Romans 3:20-31 [5-18-11]


[Verses 20-31]




Romans 3:19) [NIV] Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.

QUESTION: What’s the conclusion the Apostle comes to here?

ANSWER: The Law of Moses condemns the Jews as sinners.

NOTE: The Jews knew that the Gentiles were sinners; now Paul tells them that they are sinners as well. He uses their Law to prove it. He tells them, what they already knew, that the Law was speaking to Jews. The Jews needed to listen to it. It told them they were sinners, just as much as the non-Jews were. The real purpose of the Law was not to bring justification to the Jews, but to bring condemnation to them so that “every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.”


More Review, This Time From Chapter 2:

Romans 2:12-13, 26) [NIV] All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.

13) [NIV] For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

26) [NIV] If those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised?

QUESTION: What did I tell you when we were going through Chapter 2?

ANSWER: Don’t develop doctrine from Chapter 2 until you’ve read Chapter 3.

QUESTION: What was Paul doing in Chapter 2 in verses 12-13, and verse 26?

ANSWER: He was establishing what a good Jew thought, that if they kept the Law they were righteous before God.

On To This Week’s Lesson:

Romans 3:20-31) [NIV] Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

QUESTION: What is the Apostle doing here?

ANSWER: After spending much time in the “where they were,” he is now taking them to the “where he wants them to be.”

QUESTION: What is Paul’s bold statement here?

ANSWER: The Law has never made anyone righteous.


ANSWER: It can’t make anyone righteous because no one can keep it.

QUESTION: What about Jesus?

ANSWER: The Law didn’t make Jesus righteous. He was already righteous. He had never sinned. He subjected Himself to the Law that was given to the Jews for our sake. The Law declared the Righteous One righteous! The Law couldn’t make Him what He already was; but it declare the Righteous One righteous. The Jewish Law, in the court of Heaven, declared the Righteous One righteous! Therefore, the One Who is the very embodiment of righteousness, having been declared righteous by the very Law that Jehovah God gave to the Jews, was, by virtue of being found righteous, declared worthy to be the sacrificial Lamb to which all legitimate Old Testament sacrifices pointed.

21) [NIV] But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

22) [NIV] This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,

QUESTION: What’s Paul doing here?

ANSWER: He’s arriving at his intended destination. Here it is:

1.        The Law can’t make anyone righteous; it can simply declare one to be righteous who is already free of sin. Apart from Jesus, no one has ever been declared righteous by the Law because no one has been free from sin. THE LAW MAKES NO ONE RIGHTEOUS! IT SIMPLY DECLARES ONE TO BE RIGHTEOUS WHO IS ALREADY RIGHTEOUS BY VIRTUE OF HIS BEING SINLESS!

2.        Here’s the roadmap to righteousness; i.e., being in a right relationship with God: we must put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

23) [NIV] for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

QUESTION: What’s the point here?

ANSWER: We are all in need of this righteous/right relationship with God because we have all sinned.

24) [NIV] and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

QUESTION: What does Paul show us in verses 23-24?

ANSWER: We are all sinners, but have been declared right with God as a result of Jesus having paid our penalty for sin. This declaration by God Himself in the courtroom of Heaven is made to all who trust the Lord Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Savior.

NOTE: Justification means “just-as-if-I-had-never-sinned” in the sense that my relationship with a Holy God, Who hates sin, is absolutely solidified by the sacrifice of His Son, and my placing my faith in Him. GOD HAS NOTHING RECORDED AGAINST ME IN THE RECORD BOOKS IN HEAVEN.

25) [NIV] God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-

26) [NIV] he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

QUESTION: What’s Paul saying here?

ANSWER: God’s wonderful plan of salvation for all who believe is one that is consistent with the justice of Almighty God. God didn’t overlook sin; rather, He judged our sin at Calvary. He, in the person of His Son, faced the wrath of God befitting our sin.

NOTE: Not only is God just, but He is the One Who justifies, in accordance with His justice, all who “have faith in Jesus.”

27) [NIV] Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith.

28) [NIV] For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.

QUESTION: What point is the above passage making?

ANSWER: Since we are justified as a result of what Jesus did, and not as a result of anything we have done, we have absolutely no right to boast.

29) [NIV] Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,

30) [NIV] since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.

QUESTION: What is the point here?

ANSWER: All Jews, who have the Law, and all non-Jews, who don’t have the Law, are sinners. Consequently, there’s only one way of salvation for all mankind. That way is through faith in Christ.

31) [NIV] Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.

Romans 3:20) [NIV] Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

QUESTION: How does the plan of salvation “uphold the law”?

ANSWER: The purpose of the Law was for us to “become conscious of sin.” When we go to Jesus for salvation it’s because we are “conscious” of our need for a Savior because we are aware that we are sinners. The Law brought that awareness.

Walk of Grace Chapel, Council Bluffs Church