Romans Chapter Three

God's Faithfulness And Our Righteousness

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In our study Romans chapter three, we will look at God's faithfulness and the basis for our right relationship with him. We will expose the lie that Christians have somehow replaced the Jews as "God's people".

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Romans 3:1

Then what advantage has the Jew? What is the value of being circumcised?

This verse asks questions based on the fact that salvation is by grace and not by family status or obedience to the Law which is what we saw at the end of chapter two.

Romans 3:2

Much in every way! In the first place, the Jews were entrusted with the very words of God.

Paul immediately gives us the answer to the questions he asked. The simple answer is that the Jews are a people set aside by God and they were entrusted with the Law. They were also given special promises in the Old Testament and God always keeps his promises. There are those today that preach what is known as "replacement theology" but this doctrine is a lie from Satan. This "theology" says that Christians have replaced the Jews in being God's people but the simple fact is that we have not replaced them but have been united with them through the body of Christ. Paul understood this well as was demonstrated by the pattern of his ministry. (He always went into the synagogue first to share the gospel and then went out to the Gentiles.)

Romans 3:3 & 4

If some of them were unfaithful, so what? Does their faithlessness cancel God's faithfulness? Heaven forbid! God would be true even if everyone were a liar! - as the Tanakh says, "so that you, God, may be proved right in your words and win the verdict when you are put on trial."

Paul is quoting King David from Psalm 51:4 where David is talking about how sin is against God but he shows mercy and cleanses from sin. Paul is saying that the lack of faith on the part of the Jews does not diminish God's faithfulness and he still keeps his promises even when we don't understand everything. Some Jews reject Yeshua as the Messiah but God still does not abandon them and somehow he is going to bring them to trust in Yeshua Messiah. They are still his people and have never been replaced by another group.

Romans 3:5 & 6

Now if our unrighteousness highlights God's righteousness, what should we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict his anger on us? (I am speaking here the way people commonly do.) Heaven forbid! Else, how could God judge the world?

This is a common question even today as many argue that the more we sin the more people can see God's grace and mercy. That is followed by "Why not go on sinning?" and the idea that it is not right for God to judge because our sins demonstrate his love. Here, Paul explains that he doesn't believe this nonsense.

Romans 3:7 & 8

"But," you say, "if, through my lie, God's truth is enhanced and brings him greater glory, why am I still judged merely for being a sinner?" Indeed! Why not say (as some people slander us by claiming we do say), "Let us do evil, so that good may come of it"? Against them the judgment is a just one!

Paul continues with this question and it is still relevant to us today. The argument that he describes is based on a lack of understanding of God, salvation, and love. First, the idea that we, as people, "increases the glory" of God is a false idea. God's glory does not depend on us it is simply a characteristic of God. Our actions do not create the glory of God but are a reflection of his glory and that is a big difference. The second question about condemnation shows a lack of understanding of salvation and the freedom that comes with that. In Galatians chapter five, Paul warns us that we have freedom in Christ and to beware of people trying to cause us to be "burdened again by a yoke of slavery". The slavery that he is talking about is slavery to the Law but, when we accept the payment for our sins through Yeshua Messiah, we are no longer under the law but under grace. Therefore, we are free to do what we want but we don't continue to sin because of our love for Yeshua. If you love someone, you do not continue to do things that make them unhappy and the same is true with us and Yeshua.

Romans 3:9-12

So are we Jews better off? Not entirely; for I have already made the charge that all people, Jews and Gentiles alike, are controlled by sin. As the Tanakh puts it, "There is no one righteous, not even one! No one understands, no one seeks God, all have turned away and at the same time become useless; there is no one who shows kindness, not a single one!

Paul reminds us that we are all in the same boat before we come to Yeshua Messiah. There is no one (Jew or Gentile) who has righteousness on our own. He quotes Psalms and Ecclesiastes to describe the condition of all men before God. I have heard people say that they have always known God and I say that is impossible and the reason is these passages from Scripture.

Romans 3:13 & 14

"Their throats are open graves, they use their tongues to deceive. Vipers' venom is under their lips. Their mouths are full of curses and bitterness.

Paul continues to quote the Psalms and lists some specific reasons why nobody is righteous on their own. This is the same thing that James was talking about in chapter three of his letter to the church. We all fail at one point or another at controlling the tongue and that alone is enough to make us unrighteous as God's standard is perfection.

Romans 3:15-17

"Their feet rush to shed blood, in their ways are ruin and misery, and the way of shalom they do not know.

Paul quotes now from the prophet Isaiah and it reminds us that, without Yeshua Messiah, there is no peace. People that are following the ways of the flesh clash with others who are looking out for their own interests. The only way for there to be peace between people is through the Prince of Peace, Yeshua Messiah.

Romans 3:18

"There is no fear of God before their eyes."

Paul now quotes Psalm 36 and it seems that these words describe our society more today than ever before. This verse (and all of that Psalm) talks about the fact that people no longer see sin as sin and so they do not fear the judgment of God. The people have gotten away from God's standards (they are righteous in their own eyes) and so they do not see a need for a savior. Without seeing a need for a savior, we cannot see the provision of God's grace.

Romans 3:19 & 20

Moreover, we know that whatever the Torah says, it says to those living within the framework of the Torah, in order that every mouth may be stopped and the whole world be shown to deserve God's adverse judgment. For in his sight no one alive will be considered righteous on the ground of legalistic observance of Torah commands, because what Torah really does is show people how sinful they are.

Everyone is presented with a simple choice which is they can be under the law or under the grace of God. The whole purpose of the law was to make us aware of our need for a Savior that was provided by God's grace. When you accept that gift of grace, the law no longer applies to you! There are many "Christians" who want to continue to apply the law to other Christians but the simple answer is that it is not for God's children. The next time someone attempts to beat you down with the law, simply tell them: "I am under grace not the law because I am a child of God." and share this passage of scripture with them.

Romans 3:21

But now, quite apart from Torah, God's way of making people righteous in his sight has been made clear - although the Torah and the Prophets give their witness to it as well -

Paul continues to explain that this righteousness that we have is not some "Plan B" that God had to come up with when man messed up. He explains that the Law and the prophets were always a part of his plan of demonstrating this grace.

Romans 3:22-24

and it is a righteousness that comes from God, through the faithfulness of Yeshua the Messiah, to all who continue trusting. For it makes no difference whether one is a Jew or a Gentile, since all have sinned and come short of earning God's praise. By God's grace, without earning it, all are granted the status of being considered righteous before him, through the act redeeming us from our enslavement to sin that was accomplished by the Messiah Yeshua.

Paul continues by explaining that there is only one way to get this righteousness and that is faith in Yeshua Messiah. All men have sinned and require his grace and when they accept that gift they are "justified freely". Justified is another way of saying that we are declared not guilty and it is just as if we had never sinned. That, my friends, is how God forgives us and when he forgives it is as if our sins never even happened.

Romans 3:25

God put Yeshua forward as the kapparah for sin through his faithfulness in respect to his bloody sacrificial death. This vindicated God's righteousness; because, in his forbearance, he had passed over [with neither punishment nor remission] the sins people had committed in the past;

Yeshua died for the sins of everyone who ever has lived, is living, or will live. This death (atonement) was necessary because the penalty for sins is death. All sin that ever has been or will be committed must be paid for because, if God let just one sin go unpunished, then he would not be right (just) in punishing the others.

Romans 3:26

and it vindicates his righteousness in the present age by showing that he is righteous himself and is also the one who makes people righteous on the ground of Yeshua's faithfulness.

God is the only one that is just and the only people that will be guilt free (justified) are those that have faith in Yeshua. There is an effort underway today to get along with some religions and not offend them with the name of Yesha Messiah but, as we see here, Yeshua is the only way that we can be guilt free. That may offend some people but sometimes the truth hurts.

Romans 3:27 & 28

So what room is left for boasting? None at all! What kind of Torah excludes it? One that has to do with legalistic observance of rules? No, rather, a Torah that has to do with trusting. Therefore, we hold the view that a person comes to be considered righteous by God on the ground of trusting, which has nothing to do with legalistic observance of Torah commands.

We were given this gift of salvation and all we have to do is accept it. That is grace and it doesn't take a great person to accept a gift so we have no reason to brag about what we have done. This is the same message that Paul shared with the Ephesians in chapter two.

Romans 3:29 & 30

Or is God the God of the Jews only? Isn't he also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, he is indeed the God of the Gentiles; because, as you will admit, God is one. Therefore, he will consider righteous the circumcised on the ground of trusting and the uncircumcised through that same trusting.

There is only one God and most of the world believes that but there is also only one way to a right relationship with that God. As we see here, it is by faith in Yeshua Messiah. In Yeshua's own words, (John 14:6) He said "I am the way" and his words were confirmed in his resurrection from the dead. There is a movement today to make people feel good by telling them that there are many paths to God but that is simply a lie from Satan himself.

Romans 3:31

Does it follow that we abolish Torah by this trusting? Heaven forbid! On the contrary, we confirm Torah.

Paul closes this chapter by explaining that we do not cancel out the law with our faith. The simple fact is that you can either try to keep the law by yourself (you must do so perfectly) or, by faith, we can accept that Yeshua fulfilled (kept) the law for us and we accept that gift.

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