. He is explaining that only as a man - a fallen man at that - would anyone dare to question God’s justice.
4. (Romans 3:6-8) Paul’s answer to the objection raised.
Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world? For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?; as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.
a. Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world? Paul dismisses the question of his opponent easily. If things were such as his opponent suggested, then God could judge no one!
i. It is true that God will use even the unrighteousness of man to accomplish His work and bring praise to His name - Judas’ betrayal of Jesus is a perfect example. Nevertheless, part of the way God glorifies Himself in man’s sin is by righteously judging that unrighteousness.
b. How will God judge the world? For both Paul and his readers it was a given that a judgment day was coming, when some would be acquitted and some condemned. He didn’t need to contest this point; it was simply understood in that culture.
i. Paul understood that God would judge the world, both Jew and Gentile. The Jews of Paul’s day figured that God would condemn the Gentile for his sin, but save the Jew despite his sin.
c. For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? Paul re-states the objection of an imaginary questioner: “If God will glorify Himself through my lie, how can He judge me, since I seem to indirectly increase His glory?”
d. Let us do evil that good may come: This was a perversion of Paul’s doctrine of justification by faith, and an extension of the objection of his imaginary questioner. If you take the thinking of Paul’s adversary far enough, you end up saying, “Let’s sin as much as we can so God can be glorified even more.” This shows us that one way to examine a teaching is to extend its meaning and consequences and see where you end up.
i. Of course, let us do evil that good may come was not Paul’s teaching. He makes it clear that we are slanderously reported to teach this. Still, it is possible to see how this accusation came as Paul freely preached forgiveness and salvation by grace through faith in Jesus, not works.
ii. Most Christian preaching is so far from the true gospel of free grace that Paul preached that there is no way anyone could even slanderously report that they taught “let us do evil that good may come.” If we find ourselves sometimes accused of preaching a gospel that is “too open” and too centered on faith and grace and God’s work then we find ourselves in good company with Paul.
e. Their condemnation is just: Paul will not even answer such an absurd twisting of his gospel. He simply says of those who would teach such things or accuse Paul of teaching them, their condemnation is just. God rightly condemns anyone who teaches or believes such a thing.
i. Twisting the glorious free gift of God in Jesus into a supposed license to sin is perhaps the summit of man’s depravity. It takes the most beautiful gift of God and perverts it and mocks it. This twisting is so sinful Paul saves it for last, because it is beyond the depravity of the pagan (Romans 1:24-32), beyond the hypocrisy of the moralist (Romans 2:1-5), and beyond the false confidence of the Jew (Romans 2:17-29).
B. Conclusion: the universal guilt of mankind before God.
1. (Romans 3:9) The guilt of both Jew and Gentile before God.
What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.
a. Are we better than they? Not at all: Since Paul was Jewish by birth and heritage (Philippians 3:4-6), when we says “we” he means “we Jews.” The point is that by nature, the Jewish person is no more right with God than the pagan or the moralist. Paul has demonstrated that the pagan, the moralist and the Jew are all under sin and therefore, under condemnation.
b. Under sin is a powerful phrase. It speaks of our slavery to sin, literally meaning “sold under sin.” By nature every person knows what it is like to be a slave to sin, both Jews and Greeks.
i. Morris on under sin: “He is regarding sin as a tyrant ruler, so that sinners are ‘under’ it (JB, ‘under sin’s dominion’); they cannot break free.”
ii. “Under the power of sin, but chiefly under the guilt of sin.” (Poole)
2. (Romans 3:10-18) The Old Testament witnesses to the universal depravity and guilt of mankind.
As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.”
“Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit”;
“The poison of asps 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 they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
a. These quotations from the Psalms (Psalms 14:1-3; Psa_5:9; Psa_140:3; Psa_10:7 and Psalms 36:1) and from Isaiah 59:7-8 all support the opening statement: There is none righteous, no, not one.
i. Paul looks at the human condition from top to bottom. He begins with head and moves all the way down to the feet. Warren Wiersbe calls this passage “An X-ray study of the lost sinner, from head to foot.”
ii. This look at the human condition is depressing. What’s the point? The Apostle Paul wants us to understand our complete inability to save ourselves. The fall touches every part of man’s being, and the inventory of body parts corrupted by the fall demonstrates this.
b. There is none righteous, no, not one: When God finds none righteous, it is because there are none. It isn’t as if there were some and God couldn’t see them. There has never been a truly righteous man apart from Jesus Christ. “Even Adam was not righteous: he was innocent - not knowing good and evil.” (Newell)
c. There is none who seeks after God: We deceive ourselves into thinking that man, on his own, really does seek after God. Don’t all the religion and rituals and practices from the beginning of time demonstrate that man seeks after God? Not at all. If man initiates the search then he doesn’t seek the true God, the God of the Bible. Instead he seeks an idol that he makes himself.
i. “You have gone through this form of worship, but you have not sought after God. I am sick of this empty religiousness. We see it everywhere; it is not communion with God, it is not getting to God; indeed, God is not in it all.” (Spurgeon)
d. They have together become unprofitable: The word unprofitable has the idea of rotten fruit. It speaks of something that was permanently bad and therefore useless.
e. With these references from the Psalms, Paul calls virtually every part of man’s body into guilt: throat, tongue, lips, mouth, feet, eyes are all shown to be filled with sin and rebellion against God.
i. Their feet are swift to shed blood: “For further details, read your daily papers!” (Newell) For example, the Los Angeles Times reported that in 1992 murders reached a record level of 800 in Los Angeles County.
f. There is no fear of God before their eyes: This summarizes the entire thought. Every sin and rebellion against God happens because we do not have a proper respect for Him. Wherever there is sin, there is no fear of God.
i. John Calvin on the fear of God: “In short, as it is a bridle to restrain our wickedness, so when it is wanting, we feel at liberty to indulge every kind of licentiousness.”
3. (Romans 3:19-20) Summation: the law cannot save us from our sin and the penalty it deserves.
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
a. Whatever the law says: Paul points out that this horrific description of man’s utter sinfulness come to us in the law; and it is intended for those under the law, to silence every critic and to demonstrate the universal guilt of mankind - that all the world may become guilty before God.
i. “We may add, that though all the vices here enumerated are not found conspicuously in every individual, yet they may be justly and truly ascribed to human nature, as we have already observed.” (Calvin)
b. It says to those who are under the law: If God speaks this way to those who had the law, and attempted to do the law, it is evident that by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight.
i. Remember that many Jewish people of Paul’s day took every passage of the Old Testament describing evil and applied it only to the Gentiles - not to themselves. Paul makes it clear that God speaks to those who are under the law.
c. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight: The law cannot save us. The law can’t justify anyone. It is useful in giving us the knowledge of sin, but it cannot save us.
i. Since the time of Adam and Eve, people have tried to justify themselves by the deeds of the law. In the Garden of Eden Adam tried to make himself presentable to God by making coverings out of fig leaves - and he failed. In Job, the oldest book of the Bible, the problem is presented clearly: how can a man be righteous before God? (Job 9:2) God makes part of the answer clear here through Paul - the answer is not in the performance of good works, in the deeds of the law.
ii. How we need to deeply understand this - that by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified!
· This means that the law, having been broken, can only condemn us - it can never save us
· This means that even we could now begin to perfectly keep the law of God it could not make up for past disobedience, or remove present guilt
· This means that keeping law is NOT God’s way of salvation or of blessing under the New Covenant
d. For by the law is the knowledge of sin: J.B. Phillip’s paraphrase of this phrase is striking: it is the straight-edge of the Law that shows us how crooked we are.
i. “Lest any should think that the law hereupon is useless, he goes on to show its use, but a quite contrary one to what they intended. It convinceth us of our guilt, and therefore is far from being our righteousness.” (Poole)
C. The revelation of the righteousness of God.
1. (Romans 3:21) The revelation of righteousness.
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
a. But now provides the most glorious transition from the judgment of Romans 3:20 to the justification of Romans 3:21.
i. But now speaks of the newness of God’s work in Jesus Christ - it really is a New Covenant. Being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets reminds us that there is still continuity with God’s work in former times.
b. Apart from the law: The law cannot save us, but God revealed a righteousness that would save us, apart from the law. This is the essence of God’s plan of salvation in Jesus Christ: it is a salvation that is offered apart from the law, apart from our own earning and deserving, apart from our own merits.
c. Being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets: This righteousness is not a novelty. Paul didn’t “invent” it. It was predicted long ago, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets. The Old Testament said this righteousness was coming.
d. Apart from the law: It isn’t that the righteousness of God is revealed apart from the Old Testament, but that it is revealed apart from the principle of law. It is apart from a legal relationship to God, based on the idea of earning and deserving merit before Him.
i. “The Greek puts to the very front this great phrase apart from law (choris nomou) and this sets forth most strongly the altogether separateness of this Divine righteousness from any law-performance, any works of man, whatsoever.” (Newell)
ii. God’s righteousness is not offered to us as something to take up the slack between our ability to keep the law and God’s perfect standard. It is not given to supplement our own righteousness, it is given completely apart from our own attempted righteousness.
2. (Romans 3:22) How this righteousness is communicated to man.
Even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;
a. To all and on all who believe: In Romans 3:21, Paul told us how this righteousness does not come. It does not come through the deeds of the law, it is apart from the law. Now Paul tells us how this saving righteousness does come. It is through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe.
b. Through faith in Jesus Christ: The righteousness of God is not ours by faith; it is ours through faith. We do not earn righteousness by our faith. We receive righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ.
i. Through faith “points to the fact that faith is not a merit, earning salvation. It is no more than the means through which the gift is given.” (Morris)
ii. “But faith is not ‘trusting’ or ‘expecting’ God to do something, but relying on His testimony concerning the person of Christ as His Son, and the work of Christ for us on the cross . . . After saving faith, the life of trust begins . . . trust is always looking forward to what God will do; but faith sees that what God says has been done, and believes God’s Word, having the conviction that it is true, and true for ourselves.” (Newell)
c. For the there is no difference: There is no other way to obtain this righteousness. This righteousness is not earned through obedience to the law; it is a received righteousness, gained through faith in Jesus Christ.
i. “There is a little book entitled, Every man his own lawyer. Well, nowadays, according to some people, it seems as if every man is to be his own saviour; but if I had, say; a dozen gospels, and I had to sort them out, and give the right gospel to the right man, what a fix I should be in! I believe that, oftentimes, I should be giving your gospel to someone else, and someone else’s gospel to you; and what a muddle it would all be! But now we have one universal cure . . . The blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ will save every man who trusts him, for ‘there is no difference.’“ (Spurgeon)
3. (Romans 3:23-24) Man’s universal need and God’s universal offer.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
a. Being justified: Paul develops his teaching about salvation around three themes.
· Justification: an image from the court of law
· Redemption (an image from the slave market)
· Propitiation (an image from the world of religion, appeasing God through sacrifice)
i. Justification solves the problem of man’s guilt before a righteous Judge. Redemption solves the problem of man’s slavery to sin, the world, and the devil. Propitiation solves the problem of offending God our Creator.
b. Even as all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God is universal, so is the offer of being justified freely by His grace. It is open to everyone who will believe.
i. Morris, quoting Moule: “The harlot, the liar, the murderer, are short of it; but so are you. Perhaps they stand at the bottom of a mine, and you on the crest of an Alp; but you are as little able to touch the stars as they.” Everyone falls short, but everyone can be justified freely by His grace.
c. How do we fall short of the glory of God? It’s impossible to describe every way, but here are four important ways man falls short of the glory of God.
i. We fail to give God the glory due Him, in our words, thoughts and actions.
ii. We fail to qualify for, and thereby reject, the glory and reward that God gives faithful servants.
iii. We fail to properly reflect God’s glory, by refusing to be conformed into His image.
iv. We fail to obtain the final glory God will bestow on His people at the end of all history.
d. Justified freely by His grace: Being in such a sinful state, the only way we can be justified is to be justified freely. We can’t purchase it with out good works at all. If it isn’t made free to us, we can’t have it all. So we are justified freely by His grace - His unmerited favor, given to us without regard to what we deserve. It is a giving motivated purely by the giver, and motivated by nothing in the one who receives.
i. Freely is the Greek word dorean. The way this word is used in other New Testament passages helps us understand the word. Matthew 10:8 (Freely you have received, freely give) and Revelation 22:17 (And whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely) show that the word means truly free, not just “cheap” or “discounted.” Perhaps the most striking use of the ancient Greek word dorean is in John 15:25 : They hated me without a cause (dorean). Even as there was nothing in Jesus deserving of man’s hatred, so there is nothing in us deserving of justification - all the reasons are in God.
ii. Calvin on the use of both the words freely and grace: “He thus repeats the word to show that the whole is from God, and nothing from us . . . lest we should imagine a half kind of grace, he affirms more strongly what he means by a repetition, and claims for God’s mercy alone the whole glory of our righteousness.”
e. Through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Again, Paul’s gospel centers squarely in Christ Jesus. Salvation is possible because of the redemption found in Him. God cannot give us His righteousness apart from Jesus Christ.
f. Redemption has the idea of buying back something, and involves cost. However, God pays the cost and so we are justified freely.
i. The word redemption had its origin in the release of prisoners of war on payment of a price and was know as the “ransom.” As time went on, it was extended to include the freeing of slaves, again by the payment of a price.
ii. The idea of redemption means that Jesus bought us, therefore we belong to Him. Paul expressed this thought in another letter: For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:20)
4. (Romans 3:25-26) How the death of Jesus satisfies the righteous judgment of God.
Whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
a. Whom God set forth as a propitiation: Jesus, by His death (by His blood) was a propitiation (substitute sacrifice) for us. As He was judged in our place, the Father could demonstrate His righteousness in judgment against sin, while sparing those who deserved the judgment.
b. Wuest on propitiation: “The word in its classical form was used of the act of appeasing the Greek gods by a sacrifice . . . in other words, the sacrifice was offered to buy off the anger of the god.”
i. The NIV translates propitiation as sacrifice of atonement; the Living Bible has to take the punishment for our sins.
c. The Greek word for propitiation (hilasterion) is also used in the Septuagint for the mercy seat, the lid that covered the ark of the covenant, upon which sacrificial blood was sprinkled as an atonement for sin. While it might be said that this passage is saying “Jesus is our mercy seat,” it probably has more the straightforward idea of propitiation - a substitute sacrifice.
i. At the same time, the “mercy seat” idea should not be neglected as an illustration of that propitiation. Inside the ark of the covenant were the evidence of man’s great sin: the tablets of law; the manna received ungratefully; the budded rod of Aaron, showing man’s rejection of God’s leadership. Up over the ark of the covenant were the symbols of the holy presence of the enthroned God in the beautiful gold cherubim. In between the two stood the mercy seat, and as sacrificial blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16), God’s wrath was averted because a substitute had been slain on behalf of sinners coming by faith. We really can say that Jesus is our “mercy seat,” standing between guilty sinners and the holiness of God.
d. Whom God set forth as a propitiation: This shows that Jesus somehow appeased a reluctant, unwilling Father to hold back His wrath. Instead, it was God the Father who initiated the propitiation: whom God set forth.
e. God, in His forbearance, had passed over the sins of those Old Testament saints who trusted in the coming Messiah. At the cross, those sins were no longer passed over, they were paid for.
i. The idea is that through the animal sacrifice of the Old Testament, those who looked in faith to the coming Messiah had their sins “covered” by a sort of an “IOU” or promissory note. That temporary covering was redeemed for full payment at the cross.
ii. The work of Jesus on the cross freed God from the charge that He passed over sin committed before the cross lightly. They were passed over for a time, but they were finally paid for.
f. That He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus: At the cross, God demonstrated His righteousness by offering man justification (a legal verdict of “not guilty”), while remaining completely just (because the righteous penalty of sin had been paid at the cross).
i. It’s easy to see how God could only be just - simply send every guilty sinner to hell, as a just Judge. It’s easy to see how God could only be the justifier - simply tell every guilty sinner, “I declare a pardon. You are all declared ‘not guilty.’“ But only God could find a way to be both just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
ii. “Here we learn that God designed to give the most evident displays of both his justice and mercy. Of his justice, in requiring a sacrifice, and absolutely refusing to give salvation to a lost world in any other way; and of his mercy, in providing THE sacrifice which his justice required.” (Clarke)
5. (Romans 3:27) Boasting in the salvation which comes through the gospel of Jesus Christ is excluded.
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.
a. Where is boasting then? It shouldn’t be anywhere. Because we are justified freely by His grace, there is no room for self-congratulation or credit.
b. By what law? Boasting and pride isn’t excluded because there is some specific passage in the law against it. Instead, pride is excluded because it is completely incompatible with the salvation that is freely ours though faith. Boasting is excluded by the law of faith.
c. No room for boasting! This, of course, is why the natural man hates being justified freely by His grace; it absolutely refuses to recognize his (imagined) merits and gives no place to his pride whatsoever.
6. (Romans 3:28-30) Justification (acquittal in the court of God) is found, for both Jew and Gentile, apart from the deeds of the law.
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
a. Justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law: It isn’t that we are justified by faith plus whatever deeds of the law we can do. We are justified by faith alone, apart from the deeds of the law.
i. “Since all works of law are barred out, faith alone is left. Luther so translated, and since his time Sola Fide has become a slogan.” (Lenski)
b. Apart from the deeds of the law: Doesn’t James contradict this in passages like James 2:14-26? How can we say that it is faith alone that saves, apart from the deeds of the law?
i. It is true faith alone saves, but true faith, saving faith, has a distinct character. It is not just agreeing with certain facts, but it is a directing of the mind and will in agreement with God. The whole purpose of the book of James is to describe the character of this saving faith.
ii. Calvin explains: “What James says, that man is not justified by faith alone, but also by works, does not at all militate against the preceding view [of justification by faith alone]. The reconciling of the two views depends chiefly on the drift of the argument pursued by James. For the question with him is not, how men attain righteousness before God, but how they prove it to others that they are justified; for his object was to confute hypocrites, who vainly boasted that they had faith . . . James meant no more than that man is not made or proved to be just by a feigned or dead faith, and that he must prove his righteousness by his works.”
c. This righteousness is offered to both Jew and Gentile. The universal character of the offer is demonstrated by a simple fact: Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Of course He is. If there is only one God, then God is God of the Gentiles as much as He is God of the Jews. It’s just up to the Gentiles to recognize Him as God.
d. There is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith: Not only is this righteousness available to both Jew and Gentile, it is also received the same way by both Jew and Gentile. Since one God justifies both Jew and Gentile, He justifies them in the same way: by faith . . . through faith.
7. (Romans 3:31) What of the law then?
Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.
a. Do we then make void the law through faith? We can see how someone might ask this. “If the law doesn’t make us righteous, what good is it? Paul, you have just made the law void. You are going against the law of God.”
b. Certainly not! Of course, Paul does not make void the law. As the Apostle will demonstrate in Romans 4, the law anticipated the coming gospel of justification by faith, apart from the deeds of the law. Therefore, the gospel establishes the law, fulfilling its own predictions.
Visit Our Sponsors
Find Us on Facebook
Search This Commentary
Theology: A Very Short Introduction
Genesis 1-11: New Daily Study Bible [NDSB]
2 Chronicles: Anchor Yale Bible Commentary [AYBC]
The Gospel of Matthew: The King is Coming - 21st Century Biblical Commentary
Genesis 1-11: Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture [ACCS]