Ben Fetterolf
Follower of Jesus | Husband | Father | Pastor at Hampton Park Baptist Church of Greenville, SC
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The Law of God's Righteousness
Romans 3:1-20
What is the role of the law in the life of a believer? And what does the law teach us about God?
Published March 6th, 2020; Updated March 6th, 2020
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Main point summary
Main point summary
The law proves that (1) God is faithful, (2) man is sinful, and (3) that man is unable to be justified through the law.
Romans 3:1-20
Then what advantage has the Jew?
Then is there any special value to being born a Jew?
Or what is the value of circumcision?
Or on the other hand , is circumcision beneficial in any way?
Much in every way.
Yes to both!
To begin with, x the Jews were entrusted with y the oracles of God.
For to start with, the Jewish nation was God's chosen people to whom he revealed himself.
z What if some were unfaithful?
Now , if some of those Jews nevertheless turned away from God,
a Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God?
then does that fact mean that God himself is unfaithful?
By no means!
Absolutely not!
b Let God be true
For God and His Word nevertheless remain true
though c every one were a liar,
even if everyone in the whole world were unfaithful,
as it is written,
even as David says of God (in Psalm 51),
d “That you may be justified in your words,
"That you may remain righteous in all your judgments,
and prevail when you e are judged.”
and above reproach when judged by others."
But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God,
( Objection 1 ) But if the unfaithfulness of the Jews leads to a display of God's righteousness,
what shall we say?
then what is the appropriate response?
That God is unrighteous to inflict f wrath on us?
Is the appropriate response that God himself is unrighteous to judge us for this?
( g I speak in a human way.)
(I'm speaking in this way to help you understand-though it seems blasphemous to even say it.)
By no means!
( Answer 1 ) Absolutely not!
For then how could h God judge the world?
For how would God be able to be the judge of the world if he could not judge the unrighteous?
But if through my lie
( Objection 2 ) But if it is by my unfaithfulness
God’s truth abounds to his glory,
that God's glory ends up being proclaimed in his righteous judgment,
i why am I still being condemned as a sinner?
then why am I still being judged (since my sin leads to his glory)?
And why not j do evil
And why shouldn't I continue to sin
that good may come?—
in order that good may keeping coming from it (God continuing to get glory)?
as some people slanderously charge us with saying.
( Answer 2: This is so obviously false it's not worthy of an answer. ) Some people have wrongfully claimed that this is what we teach in order to try to make us look bad.
Their condemnation is just.
The result of this kind of thinking is just condemnation.
What then?
How should we process all this?
Are we Jews 1 any better off? 2
Are the Jewish people any better off than other people?
No, not at all.
No, they are not any better off.
For we have already charged that all, both k Jews and l Greeks, are m under sin,
Because we have already stated that every single person regardless of ethnicity is a sinner.
as it is written:
For this is what the Scriptures teach:
n “None is righteous, no, not one;
There is no one who is righteous. No, not even one.
no one understands;
For no one understands the truth;
no one seeks for God.
and no one seeks after God.
All have turned aside;
Rather , everyone has turned aside to his own way,
together they have become worthless;
and along with everyone else become worthless.
no one does good, not even one.”
Therefore , no one does spiritual good. No, not even one.
o “Their throat is p an open grave;
They devour others with their words;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
they use their tongues to deceive others.
q “The venom of asps is under their lips.”
Stinging venom (ready to strike) hides underneath their lips.
r “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
Their mouth is full of sinful and hateful speech.
s “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
And their feet rush to do physical harm to others;
in their paths are ruin and misery,
they walk on roads of ruin and misery,
and t the way of peace they have not known.”
and they do not walk on the road of peace.
u “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
In summary, they have absolutely no fear of God in their hearts.
Now we know
Now we know
that whatever v the law says
that when the law speaks,
it speaks to those who are under the law,
it is speaking to those who are hearing/reading it
w so that every mouth may be stopped,
in order that no excuses may be made
and x the whole world may be held accountable to God.
but rather that everyone may be held accountable by the God who gave the law.
For y by works of the law no human being 1 will be justified in his sight,
Therefore , it is clear that no human being will be able to be justified through the law
since z through the law comes knowledge of sin.
because the law provides distinct evidence of everyone's sin.
1-4 : Even though the Jews were blessed by God and nevertheless went on to be unfaithful, God remains faithful and righteous in all he does . 5-8 : God is not unjust to punish sin, and my sin is not excused because it ultimately leads to God's glory . Argument 1 (Is God just to punish us?) - If our unrighteousness demonstrates God's righteousness, then is God unrighteous to punish us since through our sin we are demonstrating his righteousness? Answer - Obviously not since God as judge has to judge the unrighteous. Argument 2 (Am I unjust to continue in sin?) - If you are saying that my sin leads to God's glory (in judgment), then why wouldn't I continue to sin since it leads to God's glory? Answer - It goes without saying that this is false and that any who believe this will be condemned. 9-18 : Jews (while blessed) are no better off. FOR all are guilty of sin. In fact, absolutely no one is righteous, not even one , as the Scriptures make clear. 19 : AND the law was given to make our sin and our accountability to God clear. 20 : THEREFORE, no one is able to be justified through the law .
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.