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BIBLE STUDY on the book of Romans

Chapter 3

The theme of this chapter is: Availability of a righteousness from God. In this chapter is the answer to several objections which follow one after another, relating to what the apostle had said concerning the Gentiles and the Jews. Paul shows various proofs from the Old Testament, showing the general depravity and corruption of mankind, of the Jews as well as of the Gentiles. The conclusion being, that there is NO justification by the works of the law, but by the righteousness of God received by faith, of which a large and clear account is given.

God’s Faithfulness . . . Romans 3:1-8

Romans 3:1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? [KJV]

“Circumcision” on its own, does NOT give the Jews righteousness, just as church membership or water baptism today has NO advantage for salvation. Any and all rites or rituals a person goes through in a church service are completely useless as far as salvation is concerned. What God asks of all lost sinners is to simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved (John 3:15-8; 1 John 5:10-13). Until a person is saved, their church, their creed, their membership, their rites and rituals, their baptism, means nothing. But, AFTER they are saved, these things are a symbol to the world that you are a child of God. What advantage then, did the Jews have?

Romans 3:2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. [KJV]

Israel had many advantages. #1. God had entrusted them with His laws (Exodus 19-20; Deut. 4:8). #2. They were the race from which the Messiah came to Earth (Isaiah 11:1-10; Matthew 1:1-17). #3. They were the heirs of covenants with God Himself (Genesis 17:1-16; Exodus 19:3-6). But, did these privileges make them better than anyone else? No! In fact, because of this, the Jews were even more responsible to live up to God’s requirements.

Romans 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? [KJV]

Does people’s lack of faith cancel out the faithfulness of God? NO! No way!!!
If the Jew failed; does that mean God has failed? NO! God’s Promise to send a Redeemer was NOT erased by Israel’s willful disobedience and rejection, and God’s Promises for the future of Israel shall be gloriously fulfilled, in spite of their unbelief. There are millions today who do “not believe,” both Jews and Gentiles. But the unbelief of the vast majority does not mean God is wrong! Those millions are wrong, and God is right! God is always right! Unbelief is a great sin to God (John 16:9). Unbelief calls God a liar! God is NOT a liar!

Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. [KJV]

Psalms 62:9 and 116:11 both declare people are liars. God is true! We are not!
Psalm 51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. [KJV] . . . David’s sin (and our sin) was and is committed against God. We simply deny God’s truth any time we wilfully sin. We deal dishonestly with God when we sin, but we deceive no one but ourselves! Our crafty, cunning manner just tends to make us hypocrites.

Paul states: “Certainly not! God is NOT a liar. Even though everyone else in the world is a liar, God always states truth.” God is ALWAYS just in all He says and does! The faithfulness of God is true, and cannot be changed. This is something we must seriously consider! This is extremely important to us, also very comforting! We serve a pure, righteous, just and true God. We can trust Him always, any time, any where!
1 John 5:10-12 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. [11] And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. [12] He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. [KJV] . . . Is it all that bad not to believe that God gave His only begotten Son to die for you? YES! My friend, it is very bad! IF you do not believe, you are calling God a liar! That’s what you do when you reject Jesus.

Romans 3:5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) [KJV]

Some think our sins serve a good purpose; for our doing wrong shows up more clearly (compliments) God's doing right. Can we honestly say that God does wrong when He punishes wrongdoers? NO. Does Israel’s unbelief merely contrast God’s faithfulness? NO. Is God unjust by bringing His wrath down on these people? NO. IF God uses sin to better reveal His glory, then WHY does He punish sinners? God punishes us because He said He would. IF He did not punish sin, He would be a liar. We will talk more about this in Romans 6:1. Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? [KJV] Should we continue to live in sin so that God's grace will increase? The answer is a definite NO!

Romans 3:6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? [KJV]

If God is not just, righteous and true, how can He judge the world? God is just in every way! Even if you are an unbeliever, you feel in your heart that some people should be judged; for instance, Hitler. You probably don’t feel you ought to be judged, but you feel some should be. God states ALL shall be judged (Rom.2:5-6; Mat.13:40-43; 16:27; 25:32, 46; Heb.9:27; Rev.20:12; Rom.14:10).

The fact that ALL will be judged, should be a powerful incentive or reason to unbelievers. Unbelievers will be judged for every deed they ever committed (Mat.16:27; Rom.2:6).

Romans 3:7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? [KJV]

Some people might argue: “how can God judge and condemn me as a sinner if my dishonesty and sinfulness brings focus to His truthfulness and brings Him more glory?” Doesn’t my lies serve God's glory by making His truth stand out more clearly? So, why should I be condemned as a sinner? Some think they don’t have to worry about sin because God will forgive them. They think God is so loving, He won’t judge me. Some think that sin is not so bad . . . it teaches us valuable lessons. It is easy to take God’s grace for granted; but God CANNOT and will NOT overlook sin. No matter how many excuses sinners make, the end result is that they will have to answer to God for their sin.

Romans 3:8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just. [KJV]

Why not say, “Let us do evil so that good may come”? Some people had insulted Paul by accusing him of saying this. All unbelieving sinners will be condemned, as they should be (John 3:18,36; 8:24). Any one who thinks this way might as well say that the more we sin the better. Paul says that anyone who says such things deserve to be condemned. All stand guilty before God without the benefit of Jesus’ righteousness (1 Cor.1:30).

No One Is Righteous . . . Romans 3:9-20

Romans 3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; [KJV]

Are Jews better than others? NO! All people, be they Jews or Gentiles, are sinners. “Proved” means accused already, previously charged.

Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: [KJV]

This refers to Psalm 14:1-3. No one is innocent. No one can earn their right standing with God, outside of Christ. But God, through Jesus His Son, has redeemed us and offers to forgive us if we turn to Him in faith. All mankind are under the burden, guilt, and dominion of sin. We all are slaves to sin and do evil. This is made plain by several passages of Scripture from the Old Testament, which describe the corrupt and depraved state of all men, until the grace of God restrains or changes them. These texts describe multitudes who call themselves Christians, yet their character and conduct prove that there is no fear of God; and where there is no fear of God, only wickedness is exhibited.

Romans 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. [KJV]

All humanity, in its present sinful condition, is unacceptable to God. No one is the person they should be, or can be, without Christ.

Romans 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. [KJV]

Have you ever thought: “ I’m not too bad. I’m a pretty good person. I’m not as bad as so and so.”? Do any of these verses apply to you? Have you ever lied? Have you ever hurt someone’s feelings by sharp words or the tone of your voice? Are you bitter toward anyone? Do you get angry with those who disagree with you? In thought, word, and deed, we all stand guilty before God. We must remember who we are in His sight; alienated sinners. Don’t deny you are a sinner. Without Christ, we all detour around God.

Romans 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: [KJV]

Their talk is dirty and disgusting, like the stench from an open grave. Have you ever smelled decaying flesh? It is absolutely nauseating. That’s the way some people’s language is. They speak lies, as though the poison of a deadly snake drips from their lips. A rattlesnake bite can be dangerous, but it cannot hurt a person’s reputation. But a gossip can utterly ruin the good name and reputation of a person. Is your tongue vicious? (Jam.1:26; 3:5-6,8; 1 Pet.3:10).

Romans 3:14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: [KJV]

Have you ever known a person whose mouth was “full of cursing and bitterness”? The world is full of them! From a homeless person on skid row, to a high ranking official, they all seem familiar with cursing, deceit, fraud, vanity, etc. It seems all tongues are full of mischief. Movies and TV are right there on top!

Romans 3:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: [KJV]

Isaiah 59:7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. [KJV] . . . What a horrible picture of mankind! If we saw ourselves as God sees us, we couldn’t stand ourselves.

“But I’m not a murderer” you say! 1 John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. [KJV] . . . First, let me say that this verse does NOT teach that a murderer cannot be saved. Christ paid the penalty for ALL sins, even taking the life of another. When a person TRULY repents of a sin (any sin), God is merciful and gracious to forgive that sin. In this verse God states if we hate our brother, we are no better than a murderer. WHY? Jesus taught that whoever hates another person is a murderer at heart (Mat.5:21-22). Christianity is a ‘religion of the heart.’ Our outward allegiance alone, is NOT enough. Christianity starts in the heart! If we hate someone for something they have done to us, it is like a bitterness (hostility, spiteful, malicious, resentment) in our heart. It’s like a malignant cancer within you that will eventually destroy you. Don’t let the “root of bitterness” (Heb.12:15) start to grow in you. Stomp it out before it kills you.

Romans 3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: [KJV]

Wherever some people go, they leave a wide path of destruction and misery behind them. This is NOT what a TRUE Christian does.

Romans 3:17 And the way of peace have they not known: [KJV]

The human race does NOT know the way of peace. Look around you, read the newspaper, listen to the news. There is conflict and wars in every corner of the Earth. There is NO peace in the world, and there will NOT be any till Jesus comes. Jesus is the only Way of true peace in your life. Isaiah 57:21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. (KJV) Jer. 8:11 . . . Peace, peace; when there is no peace. (KJV) Eze. 13:16 To wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, saith the Lord GOD. (KJV)

Romans 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes. [KJV]

These verses describe multitudes of unbelievers . . . and also multitudes who call themselves Christians. They profess to be a Christian, BUT they do NOT possess Christ in their heart. Their morality and behavior prove that they have no fear of God whatsoever.

Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. [KJV]

The last time someone accused you of wrongdoing, how did you react? Denial, argument, defensive? The Bible (God’s Word, the Law) tells us the world stands accountable before Almighty God. We have no excuses or arguments. We must stop and admit our sin to Him because we all are guilty. He’s right, and we all are wrong! It’s as simple as that.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. [KJV]

This verse challenges anyone who claims you have to keep the Law in order to be saved. God plainly states that NO ONE shall be justified (made right) in His sight, by the law.

Then, why did God give the Mosaic Law? Galatians 3:24-25 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. [KJV] . . . We are not under the Law, we are under God’s grace. (Rom.6:14-15). So, the Law showed us and taught us, our need for a Saviour. After our faith came, we no longer needed a schoolteacher. The law shows us where and how we go wrong. Because of the law, we know that we are helpless sinners and that we must come to Christ Jesus for mercy. The law can guide us by showing us God’s moral standards, but we do not and cannot earn salvation by keeping the law. No one except Christ ever kept or could keep God’s law perfectly, so if we want to be righteous in God’s eyes, we must go to Christ for that righteousness. Only when we accept Christ as our Saviour and Lord, can we possibly please God and be made righteous in His sight.

Righteousness, Comes Through Faith . . . Romans 3:21-31

Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; [KJV]

I do not think this “righteousness of God” is a characteristic trait, because He does not share this with us, and it certainly is not the righteousness on mankind. For God has told us that our “righteousensses are as filthy rags” (Is.64:6). I think what Paul is referring to here is the righteousness that God provides for us; that being Christ! When we accept Christ, He becomes our Righteousness! And He is what God has provided for us! 1 Cor. 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: [KJV] . . . When we trust Christ Jesus to take away our sins, God declares us not guilty!

Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: [KJV]

By our trusting Jesus, we are made RIGHT with God; and God’s Solution is available to ALL of us regardless of our background or past behavior. We do not have to remain under God’s wrath? All we need do is accept Jesus and the righteousness of God is ours! Each one of us is either completely saved in Christ, OR completely lost outside of Christ. Every last one of us NEED the righteousness of Christ! It does not matter who you are, where you are from, or from what culture. There is only ONE God, and He very plainly states we need His Son to be righteous! This righteousness the Father demands, Christ Jesus became, the Holy Spirit convinces of, and our faith secures. (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [KJV]

Some sins seem bigger to us than others. But ALL sin makes us sinners, and ALL sin cuts us off from our Holy God. ALL sin, therefore, leads to death regardless of how great or small it seems to us, because it disqualifies us from living with a pure and Holy God. We should never categorize our sins! We should never minimize “little” sins or overrate “big” sins. They ALL separate us from God, but they ALL can be forgiven.

Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: [KJV]

Justified! Declared not guilty in the courts of Heaven! How I love that word! Our justifying faith respects Christ as our Saviour in all of His anointed offices, Prophet, Priest and King. We trust Him, accept Him, and cleave to Him. Jews and Gentiles alike, are most welcome to God through Christ. There is NO difference to God! His righteousness is upon ALL that believe; it’s not only offered to them, but put upon them as a garment. But, this ‘garment’ comes upon only those who believe! It is God’s free grace, His free mercy; there is nothing in us to deserve such favors. It comes to us absolutely free; because Christ bought it for us, and paid the price; all we need do is reach out and accept it.

Romans 3:25-26 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. [KJV]

Do you see what it says? “Faith in His Blood.” That Blood speaks of Jesus’ life! Our faith MUST have a special regard to the Blood of Christ, for that is what made the atonement for our sins (amends, payment, compensation, restitution, propitiation). It is plain why God hates sin, when nothing less than the Blood of Christ would satisfy for it. God does not demand payment of our debt, for our Saviour has paid it, and God has accepted that to be payment in full!

Romans 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. [KJV]

Most religions demand that specific duties be performed to make a person acceptable to a god. Christianity is unique in teaching that the good deeds we do will NOT make us right with God. No amount of human accomplishments will close the gap between God’s moral perfection and our imperfection. Good deeds are important, but they will NOT earn us eternal life. We are saved only by trusting in what God has done for us (Eph.2:8-10). IF we were saved by our own works, think of all the boasting that would be going on! But God’s way of justification by faith in the Blood of Jesus, for ever shuts our mouths.

Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. [KJV]

Why does God save us by faith alone?

  • #1. Faith wipes out any pride of human effort, because faith is not a deed that we can do.
  • #2. Faith glorifies what God has done, not what people do.
  • #3. Faith tells us we cannot keep the law or measure up to God’s standards; we must have help.
  • #4. Faith is based on our relationship with God, NOT our performance for God.

Our faith forms a personal relationship with Jesus and the sinner, in which the believer is pardoned and justified for Jesus’ sake. The unbeliever who is not united to or committed and devoted to Him, remains under God’s condemnation (John 3:18,36; 8:24).

Romans 3:29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: [KJV]

Do the Jews have one God? And the Gentiles yet another? NO! There is but one God, and He is God to both the Jews and the Gentiles! (Deut.6:4). A Gentile is anyone who is not a Jew.

Romans 3:30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. [KJV]

There is only ONE God, and there is only ONE Way of being accepted by Him. God makes people right with Himself ONLY by faith in the Blood of Jesus, whether they are Jews or Gentiles (“whosoever”). Salvation has always been by the sacrifice which a man brought to God in faith, which pointed to the coming of Christ Jesus.

Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. [KJV]

The “law” here, I think is referring to the entire Old Testament, not just a particular law. Faith does exclude the works of the law; but does it abolish the entire Old Testament? NO! The law shows us we are sinners, but we cannot be saved by it. I think that God asks each person the same question: “What are you going to do with Jesus, My Son who died on the cross for you?” Regardless of who you are, where you are, how you are, when you are, or what you have done; God will save you when you have faith and believe! How will you answer God this day? What are you going to do with God’s only begotten Son, Jesus?

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