Advance Studies in the book Of Romans Part 4

Chapter 3

1-4 God forbid:

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.

The Doctrine of Salvation: Some teach (Hagey) that the Jews will all be allowed to enter into Heaven; they all are and will be saved; what an advantage! …if it were true. The real Jewish advantage was that to them was committed the word of God… they were known as the people of God. But, today, what is their advantage? Most Jews are unsaved and they will go to Hell when they die. It is not an advantage to be a Jew today… unless you are a saved Jew.

Also, circumcision is of no advantage either; it does not profit a Jew, or anyone.

The Doctrine of the Bible: Some Jews did not belief what the Bible says about salvation through the blood atonement of Messiah. “If some of the Jewish nation have abused their privileges, and acted contrary to their obligations, shall their wickedness annul the promise which God made to Abraham, that He would, by an everlasting covenant, be a God to him and to his seed after him? Gen 17:7” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary)

The Old Testament was commited to the Jews, the New Testament (and Old) to the churches. Just because many don’t believe in God in this great Christian nation, doesn’t mean that there is no God. Just because there are lots of hypocrites that call themselves Christians doesn’t mean that Christianity is bogus. God forbid this! If one does not believe what the Bible says, then they are a liar.

5-9a God’s righteous vengeance:

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.

9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise:…

The Doctrine of Judgment: The Jews were sinning, which promoted the righteousness of God that involves judging sin with vengeance (5). Judgement of sin is righteousness, not something evil. Many think it unfair of God to take His vengeance out on the lost (“How can a loving God send people to Hell”?!). It appears that some were saying that Paul said that it was ok to sin… this would be the ‘my lie’ of v. 7. If sinning was ok, then why was Paul being judged for his sin (Paul still sinned). Their slander involved saying it was good to do evil so that more of God’s grace could be shown (8). These thought that being a circumcised Jew meant everything. They apparently thought that circumcised Jews were no longer sinners…well, at least much better than the Gentiles. They belittled Paul’s teaching that it was the obeying of the Law from the heart that mattered. So they mocked him with these ridiculous slanderings.

[Someone might be saying here,] “After all, if God is honored in judging my sin, then I am really doing Him a favor by sinning! Instead of judging me, He should let me sin that He might be glorified all the more! He certainly is not righteous to judge me!” (Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament)

Romans 3:5

“May we not suppose that our unrighteousness may serve to commend and illustrate the mercy of God in keeping and fulfilling to us the promise which He made to our forefathers? The more wicked we are, the more His faithfulness to His ancient promise is to be admired. And if so, would not God appear unjust in taking vengeance and casting us off?”

(Adam Clarke’s Commentary)

9b-18 There is none righteous:

…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.

The Doctrine of Sin: This is a very clear treatise that all are indeed sinners: Jew or Gentile. The Jew is no better than the Gentile in this regard (9b). There were some that thought that they were indeed righteous; thus, v. 10 needed to be written. It is man’s nature not to seek after God; God must initiate the seeking or man is hopelessly lost (11). Every man, including you, goes his own way and does not seek God and is totally unprofitable to God….unless God seeks him (12). One of the worst (if not the worst) sources of sin for you is your mouth. Observe a person (or a family) that has no fear of God before their eyes; they will curse, they will be full of bitterness, they will be violent, they are miserable, their relationships are full of strife… they sin. The biggest sinners are those who have no fear of God or any type of authority. Man who thinks himself to be righteous has no fear of God before his eyes. This is the best that can be said of mankind, on their own. What an indightment on man, on you! We are fixed on evil; we are all under sin; none of us are capable of being righteous. Thank God for His righteousness!

“The apostle is reasoning with Jews; and he proceeds to show from their own Scriptures, that what he had affirmed was true. The point to be proved was, that the Jews, in the matter of justification, had no advantage or preference over the Gentiles; that the Jew had failed to keep the Law which had been given him, as the Gentile had failed to keep the Law which had been given him; and that both, therefore, were equally dependent on the mercy of God, incapable of being justified and saved by their works. To show this, the apostle adduces texts to show what was the character of the Jewish people; to show that according to their own Scriptures, they were sinners no less than the Gentiles. The point, then, is to prove the depravity of the Jews, not that of universal depravity. In a certain sense, they may be adduced as bearing on that subject. But their direct reference is to the Jewish nation. The passages which follow [verse 10], are taken from various parts of the Old Testament. The design of this is to show, that this characteristic of sin was not confined to any particular period of the Jewish history, but pertained to them as a people; that it had characterised them throughout their existence as a nation.” (Barnes’ Notes)

19-23 Righteousness without the law:

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; 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;

The Doctrine of Sin: Is everyone under the law? This is the case for sure if one is trying to justify himself via the law. Thus, he will have to be perfect in keeping the law. Everyone has broken the law of God; no one can say that they haven’t, for God says that they have; the whole world is guilty (19). There is no way to try and be justified by trying to keep the law! It is impossible! The law’s purpose was not to save you, but to show you that you have broken it and need to be saved (20). God’s righteousness is shown to be apart from the law; it is found not in the law, but solely in Jesus Christ (21,22). This righteousness is thru faith, thru belief…in Jesus Christ the Righteous. Whether you are Jew or Gentile, the righteousness is still found the same way. It’s not through the legal system; for all have broken the law, sinned, and come short of what God demands…

“The phrase “the Law and the prophets” comprehended the whole of the Old Testament; Matt 5:17; 11:13; 22:40; Acts 13:15; 28:23. That this doctrine was contained in the prophets, the apostle showed by the passage quoted from Hab 2:4, in Rom 1:17, “The just shall live by faith.” The same thing he showed in Rom 10:11, from Isa 28:16; 49:23; Rom 4:6-8, from Ps 32. The same thing is fully taught in Isa 53:11; Dan 9:24. Indeed, the general tenor of the Old Testament, the appointment of sacrifices, etc., taught that man was a sinner, and that he could not be justified by obedience to the moral law.” (Barnes’ Notes)

24-28 Justified by faith:

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. 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.

The Doctrine of Justification: Justification from being found guilty in breaking the law of God comes freely (we don’t pay anything) by grace thru Christ Jesus (24). The payment (propitiation) was specifically made through His blood (it wasn’t free to Jesus Christ!); you must have faith in this blood (25); yet, there is a growing belief that His shed blood was only symbolic; you need faith in real shed blood of the Saviour, not faith in some mystical symbolism! It is His righteousness that pays for your sins; the sins that are already past; God knew and knows all the sins you will ever commit (25). God is the only Just One and thus the only One that can justify anyone; but will only justify if you belive in Jesus (26). No one can possibly boast, for their justness comes not from how well one keeps the law; you can only boast in Christ and what He has done for you (27). Thus, the conclusion is that a man is not at all justified by trying to be good and keep the law; it is only accomplished through faith in the blood of Christ as the remitter of sins and the declarer of one to be made righteous, justified, redeemed! The law does not figure in to justification one bit (28).

Propitiation: “That by which God is rendered propitious, i.e., by which it becomes consistent with his character and government to pardon and bless the sinner. The propitiation does not procure his love or make him loving; it only renders it consistent for him to execise his love towards sinners.

In Rom 3:25 and Heb 9:5 the Greek word hilasterion is used. In Ex 25:17 and elsewhere [is] the equivalent for the Hebrew kapporeth, which means “covering,” and is used of the lid of the ark of the covenant (Ex 25:21; 30:6). This Greek word (hilasterion) came to denote not only the mercy-seat or lid of the ark, but also (propitation) reconciliation by blood. On the great day of atonement the high priest carried the blood of the sacrifice he offered for all the people within the veil and sprinkled with it the “mercy-seat,” and so made propitiation.” (Easton’s Bible Dictionary)

Thus, propitiation is related ‘symbolically’ to the mercy seat.

29-31 The law is important:

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.

The law doesn’t figure into receiving salvation; but it does still matter. It ‘establishes’ that the Jew as well as the Gentile is a sinner and is in desperate need of salvation from the penalty of that sin. We are all sinners equally, and we are all justified the same way. Circumcised or not, it is all through faith. The ‘circumcision’ (i.e. the O.T. Jews) were saved through ‘faith’ just like we N.T. Gentiles are.