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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Paul's letter to the Romans

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Frameworks: Romans 3

 

(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)

         

 

CHAPTER 3

v.1-8 Benefits of being a Jew & God's Righteousness

v.9-20 No One Is Righteous

v.21-31 Righteousness that comes through Faith

       

[Context: Because we believe it is important to follow the flow of Paul's teaching we wil provide a brief summary of each previous chapter to provide present context:

Ch.1 The sinfulness of the world

Ch.2 All – Jew & Gentile – are under God's judgment, background is irrelevant

NOW he emphasizes, for the sake of the Jews, that although they do have some benefits, as far as behaviour is concerned they are the same as Gentiles. No one is righteous and all have to come to God through the same way – faith in Christ.]

   

v.1-8 Benefits of being a Jew & God's Righteousness

 

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

v.2 (oh yes, Jews were given God's word – the Law) Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God.

v.3 (but what about when Jews were unfaithful) What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God's faithfulness?

v.4 (their being wrong doesn't make God wrong) Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: “So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.” [Psa 51:4]

v.5 (but some might ask if their unrighteousness reveals more clearly God's righteousness, isn't it unfair that he judges us) 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.6 (Oh, come on! How could God overlook sin and not judge it?) Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world?

v.7 (some silly person might argue, if my lack of truth only emphasizes God's truth, why am I condemned?) Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?”

v.8 (that's silly – do evil so good can result? No way!) Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!

 

v.9-20 No One Is Righteous

 

v.9 (So do we Jews have an advantage? As far a wrong behaviour goes – no!) What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin.

v.10 (listen to the various scriptures on this: first, no one is righteous) As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;
v.11 (second ,no one truly seeks out God) there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.
v.12 (third, everyone [since Adam] has turned away and falls short) All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” [Psa 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Eccles 7:20]
v.13 (fourth, just listen to how they speak wrongly) “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. ” [Psa 5:9] “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” [Psa 140:3]
v.14 (fifth, they curse and are bitter) “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” [Psalm 10:7 (see Septuagint)]
v.15-17 (sixth, they constantly look to create trouble for others ) “Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.” [Isa 59:7,8]
v.18 (seventh, they don't fear God) “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” [Psa 36:1]

v.19 (so all those Jews living by the Law find themselves condemned ) 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.20 (so the Law just makes them more aware of their sin and failure) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God's sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

 

v.21-31 Righteousness that comes through Faith

 

v.21 (but God has revealed through both the Law and the Prophets, a way of being righteous apart from the Law) But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

v.22 (this righteousness comes through faith in Christ – Jew or Gentile) This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,

v.23 (because the reality is that ALL have sinned and fallen short of God's splendour seen in His revelation [of Himself and His design seen through His Law]) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

v.24 (and so ALL will be put right in His sight by Christ's death that brings his grace to us) and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

v.25 (you see, in the pattern of the Old Testament sacrifices, God made Christ a sacrifice that deals with all past sins, and this is received by faith) God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—

v.26 (this was His way of putting things right) he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

v.27 (so it leaves no room for human boasting, it's no longer works but simple faith) Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith.

v.28 (faith not trying to keep the Law) For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.

v.29 (this is for both Jew and Gentile) Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,

v.30 (they will all be put right by faith) since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.

v.31 (the result of faith is we end up keeping the Law) Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.