omans 3: 9-31, the Righteousness of God
VV 9-20, 9 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. 10 As it is written: ‘’ There is none righteous, no, not one;11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” 13 ‘’ Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced 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 they have not known.”18 ‘’There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 19 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. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Are the Jews better than the Gentiles?
No, both are sinners. Paul had established Jews and Gentiles to be sinners. No one is righteous before a righteous God. No one seeks after God or fear God. Everyone had turned away from away from God and followed their own ways. No one justified by the law because everyone is a law breaker.
Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding”.
Isaiah 53:6, “all we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all”.
Romans 3:23,”All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”
VV 21-23, 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Greek for apart from is “choris” which means independent of. God revealed a righteousness that is independent of the Mosaic Law. This righteousness, witnessed by the Mosaic Law and the prophets, is the imputed righteousness of Christ to all who believed in Him. This is the doctrine of justification by faith. Greek for sin is “hamartia” which means to miss the bull’s eye. There is no indifference between Jews and Gentiles. Everyone missed the bull’s eye of God’s perfect standard of righteousness.
V 24-26, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 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, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Greek for justification is “dikaiosis” which means to treat as if one has not sinned. Greek for redemption is “apolutrosis” which means freedom procured by payment of ransom. Greek for propitiation is “hilasterion” which is the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant between the two cherubim in the holy of holies. In the old testament, God meets the people of Israel at the mercy seat. Exodus 30:6.
God treats us just as if we have not sinned when we believe in Jesus Christ. This is grace, a free gift from God. Christ redeemed us by His death on the cross to pay the ransom for our release from slavery to satan. Jesus meets us at the mercy seat to be our mediator with God. God is just when He pronounced justification on the person who has faith in Jesus.
VV 27-31, 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.
Are Jews allowed to boast?
No! Boasting of the Jews is excluded because of justification by faith is independent of the law.
Is He the God of the Jews only?
No. He is God of the Jews and the Gentiles, and justifies the Jews and the Gentiles by faith.
Do we then make void the law through faith?
No, because the law is established by faith.
Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill”.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the doctrine of justification by faith. Thank You for the universality of salvation by grace and justification by faith. We pray for all those who are not walking with You to come back to You again, in Jesus’ name, Amen.