Faith Establishes the Law (Romans 3)
God wants all people to be saved.
All have sinned and need Jesus the Saviour.
The wickedness and violence of sin are detailed.
Righteousness is Jesus.
Justification is by faith in Jesus.
Faith in Jesus establishes the law.
1. After strongly emphasizing spiritual Israel in place of physical Israel and spiritual circumcision in place of physical circumcision, Paul addresses the expected concerns of the converts from ethnic Israel. (see context
2. The nation of Israel had been privileged to be the earthly conduit of God's word, which pointed forward to Jesus. (
Lk 24:27, Jn 5:39,46, 1Pe 1:10-12)
(Note: Verses 3-8 are parenthetical.)
3. When others reject the gospel, we should not become discouraged and should not lose faith in the effectiveness of God's plan of salvation.
The cross of Christ is powerful and effective. (
Jn 12:32,33, Ro 1:16, 1Co 1:18)
In spite of the compelling force of God's love, God allows human will to reject its Creator. (
Jn 3:16-19, 2Th 2:10-12)
4. God will be vindicated from all false accusations brought against His character, His government, and His plan of salvation. (
Isa 45:22,23, Ro 14:11, Php 2:10,11, Rev 15:3)
5. Some had brought into question whether it was just for God to punish sinners, because they claimed sin itself exhalts God's unique holiness.
6. This line of reasoning fails to comprehend God's loving character.
Because God is love and sin harms, God hates sin and will eradicate it. (
1Jn 4:8, Pr 8:13, Isa 11:9)
Note on Pr 8:13: Froward - "not willing to yield or comply with what is required" (Webster's Dictionary 1828)
Because God is love, He first sent His Son to freely remove sin from all who would accept Him. (
Ro 11:26,27, 1Jn 3:4-6)
Because God is love, He will finally, forcefully remove sin by destroying all sinners who rejected the sacrificial death of His Son. (
Na 1:7-9, 1Jn 5:12, Rev 20:11-15)
7. The faulty reasoning is again restated.
8. The same false argument was assailing the gospel message.
Does grace thrive in an atmosphere of sin? (compare
Sin was not introduced that grace might abound.
Grace was introduced that sin might die. (
Ro 6:1,2, 1Jn 1:7,9, Rev 7:14, Rev 19:7,8)
(Note: Verses 3-8 are parenthetical.)
9. Considering their God-endowed privileges, does it follow that Jews are inherently better than Gentiles?
With God, there is no favoratism. (
2Ch 19:7, Ac 10:34, Ac 17:26,27)
God wants all people to be saved. (
Eze 18:23,32, Eze 33:11)
10. There is none righteous, not one.
All humanity is inherently polluted by a common sinful nature. (
Ge 8:21, Ps 51:5, Jer 17:9, Mt 26:41, Ro 5:12, Ro 7:21-23)
11. There is none that understand.
This refers to the unconverted; to those apart from Christ. (
1Co 2:14, Eph 4:17,18)
Understanding comes from Jesus. (
Pr 28:5, 1Jn 5:20)
There is none that seek God.
The wicked do not seek God. (
All people are tainted by inherent wickedness. (
Ge 6:5, Jer 17:9, Col 1:21, 1Jn 5:19)
God wants everyone to seek after Him. (
Isa 55:6, Jer 29:13, Mal 3:7, Ac 17:26,27, Heb 11:6)
God calls and draws all people to Himself. (
Jn 12:32,33, Ro 8:29,30, 2Ti 1:9, 1Pe 2:9)
Those that accept Jesus and live by the Spirit seek after God. (
Ps 27:8, Ro 8:4,5)
12. They are all gone out of the way. (
They have become unprofitable. (
Mt 3:10, Mk 11:12-14,20-22, Lk 13:6-9)
There is none that does good. (
This refers to the unconverted; to those apart from Christ.
Goodness comes from God. (
Lk 18:19, Jas 1:17)
The will of God is good. (
God's children do His will. (
Mt 7:21, Heb 13:20,21, 1Jn 2:17)
Therefore, God's children will do good works. (
Mt 7:17-20, Mt 12:35, 2Co 9:8, Gal 6:9,10, 1Ti 6:17,18, Tit 2:14)
13. These deathly, serpentine traits are clear indications that those referred to here do not follow the Lord Jesus. (compare
Mt 23:27, Ge 3:1, Rev 12:9)
14. The language of the unconverted is full of cursing. (
Mt 12:36,37, Eph 4:29, Col 3:8, Jas 3:10, 2Pe 2:6,7)
15. The unconverted commit violence and murder. (
Ge 4:8 (compare 1Jn 3:11,12), Ge 6:11-13, Ex 20:13, Jn 8:44, 1Jn 3:15, Rev 21:7,8, Rev 22:14,15)
16. The unconverted bring destruction and misery to others. (
Ps 35:17, Ps 37:32, Da 7:21-25, Rev 6:9,10, Rev 13:15, Rev 17:5,6)
The unconverted bring destruction and misery upon themselves. (
Mal 4:1, Ro 6:23, Php 3:18,19, 2Th 1:7-9, Rev 11:18, Rev 20:11-15)
17. Not knowing the way of peace proves conclusively that the children of God are not included here. (
18. Noting that the fear of God is to hate evil (
Pr 8:13), it follows that the unconverted are not repulsed by evil.
19. All the world is under the law.
God's law is supremely summarized in the Ten Commandments. (
Ex 24:12, Ex 31:18)
God's immutable, perfect law, still stands. (
Ps 19:7, Ps 89:34, Ps 111:7,8, Mt 5:17-19, Lk 16:17, Jas 1:25 compare Jas 2:11,12)
It is obvious that the preposition "under" is used here with the meaning that no one is outside the jurisdiction of God's law.
Then, how are we to understand the statement in
Ro 6:15 that says we are not under the law, but rather under grace?
If we are both "under" the law and "not under" the law, then the preposition "under" must have different meanings in the two contexts.
In the context of this present verse, "under" is used with the meaning of "being subject to".
In the context of Ro 6:15, "under" is used with the meaning of "being under a plan as a means of achieving an end".
The end (or goal) of Ro 6:15 is salvation.
The Jews were to understand that their idea of achieving salvation via works of the law was a falsehood.
The text plainly states that we are all under the plan of grace as the only means of receiving the free gift of salvation.
Note: Use of "under" in this verse - [Gr. en (en)] - "denoting (fixed) position (in place, time, or state)" (Strong's Dictionary)
Note: Use of "under" in Ro 6:15 - [Gr. hupo (hoop-o')] - "with verbs (the agency or means, through)" (Strong's Dictionary)
20. The purpose of the law is emphasized here.
The law is to point out sin, for sin is the transgression of God's law. (
The law is the mirror that shows us our sin. (
The mirror cannot be used to cleanse us from our sins. (
To be cleansed, we need Jesus. (
Gal 3:24, 1Jn 1:7,9)
21. The righteousness of God (Jesus) is now manifested. (
Without the law
Not by works.
Jesus demonstrated perfect faith in the Father.
Witnessed by the law and the prophets
The ceremonial law pointed to Jesus.
The prophecies of scripture were fulfilled by Jesus. (
22. Righteousness is Jesus. (
Jn 15:5, Ro 5:17-19, 1Co 1:30, 2Co 5:21, Gal 2:20, Php 1:11, Php 3:9)
The righteousness of God is revealed as sinners, one by one, establish their faith in Christ. (
In this sense, living by faith refers to the reception of eternal life through faith in Jesus as Saviour. (
The righteousness of God is revealed as sinners, day by day, excercise their faith in Christ. (
Mt 5:16, 2Co 5:17)
In this sense, living by faith refers to the demonstration of godly character that results from following Jesus as Lord. (
23. All have sinned and are, therefore, in need of the Saviour. (
24. Jesus redeemed us (purchased us back) with His blood. (
We did nothing. We paid nothing. We suffered nothing.
Jesus did everything. Jesus paid with His blood. Jesus suffered unto death.
25. Salvation is through faith in His blood. (
That is to say, faith in Who He Is, as proved by His supreme, sacrificial love.
Note the emphasis on sins that are past.
We are not to use grace as a ticket for future sinning. (
Ro 6:1,2, Heb 6:4-8)
Those who follow Jesus leave the path of sin. (
1Pe 2:24, 1Jn 2:1-6, 1Jn 3:4-6)
26. God is just. (
God justifies those who believe in Jesus. (
Jn 3:16, Ac 16:30,31)
Justify - "In theology, to pardon and clear from guilt; to absolve or acquit from guilt and merited punishment, and to accept as righteous on account of the merits of the Savior, or by the application of Christ's atonement to the offender." (Webster's Dictionary 1828)
27. The law of faith excludes all boasting of works. (
Gal 6:14, Eph 2:8,9)
28. Justification is 100% by faith in Jesus.
It is not by any combination of Jesus and works. (
Isa 64:6, Hab 2:4, Ro 1:17, Ro 4:4-6, Gal 2:16, Gal 5:4, Tit 3:5)
29-30. The law of faith applies to all people, without exception.
31. Has the law of faith nullified the moral law (Ten Commandments)?
God will never allow His holy law to be voided. (
Ps 89:34, Isa 42:21, Mt 5:17,18, Lk 16:17)
Notes on Mt 5:18 and Lk 16:17:
Jot - "from Greek iota, Hebrew yodh, the smallest letters in those two alphabets." (Wikipedia)
Tittle - "a small distinguishing mark, such as a diacritic or the dot over an i." (Wikipedia)
On the contrary, it is through faith in Jesus that the law is established. (
Jer 31:33, Jn 14:15,21,23, Heb 8:10, Heb 10:15,16, 1Jn 2:1-4, 1Jn 5:1-5, Rev 12:17, Rev 14:12)