ROMANS CHAPTER 3

OBSERVATION STAGE

The purpose of the observation stage is to maintain focus on the text at hand within the normative rules of language, context and logic which limits the observer to the content offered by the book of Romans. This will serve to avoid going on unnecessary tangents elsewhere; and more importantly, it will provide the framework for a proper and objective comparison with passages located elsewhere in Scripture.

Remember that something elsewhere may be true, but in the text at hand it may not be in view.

Notice that 3:1 begins with 'What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision?' This continues Paul's discussion of the Jew and the value of having the Law and circumcision in chapter two. So we will begin there so as not to miss the context that chapter three continues and is a part of:

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[Excerpt from chapter two below - or skip to verse 3:1 ]:

JEWS ARE IN VIEW WHO HAVE AND ARE SUPPOSED TO BE INSTRUCTED IN THE LAW, A SUPERIOR INSTRUCTION. THEY HAVE A UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AS HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE TO REPRESENT HIM AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THE WORLD

(v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law... (v. 2:17) "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law" =

Notice that the passage now focuses intently on Jews who have the Law and are supposed to be instructed in the Law - a superior instruction (in righteousness) to what is available to Gentiles is implied, (v. 2:14); and they have a unique relationship with God as His chosen people to represent Him and His righteousness to the world which, it is implied they brag about, (v. 2:17). Evidently the Israelites are a people chosen specially by God to represent Him and His righteousness through obedience to the Law which was uniquely given to them to obey as part of this mission.

THE LAW IS THE EMBODIMENT OF KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH IN THE SENSE THAT IT IS THE SOURCE UPON WHICH KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH IS MADE CONCRETE AND PERCEPTIBLE. HENCE THE LAW IS ALSO THE EMBODIMENT OF GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS

(2:17) "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law." (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth" =

Notice that it is stipulated in v. 2:20, "You have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth!".

[Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G & C Merriam Co, Springfield, USA, 1980, p. 368 provides this applicable meaning of 'embody']:

"Embody... 1 b. To make concrete and perceptible"

This is not to say that the Mosaic Law contains all knowledge and truth. The most applicable definition of the word 'embodiment' here is that the Law makes all knowledge and truth concrete and perceptible, implying that it is the source upon which knowledge and truth is built. Since God is righteous and knowledge and truth and the Law comes from God, then the knowledge and truth which the Law embodies is righteous, hence the Law is the embodiment of God's eternal righteousness.

THE LAW WAS GIVEN FOR THE JEW TO BE PART OF HIS SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD; TO PROVIDE THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S WILL; TO BE A SUPERIOR WAY OF LIFE; TO OBEY IN ORDER TO BE DECLARED RIGHTEOUS; TO BE A GUIDE FOR THE BLIND AND A LIGHT FOR THOSE IN THE DARK; TO BE AN INSTRUCTOR OF THE FOOLISH AND A TEACHER OF INFANTS

(v. 2:13) "For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law, (v. 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) (v. 2:16) This will take place on the day when God will judge man's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. (v. 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law; (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth - (v. 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (v. 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.' "

The Law evidently was provided for the Jew to rely on as part of his special relationship with God, (2:17). The Law gave the Jew the knowledge of God's will and what is superior, among other things, relative to a way of life, (2:18). While one obeys the Law it results in being declared righteous, (2:13). The Law evidently provides information which enables a Jew to be a guide for the [spiritually] blind and a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish and a teacher of [spiritual] infants, (vv. 2:19-20).

THE JEWS WERE GIVEN THE LAW BY GOD IN ORDER TO REPRESENT GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THE WORLD. THEY FALSELY CLAIMED TO RELY ON IT AND CONSTANTLY VIOLATED IT CAUSING GOD'S NAME TO BE BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES

(v. 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an [eternal] righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'... (v. 2:6) God will give to each person according to what he has done. (v. 2:7) To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life (v. 2:8) But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. (v. 2:9) There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; (v. 2:10) but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 2:11) For God does not show favoritism. (v. 2:12) All who sin apart from the Law will also perish apart from the Law, and all who sin under the Law will be judged by the Law. (v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law, (v. 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) (v. 2:16) This will take place on the day when God will judge man's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. (v. 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law. (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth" (v. 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (v. 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.' " (cont.) =

[Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G & C Merriam Co, Springfield, USA, 1980, p. 116 provides an applicable definition for blasphemy]:

"blasphemy...1 a the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God."

The Jews were given the Law by God in order to represent Him to the world. They falsely claimed to rely on it and constantly violated it causing God's name to be blasphemed among the Gentiles. So the Jews evidently are to represent God relative to the Law being given to them by God and their obedience to it as God's chosen people. But their bragging about being given the Law by God as His chosen people and their relationship with God, (v. 2:17); knowing God's will and approving of what is superior because of being instructed by the Law, (v. 2:18); and being convinced that they are a guide and instructor of others, (vv. 2:19-20); their violations of the Law, (vv. 2:21-23) in the face of their utter failure to do any of this misrepresents God to the point of blasphemy.

GOD'S NAME IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE THE JEWS DISHONOR GOD BY CONSTANTLY BREAKING THE LAW YET HOLD THEMSELVES UP AS SUPERIOR TO THE GENTILES. THEY HAVE A UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AS HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE TO REPRESENT GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THE WORLD THROUGH OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW, THEIR UNIQUE POSSESSION. THEY CLAIM THEY RELY ON IT FAITHFULLY

(v. 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an eternal righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'... (v. 2:6) God will give to each person according to what he has done. (v. 2:7) To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life (v. 2:8) But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. (v. 2:9) There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; (v. 2:10) but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 2:11) For God does not show favoritism. (v. 2:12) All who sin apart from the Law will also perish apart from the Law, and all who sin under the Law will be judged by the Law. (v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law, (v. 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) (v. 2:16) This will take place on the day when God will judge man's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. (v. 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law." (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth" (v. 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (v. 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.'"=

God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because the Jews dishonor God by constantly breaking the Law yet hold themselves up as superior to the Gentiles. They have a unique relationship with God as His chosen people to represent God and His righteousness to the world through obedience to the law, their unique possession. They claim they rely on it faithfully.

Verse 2:17 begins in the negative: "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew" which implies a Jew who may have fallen short of some standard. The next phrase corroborates this: "If you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God," which implies a certain self-righteousness and false sense of security with God and a false sense of superiority over non-Jews. Then verses 18-20 provide the possibility ("If..."), of a Jew knowing the will of God and approving of what is superior all of which is attributed to learning from the Law.

Verses 19 & 20 continues the context of: 'If you are convinced because of being instructed by the Law and relying on it' and 'If you are convinced that "you are a guide to the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth." ' which suggests that what they are convinced of is not true.

Verses 2:21b-23 then deal the blow of reality: that the Jew by and large has not permitted himself to actually be taught to rely on the Law; he holds a self-righteous opinion which causes him to "brag about his relationship to God" and falsely think he is a "guide to the blind" and "a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of infants." This corroborates that obeying the Law was not a way for man to achieve eternal life, but to make one conscious of sin because it embodies the perfect righteousness from God which is beyond man's capacity, (v. 2:13). The passage goes further to ask questions that implicate Jews for a number of specific things "do you steal?", "do you commit adultery?", "do you rob temples?", "do you dishonor God by breaking the Law?" which each of these questions are answered in the affirmative by verse 24: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."

JEWS HAVE A SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITY TO REPRESENT GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THE WORLD, ESPECIALLY THROUGH OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW WHICH WAS GIVEN TO THEM AS GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE WHICH THEY HAVE LARGELY FAILED TO LIVE UP TO

(v. 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law." (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth" (v. 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (v. 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.'" =

Verses 2:17 through 24 imply that Jews have a special responsibility to represent God and His righteousness to the world, especially through obedience to the Law which was given to them as God's chosen people which they have largely failed to live up to.

THE CIRCUMCISION IN VIEW IN THIS PASSAGE HISTORICALLY BEGAN AFTER ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD'S PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE AND GOD ACCOUNTED IT TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

(v. 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an eternal righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' ... (v. 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised." =

1) God Promises That Abram Will Be Father Of A Great Nation Leading To Blessings To Abram And All People Through Abram And His Seed, Who Is Christ

a) [Compare Gen 12:1-7]:

(v. 1) '''The Lord had said to Abram, 'Leave you country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.'

(v. 2) 'I [God] will make you [Abram] into a great nation and I will bless you;

I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.

[God's promise to Abraham to make him into a great nation and to be a blessing was a promise which was not fulfilled in Abraham's physical lifetime. It could only be fulfilled if Abraham is resurrected and permitted into the kingdom of God living eternally so as to continue to experience seeing his uncountable offspring and actually be a blessing to people of all nations as he lived on in the eternal kingdom of God]:

(v. 3) I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.'

(v. 4) So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.

(v. 5) He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

(v. 6) Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.

(v. 7) The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your seed I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.'''

i) The Seed Is Christ

"To your Seed I will give this land." =

Paul further defines the meaning of the word "Seed" in Gen 12:7, 13:15 & 24:7 as Jesus Christ Himself:

[Compare Gal 3:16]:

"The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his Seed. The Scripture does not say 'and to seeds,' meaning many people, but 'and to your seed,' meaning one person, who is Christ."

ii) God Promises Eternal Life To Abram

[Compare Gen 12:3]:

"and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." =

God is promising Abram that even after he dies, all peoples - all nations - from now on will be blessed "through" him. This is saying that through Abram's procreation - which has not had one child born to him yet - the nations of the world will be forever blessed. Abram soon thereafter understood this as the ultimate blessing - eternal life in the kingdom of God through his seed, a Savior, (Who is Jesus Christ):

[Compare John 8:56]:

[Jesus said]:"Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing My day; he saw it and was glad."

Abram could not be a blessing to the nations of the world unless God was going to bring a Savior from Abram's line to provide for the sins of the world, so when Abram followed God's instructions indicated in Gen 12:1 by leaving his home, his business, the highly developed civilization in Ur and even his people including his family and set out to an unknown, wilderness land, [remember that Abraham was a wealthy man, (v 5)], this was tantamount to expressing his faith in God's promises of future blessing for himself and the nations of the world through a coming Savior. Therefore, Abram's believing in God's promises of the future would include his personal salvation. Abram would be justified, i.e., become a born again man upon his trusting in God's provision of a future Savior through his line which Scripture records occurred later on when God reiterated His promise to Abram in Gen 15:1-6.

At that time Abram would trust in God's promises, which is tantamount to trusting in God's promise of the blessing of salvation through a coming Man, the Messiah, Jesus Christ. God then would credit Abraham with His divine righteousness unto eternal life. For God promised that Abraham would find that the number of his offspring would be beyond counting and only through Abraham's seeing the kingdom of God, i.e., having eternal life, could God fulfill this promise to bless Abram by seeing his countless offspring in the kingdom.

2) God Repeats His Promise To Abram

a) [Compare Gen 13:14-15]:

(v. 14) "And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, 'Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward;

(v. 15) for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your Seed [Jesus Christ, (Gal 3:16)] forever."

3) Abram Believes In God's Promise And God Credits It To Abram As Righteousness Unto Eternal Life

(v. 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an eternal righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' "

Notice that being declared by God as having an eternal righteousness from Him is unto salvation unto eternal life. The righteousness which Abram received when he believed in God's plan for him confirmed God's promise of eternal life.

a) [Compare Gen 15:1-6]:

(v. 1) "After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:

'Do not be afraid, Abram.

I am your shield,

your very great reward.'

(v. 2) But Abram said, 'O Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?'

(v. 3) And Abram said, 'You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.'

(v. 4) Then the word of the Lord came to him: 'This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.'

(v. 5) He took him outside and said, 'Look up at the heavens and count the stars - if indeed you can count them.' Then he said to him, 'So shall your offspring [lit. your Seed"] be.'

[" 'So shall your offspring ([lit. your Seed") be.' " =

In order for Abram to have countless offspring and be blessed by it in his own life he would have to have eternal life. The next verse indicates that God credited His perfect righteousness to Abram which is to say that Abram was granted entry into the kingdom of heaven, i.e., eternal life when he died]:

(v. 6) Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness."

So God presents a picture to Abraham to affirm His promise of an heir - an actual physical heir who was to come through the loins of Abraham, (Gen 15:4). This picture was 'painted' by God across the star studded night time heavens. An uncountable number of stars were visible to Abraham. God promised that just as the universe contained such an innumerable number of stars, so would be numbered the descendants of Abraham. This picture gave to Abraham the concept of him seeing countless numbers of descendants - a picture of his having eternal life in order for this to be possible. And so, Abraham was promised by God to have an infinite number of descendants evidently over an infinitely long lifetime, i.e., eternal life. When Abraham believed in God's promise of eternal life, God acounted to Abraham His righteousness. That is to say that Abraham was credited with God's perfect righteousness in conjunction with God's promise to Abraham of eternal life which evidently is required in order to have eternal life. This is the definition of justification unto eternal life: to be declared righteous by God. And note that it was received by a moment of faith alone. This cannot be misconstrued to mean that Abraham did or was expected to do anything in order to be perfectly righteous in his lifestyle. There is no stipulation to that effect in the passage.

So Gen 15:5-6 is not just a picture of Abraham's countless descendants living long after he died and had gone into the Lake of Fire. What would be the purpose of that if Abraham would never see them - being condemned to the Lake of Fire? Why would God make such a promise to Abraham if Abraham had no chance of ever seeing them in person, i.e., having eternal life? So this indeed was a picture of God's promise to Abraham of eternal life - eternal life with countless descendants over an eternity of time.

Since a moment of faith in the gospel results in the reception of an eternal righteousness from God and eternal life, (Ro 1:16-17), then Abram's moment of faith in what God promised to him, which resulted in God declaring Abram to have an eternal righteousness from God, similarly provides eternal life for him.

So Abraham was now qualified to have eternal life by being credited by God with the absolutely perfect Righteousness of Jesus Christ as a result of his faith alone in God's plan alone of eternal life. And this eternal life would be through God's promise of providing a physical heir to Abraham whose descendancy would lead to the Messiah/Savior through Whom all the promises would be fulfilled.

AFTER ABRAHAM BELIEVED IN GOD'S COVENANT FOR ABRAHAM AND HIS SEED OF ETERNAL LIFE AND TEMPORAL BLESSINGS, GOD COMMANDED CIRCUMCISION OF ABRAHAM AND ALL IN HIS HOUSEHOLD TO AFFIRM THIS EVERLASTING COVENANT WHICH SYMBOLLICALLY REPRESENTS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD RECKONED TO ABRAHAM AND ALL WHO BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL AS ABRAHAM DID

(v. 2:25) "Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised." (cont.) =

[Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G & C Merriam Co, Springfield, Mass, U.S.A., 1980, p. 200 provides an applicable definition for the word 'circumcision']:

"Circumcision... 1 ... a Jewish rite performed on male infants as a sign of inclusion in the Jewish religious community"

1) [Compare Gen 17:1-14]:

(v. 1) "When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, 'I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless.

(v. 2) I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.'

(v. 3) Abram fell facedown, and God said to him,

(v. 4) 'As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations.

(v. 5) No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.

(v. 6) I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.

(v. 7) I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

(v. 8) The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.'

(v. 9) Then God said to Abraham, 'As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.

(v. 10) This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.

(v. 11) You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.

(v. 12) For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner--those who are not your offspring.

(v. 13) Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant.

(v. 14) Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."

Circumcision is first mentioned in the Bible as a confirmation of God's everlasting covenant with Abram to be his God and the God of his descendants; greatly increase Abram's numbers so that he would be a "father of many nations" wherein kings will come from his descendants, i.e., implying an uncountable number; and providing the whole land of Canaan for him and his descendants as an everlasting possession - all of this implying the reception of eternal life for Abram, now named Abraham by God which means 'father of many nations'. As a sign of the covenant, Abraham and every male in his household including his slaves were commanded by God to be circumcised as an everlasting covenant in their flesh. Those who were not circumcised were to be 'cut off' from Abraham and his people and thus be exempt from temporal blessings God might provide for Abraham and his household.

2) [Compare Ro 2:29]:

"No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God."

In the same way that a physically circumcised Jew is not a true Jew [in God's sight] unless he is spiritually circumcised implying that he has expressed the faith of Abraham in God's promise of eternal life and has been declared righteous, so it was with Abraham and his household. Hence physical circumcision is a symbolic representation of the righteousness of God which is received by an individual when he expresses a moment of faith in the gospel of Abraham, the gospel of all mankind.

ABRAHAM'S CIRCUMCISION WAS INCORPORATED INTO THE MOSAIC LAW AS A RULE OF LIFE FOR JEWS TO RECEIVE TEMPORAL BLESSINGS - ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO EXERCISED THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM; AND IT WAS A DEMONSTRATION TO THE WORLD OF AN ISRAELITE WHO WAS TO REPRESENT THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD THROUGH FAITH IN GOD'S PROMISE TO ABRAHAM, THE GOSPEL, UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

(v. 2:25) "Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised." (cont.) =

Abraham's circumcision is incorporated into the Mosaic Law as a rule of life for Jews to receive temporal blessings - especially for those who exercised the faith of Abraham in the gospel; and it was a demonstration to the world of the righteousness of God through faith in God's promise to Abraham, the gospel unto eternal life.

1) [Compare Lev 12:2-3]:

(v. 1) '''The LORD said to Moses,

(v. 2) "Say to the Israelites: 'A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period.

(v. 3) On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised.' " '''

Circumcision became a requirement of the Law of Moses. Male circumcision of the Jew during the Mosaic Law period was performed in order to enter the same Abrahamic covenant blessing - both temporal and eternal based on the same faith of Abraham. So, circumcision enabled the Jewish man, a physical descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to come under all the blessings promised to Abraham and his descendants. For when Abraham believed in God's plan of salvation through Abraham's seed, the gospel, (Gen 15:6; Ro1:16-17), God declared Abraham righteous and later made a covenant with Him with reference to eternal life and temporal blessings for himself and his seed - his progeny.

Even non-Israelite men who wanted to be part of the Israelite people were to be circumcised (Gen 34.21-24).

The rite of circumcision was commanded to be given to a male Jew eight days after physical birth. It is a physical manifestation symbolic of a Jew having an eternal righteousness from God which is actually received if and when, at accountability, he expresses a moment of faith in the gospel which provided Abraham justification unto eternal life when he believed. It is also a male's identification with Israel affording the opportunity to receive blessings under the Covenant of Abraham and the Law of Moses as the individual obeys the Law. Note that many of the temporal blessings under the Law are only available to those who have trusted in God's promise to Abraham, the gospel, for these blessings predicate themselves upon having been declared righteous by God.

2) [Compare Ro 2:29]:

"No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God."

In the same way that a physically circumcised Jew is not a true Jew [in God's sight] unless he is spiritually circumcised implying that he has expressed the faith of Abraham in God's promise of eternal life and has been declared righteous, so it was with Abraham and his household. Hence physical circumcision is symbolic of the righteousness of God which is received by an individual when he expresses a moment of faith in God's promise to Abraham, the gospel. Furthermore, it denoted the putting aside of human works in order to qualify for entrance into the Kingdom of God.

Finally, circumcision has a certain temporal value:

While one observes the Law which embodies God's righteousness, circumcision is a testimony to the world that it represents one being an Israelite, one of God's chosen people, a descendant of Abraham, Issac and Jacob who is to represent to the world, God's righteousness.

On the other hand, while a Jew is breaking the Law, he is not representing the righteousness of God which circumcision symbollically and the Law actually stand for. Breaking the Law also puts the Jew outside of receiving temporal blessings of the Law. During that time it is as if one had not been circumcised relative to ones testimony as an Israelite of God's righteousness to the world. Notice that the phrase "you have become as though you had not been circumcised," in the context of its passage in Romans 2:25, does not cancel the reality of the physical circumcision nor the reality of having received an eternal righteousness from God if the Jew had expressed a moment of faith in God's promise to Abraham, the gospel. Breaking the Law causes the circumcised Israelite to not reflect the temporal message of his physical circumcision to the world of his representation of Israel, God's chosen people who are to representt God's righteousness to the world. It is "as though [he] had not been circumcised"

CIRCUMCISION IS CONNECTED WITH OBSERVING THE LAW WHICH THE LAW EMBODIES AND REPRESENTS GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS

(v. 1:17 NKJV) "For in the gospel an eternal righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'... (v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous... (v. 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised." =

Circumcision is symbolically connected with observing the requirements of the Law. The Law is an embodiment of God's righteousness, (v. 2:13). The reception of God's righteousness via human doing, which requires an absolute persistence in doing good, (vv. 2:6-11), has already been implied as impossible via human doing except via a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, the gospel, (vv. 1:2-4, 16-17).

On the other hand, during the times when a Jew observes the Law, he actively participates in the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant and the Law, and represents the righteousness of God in the Law by his actions, all of which are symbolically represented by the Jew's physical circumcisions.

CIRCUMCISION HAS CERTAIN TEMPORAL VALUE AS A TESTIMONY TO THE WORLD OF WHAT IT SYMBOLICALLY REPRESENTS WHILE A JEW OBSERVES THE LAW WHICH THE LAW EMBODIES GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS. WHILE A JEW IS NOT OBEYING THE LAW HE IS UNRIGHTEOUS AND DURING THAT TIME IT IS AS IF HE HAD NOT BEEN CIRCUMCISED

(v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous.... (v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.' (v. 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised." =

Circumcision has certain temporal value as a testimony to the world of what it symbolically represents while a Jew observes the Law, which the Law embodies God's righteousness. Notice that "It is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous" by God, therefore the requirements of the Law must be righteous, (v. 2:13). On the other hand, while a Jew is not obeying the Law he is unrighteous and during that time it is "as though you had not been circumcised" because circumcision is supposed to be a symbol of one of God's chosen people representing God and His righteousness to the world, "for God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you:"

(v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.'

peritomE ......men ....gar Ophelei ean ........nomon prassEs .......ean de

Circumcision indeed for .profits ..if ...[the] Law ....you practice if ....but [= but if] [you are a]

..................................................................................V_PAS2S

parabatEs ....nomou .........Es ..........hE peritomE ......sou ..akrobustia ........gegonen

transgressor of [the] Law you are ..the circumcision your .uncircumcision .has become

........................................V_PAS2S ..your circumcision has become uncircumcision,

........................................................."it has become as though you have not been circumcised.

Although the definite article does not appear before "nomon" = law, the particular law in view considering that circumcision and Jews are in view is the Mosaic Law. The two verbs "prassEs" and "Es" are in the subjunctive mood following the conjunction "ean" = "if", signifying a third class "if-then" statement wherein the action is objectively possible, i.e., 'maybe you will break the Law, maybe you won't'. In view then is a temporal condition wherein one who is circumcised may not be observing the Law in a particular segment of time whereupon the conclusion during that time is that "your circumcision has become your uncircumcision", i.e., you have become as though you have not been circumcised.

Since circumcision represents the righteousness of God, then when a Jew who is circumcised is not faithful to the Law for the moment, his lifestyle is not demonstrating the righteousness of God and it is as if he had not been circumcised. The physical circumcision does not disappear with an infraction of the Law, nor does any infraction of the Law negate the righteous standing an individual has before God received when he believed in God's promise to Abraham, the gospel. When a Jew acts for the moment in accordance with the righteousness he has been declared as his possession by keeping the righteous requirements of the Law, he is representative of what that circumcision represents: the righteousness from God.

DURING THOSE TIMES UNCIRCUMSIZED GENTILES ARE KEEPING THE RIGHTEOUS REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW, THEY ARE A LAW FOR THEMSELVES AND ARE REGARDED AS BEING CIRCUMCISED IN THE SENSE THAT THEY REPRESENT GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS EMBODIED IN THE LAW

(v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law, (v. 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them....(v. 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (v. 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? =

During those times uncircumsized Gentiles are keeping the righteous requirements of the Law, "they are a law for themselves even though they do not have the Law" in the sense of demonstrating behavior that represents the righteousness of God. They are thus regarded as being circumcised in the sense that they represent God and His righteousness which is embodied in the Law. Just as for the Jew, circumcision has temporal value as a testimony to the world of what it symbolically represents while the Jew observes the Law which the Law represents God's righteousness; so while "Those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements" exemplifying for the moment the righteousness of God, "will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised" in the sense of being representative to the world of God's righteousness?

DURING THOSE TIMES UNCIRCUMSIZED GENTILES ARE KEEPING THE RIGHTEOUS REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW THEY WILL CONDEMN BEFORE GOD THE JEW WHILE HE IS A LAWBREAKER WHO CLAIMS SUPERIORITY HAVING THE WRITTEN CODE AND PHYSICAL CIRCUMCISION BUT ACTING AS IF HE HAS NOT BEEN CIRCUMCISED

(v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law, (v. 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them....(v. 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (v. 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? (v. 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker." =

During those times uncircumsized Gentiles are keeping the righteous requirements of the Law they will condemn before God the Jew while he is a lawbreaker who claims superiority, having the written code and physical circumcision but acting as if he has not been circumcised.

AN OUTWARD, (PHYSICAL), JEW MUST BE A JEW IN ANOTHER SENSE: AN INWARD ONE VIA CIRCUMCISION OF THE HEART BY THE SPIRIT - BY FAITH IN THE GOSPEL, NOT BY THE LAW, IN ORDER TO BE DECLARED A JEW IN GOD'S SIGHT. GENTILES AND CHRISTIANS ARE NOT IN VIEW IN THIS VERSE

(v. 2:17) "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God. (v. 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (v. 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? (v. 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker. (v. 2:28) A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (v. 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God" =

In view in verse 2:28 is an outward Jew, i.e., a man who is a physical descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The verse stipulates that an outward, (physical), Jew must be a Jew in another sense: an inward one via circumcision of the heart by the Spirit - by faith in the gospel, not by the Law, in order to be declared a Jew in God's sight. Gentiles and Christians are NOT in view in this verse

This inward qualification is stipulated as a "circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code", i.e., not by human doing. Notice that the context here does not include Gentiles or Christians; for no one in either group can claim to be an "outward" (physical) Jew, nor be obligated to observe the Law.

CIRCUMCISION OF THE HEART (MIND) BY THE SPIRIT IS A SPIRITUAL OPERATION, A REMOVAL OF ONES ACCOUNTABILITY FOR SINS AT THE POINT OF A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE - THE GOSPEL - UNTO THE IMPUTATION OF A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD

(v. 2) "The gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (v. 3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, (v. 4) and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

(v. 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an eternal righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'

(v. 2:25) "Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (v. 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? (v. 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker. (v. 2:28) A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (v. 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God" (cont.) =

Circumcision of the heart is stipulated as a circumcision by the Spirit evidently in the spiritual realm. The word "heart" refers in Scripture to the center of thinking, the mind Since circumcision is a removal of something by definition; and the phrase "by the Spirit" refers to a spiritual condition that is removed, i.e., that which is removed such that one receives the righteousness from God, which is imputed by God at the moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life, (vv. 1:2-4, 16-17), the key theme of this chapter; then it is evident that what is removed is an individual's accountability for his sins unto an eternal righteousness from God. Notice that this inward, spiritual circumcision- removal of accountability for ones sins by the Spirit unto an imputation of an eternal righteousness from God is NOT accomplished by the written code, i.e., obedience to it, i.e., any human doing.

SUCH A MAN'S PRAISE OF ANOTHER FOR BEING A GODLY JEW, WHICH IMPLIES HAVING AN IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD, COMES NOT AS A RESULT OF HUMAN DOING BUT AS A RESULT OF THE WORK OF GOD

(v. 2) "The gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (v. 3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, (v. 4) and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

(v. 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an eternal righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'

(v. 2:25) "Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (v. 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? (v. 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker. (v. 2:28) A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (v. 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God" =

Such a man's praise of another for being a godly Jew, which implies having an imputed righteousness from God, comes not as a result of human doing, but as a result of the work of God. Human doing via keeping the "written code" did not accomplish becoming a Jew inwardly wherein an eternal righteousness from God is evident as having been imputed to him; rather it came by the "circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit" Hence such praise is from, i.e., sourced in God alone.

*********** END OF EXCERPT*********

I) [Ro 3:1]:

(v. 3:1) "What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision?"

A) AFTER EXPOUNDING UPON THE JEWS' UNIQUE POSITION BEFORE GOD HAVING A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD; BEEN GIVEN THE LAW, CIRCUMCISION, ETC; AND IN VIEW OF THEIR PERSISTENT FAILURE TO LIVE UP TO THEIR RESPONSIBILITY BEFORE GOD; PAUL ASKS TO WHAT ADVANTAGE IS THERE BEING A JEW OR WHAT VALUE IS THERE IN CIRCUMCISION?

(v. 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an eternal righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (v. 2:9) There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; (v. 2:10) but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile." (v. 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law; (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.' (v. 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (v. 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker. (v. 2:28) A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (v. 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God. (v. 3:1) What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision?" =

After what has been said about Jews being in the first position for God's bestowal of trouble and distress or glory, honor and peace, (vv. 2:9-10); being given the Law, having a unique relationship with God, knowing thereby God's will and being instructed in the Law, (vv. 2:17-18); having circumcision representing the righteousness of God as one observes the Law and which righteousness is imputed to one upon believing in the gospel, (2:25; 1:16-17); and considering the previous context of the Jews' persistent failure to respond properly to these things that God has provided for them throughout history, (2:17-24), author Paul asks two questions:

1) "What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew?"

2) "or, what value is there in circumcision?"

This either/or question is an affirmation that the word "circumcision" refers to those who are Jews. Paul is investigating the advantage and value of being a Jew or of circumcision respectively. Circumcision was implied to be a physical sign of being a Jew, (vv. 2:25-29).

II) [Ro 3:2]:

(v. 3:2) "Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God."

A) MUCH IN EVERY WAY IS THE ADVANTAGE OF BEING A JEW - THE VALUE OF CIRCUMCISION. FIRST OF ALL THEY HAVE BEEN ENTRUSTED WITH THE VERY WORDS OF GOD AS CONVEYED TO THEM DIRECTLY AND THROUGH OTHERS AS RECORDED IN SCRIPTURE GIVING THEM THE RESPONSIBILTY TO OBEY, REPRESENT GOD AND CONVEY THOSE WORDS TO THE WORLD

(v. 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an eternal righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (v. 1:18) The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (v. 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law; (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth - (v. 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (v. 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.' (v. 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (v. 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? (v. 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker. (v. 2:28) A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (v. 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God. (v. 3:1) What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? (v. 3:2) Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God." =

Paul provides a "first of all" answer to his question of "What advantage is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision" with "Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God", (v. 3:2).

Notice that both questions, "What advantage is there in being a Jew?", "Or what value is there in circumcision?" are anwered by the one answer in verse 3:2, hence both questions are intimately related and have Jews in view. The phrase "First of all" in verse 3:2 which begins the verse which answers the questions posed in v. 3:1, implies that there is more than one answer to the questions. The entire passage, however, only provides this one answer. Other answers can be found elsewhere in Scripture.

Verse 3:2 stipulates that there is much advantage in being a Jew and much value in being circumcised in every way! The phrase "The very words of God" refers to the actual words of God spoken directly to the Israelites and relayed to them through others in times past, especially to and through Abraham and the patriarchs, Moses, the prophets and the Law, and most especially those actual words of God recorded in Scripture. The concept of being entrusted with the very words of God conveys the responsibility of faith and obedience to them and preservation and communication of those words to the world. This responsibility was implied in vv. 2:17-25, wherein the Jew, the one who is circumcised, is directed to obey the Law as an Israelite and as the mandate of his circumcision in order to represent the righteousness of God to the world giving value to his circumcision.

B) THE FIRST ADVANTAGE FOR BEING A JEW, THE FIRST VALUE OF CIRCUMCISION IS BEING ENTRUSTED WITH THE VERY WORDS OF GOD WHICH ARE THUS IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE TO REPRESENT GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AVOID ETERNAL AND TEMPORAL CONDEMNATION THROUGH FAITH AND OBEDIENCE RESPECTIVELY, AND RECEIVE TEMPORAL BLESSINGS THROUGH THAT SAME OBEDIENCE

(v. 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an eternal righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (v. 1:18) The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (v. 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law; (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth - (v. 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (v. 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.' (v. 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (v. 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? (v. 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker. (v. 2:28) A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (v. 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God. (v. 3:1) What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? (v. 3:2) Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God." =

The first advantage for being a Jew, the first value of circumcision, is being entrusted with the very words of God. This means that the very words of God are immediately available to the Jews, those of the circumcision, giving them the advantage and value of representing God and His righteousness to all the world. Since God expects ALL men to be righteous or else receive condemnation, (Ro 1:18), it is an advantage and of great value to be entrusted with the very words of God which embody and instruct one in the righteousness of God to avoid His eternal and temporal condemnation through faith and obedience respectively and instead receive the imputation of God's righteousness through faith in the gospel which is inherent in the very words of God as well as temporal blessings through obedience to God's very words.

III) [Ro 3:3]:

(v. 3:3) "What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness?"

A) THE QUESTION IS ASKED IN VIEW OF THE JEWS' UNFAITHFULNESS - WOULD THIS NULLIFY GOD'S FAITHFULNESS TO HIS PROMISES IN HIS VERY WORDS WHICH WERE ENTRUSTED TO THE JEWS?

(v. 3:1) What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? (v. 3:2) Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God. (v. 3:3) What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness?" =

First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God spoken to them and relayed to them through others in times past, especially to and through Abraham and the patriarchs, Moses, the prophets and the Law; and most especially those actual words of God recorded in Scripture. The concept of being entrusted with the very words of God conveys the responsibility of faith and obedience to them and preservation and communication of those words to the world. Paul then asks, "What if some did not have faith?" i.e., what if some were not true to this entrusting and did not represent God's righteousness by observing the Law and did not properly convey the very words of God to the world as God's representatives? Paul then follows this with another related question, "Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness?" The fact that Paul poses this question implies that (1) the Jews do have a responsibility to be faithful to the very words of God, and (2) God has conveyed promises to the world through His very words which were entrusted to the Jews. In view of the lack of faith of the Jews to live up to their responsibility to the very words of God, Paul asks whether or not this unfaithfulness nullifies God's faithfulness to His promises in His very words.

IV) [Ro 3:4]:

(v. 3:4) "Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."

A) THE ANSWER TO WHETHER THE JEWS' LACK OF FAITH WILL NULLIFY GOD'S FAITHFULNESS IS "NO!" ALL MEN ARE LIARS BUT GOD IS TRUE TO HIS WORD

(v. 3:3) "What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? (v. 3:4) Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: 'So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.' "=

Paul's answer as to whether or not the Jews' unfaithfulness will nullify God's faithfulness to His promises in His very words is answered in the negative, literally: "May it not be!", followed by a reference to Psalms 116:11 and 51:4.

1) [Compare Ps 116:1-11]:

(v. 1) "I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.

(v. 2) Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.

(v. 3) The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.

(v. 4) Then I called on the name of the LORD: 'O LORD, save me!'

(v. 5) The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.

(v. 6) The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.

(v. 7) Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.

(v. 8) For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,

(v. 9) that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living.

(v. 10) I believed; therefore I said, 'I am greatly afflicted.'

(v. 11) And in my dismay I said, 'All men are liars.' "

[The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament, Victor Books, USA, 1988, Walvoord & Zuck, Eds, p. 877]:

"116:7-11. He [the psalmist] then drew lessons from his experience for others to follow. First, believers can return and rest because God delivers from death (vv. 7-8). The psalmist's suffering and anxiety had been removed so that he could lead a peaceful and tranquil life of service.

Second, God delivers those in need so that they may live obediently before Him (v. 9).

Third, God is the only One Who is completely trustworthy (vv. 10-11). The words 'I believed' refer to verse 9b, that is, he believed that he would live. This was his confidence, even though he was greatly afflicted, and felt that he had been deceived by all (who apparently had said he would not be delivered). Faced with certain death, he knew that God was trustworthy, so he cried out to Him."

2) [Compare Ps 51:4]:

"[David said] Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge."

So Paul is using Scripture to reinforce his answer as to whether the Jews' lack of faith nullifies God's faithfulness. The phrase "Let God be true and every man a liar", (Ro 3:4), points to Psalm 116:11 which indicates that only God is trustworthy, and all men are liars. The phrase "so that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge" comes from Psalm 51:4 which further points to only God being trustworthy - that He will be proved right when He speaks and be justified when He judges.

V) [Ro 3:5-6]:

(v. 3:5) "But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.)

(v. 3:6) Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world?"

A) SINCE MAN'S UNRIGHTEOUSNESS BRINGS OUT GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS MORE CLEARLY, THEN ISN'T GOD UNJUST IN BRINGING HIS WRATH ON THE WORLD? ABSOLUTELY NOT! UNRIGHTEOUSNESS IN THE WORLD DEMANDS JUDGMENT NOTWITHSTANDING ANY CONTRAST BETWEEN MAN AND GOD

(v. 3:1) What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? (v. 3:2) Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God. (v. 3:3) What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? (v. 3:4) Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: 'So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.' (v. 3:5) But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) (v. 3:6) Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world?" =

Questions are asked, "What shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing His wrath on us?" These questions imply that the comparison between man's unrighteousness and God's righteousness is so stark as to more clearly bring out God's righteousness. Paul stipulates his questions as a "human argument", i.e., a human viewpoint argument which is faulty. Since man's unrighteousness more clearly brings out God's righteousness, then should not this be considered such a benefit that God is unjust in bringing His wrath on us? Paul's answer is an emphatic, "Certainly not!" This is followed by the reason: "If that were so [and it is not, is implied] how could God judge the world?" The logic of the reason is this: Since unrighteousness in the world must be judged, then God Who is righteous must do the judging regardless of how the stark contrast between His righteousness and man's unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness. This contrast does not account for man's unrighteousness, nor is it a good reason to nullify God's judgment of the world wherein His wrath would not be brought on our unrighteousness. Notice that the passage implies that God is righteous; that it is His universe wherein His standard of righteousness is to be upheld; that the world, (mankind), is unrighteous; and that anyone who is unrighteousness must be held accountable. Unrighteousness demands judgment because it does not meet God's standard of righteousness in God's world.

VI) [Ro 3:7-8]:

(v. 3:7) "Someone might argue, 'If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?'

(v. 3:8) Why not say-as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say - 'Let us do evil that good may result'? Their condemnation is deserved."

A) THOSE WHO ARGUE THAT SINCE THE FALSEHOOD OF THEIR UNRIGHTEOUSNESS ENHANCES GOD'S TRUTHFULNESS AND SO INCREASES HIS GLORY THEN THEY SHOULD NOT BE CONDEMNED AS SINNERS - THEIR CONDEMNATION IS DESERVED

(v. 3:1) What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? (v. 3:2) Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God. (v. 3:3) What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? (v. 3:4) Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge. (v. 3:5) But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) (v. 3:6) Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? (v. 3:7) Someone might argue, 'If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases His glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?' (v. 3:8) Why not say-as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say - 'Let us do evil that good may result'? Their condemnation is deserved."

Paul continues reviewing the human viewpoint (false) objection to God's bringing condemnation on individuals as sinners for the falsehood of unrighteousness. He stipulates that someone might argue that his falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and increases His glory by contrast, in effect making God look good. Hence the benefit, it is reasoned, should cancel the condemnation. The word "falsehood" refers to man's unrighteous behavior which context for this word is established in verse 3:5. The human viewpoint argument implies justification of sinful behavior because it enhances God's truthfulness and so increases His glory. Paul opposes this by stating, "Their [those who are unrighteousness and object to God's condemnation for such] deserve condemnation.

B) PAUL AND OTHER JEWISH BELIEVERS WHO PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE ARE BEING SLANDEROUSLY ACCUSED OF ENCOURAGING EVIL SO THAT GOOD MAY RESULT WHICH SUCH ACCUSERS ARE STIPULATED AS DESERVING CONDEMNATION

(v. 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an eternal righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (v. 1:18) (v. 18) The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness... (v. 3:1) What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? (v. 3:2) Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God. (v. 3:3) What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? (v. 3:4) Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge. (v. 3:5) But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) (v. 3:6) Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? (v. 3:7) Someone might argue, 'If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases His glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?' (v. 3:8) Why not say - as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say - 'Let us do evil that good may result'? Their condemnation is deserved."(cont.) =

Paul indicates that he and others who are Jews, (v. 3:1, 3:5), who are accused of saying what Paul says from the phrase "we are being slandersously reported as saying", i.e., they speak like he does of the gospel and hence are also believers are accused of saying, 'let us do evil that good may result.' " Hence Paul and other Jews are slanderously accused of encouraging individuals to sin so that by contrast with God's truthfulness to man's sinfulness, "good" may result relative to enhancing God's truthfulness, increasing His glory, (v. 3:7); and bringing out God's righteousness, (v. 3:5). Paul's accusers' slanderous activity is stipulated as deserving condemnation.

There are those who claim, some slanderously, that Paul's message includes an encouragement to do evil that good may result. The word "slanderously" implies a deliberate misconstruing of what Paul is saying. Whichever the case may be, Paul's message according to the context of Romans chapters 1-3 does not encourage evil, but rather condemns it!, (v. 1:18). Although Paul's message of the gospel in Romans 1-3 provides for "the salvation [from condemnation] of everyone who believes [in the gospel], (v. 1:16), for in the gospel the gospel an [eternal] righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief], (v. 1:17a)", which implies that all of an individual's sins are forgiven and he receives instead an eternal righteousness from God when he believes; this message cannot be construed as an encouragement to do evil that good may result.

VII) [Ro 3:9]:

(v. 3:9) "What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin."

A) TO CONCLUDE: JEWS AND GENTILES ALIKE ARE ALL UNDER SIN, I.E., ARE BORN SINNERS BEFORE THEY HAVE EVEN COMMITTED THEIR FIRST SIN, A CONDITION THAT EXISTED BEFORE THEY WERE BORN AS A RESULT OF SOMETHING THAT OCCURRED BEFORE THEY WERE EVEN CONCEIVED

(v. 1:18) "The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness"(v. 3:1) What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? (v. 3:2) Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God. (v. 3:9) What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin." =

Verse 3:9 asks "What shall we conclude then?" followed by another question: "Are we any better?" The word "we"refers to Jews from the context beginning in verse 3:1, ("What advantage, then is there in being a Jew"), to which group, as a result of the word "we", Paul identifies himself as belonging. Paul stipulates that there is much advantage in being a Jew in v. 3:1; but concludes that Jews are no better than Gentiles in v. 3:9, inspite of the advantages and values referred to in v. 3:2. Paul stipulates that he repeats his reason for this conclusion with the phrase, "We have already made the charge" which is the ongoing message that Paul has been giving beginning with 1:18 up to this point, ie., that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin.

Notice that with respect to all mankind, "Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin", i.e., are conceived and born sinners before they commit their first sin. The phrase "under sin" implies more than the fact that all individuals inevitably commit sins after they are born, especially considering that many individuals have not been born yet and yet are included in this characterization of "all under sin." So the phrase "all under sin" implies a condition that existed before any individual was ever born as a result of something that occurred before they were even conceived. So mankind does not have a chance to express the righteousness of God. And mankind's sinful actions did not, do not and will not cause this condition of being under sin, they simply prove it out by their actions.

VIII) [Ro 3:10-18]:

(v. 3:10) "As it is written: 'There is no one righteous, not even one;

(v. 3:11) there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.

(v. 3:12) All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one'

(v. 3:13) 'Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips.

(v. 3:14) Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.

(v. 3:15) Their feet are swift to shed blood;

(v. 3:16) ruin and misery mark their ways,

(v. 3:17) and the way of peace they do not know.

(v. 3:18) There is no fear of God before their eyes.' "

A) SINCE THERE IS NO ONE WHO IS EXCLUDED FROM BEING IN VIEW IN 1:18-2:1 TO SOME EXTENT; THEN THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO ONE IS BEYOND GOD'S CONDEMNATION

(v. 1:18) "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (v. 1:19) since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. (v. 1:20) For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (v. 1:21) For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (v. 1:22) Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools (v. 1:23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. (v. 1:24) Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. (v. 1:25) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. (v. 1:26) Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. (v. 1:27) In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. (v. 1:28) Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. (v. 1:29) They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, (v. 1:30) slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; (v. 1:31) they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. (v. 1:32) Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. (v. 2:1) You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things." =

To review what has already been established: Since there is no one who is excluded from being in view in 1:18-2:1 to some extent; then there is none righteous, no one is beyond God's condemnation.

B) OT SCRIPTURE CORROBORATES PAUL'S STATEMENT THAT JEWS AND GENTILES ALIKE ARE ALL UNDER SIN

(v. 3:9) What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. (v. 3:10) "As it is written: 'There is no one righteous, not even one; (v. 3:11) there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. (v. 3:12) All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." =

1) [Compare Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3]:

(v. 1) "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.

(v. 2) The LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.

(v. 3) All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one."

2) [Compare Eccl 7:20]:

"There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins."

Author Paul refers to OT Scripture to confirm his conclusion, which began at 1:18, that all men are under sin, Jews and Gentiles alike, (Ro 3:9). He quotes in Ro 3:12, 'There is no one who does good, not even one' from Psalms 14:1-3. Eccl 7:20a confirms this with "There is not a righteous man on earth." Paul also refers Psalms 14:2 with "there is no one who seeks God" and "there is no one who understands" in Ro 3:11.

C) SCRIPTURE IS REFERRED TO IN ORDER TO CORROBORATE PAUL'S DISSERTATION ON HOW TOTALLY DEPRAVED ALL MEN ARE IN WORDS, DEEDS AND THOUGHTS BEFORE GOD - NO EXCEPTIONS

(v. 3:10) "As it is written: 'There is no one righteous, not even one; (v. 3:11) there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. (v. 3:12) All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one' (v. 3:13) 'Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. (v. 3:14) Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. (v. 3:15) Their feet are swift to shed blood; (v. 3:16) ruin and misery mark their ways, (v. 3:17) and the way of peace they do not know. (v. 3:18) There is no fear of God before their eyes.' " =

1) [Compare Psalms 5:4-9]:

(Ro 3:13) " 'Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips.' " =

(Psa 5:4) "You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell.

(Psa 5:5) The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong.

(Psa 5:6) You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors. [Notice that the context has in view those who do evil; the wicked; arrogant; all who do wrong; those who tell lies, are bloodthirsty, deceitful]

(Psa 5:7) But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house; in reverence will I bow down toward your holy temple.

(Psa 5:8) Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies-- make straight your way before me.

(Psa 5:9) Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongue they speak deceit."

2) [Compare Psalms 140:3]:

(Ro 3:13) 'Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips.' " =

(Ps 140:3) "They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent's; the poison of vipers is on their lips."

3) [Compare Psalms 10:7]:

(Ro 3:14) " 'Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. ' " =

(Ps 10:7) "His mouth is full of curses and lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue."

4) [Compare Isa 59:7-8]:

(Ro 3:15) " 'Their feet are swift to shed blood' (Ro 3:16) ruin and misery mark their ways, (Ro 3:17) and the way of peace they do not know. =

(Isa 59:7) "Their feet rush into sin; they are swift to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are evil thoughts; ruin and destruction mark their ways.

(Isa 59:8) The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no one who walks in them will know peace."

5) [Compare Psalms 36:1]:

(Ro 3:18) " 'There is no fear of God before their eyes.' " =

(Ps 36:1) "An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before His eyes."

Paul completes his picture on how depraved all men are by quoting and paraphrasing passages from OT Scripture within the context of his writing which includes all men, which context has already been established by his references in Ro 3:10-12 to Psalms 14:1-3, 53:1-3 and Eccl 7:20. All men, not just some, are being referred to by Paul as having throats with open graves, tongues which practice deceit, as having the poison of vipers on their lips. Notice that these descriptions revolve around man's speech. All men are thereafter described as having feet swift to shed blood, as having ways which cause ruin and misery wherein the way of peace they do not know. These descriptions cover man's actions - all men, no exceptions. Finally, the phrase "There is no fear of God before His eyes" completes the picture of all men being totally depraved before God in words, deeds and thoughts by including man's inner being, his thoughts. There is no room here for distinction between one man who is relatively less depraved, or more righteous than another. All have fallen short of God's absolute righteousness in their words, deeds and thoughts.

IX) [Ro 3:19]:

(v. 3:19) "Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God."

A) THE LAW HAS A MESSAGE FOR THE WHOLE WORLD: THAT THE WORLD IS HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD TO LIVE BY HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS THE STANDARD OF THE LAW

(1:16-17, 2:6-24) [See excerpt below], (v. 3:19) "Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God." =

The phrase "Now we know that" indicates that what follows has already been established as fact. The Law has a message to those under the Law, (Jews), which declares that the whole world is held accountable to God. So the Law is a representation of the righteousness of God to which not only the Jew but the whole world is held accountable. Implied here is the responsibility of Jews to relay information from the Law to the world largely via their obedience to it as an example to the world of their responsibility to live by its standards as well.

B) THE LAW WAS ESTABLISHED PREVIOUSLY IN CHAPTER TWO AS A SUPERIOR INSTRUCTION OF A RULE OF LIFE WITHIN WHICH IS THE EMBODIMENT OF KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH REPRESENTING GOD'S RIGHTEOUS STANDARD OF BEHAVIOR FOR THE WORLD

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[EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 2 SUPPORTING THIS POINT OR GOTO END OF EXCERPT ]

JEWS ARE IN VIEW WHO HAVE AND ARE SUPPOSED TO BE INSTRUCTED IN THE LAW, A SUPERIOR INSTRUCTION. THEY HAVE A UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AS HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE TO REPRESENT HIM AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THE WORLD THROUGH THE PRECEPTS OF THE LAW AS GOD'S STANDARD OF CONDUCT

(v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law... (v. 2:17) "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law" =

Notice that the passage now focuses intently on Jews who have the Law and are supposed to be instructed in the Law - a superior instruction (in righteousness) to what is available to Gentiles is implied, (v. 2:14); and they have a unique relationship with God as His chosen people to represent Him and His righteousness to the world through the precepts of the Law as God's standard of conduct. Notice that verse 2:14 states that if Gentiles do by nature things required by the Law, they are declared as a law unto themselves, implying that the Law is the standard of righteousness for all to go by. It is implied the Jews brag about having the Law, (v. 2:17). Evidently the Israelites are a people chosen specially by God to represent Him and His righteousness through obedience to the Law which was uniquely given to them to obey as part of this mission.

THE LAW IS THE EMBODIMENT OF KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH IN THE SENSE THAT IT IS THE SOURCE UPON WHICH KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH IS MADE CONCRETE AND PERCEPTIBLE. HENCE THE LAW IS ALSO THE EMBODIMENT OF GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS

(2:17) "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law." (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth" =

Notice that it is stipulated in v. 2:20, "You have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth!".

[Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G & C Merriam Co, Springfield, USA, 1980, p. 368 provides this applicable meaning of 'embody']:

"Embody... 1 b. To make concrete and perceptible"

This is not to say that the Mosaic Law contains all knowledge and truth. The most applicable definition of the word 'embodiment' here is that the Law makes all knowledge and truth concrete and perceptible, implying that it is the source upon which knowledge and truth is built. Since God is righteous and knowledge and truth and the Law comes from God, then the knowledge and truth which the Law embodies is righteous, hence the Law is the embodiment of God's righteousness.

THE LAW WAS GIVEN FOR THE JEW TO BE PART OF HIS SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD; TO PROVIDE THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S WILL; TO BE A SUPERIOR WAY OF LIFE; TO OBEY IN ORDER TO BE DECLARED RIGHTEOUS; TO BE A GUIDE FOR THE BLIND AND A LIGHT FOR THOSE IN THE DARK; TO BE AN INSTRUCTOR OF THE FOOLISH AND A TEACHER OF INFANTS

(v. 2:13) "For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law, (v. 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) (v. 2:16) This will take place on the day when God will judge man's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. (v. 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law; (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth - (v. 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (v. 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.' "

The Law evidently was provided for the Jew to rely on as part of his special relationship with God, (2:17). The Law gave the Jew the knowledge of God's will and what is superior, among other things, relative to a way of life, (2:18). While one obeys the Law it results in being declared righteous, (2:13). The Law evidently provides information which enables a Jew to be a guide for the [spiritually] blind and a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish and a teacher of [spiritual] infants, (vv. 2:19-20).

THE JEWS WERE GIVEN THE LAW BY GOD IN ORDER TO REPRESENT GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THE WORLD. THEY FALSELY CLAIMED TO RELY ON IT AND CONSTANTLY VIOLATED IT CAUSING GOD'S NAME TO BE BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES

(v. 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an [eternal] righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'... (v. 2:6) God will give to each person according to what he has done. (v. 2:7) To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life (v. 2:8) But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. (v. 2:9) There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; (v. 2:10) but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 2:11) For God does not show favoritism. (v. 2:12) All who sin apart from the Law will also perish apart from the Law, and all who sin under the Law will be judged by the Law. (v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law, (v. 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) (v. 2:16) This will take place on the day when God will judge man's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. (v. 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law. (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth" (v. 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (v. 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.' " (cont.) =

[Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G & C Merriam Co, Springfield, USA, 1980, p. 116 provides an applicable definition for blasphemy]:

"blasphemy...1 a the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God."

The Jews were given the Law by God in order to represent Him to the world. They falsely claimed to rely on it and constantly violated it causing God's name to be blasphemed among the Gentiles. So the Jews evidently are to represent God relative to the Law being given to them by God and their obedience to it as God's chosen people. But their bragging about being given the Law by God as His chosen people and their relationship with God, (v. 2:17); knowing God's will and approving of what is superior because of being instructed by the Law, (v. 2:18); and being convinced that they are a guide and instructor of others, (vv. 2:19-20); their violations of the Law, (vv. 2:21-23) in the face of their utter failure to do any of this misrepresents God to the point of blasphemy.

GOD'S NAME IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE THE JEWS DISHONOR GOD BY CONSTANTLY BREAKING THE LAW YET HOLD THEMSELVES UP AS SUPERIOR TO THE GENTILES. THEY HAVE A UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AS HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE TO REPRESENT GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THE WORLD THROUGH OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW, THEIR UNIQUE POSSESSION. THEY CLAIM THEY RELY ON IT FAITHFULLY

(v. 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an [eternal] righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'... (v. 2:6) God will give to each person according to what he has done. (v. 2:7) To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life (v. 2:8) But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. (v. 2:9) There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; (v. 2:10) but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 2:11) For God does not show favoritism. (v. 2:12) All who sin apart from the Law will also perish apart from the Law, and all who sin under the Law will be judged by the Law. (v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law, (v. 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) (v. 2:16) This will take place on the day when God will judge man's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. (v. 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law." (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth" (v. 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (v. 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.'"=

God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because the Jews dishonor God by constantly breaking the Law yet hold themselves up as superior to the Gentiles. They have a unique relationship with God as His chosen people to represent God and His righteousness to the world through obedience to the law, their unique possession. They claim they rely on it faithfully.

Verse 2:17 begins in the negative: "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew" which implies a Jew who may have fallen short of some standard. The next phrase corroborates this: "If you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God," which implies a certain self-righteousness and false sense of security with God and a false sense of superiority over non-Jews. Then verses 18-20 provide the possibility ("If..."), of a Jew knowing the will of God and approving of what is superior all of which is attributed to learning from the Law.

Verses 19 & 20 continues the context of: 'If you are convinced because of being instructed by the Law and relying on it' and 'If you are convinced that "you are a guide to the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth." ' which suggests that what they are convinced of is not true.

Verses 2:21b-23 then deal the blow of reality: that the Jew by and large has not permitted himself to actually be taught to rely on the Law; he holds a self-righteous opinion which causes him to "brag about his relationship to God" and falsely think he is a "guide to the blind" and "a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of infants." This corroborates that obeying the Law was not a way for man to achieve eternal life, but to make one conscious of sin because it embodies the perfect righteousness from God which is beyond man's capacity, (v. 2:13). The passage goes further to ask questions that implicate Jews for a number of specific things "do you steal?", "do you commit adultery?", "do you rob temples?", "do you dishonor God by breaking the Law?" which each of these questions are answered in the affirmative by verse 24: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."

JEWS HAVE A SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITY TO REPRESENT GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THE WORLD, ESPECIALLY THROUGH OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW WHICH WAS GIVEN TO THEM AS GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE WHICH THEY HAVE LARGELY FAILED TO LIVE UP TO

(v. 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law." (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth (v. 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (v. 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.'" =

Verses 2:17 through 24 imply that Jews have a special responsibility to represent God and His righteousness to the world, especially through obedience to the Law which was given to them as God's chosen people which they have largely failed to live up to.

[END OF EXCERPT]

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X) [Ro 3:20]:

(v. 3:20) "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing law; rather, through law we become conscious of sin."

A) NO MAN IS ABLE TO KEEP THE RIGHTEOUS STANDARD OF THE LAW. RATHER THROUGH THE LAW ALL MEN BECOME CONSCIOUS OF SIN AND OF BEING UNDER THE WRATH OF GOD

(v. 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an [eternal] righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 3:19) Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. (v. 3:20) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing law; rather, through law we become conscious of sin." =

Since perfect obedience to the requirements of the Law was stipulated as the standard of behavior for all individuals to be declared righteous unto eternal life, (v. 2:13), then the Law's requirements are righteous by definition. In verses 3:19-20, which continues this theme, law is portrayed as impossible to keep in order to be declared righteous in God's sight. Rather through law, because of our inabililty to live up to its standards of God's righteousness, we become conscious of sin, (v. 3:20), and of being under the wrath of God, which is to then lead one to faith in Jesus Christ unto an eternal righteousness from God, (vv. 1:16-17). The phrase "so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God" implies that any and every man are under law and will fall short of God's righteousness that God expects all men to live by; so everyone's mouth will be silenced in the realization that his life is held accountable to God and falls short of the righteousness that God demands of him. Note that the Greek text in verse 3:20 has the word rendered "law" without the definite article, which emphasizes the quality of the particular kind of law in view, i.e., principles behind godly rules governing human behavior such as the prime example in view in verse 3:19: the Mosaic Law.

XI) [Ro 3:21-24]:

(v. 3:21) "But now an eternal righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

(v. 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,

(v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

(v. 3:24) and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

A) RECEIVING A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD UNTO ETERNAL LIFE, THE GOSPEL, IS ACCOMPLISHED APART FROM HUMAN DOING, HAS BEEN MADE KNOWN THROUGHOUT THE AGES AND IS TESTIFIED AS SUCH IN SCRIPTURE

(v. 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an [eternal] righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (v. 3:21) But now an eternal righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify." =

Receiving a righteouseness from God unto eternal life, the gospel, is accomplished apart from human doing, has been made known throughout the ages and is testified as such in Scripture. The phrase "apart from law", literally "without law", ("chOris nomon") is without the definite article pointing to a quality of law, not a specific law like the Mosaic Law. So the phrase "chOris nomon" = "without law" means without any set of rules of human doing, not limited to the Mosaic Law. It refers to the reception of an eternal righteousness from God unto eternal life apart from, i.e., to the exclusion of any human doing. Verse 1:17 refers to an eternal righteousness from God being revealed in the gospel. Hence verse 3:21: "But now an eternal righteousness from God apart from law has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify" is directly related to the gospel and its proclamation to the world. The phrase "an eternal righteousness from God...has been made known" in v. 3:21 has in it the verb "has been made known," rendered from the Greek, "pephanerOtai," which is in the perfect tense. The perfect tense signifies a completed action (in the past) of providing information as to the reception of the righteousness of God, (the gospel, ref. 1:17), with an ongoing result of that action in the present. In effect this is an ongoing proclamation of the gospel throughout the ages largely through the testimony of Scripture. The phrase "the Law and the Prophets" is a phrase which was established in the past to refer to the entire Old Testament Scriptures, the Law referring to the Pentateuch and the Prophets referring to the rest of the OT books. It is thus declared in 3:21 that an eternal righteousness from God, (the gospel), apart from law, i.e., apart from human doing, has been made known throughout history to which Scripture testifies.

B) THE OLD TESTAMENT TESTIFIES TO A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD THROUGH ABRAHAM'S FAITH IN A COMING MESSIAH

[Excerpt from chapter two below - or skip to next topical heading: ]

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THE CIRCUMCISION IN VIEW IN THIS PASSAGE HISTORICALLY BEGAN AFTER ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD'S PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE AND GOD ACCOUNTED IT TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

(v. 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an [eternal] righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'

... (v. 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised." =

1) God Promises That Abram Will Be Father Of A Great Nation Leading To Blessings To Abram And All People Through Abram And His Seed, Who Is Christ

a) [Compare Gen 12:1-7]:

(v. 1) '''The Lord had said to Abram, 'Leave you country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.'

(v. 2) 'I [God] will make you [Abram] into a great nation and I will bless you;

I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.

[God's promise to Abraham to make him into a great nation and to be a blessing was a promise which was not fulfilled in Abraham's physical lifetime. It could only be fulfilled if Abraham is resurrected and permitted into the kingdom of God living eternally so as to continue to experience seeing his uncountable offspring and actually be a blessing to people of all nations as he lived on in the eternal kingdom of God]:

(v. 3) I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.'

(v. 4) So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.

(v. 5) He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

(v. 6) Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.

(v. 7) The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your seed I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.'''

i) The Seed Is Christ

"To your Seed I will give this land." =

Paul further defines the meaning of the word "Seed" in Gen 12:7, 13:15 & 24:7 as Jesus Christ Himself:

[Compare Gal 3:16]:

"The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his Seed. The Scripture does not say 'and to seeds,' meaning many people, but 'and to your seed,' meaning one person, who is Christ."

ii) God Promises Eternal Life To Abram

[Compare Gen 12:3]:

"and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." =

God is promising Abram that even after he dies, all peoples - all nations - from now on will be blessed "through" him. This is saying that through Abram's procreation - which has not had one child born to him yet - the nations of the world will be forever blessed. Abram soon thereafter understood this as the ultimate blessing - eternal life in the kingdom of God through his seed, a Savior, (Who is Jesus Christ):

[Compare John 8:56]:

[Jesus said]:"Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing My day; he saw it and was glad."

Abram could not be a blessing to the nations of the world unless God was going to bring a Savior from Abram's line to provide for the sins of the world, so when Abram followed God's instructions indicated in Gen 12:1 by leaving his home, his business, the highly developed civilization in Ur and even his people including his family and set out to an unknown, wilderness land, [remember that Abraham was a wealthy man, (v 5)], this was tantamount to expressing his faith in God's promises of future blessing for himself and the nations of the world through a coming Savior. Therefore, Abram's believing in God's promises of the future would include his personal salvation. Abram would be justified, i.e., become a born again man upon his trusting in God's provision of a future Savior through his line which Scripture records occurred later on when God reiterated His promise to Abram in Gen 15:1-6.

At that time Abram would trust in God's promises, which is tantamount to trusting in God's promise of the blessing of salvation through a coming Man, the Messiah, Jesus Christ. God then would credit Abraham with His divine righteousness unto eternal life. For God promised that Abraham would find that the number of his offspring would be beyond counting and only through Abraham's seeing the kingdom of God, i.e., having eternal life, could God fulfill this promise to bless Abram by seeing his countless offspring in the kingdom.

2) God Repeats His Promise To Abram

a) [Compare Gen 13:14-15]:

(v. 14) "And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, 'Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward;

(v. 15) for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your Seed [Jesus Christ, (Gal 3:16)] forever."

3) Abram Believes In God's Promise And God Credits It To Abram As Righteousness Unto Eternal Life

(v. 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an [eternal] righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' "

Notice that being declared by God as having an [eternal] righteousness from Him is unto salvation unto eternal life. The righteousness which Abram received when he believed in God's plan for him confirmed God's promise of eternal life.

a) [Compare Gen 15:1-6]:

(v. 1) "After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:

'Do not be afraid, Abram.

I am your shield,

your very great reward.'

(v. 2) But Abram said, 'O Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?'

(v. 3) And Abram said, 'You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.'

(v. 4) Then the word of the Lord came to him: 'This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.'

(v. 5) He took him outside and said, 'Look up at the heavens and count the stars - if indeed you can count them.' Then he said to him, 'So shall your offspring [lit. your Seed"] be.'

[" 'So shall your offspring ([lit. your Seed") be.' " =

In order for Abram to have countless offspring and be blessed by it in his own life he would have to have eternal life. The next verse indicates that God credited His perfect righteousness to Abram which is to say that Abram was granted entry into the kingdom of heaven, i.e., eternal life when he died]:

(v. 6) Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness."

So God presents a picture to Abraham to affirm His promise of an heir - an actual physical heir who was to come through the loins of Abraham, (Gen 15:4). This picture was 'painted' by God across the star studded night time heavens. An uncountable number of stars were visible to Abraham. God promised that just as the universe contained such an innumerable number of stars, so would be numbered the descendants of Abraham. This picture gave to Abraham the concept of him seeing countless numbers of descendants - a picture of his having eternal life in order for this to be possible. And so, Abraham was promised by God to have an infinite number of descendants evidently over an infinitely long lifetime, i.e., eternal life. When Abraham believed in God's promise of eternal life, God acounted to Abraham His righteousness. That is to say that Abraham was credited with God's perfect righteousness in conjunction with God's promise to Abraham of eternal life which evidently is required in order to have eternal life. This is the definition of justification unto eternal life: to be declared righteous by God. And note that it was received by a moment of faith alone. This cannot be misconstrued to mean that Abraham did or was expected to do anything in order to be perfectly righteous in his lifestyle. There is no stipulation to that effect in the passage.

So Gen 15:5-6 is not just a picture of Abraham's countless descendants living long after he died and had gone into the Lake of Fire. What would be the purpose of that if Abraham would never see them - being condemned to the Lake of Fire? Why would God make such a promise to Abraham if Abraham had no chance of ever seeing them in person, i.e., having eternal life? So this indeed was a picture of God's promise to Abraham of eternal life - eternal life with countless descendants over an eternity of time.

Since a moment of faith in the gospel results in the reception of an eternal righteousness from God and eternal life, (Ro 1:16-17), then Abram's moment of faith in what God promised to him, which resulted in God declaring Abram to have an eternal righteousness from God, similarly provides eternal life for him.

So Abraham was now qualified to have eternal life by being credited by God with the absolutely perfect Righteousness of Jesus Christ as a result of his faith alone in God's plan alone of eternal life. And this eternal life would be through God's promise of providing a physical heir to Abraham whose descendancy would lead to the Messiah/Savior through Whom all the promises would be fulfilled.

********** END OF EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 2*********

XI cont.) [Ro 3:21-24 cont.]:

(v. 3:21) "But now an eternal righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

(v. 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,

(v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

(v. 3:24) and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

C) A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD CANNOT BE ACHIEVED BY ANYONE, JEW OR GENTILE, THROUGH HUMAN EFFORT BUT SOLELY THROUGH A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN JESUS CHRIST ALONE

(v. 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an [eternal] righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (v. 3:21) But now an eternal righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (v. 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference." =

Verses 3:21-22 reaffirm what has already been stipulated in 1:16-17 and the rest of chapters one and two: that the righteousness from God unto eternal life cannot be achieved through human effort, but solely through a moment of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.

D) ALL INDIVIDUALS, JEWS AND GENTILES ALIKE - PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE, HAVE SINNED THROUGH ADAM'S SIN AND FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD, I.E., THEY CONSTANTLY SIN

(v. 3:21) "But now an eternal righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (v. 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 3:24) and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." =

"pantes gar hEmarton ...kai husterountai tEs .....doxEs tou .......theou"

"all .......for have sinned and fall short ......of the .glory .of [the] .God"

The phrase "There is no difference" which appears at the end of 3:22 leads into verse 3:23 which addresses the fact there is no difference amongst individuals, Jew or Gentile, relative to all mankind having sinned, all falling short of the glory of God. The phrase "for all have sinned" comes from the Greek, "pantes gar hEmarton" where the Greek verb "hEmarton" is in the aorist tense indicating that all individuals have sinned, Jew and Gentile alike, at one completed action time which can only point to the one time sin of Adam in the garden representing all of humanity.

Since the verb form in the phrase rendered "for all [mankind] have sinned" is in the aorist tense wherein a single particular sin for the entire population of all of mankind is in view; and since not all mankind can be said to have been present at the same time to commit that particular sin at that particular historical time; (this is especially evident with respect to mankind who have not yet been conceived and born, who are nevertheless referred to as having sinned already in history); then the phrase "for all have sinned' is a characterization of all mankind, past, present and future and refers not to any daily personal act of sin(s) by each individual whoever will live, but to a one time completed action of sin by one man in particular in the past who represented all mankind. Evidently all men are conceived and born corrupted and sinful even before they commit their first sin, even before they were conceived and born because of that one man's sin.

The phrase "for all... fall short of the glory of God" comes from the Greek "pantes gar... husterountai tEs doxEs tou theou" where the Greek verb "husterountai" rendered "fall short" in English is in the present tense indicating, from the context, that all individuals, Jew and Gentile alike - past, present and future, have, do and will lead an ongoing lifestyle which constantly falls short of the glory of God, i.e., everyone sins all the time. The phrase "the glory of God", refers back to the phrase "an eternal righteousness from God" (v. 21) - the main subject of this passage. Verse 23 indicates that this righteousness from God reflects His glory = His absolutely and perfectly righteous character - which man is constantly falling short of and never able to attain on his own merits. So two kinds of sin are in view in 2:23 relative to all individuals: the sin for which all individuals are held accountable which Adam committed on behalf of all humanity and the acts of sin each individual constantly commits in his daily lifestyle.

E) THE DEFINITION OF "JUSTIFIED" IS TO HAVE REVEALED IN ONE A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD WHEN ONE BELIEVES IN JESUS CHRIST, THE GOSPEL. SUCH JUSTIFICATION COMES THROUGH THE REDEMPTION THAT CAME BY CHRIST JESUS

(v. 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an [eternal] righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (v. 3:21) But now an eternal righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (v. 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 3:24) and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." =

The word "For" which means 'because' begins verses 3:23-24 with an explanation and reiteration of verse 3:21-22's "But now an eternal righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes [has been made known, is revealed] through faith in Jesus Christ [the gospel] to all who believe. There is no difference [among kinds of individuals]"

From this explanation, one can discern that the meaning of the word "justified" is having an eternal righteousness from God unto eternal life revealed in one when one believes in Jesus Christ. as follows:

Since it is stipulated that a moment of faith in Jesus Christ, [the gospel, (vv. 1:1-4), the redemption that came by Christ Jesus, (v. 3:24)], one has it made known in one, (revealed in one), that one has an eternal righteousness from God, (vv. 3:21-22);

and since the explanation of vv. 3:21-22 in vv. 3:23-24, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by His [God's] grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus", (vv. 3:23-24),

then the definition of "justified" is to have revealed in one an eternal righteousness from God unto eternal life when one believes in Jesus Christ, (the gospel, vv. 1:16-17).

F) ALL INDIVIDUALS HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY THROUGH A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN JESUS CHRIST ALONE TO BE JUSTIFIED, I.E., DECLARED TO HAVE A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD UNTO ETERNAL LIFE FREELY AND BY GOD'S GRACE, (= UNMERITED FAVOR) WHICH OPPORTUNITY SUPPORTS THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER AND DOES NOT OBLIGATE HIM TO MAINTAIN A GODLY LIFESTYLE TO KEEP IT

(v. 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an [eternal] righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (v. 3:21) But now an eternal righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (v. 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 3:24) and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." =

All individuals have the opportunity through a moment of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone to be justified, i.e., declared to have an eternal righteousness from God unto eternal life freely and by God's grace, (= unmerited favor). Notice in verses 3:23 and 24 the phrases "for all [= all individuals] have sinned, (3:23a); and [all individuals] fall short of the glory of God, (3:23b); and [the same "all" individuals] are justified freely by His [God's] grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus," (3:24) through faith, (3:22). So the word "pantas" rendered "all" in v. 3:23a which is linked to 3:23b and 3:24 is a universal "all" and not just "all types" of mankind as some maintain. Scripture teaches and history verifies that all men are sinners, not just some of each type. The words "freely" and "by His grace" indicate that salvation unto eternal life is free, with no strings attached, by God's grace = unmerited favor, for all mankind through a moment of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone, (v. 3:23).

This passage supports the eternal security of the believer through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone and it does not obligate him to do anything else in order to keep eternal life. This corroborates vv. 1:16-17 and vv. 3:21-22 which stipulate that an eternal righteousness from God is received solely via a moment of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. The word "grace," which means unmerited favor, further reinforces eternal security because it excludes any merit of human doing, relying solely on the sovereignty of God; Who maintains an absolute security of ones salvation.

Man, therefore, this passage says, is justified in no other way but by the FREE grace gift of God. This does not say that all men are automatically justified as some will maintain. Not all men will choose to believe and be justified unto eternal life as the context of chapters one and two clearly implies. Rather the phrase "and [all men] are justified freely by His grace" in Ro 3:24, follows Ro 3:22 which states that "There is no difference" among men as to how one is justified. Jews and Gentiles, religious and non-religious, moral and immoral are all justified only in the one way.

G) THE REDEMPTION (BEING FREED FROM THE CONSEQUENCE OF SINS UNTO A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD) THAT CAME BY CHRIST JESUS THROUGH FAITH IS THE GOSPEL OF GOD WHICH IS THAT CHRIST JESUS' SATISFACTORY ATONING SACRIFICE (PAYMENT) FOR THE SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD PROVIDES A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD, A SALVATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE FOR ANYONE WHO BELIEVES IN THAT REDEMPTION

(v. 1:2) "The gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (v. 1:3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, (v. 4) and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. (v. 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an [eternal] righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'... (v. 3:21) But now an eternal righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (v. 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 3:24) and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (cont.) =

The phrase "and [all] are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus" gives an explanation of the source of what provides justification:"through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

[Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G & C Merriam Co, Springfield, USA, 1980, p. 960 provides this applicable meaning of to redeem]:

"a: to free from capitivity by payment of ransom. c: to relase from blame or debt d: to free from the consequences of sin."

So the word "redemption" in verse 3:24 signifies being freed from the consequence of ones sins unto an eternal righteousness from God, (justification) implying a future existence which is wholly righteous, via a moment of faith alone in the payment for sins of the whole world by Christ Jesus which is described in 1:1-4, 1:16-17 as the gospel of God which is that Christ Jesus' payment for the sins of the whole world provides salvation unto eternal life for anyone who believes in that payment. Notice that the name Christ Jesus, (as opposed to Jesus Christ), emphasizes the exalted Son of God Who graciously emptied Himself of, i.e., set aside His divine prerogatives, adding to Himself the form of perfect humanity so to take the penalty of sins of the whole world by dying on the cross at calvary - forever to remain the GodMan. So when the Apostle Paul uses the term "Christ Jesus" he is emphasizing the grace of God.

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Excerpts from chapter one below which support this topic - or skip to next heading

THE CONTENT OF WHAT ONE IS TO BELIEVE IN ORDER TO BE SAVED UNTO ETERNAL LIFE IS TO BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION OF THE SON OF GOD FROM THE DEAD WHICH BY IMPLICATION PROVIDES THE ONE WHO BELIEVES WITH PAYMENT FOR ONES SINS AND SALVATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

(v. 1:1) "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God-- (v. 1:2) the gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (v. 1:3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, (v. 1:4) and Who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord." (v. 1:16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes." =

The gospel is called the "gospel of God", (v. 1:1), which is declared to have been "promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures', (v. 1:2), which is "regarding God's Son Who as to His human nature" (v. 1:3), and through the Holy Spirit He "was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead Jesus Christ our Lord.", (v. 1:4), which power of God provides "salvation of everyone who believes," (v. 16).

Paul's focus from the beginning of this letter has been the content and proclamation of the gospel of eternal life. The gospel, it is implied, is the content of what one is to believe in order to be saved unto eternal life which is to believe in the resurrection from the dead of the Son of God. This by implication provides the one who does believe in it with eternal life through the power of God. In some manner, then, we can conclude from this that the Son of God, as a descendant of David, (v. 3), in human form has covered the sins of everyone who has ever lived via His death. His resurrection from the dead supports this implication and through a moment of belief in this fact does the power of God operate such that one who believes receives eternal life.

A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD IS REVEALED AS IMPUTED TO ONE WHO BELIEVES IN THE GOSPEL AND RECEIVES SALVATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

(v. 1:16) "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an [eternal] righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' " =

Notice that the gospel stipulates that everyone who believes receives salvation unto eternal life, (v. 16), wherein a perfect righteousness from God, not based on anything man does is revealed. Such an [eternal] righteousness being from God is necessarily a perfect righteousness, completely without sin which evidently is imputed to the one who believes and receives salvation.

*********** END OF EXCERPT *******

XII) [Ro 3:25-26]:

(v. 25a NAS) "Whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith [for a display].

(v. 25b NAS) This [display] was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;

(v. 26 NAS) for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."

A) REDEMPTION, (BEING FREED FROM THE CONSEQUENCE OF ONES SINS UNTO A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD), CAME BY CHRIST JESUS WHOM GOD DISPLAYED PUBLICLY, I.E., PROVIDED AN OBSERVABLE DEMONSTRATION TO THE WORLD OF CHRIST JESUS' PROPITIATION IN HIS BLOOD, I.E., HIS SATISFACTORY ATONING SACRIFICE IN HIS BLOOD, FOR THE SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD WHICH REDEMPTION COMES THROUGH FAITH IN THAT SACRIFICE

(v. 23) "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 24) and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus, (v. 25a NAS) Whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. =

Redemption, (being freed from the consequence of ones sins unto an eternal righteousness from God, i.e., justification), came by Christ Jesus Whom God displayed publicly, i.e., provided an observable demonstration to the world of Christ Jesus' propitiation, His satisfactory atoning sacrifice, in His blood, for the sins of the whole world, which redemption comes through faith in that sacrifice.

(v. 25a) .Hon .....proetheto .....................ho .theos .....hilastErion ...dia ........tEs .pisteOs

...............Whom displayed publicly ..............God .......a propitiation through ........faith

en tO .autou ..haimati eis endeixin"

in ...... his .......blood ...for [a] display"

The phrase "displayed publicly" (NAS) is rendered from the Greek "proetheto" from the root word "protithemai".

[The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abriged in One Volume, Gerhard Kittel, Gerhard Friedrich Eds, translated and abridged by Geoffrey W Bromiley, Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids, Mich, 1985, p. 1180, re: "protithemai"]:

"In Rom. 3:25 the reference might be to God's counsel, i.e., His ordaining of Christ as a means of expiation, but the context seems to demand execution rather than resolve, and hence it is better to think in terms of the public setting forth of Christ as a means of expiation."

The purpose for God's public display of the redemption of Christ Jesus as a propititiation, (satisfactory atoning sacrifice for mankind's sins), was to make an observable statement to the world - all creation, (including angelic beings), to prove out that God is a just and righteous God concerning His passing over the sins committed before Christ Jesus' propitiation for them, leaving them unpunished until then, (v. 3:25b).

The word "propitiation" in the phrase "propitiation in His blood" is rendered from the Greek "hilasterion," Str.#2435

'Hilasterion' is referred to in the OT Septuagint, (Greek translation) as the 'mercy seat' from the Hebrew, 'kappOret', (Ex 25:16, 31:7, Lev 16:2, Num 7:89), the lid or cover of the ark of the covenant which was in the temple inside the area called the 'Holy of Holies'. It signifies the Atonement, the Propitiatory, i.e. that which satisfies for the penalty for sins - the covering or removal of sins via an atoning sacrifice. Hence most translations like the NIV or KJV translate 'hilasterion,' (lit., 'mercy seat), as 'sacrifice of atonement'."

[The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abriged in One Volume, Gerhard Kittel, Gerhard Friedrich Eds, translated and abridged by Geoffrey W Bromiley, Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids, Mich, 1985, p. 365 re: 'hilasterion']:

"The sense is that of agent [Christ Jesus Himself] rather than place of expiation... [Paul] undoubtedly means [in Ro 3:25] 'that which expiates sin' and thus reveals God's righteousness and brings redemption. God Himself is the subject of the action [in publicly displaying His Son Who is God as a propitiation], so that divine rather than human propitiation is the point."

Notice that the word propitiation appears in the phrase "propitiation in His blood" which corroborates the fact that an atoning sacrifice via the shedding of blood for sins is in view.

The Greek phrase ..."hilastErion ......dia ........tEs..pisteOs .en tO .autou ..haimati"

..................................."propitiation .....through .......faith .......in .......His ......blood"

has both "through faith" and "in His blood" in the genetive case which both refer to and qualify the word "propitiation."

The basic function of the genitive case is to describe and define. It does so by attributing a quality or relationship to a substantive (noun). It limits the meaning and application of a substantive. It does so by answering the question, What kind? Therefore the genitive functions very much like an adjective.

It is thus stipulated in this verse that the propitiation of Christ Jesus was in His blood. It is a propitiation, a satisfactory payment for ones sins through which one receives justification through redemption, (v. 3:24), which is through faith. It is not, as some objectors say, that justification is received through faith in Christ's blood. The faith is to be placed in Jesus Christ Himself, (v. 3:22), more specifically in the justification through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus' propitiation, not faith in His blood. It is not blood that offers salvation, but Christ Himself as a result of His shedding of His blood for sins. Therefore a comma is required to render an accurate translation in the NIV and the KJV:

(Ro 3:25a NIV) "God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith , in His blood.

So the redemption that came by Christ Jesus is explained by verse 3:25a as it follows from vv. 23 and 24:

(v. 23 NAS) "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 24) and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (v. 25a NAS) Whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith [for a display]."

The redemption, (being freed from the consequence of ones sins unto an eternal righteousness from God, i.e., justification), came by Christ Jesus - through His satisfactory atonement for sins which atonement is described in v. 3:25a as God's public display of His Son as a propitiation, a satisfactory payment for the sins of the whole world. This involved an atoning sacrifice of the shedding of His blood which redemption unto eternal life is accomplished in an individual through that individual's faith in Christ Jesus' act of propitiation.

Notice that the phrase "eis endeixin," which ends the first part of verse 25 in the Greek text, is rendered "for a display" at the beginning of the second part of the verse, (25b), in the NAS English translation. The phrase declares that the purpose of the public display of the propitiation of Christ Jesus for sins was to be an observable demonstration to the whole world for a reason which is stipulated in the next verse.

B) SINCE ALL INDIVIDUALS THROUGHOUT HISTORY ARE IN VIEW IN THIS PASSAGE; AND SINCE ALL INDIVIDUALS ARE OFFERED THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE JUSTIFIED IN THIS PASSAGE; THEN PROVISION HAS TO HAVE BEEN MADE FOR THE JUSTIFICATION OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL WHO WILL EVER LIVE VIA CHRIST JESUS' PROPITIATION- NOT JUST A CHOSEN FEW

(v. 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel an [eternal] righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 3:24) and [all] are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." =

Since all individuals throughout history, Jew and Gentile, believer and unbeliever, elect and non-elect are in view in this passage, (v. 3:23);

and since all individuals are offered the opportunity to be justified, (vv. 3:23-24);

then, in the absence of any restrictions, this implies that provision has been made for the redempton of every individual who will ever live through the satisfactory atoning sacrifice of Christ Jesus, (v. 3:24). This is by dint of the logic that a bonified offer of a provision of something must include the availability of that provision. Anyone may choose to believe in Christ's Jesus' propitiation with the understanding that there is available provision of an eternal righteousness from God, (v. 3:21) and redemption unto eternal life, (v. 3:24). No one has been left out so that anyone, elect or non-elect, may choose to believe in Christ's atoning sacrifice and be justified because everyone is included in Christ Jesus' propitiation.

C) GOD REDEEMED THE SINS OF MANKIND THROUGH A PUBLIC DISPLAY OF CHRIST JESUS' PROPITIATION, (ATONING SACRIFICE), IN HIS BLOOD IN ORDER TO DEMONSTRATE GOD AS RIGHTEOUS BECAUSE GOD HAD LEFT UNPUNISHED THE SINS COMMITTED BY THOSE WHO LIVED BEFORE THE ATONING WORK OF CHRIST. HENCE THE ATONEMENT JUSTIFIED GOD (AS RIGHTEOUS) BECAUSE IT FULFILLED GOD'S PROMISE OF A FUTURE PROPITIATION FOR SINS. SO NOW NO ONE CAN ACCUSE GOD OF BEING UNRIGHTEOUS FOR PASSING OVER THE SINS OF OT BELIEVERS

(v. 23) "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 24) and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (v. 25a NAS) Whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood, through faith [for a display]. (v. 25b NAS) [This was] to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed" =

Since verse numbers are not part of the original text, occasionally there arises a problem of translation wherein parts of sentences in the original Greek text need to be combined to provide an intelligible rendering of what is being said in American English. Verse 25b as rendered in the NAS translation best renders the author's message. It includes the phrase "for a display" located at the end of the Greek text in verse 25a, ("eis endeixin"), and the phrase "in the forbearance of God" rendered from the beginning of verse 26 in the Greek text, ("en tE anochE tou theou"). Below is the original text with English rendering underneath:

(v. 25a-end) + (v. 25b) + (v. 26-beg) eis endeixin .tEs ....dikaiosunEs ...autou ....dia ..........

..........................................................for a display of the .righteousness .His ........through

tEn ..paresin ...... tOn ..progegonotOn....................hamartEmatOn en tE anochE

the ...passing by of the. that before had occurred ..sins.....................in the forbearance

tou theou"

of God"

"forbearance" = "anoche" =

[Vines Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, W.E. Vine, Fleming H Revell Co, 1981,p.116]:

"a holding back... a delay of punishment.... In [Ro 3:25] His forbearance is the ground not of His forgiveness, but of His pretermission [suspension of the punishment] of sins, His withholding punishment. [In this passage] it is connected with the passing over of sins in times past [the times of human history in the past before our Lord died on the cross for sins and thereby paid the penalty for all sins past, present and future.] .....It is connected with the passing over of sins in times past [before out Lord paid the penalty for all sins, past, present and future], previous to the atoning work of Christ."

The primary purpose of God's public display of Christ Jesus' propititation was to demonstrate God's righteousness because God had passed over the sins committed by individuals who had lived and died before Christ Jesus' atoning sacrifice, leaving them unpunished. Those sins were not accounted for until the propitiation of Christ Jesus had occurred. The result of the public display of Christ's propitiation was to demonstrate to the world that God is a righteous God Who has now propititated the sins committed in the past which He passed over as promised; thus His reputation is not impugned because these sins are now accounted for as promised. No one can accuse God of being unjust nor impugn His capacity to judge others righteously, neither man nor angel nor demon.

D) PAUL REITERATES FOR EMPHASIS THAT THE PURPOSE OF GOD'S PUBLIC DISPLAY OF THE SATISFACTORY ATONING SACRIFICE OF MANKIND'S SINS THROUGH CHRIST JESUS' PROPITIATION IN HIS BLOOD WAS TO DEMONSTRATE AT THE PRESENT TIME THAT GOD MIGHT BE JUST, I.E., RIGHTEOUS, AND THAT THIS PROPITIATION QUALIFIED HIM TO BE THE JUSTIFIER UNTO REDEMPTION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE OF ANYONE WHO EXPRESSES FAITH IN JESUS

(v. 23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 24) and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (v. 25a NAS) Whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith [for a display]. (v. 25b NAS) This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed (v. 26 NAS) for the demonstration, [I say], of His [God's]righteousness at the present time, that He [God] might be just and the Justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus" =

(v. 26) en tE anochE ..........tou theou pros .tEn endeixin ..tEs ....dikaiosunEs ...

...........in the forbearance ..of ..God ..for ...the .display .....of the righteousness

autou ...en .tO .nun .....kairO eis .to ..einai .......auton dikaion kai dikaiounta ton ...............

of Him .in .the present time ...for the being [of] Him ...just ......and justifying .tthe [one]

ek ...........pisteOs .iEsou

of ..[the] faith .....of Jesus

Paul reiterates for emphasis, (notice the repeat of the phrase "for the display"), that the purpose of God's public display of the satisfactory atoning sacrifice of mankind's sins through Christ Jesus' propitiation in His blood was to demonstrate at the present time = the time of the atoning sacrifice and afterward that God might be just, i.e., righteous, and that this propitiation qualified Him to be the Justifier unto redemption unto eternal life of anyone who expresses faith in Jesus. The word "just" means to be declared righteous. If God were not just, then He could not be the Justifier unto eternal life of anyone who expresses faith in Jesus; for one who judges unto righteousness must be righteous himself and cannot judge in an unjust way such as to forgive sins which have not been paid for.

XIII) [Ro 3:27-28]:

(v. 3:27) "Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing law? No, but on that of faith.

(v. 3:28) For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing law."

A) FAITHFUL HUMAN DOING IS NEITHER CONTRIBUTABLE, NOR ACCEPTABLE TOWARD, NOR A SURE RESULT OF AN INDIVIDUAL'S JUSTIFICATION UNTO ETERNAL LIFE. NOR IS IT A RELIABLE MEASURE OF WHETHER OR NOT ONE IS SAVED

(v. 3:20) "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the Law; rather, through the Law we become conscious of sin. (v. 3:21) But now an eternal righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (v. 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 3:24) and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (v. 3:26 NAS) for the demonstration, [I say] of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. (v. 3:27) Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing law? No, but on that of faith. (v. 3:28) For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing law." =

Relative to an individual being declared righteous, (v. 3:20); i.e., justified unto eternal life, boasting is excluded. This implies that faithful human doing is neither contributable, nor acceptable toward, nor a sure result of an individual's justification unto eternal life. Hence believers may or may not be acting faithfully in their mortal lives from time to time. So faithfulness or a facsimile of it is not a reliable measure of whether or not someone is justified unto eternal life. This is corroborated by Paul's answer in v. 3:27 to the question he poses in 3:26 relative to an individual receiving justification unto eternal life: "On what principle [can one be justified]? On that of observing law?" His answer is "No, but on that of faith." Note that the word rendered "law" in Greek is without the definite article signifying not a specific law but the quality of law, i.e., laws governing human behavior which includes the Mosaic Law. This is a repeat of what is conveyed in verses 3:20-22:

(v. 3:20) "No one will be declared righteous, [i.e., justified], in His sight by observing law, rather through law we become conscious of sin. (v. 3:21) But now an eternal righteousness from God [unto eternal life] apart from law, [any human doing], has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets [the Scriptures] testify. (v. 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe."

Notice that saving faith in Jesus Christ is mutually exclusive of any human doing. According to this passage, saving faith is something that one cannot boast about; nor does it have anything to do with observing the Law, nor any law governing human behavior. This refutes objectors who demand ongoing faithfulness, i.e., human doing, (works), in order to verify that one has or has not truly expressed saving faith in Christ Jesus' propitiation. For this faithful human doing activity puts one in a position wherein one can boast - even if one did not have that aspiration. According to Ro 3:27, any human doing cannot be a measure of whether or not one is justified unto eternal life because that would put one in a position wherein they can boast.

XIV) [Ro 3:29-30]:

(v. 3:29) "Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,

(v. 3:30) since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith."

A) THERE IS ONLY ONE GOSPEL AND ONE GOD FOR ALL MANKIND WHO WILL JUSTIFY THE JEW AND THE GENTILE THROUGH A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE

(v. 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 3:21) But now an eternal righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (v. 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 3:24) and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (v. 3:29) Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, (v. 3:30) since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith." =

Paul declares that there is only one gospel and one God for all mankind Who will justify the Jew and the Gentile through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone. At the beginning of Paul's epistle he established in vv. 1:16-17 that the gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes, first for the Jew and then the Gentile, which encompasses all mankind. This theme is reiterated in vv. 3:22-24: "This righteousness from God, [the gospel] comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe [i.e., any individual of mankind]. Hence Paul declares that there is only one way to eternal life, one gospel; and one God Who is the God of the Jew and the Gentile alike, i.e., all mankind, because His power is over all mankind. This message is repeated in vv. 3:29-30.

XV) [Ro 3:31]:

(v. 3:31) "Do we, then, nullify the Law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the Law."

A) THE LAW IS THE INSTRUMENT FOR ONE TO REMEDY ONE'S FALLING SHORT OF GOD'S STANDARD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS BECAUSE IT ENABLES ONE TO BECOME CONSCIOUS OF ONES SINS BEFORE GOD AND THEN REMEDY THAT PROBLEM BY FAITH IN CHRIST'S JESUS' PROPITIATION FOR SINS UNTO THE RECEPTION OF A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD AND ETERNAL LIFE. THEREBY WE UPHOLD THE LAW.

(v. 3:19) "Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under The Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. (v. 3:20) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the Law; rather, through the Law we become conscious of sin. (v. 3:21) But now an eternal righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (v. 3:22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, (v. 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (v. 3:24) and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (v. 3:29) Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, (v. 3:30) since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. (v. 3:31) Do we, then, nullify the Law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the Law" =

Throughout Romans chapters one and two, author Paul has established that no man from any group of people, moral Gentiles, immoral individuals, religious Jews is able to keep the Law or any law governing righteous human behavior except for Jesus Christ Himself. Verses 3:19-20 summarize this key point on the purpose of the Law, which purpose is to lead one to the remedy for falling short of the Law's commands which everyone inevitably does, (ref. v. 3:23):

Through the Law all men are to become conscious of sin:

(v. 3:19) "Now we know that whatever the Law says, it says to those who are under The Law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. (v. 3:20) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the Law; rather, through the Law we become conscious of sin."

The Law, then, is the instrument which leads one to the remedy for falling short of God's standard of righteousness because the Law demands one live by it in order to avoid God's temporal and eternal condemnation and to receive eternal life. So the Law enables one to become conscious of ones sins before God and then to remedy this by a moment of faith in Christ's Jesus' propitiation for ones sins unto the reception of an eternal righteousness from God and eternal life, (vv. 3:21-24). Thereby. "We uphold the Law," (Ro 3:31).

Detailed review of verses 3:19-24

Finally the question is asked relative to this subject: (v. 3:31) Do we, then, nullify the Law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the Law". The purpose of the Law is to make one become conscious of sin because of ones falling short of God's standard of righteousness because they are unable to keep the Law. This is then to lead one to faith in Christ in order to receive an eternal righteousness from God unto eternal life. So the Law is not nullfied when one comes to faith in Christ, rather upheld by those who do become conscious of sin before God and do remedy that situation by faith in Jesus Christ to receive an eternal righteousness from God.

Continue to Romans chapter 4