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Chapter 3

Commentary by Tom Brown

Rom 3:1
1 What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision?
What advantage? Advantage places one in an improved position, but not in a sinless position.
2 Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God. Entrusted. Should be understood to mean that the Israelites believed in God's words, not simply that they were guardians of the Word of God.
3 What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? Although people may disbelieve God, God still remains a faithful God, however, He will not act in behalf of those who disbelieve. see Heb 3:19
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." Man's truth is often based on what he sees and reasons, however, God's truth may not be based on what is seen or reasonable. We are called to accept God's truth as opposed to man's truth. A believer lies when he takes sides against the Word of God. To confess sickness, poverty and failure is to lie. God says you are healed, blessed and victorious.
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.)  
6 Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? Righteous judgment must be based on the fact that people are responsible for their behavior.
7 Someone might argue, "If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?"  
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. slanderously reported. It is a common thing for people to draw false conclusions based on clear statements. People do this with the Word of God and with preachers. A preachers says one thing, but someone draws a false conclusion. Generally people draw false conclusions based on anger and hatred toward the one who is preaching.

Their condemnation is deserved. It is a dangerous thing to slander others.

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. we. Jews.
10 As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; Paul begins a string of many verses to prove that all are under sin.
11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.  
12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."  
13 "Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit." "The poison of vipers is on their lips."  
14 "Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."  
15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood;  
16 ruin and misery mark their ways,  
17 and the way of peace they do not know."  
18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."  
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. When God made the covenant with Israel and gave them the law, God, by doing this, made the whole world accountable to Himself. 
20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. declared righteous. Takes us back to a judge or jury who declares to the defendant "not guilty".

in his sight. Since God is the ultimate judge, how people view us is irrelevant in the eternal scheme of things.

conscious of sin. The Law and religion imparts a sin consciousness. The cross imparts a righteous consciousness.

21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. Law and the Prophets testify. Paul's message is backed up by Scripture.
22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, through faith and who believe. Paul uses superfluous words to make his point of how necessary it is for people to "believe" and have "faith". An example of superfluous words would be to say, "The female girl." A girl is by nature a female, and so it is unnecessary to say both female and girl; one or the other will do. In Paul's case "faith" is by nature "belief".
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, fall short. Some fall shorter than others, but everyone still falls short. Every person is born "under sin" but being born with something does not mean you cannot change it. A person may be born with a certain name, but he can change it. People incorrectly think that original sin makes a person incapable of doing right. The Calvinistic doctrine of "total depravity" is wrong. see Ezekial 16:47.
24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. freely by his grace. Again Paul uses superfluous words to make his point, but this time with the emphasis on grace with is by nature, free.

Redemption. Paul introduces for the first time this theme. In simple language it means to purchase something back.


25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-- demonstrate his justice. For God to justify the sinner he must be JUST. The first four letters of justice is the same four letters of justify. 
26 he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. There are two ways for a defendant to be declared "not guilty" of a traffic violation. One is for the officer to lose the evidence, the other is for someone to pay the fine. God does not throw away the evidence of your sin, He, instead, chose to pay it Himself. The devil cannot accuse God of winking at sin or ignoring it.
27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. principle. Same Greek word as "law". KJV properly translates this verse as: "Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith." Paul is using a play on the word "law". He was showing that what the law of Moses was to Israel, the law of faith is to the Christian. Many Christians have been taught about the Ten Commandments, yet few have been taught about the law that we live by, which is the Law of Faith.
28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.  
29 Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,  
30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.  
31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law. we uphold the law. We do not uphold the law of Moses, but the law of faith. see v 27.

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