Paul Answers an Objection
1So what advantage does the Jew have? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? 2Considerable in every way. First, they were entrusted#Dt 4:8; Ps 147:19; Rm 9:4 with the very words of God.#Ac 7:38 3What then? If some were unfaithful,#Rm 10:16; Heb 4:2 will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? 4Absolutely not!#Lk 20:16; Rm 3:31 Let God be true, even though everyone is a liar,#Ps 116:11 as it is written:
That you may be justified in your words
and triumph when you judge. # 3:4 Ps 51:4 #
5But if our unrighteousness highlights#3:5 Or shows, or demonstrates God’s righteousness,#Rm 5:8; 2Co 6:4; Gl 2:18 what are we to say?#Rm 4:1; 7:7; 8:31; 9:14,30 I am using a human argument:#3:5 Lit I speak as a man#Rm 6:19; 1Co 9:8; 15:32; Gl 3:15 Is God unrighteous to inflict wrath? 6Absolutely not! Otherwise, how will God judge the world?#Rm 2:16 7But if by my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner?#Rm 9:19 8And why not say, just as some people slanderously claim we say, “Let us do what is evil so that good may come”?#Rm 6:1 Their condemnation is deserved!
The Whole World Guilty before God
9What then? Are we any better off?#3:9 Are we Jews any better than the Gentiles? Not at all! For we have already charged that both Jews#Rm 2:1–29 and Greeks#Rm 1:18–32 are all under sin,#3:9 Under sin’s power or dominion#Rm 3:19,23; 11:32; Gl 3:22 10as it is written:
There is no one righteous, not even one.
11 There is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away;
all alike have become worthless.
There is no one who does what is good,
not even one. # 3:10–12 Ps 14:1–3; 53:1–3; Ec 7:20 #
Ps 14:1–3; 53:1–3; Ec 7:20
13 Their throat is an open grave;
they deceive with their tongues. # 3:13 Ps 5:9 #
Vipers’ venom is under their lips. # 3:13 Ps 140:3 #
14 Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. # 3:14 Ps 10:7 #
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and wretchedness are in their paths,
17 and the path of peace they have not known. # 3:15–17 Is 59:7–8 #
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes. # 3:18 Ps 36:1 #
19Now we know that whatever the law says,#Jn 10:34 it speaks to those who are subject to the law,#3:19 Lit those in the law#Rm 2:12 so that every mouth may be shut and the whole world may become subject to God’s judgment.#3:19 Or become guilty before God, or may be accountable to God#Rm 2:9 20For no one will be justified#3:20 Or will be declared righteous, or will be acquitted in his sight by the works of the law,#Ps 143:2; Ac 13:39; Gl 2:16 because the knowledge of sin comes through the law.#Rm 4:15; 5:13,20; 7:7
The Righteousness of God through Faith
21But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been revealed,#Rm 1:17; 9:30 attested by the Law and the Prophets.#3:21 When capitalized, the Law and the Prophets = OT#Ac 10:43; Rm 1:2 22The righteousness of God is through faith#Rm 4:5 in Jesus Christ#3:22 Or through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ#Ac 3:16; Gl 2:16,20; 3:22; Eph 3:12 to all who believe,#Rm 4:11,16; 10:4 since there is no distinction.#Rm 10:12; Gl 3:28; Col 3:11 23For all have sinned#Rm 3:9 and fall short of the#3:23 Or and lack the glory of God; 24they are justified freely by his grace#Rm 4:4,16; Eph 2:8 through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.#1Co 1:30; Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; Heb 9:15 25God presented him as the mercy seat#3:25 Or propitiation, or place of atonement#1Jn 2:2; 4:10 by his blood,#1Co 5:7; Heb 9:14,28; 1Pt 1:19; Rv 1:5 through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his restraint God#Rm 2:4 passed over the sins previously committed.#Ac 17:30; 14:16 26God presented him to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so that he would be just and justify the one who has faith in Jesus.
27Where, then, is boasting?#Rm 2:17,23; 4:2; 1Co 1:29–31 It is excluded. By what kind of law?#3:27 Or what principle?#Rm 9:31 By one of works? No, on the contrary, by a law#3:27 Or a principle of faith. 28For we conclude that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.#Ac 13:39; Rm 9:31; Eph 2:9; Jms 2:20,24,26 29Or is God the God of Jews only?#Ac 10:34; Rm 9:24; 10:12; 15:9; Gl 3:28 Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30since there is one God#Rm 10:12 who will justify the circumcised by faith#Rm 4:11,16; Gl 3:8 and the uncircumcised through faith. 31Do we then nullify the law through faith? Absolutely not!#Lk 20:16; Rm 3:4 On the contrary, we uphold the law.#Mt 5:17; Rm 4:3; 8:4