God's righteousness preserved
Romans 3:21-26
Paul's concern should be our concern.
Shared March 3rd, 2017; Updated March 3rd, 2017
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Main point summary
Main point summary
God's righteousness has been shown intact and apart from the law because God has graciously gifted justification through Christ's blood.
Romans 3:21-26
But now a the righteousness of God b has been manifested apart from the law,
although c the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—
the righteousness of God d through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.
e For there is no distinction:
for f all have sinned
and fall short of the glory of God,
g and are justified h by his grace as a gift,
i through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
whom God j put forward as k a propitiation l by his blood,
to be received by faith.
This was to show God’s righteousness,
because in m his divine forbearance he had passed over n former sins.
It was to show his righteousness at the present time,
so that he might be just
and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
The ESV translation here is misleading - it looks like it should be a concessive, but is actually a participle in the Greek and therefore behaves more like a comparison (although a true relationship is hard to nail down).
This lack of distinction is regarding Jews and Gentiles, which is being discussed in this chapter; whereas it would seem that Jews have an advantage over Gentiles for having the law, in fact there is no difference - all are under the curse of sin.
God's righteousness was in doubt, because sin requires death yet had been overlooked until this point. He had passed over former sins in anticipation of the final solution; Jesus' death re-establishes God's righteousness, that is, His justice and His justifying grace.
"the glory of God" could be God's glorious standard, or could be God's literal glory; it would seem to be God's glorious standard, but there might be some interplay between the law and the literal glory of God.
Grace is often understood as a gift - why add "as a gift" after grace?
Not that He became just, as thought He somehow wasn't just before, but that He is shown indeed to be just.
Lest we think we have any hand in this; God put Jesus forward, that is, offered Jesus as a propitiation to Himself. We caused the problem, God had certain requirements to deal with the problem, God Himself gave the solution to His requirements.
Works are meaningless when it comes to propitiation. We are propitiated by faith alone; nothing can "propitiate more", as it were - the final propitiation is in Jesus, and is received (not earned or attained or gained) by faith .
God's righteousness is of utmost concern to Paul here - our salvation and justification is only brought in to maintain God's righteousness. We do well to keep this straight: God's primary concern is Himself, and is only secondarily concerned with us. This does not diminish His love for us, since He did indeed redeem us through the blood of Jesus; but it does mean we need never to make a god of ourselves, either to ourselves or to God - we are loved, but we are not the center of God's attention, and therefore we should not make ourselves the center of our own attention either.
Josué Pineda
I do agree, that “although” does not help.

I would like to make a comment here. I see your Id-Exp for 21a and 22a and I do agree, there is some kind of restatement there. But I would prefer to use a Negative-Positive since 21a says “apart from the law”, understanding this like not through the works of the law, and 22a for me is like a “but through faith in Jesus”. There is a sense of correction which is the sense of a Negative-Positive.
Eric Judd
Ah, so the thrust of that arc is the contrast between law and faith? I had used Id-Exp because I thought the righteousness of God was being clarified and the idea behind the arc was that God's righteousness had been made manifest. I'll need to think about the -/+ and how that changes the main point.

Also, I should confess that I went through this arc with Andy - I shared it here before remembering I'd gotten feedback on it already.
Josué Pineda
I see that correction being made by Paul, and it also fits with Romans 3:20. But that does not mean that only my arc is correct. We could have more than one right or valid option.
Eric Judd
Yeah, I just went through lesson 7 and Andy had a very different arc than what I produced. I still haven't answered my own question from 24a, but I do appreciate that everyone sees something a little different in each passage.
Josué Pineda
I have two options for 24a, Series or Concessive. But only in relation to 23, not to 22b. As part of the Ground.
Eric Judd
Ah ok. I was talking about the question I have in the dot note over the word "gift" in 24a. But that is interesting, do you not have a Situation-Response in that portion of the arc?
Josué Pineda
My answer would be that the gift, in this case, is the justification by grace (not deserving it).
Josué Pineda
It is like appositional of the phrase “by grace”.
Josué Pineda
This is my version in Spanish. I think is a little different than Andy's arc.


You can copy and paste it.
Eric Judd
Ok, I can see where you're coming from. 22a becomes kind of the main point behind the whole passage, with 22b-26c providing the reasoning.

I think I went the Bilateral route because I saw 21a-22a as being similar enough to 25c-26c that, in my mind, 22b-25b seemed to be supporting the idea discussed in the other two arcs. I think I wrestled with that decision for a while before settling on it.
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