Matt Denzer
Student at Bethlehem Seminary. Strongly helped by my wife and completely sustained by my God.
User since 2015
Matt's published pages
Let us persevere in the shadows of the dawn, receiving grace to help us in every time of need until the Son shines in his fullness.
Romans 7:25–8:30
The law of God is holy and good, but I can't fulfill it. When I recognize this, I am either driven to despair or to the cross of Christ.
Romans 7:7–25
Since we are no longer slaves to sin, let us pursue righteousness with all of our might, even as we once pursued sin with all of our might.
Romans 6:1–7:6
Far greater will be the life-giving effects of the free gift of God's grace in Christ than the death-bringing effects of Adam's sin.
Romans 5:1–21
Abraham was justified by faith in order that the promise might be fulfilled for all of his offspring
Romans 4:1–25
True Jews are Jews inwardly, and the truly circumcised are those whose hearts and spirits have been circumcised.
Romans 2:2–29
The gospel of Jesus Christ was promised beforehand in the holy Scriptures and has been fulfilled for the sake of all who are called.
Romans 1:1–2:1
The depth of God's riches, wisdom, and knowledge are decisively revealed in his unfathomable judgments and unsearchable ways.
Romans 11:33-36
Those who are hardened and remain in unbelief will be rejected, but those whose sins have been forgiven will dwell securely.
Romans 11:23-32
Do not boast over another as if you have done anything to deserve the glorious position in which you stand, lest you forfeit the prize.
Romans 11:16-22
God uses even the exceeding sinfulness of sin to bring about ends that resound to his glory and the good of his people.
Romans 11:11-16
There remains a remnant of true Israelites, for the Lord has not rejected any of his people whom he foreknew.
Romans 11:1-10
Those who are sent to proclaim the good news are those who have heard it and obey it.
Romans 10:14-21
The only option we have to attain to the righteousness of God is to renounce all attempts to do the works of the law unto salvation.
Romans 10:5-13
The One who has accomplished all of the law's demands offers righteousness and life to all who believe.
Romans 9:30-10:5
Everyone whom the Lord saves, whether Jew or Gentile, he sovereignly calls when they were not his people.
Romans 9:24-29
God's sovereign freedom to have mercy on whomever he wills and to harden whomever he wills further establishes his purpose of election.
Romans 9:18-23
The justification of God is the justification of God.
Romans 9:14-18
The Word of God has not failed, for he has been faithful to those whom he has called according to his purpose.
Romans 9:6-13
Paul is concerned that the glories of Romans 8 will not produce assurance in the heart of his hearers.
Romans 8:31–9:5
When we yearn with an affectionate longing for those who have become beloved to us, we overflow in joyfully steadfast, sacrificial ministry.
1 Thessalonians 2:8
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Righteousness through Faith Brings the End of Boasting
Romans 3:1–31
There is no room for boasting, for those who are righteous are made righteous only by grace through faith in Christ.
Published December 13th, 2016; Updated December 15th, 2016
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Main point summary
3:1-31 Arc
Main point summary
No one has an advantage, for everyone has been imprisoned under sin. But the righteousness of God has been revealed apart from the law, that is, the righteousness of God which is through faith in Christ. Now, the righteous shall live by faith. Therefore, there is no room for boasting, for those who are righteous are made righteous only by grace through faith in Christ.
3:1-31 Arc
Romans 3:1-31
Then what is extraordinary about the Jew?
Τί οὖν τὸ περισσὸν τοῦ Ἰουδαίου
Or what is the advantage of circumcision?
ἢ τίς ἡ ὠφέλεια τῆς περιτομῆς;
Much according to every way,
πολὺ κατὰ πάντα τρόπον.
for, first (μεν), they were entrusted with the oracles of God.
πρῶτον μὲν [γὰρ] ὅτι ἐπιστεύθησαν τὰ λόγια τοῦ θεοῦ.
For what?
τί γάρ;
If some did not believe,
εἰ ἠπίστησάν τινες,
their unbelief will not invalidate the faithfulness of God, will it?
μὴ ἡ ἀπιστία αὐτῶν τὴν πίστιν τοῦ θεοῦ καταργήσει;
By no means! Now, let God be true,
μὴ γένοιτο• γινέσθω δὲ ὁ θεὸς ἀληθής,
and (δε) let every human being be a liar,
πᾶς δὲ ἄνθρωπος ψεύστης,
just as it has been written, "In order that you might be declared righteous in your words,
καθὼς γέγραπται• ὅπως ἂν δικαιωθῇς ἐν τοῖς λόγοις σου
and you will prevail by means of your judgment.
καὶ νικήσεις ἐν τῷ κρίνεσθαί σε.
Now if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God,
εἰ δὲ ἡ ἀδικία ἡμῶν θεοῦ δικαιοσύνην συνίστησιν,
what shall we say? God, who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is he?
τί ἐροῦμεν; μὴ ἄδικος ὁ θεὸς ὁ ἐπιφέρων τὴν ὀργήν;
I am speaking according to human beings.
κατὰ ἄνθρωπον λέγω.
By no means! Otherwise, how will God judge the world?
μὴ γένοιτο• ἐπεὶ πῶς κρινεῖ ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον;
Now "If the truth of God abounds by means of my untruthfulness unto his glory,
εἰ δὲ ἡ ἀλήθεια τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν τῷ ἐμῷ ψεύσματι ἐπερίσσευσεν εἰς τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ,
why am I also still being judged as a sinner?"
τί ἔτι κἀγὼ ὡς ἁμαρτωλὸς κρίνομαι;
And, just as we are slandered and just as some charge us with saying,
καὶ μὴ καθὼς βλασφημούμεθα καὶ καθώς φασίν τινες ἡμᾶς λέγειν
"Why should we not do evil
ὅτι ποιήσωμεν τὰ κακά,
in order that good might come?"
ἵνα ἔλθῃ τὰ ἀγαθά;
Of these the judgment is just.
ὧν τὸ κρίμα ἔνδικόν ἐστιν.
What then? Do we have an advantage?
Τί οὖν; προεχόμεθα;
We by all means do not,
οὐ πάντως•
for we have previously declared all Jews and likewise also all Greeks to be under sin,
προῃτιασάμεθα γὰρ Ἰουδαίους τε καὶ Ἕλληνας πάντας ὑφʼ ἁμαρτίαν εἶναι,
just as it has been written, "There is not a righteous person, not even one,
καθὼς γέγραπται ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν δίκαιος οὐδὲ εἷς,
there is not one with understanding,
οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ συνίων,
there is not one who strives to know God.
οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ ἐκζητῶν τὸν θεόν.
All turned away, simultaneously they were made worthless.
πάντες ἐξέκλιναν ἅμα ἠχρεώθησαν•
There is not one who does what is upright, there is not up to one.
οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ ποιῶν χρηστότητα, [οὐκ ἔστιν] ἕως ἑνός.
Their throat is an open grave, their tongues deceived, the venom of asps is under their lips.
τάφος ἀνεῳγμένος ὁ λάρυγξ αὐτῶν, ταῖς γλώσσαις αὐτῶν ἐδολιοῦσαν, ἰὸς ἀσπίδων ὑπὸ τὰ χείλη αὐτῶν•
The mouth of them is full of curse and bitterness.
ὧν τὸ στόμα ἀρᾶς καὶ πικρίας γέμει,
Their feet are swift to pour out blood.
ὀξεῖς οἱ πόδες αὐτῶν ἐκχέαι αἷμα,
Destruction and misery are in their way,
σύντριμμα καὶ ταλαιπωρία ἐν ταῖς ὁδοῖς αὐτῶν,
and the way of peace they have not known.
καὶ ὁδὸν εἰρήνης οὐκ ἔγνωσαν.
There is no fear of God before their eyes.
οὐκ ἔστιν φόβος θεοῦ ἀπέναντι τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν αὐτῶν.
Now we know that as much as the law says, it says to those in the law
οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι ὅσα ὁ νόμος λέγει τοῖς ἐν τῷ νόμῳ λαλεῖ,
in order that every mouth might be shut
ἵνα πᾶν στόμα φραγῇ
and all the world might be liable to judgment before God,
καὶ ὑπόδικος γένηται πᾶς ὁ κόσμος τῷ θεῷ•
therefore, from the works of the law all flesh before him will not be pronounced righteous,
διότι ἐξ ἔργων νόμου οὐ δικαιωθήσεται πᾶσα σὰρξ ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ,
for through the law is knowledge of sin.
διὰ γὰρ νόμου ἐπίγνωσις ἁμαρτίας.
Now, at this time,
Νυνὶ δὲ
apart from the law,
χωρὶς νόμου
the righteousness of God has been revealed,
δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ πεφανέρωται
having been born witness to by the law and the prophets.
μαρτυρουμένη ὑπὸ τοῦ νόμου καὶ τῶν προφητῶν,
Now [this is] the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all those who believe,
δικαιοσύνη δὲ θεοῦ διὰ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς πάντας τοὺς πιστεύοντας.
for there is not a distinction,
οὐ γάρ ἐστιν διαστολή,
for all sinned
πάντες γὰρ ἥμαρτον
and failed to reach the glory of God,
καὶ ὑστεροῦνται τῆς δόξης τοῦ θεοῦ
being made righteous as a gift by his grace
δικαιούμενοι δωρεὰν τῇ αὐτοῦ χάριτι
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
διὰ τῆς ἀπολυτρώσεως τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ•
whom God intended to be a propitiation through faith,
ὃν προέθετο ὁ θεὸς ἱλαστήριον διὰ [τῆς] πίστεως
by means of his blood,
ἐν τῷ αὐτοῦ αἵματι
unto the demonstration of his righteousness
εἰς ἔνδειξιν τῆς δικαιοσύνης αὐτοῦ
because of the passing over of the sins that were done before,
διὰ τὴν πάρεσιν τῶν προγεγονότων ἁμαρτημάτων
in the forbearance of God,
ἐν τῇ ἀνοχῇ τοῦ θεοῦ,
up to the demonstration of his righteousness in the present time,
πρὸς τὴν ἔνδειξιν τῆς δικαιοσύνης αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ νῦν καιρῷ,
in order that he would be righteous and the one who pronounces righteous the one from the faith of Christ.
εἰς τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸν δίκαιον καὶ δικαιοῦντα τὸν ἐκ πίστεως Ἰησοῦ.
Where then is boasting?
Ποῦ οὖν ἡ καύχησις;
It is excluded.
Through what kind of law? Of works?
διὰ ποίου νόμου; τῶν ἔργων;
No, but through a law of faith.
οὐχί, ἀλλὰ διὰ νόμου πίστεως.
For we count a man to be righteous by faith without works of the law.
λογιζόμεθα γὰρ δικαιοῦσθαι πίστει ἄνθρωπον χωρὶς ἔργων νόμου.
Or is God over the Jews only?
ἢ Ἰουδαίων ὁ θεὸς μόνον;
Is he also over the nations?
καὶ ἐθνῶν;
Yes, he is also over the nations,
ναὶ καὶ ἐθνῶν,
even as God is one,
εἴπερ εἷς ὁ θεὸς
who will declare righteous the circumcised from faith
ὃς δικαιώσει περιτομὴν ἐκ πίστεως
and the uncircumcised through faith.
καὶ ἀκροβυστίαν διὰ τῆς πίστεως.
Therefore, are we invalidating the law through faith?
νόμον οὖν καταργοῦμεν διὰ τῆς πίστεως;
By no means! Instead, we are validating the law.
μὴ γένοιτο• ἀλλὰ νόμον ἱστάνομεν.
εν τω + infinitive can express result (rarely), contemporaneous time, or means (Wallace, 611). Means seems to fit best here.
The developmental conjunction and the repetition of the phrase signals Paul's intent to elaborate upon this righteousness of God, and thus finally answer the question regarding advantage in 3:9.
Having established the function of the law in the heart of humans, he moves on to explain how then righteousness is to be obtained
Paul's corrective summary of the function of the law, undoing the false assumption that drives the question of 3:1, 9.
Rom 9:1-5 speaks of the other advantages of the Jews (Moo, 182). Connection here and the answer in 3:9 suggest that these, though advantageous, were not means of escaping the just judgment of God.
Reason #1: Humanity's unbelief and God's faithfulness
Reason #2: Humanity's unrighteousness and God's righteousness
Reason #3: God's glory in the judgment of humanity
3b-8 provide Paul's reasoning for declaring that the possession of the oracles of God was indeed an advantage.
Josué Pineda
Thanks for sharing your arc Matt. Would it be possible for you to answer some of my questions?

I am working on Romans 3:1-8. I am glad about the arc I have until verse 4. But when I come to verse 5, I really don't know what to do. I need some help with this passage.
Josué Pineda
This is my (incomplete) arc:
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.