Romans 3

Overview

    This is a chapter that has a lot of big words and circular questioning, so reading it through 3 times was very helpful for me to focus in throughout instead of just seeing, “All have sinned and fall short…” and saying, yup that’s the point. As you are following this Bible Study you may not feel like reading the chapters 3 times before you fill out the overview, or you may merely be reading the chapter once. This is not about legalism or restriction, but it is super helpful to read the chapters over a few times to really let them sink in. There is something here for you today, and sometimes I have to read more than three times to find what God is trying to say to me.

Paul is continuing this comparison between Jews and Gentiles to further his point that all mankind needs God. No one can live up to the standards of God or of man, we will fail. With that inevitability it can be easy to get frustrated at God. Paul is telling the Romans that Jews show the righteousness of God even though they are also under sin. God is shown through our unrighteousness to be great, but that doesn’t mean we continue sinning to gain his greatness. What Jesus did was add to the law by manifesting it in person, so we could believe in him and have faith, to be justified whether Jew or Gentile.

God is righteous, and seeing how utterly opposite we are puts God in His rightful place as Lord and gives Him the glory that is His due. This does not make our sin good just because it make God look good.

The Psalms have been showing us the right attitude in this situation: realizing and admitting that God is our righteousness. Our need for God is what needs to be apparent to us, and we must have faith in God to have His righteousness bathe us. This does not overthrow the law, it is what has been within the law all along.

Characters

Paul, those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints, Jew/circumcised, God, people-some, none, all-, the world, Greeks, the Law, the Prophets, Christ Jesus

Key Verse

Verse 21 “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—”

Once again, there are many verses that make up one thought, so this one seems to include hints, indirect language, of the following verses.

SEE ALSO Romans 3:22-26, 31.

Cross References

Romans 1:17 “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.””

Romans 16:26 “but now has been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—”

2 Timothy 1:10 “and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,”

Acts 10:43 “To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Romans 1:2 “which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,”

John 5:46 “For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.”

Conclusion

Faith in Jesus is the most important thing! God’s righteousness is revealed through that just as much as through His judgments of sins. Let’s be righteous and holy for God rather than continue sinning to draw Him out, which is foolishness. Belief in Jesus is important.

Louis and I are reading through Romans together, and the study guide we are using asked this question, “How would you reconcile the statements in verses 10-18 with the fact that some non-Christians do seem to seek after God and lead exemplary lives?” For me, there was a huge shift one day when I realized that every single person truly is capable of murder, of going down that path to death. The total depravity of man is apparent to me, just as David says there are none that are good, not even one in the Psalms. This takes our belief that there is only one Savior and allows us leeway if we choose to believe that man can be righteous autonomous from God. That is not truth. The encouragement found in this, for me, is that no one is better off than me. I am a princess chosen by God. This gives me confidence to speak about God, but if I think another sinner may have it all figured out, my fear will make me shy. Satan uses these doubts to trick us into losing our confidence in God.

Take some time to reflect on your own doubts and come to God in prayer for those people you have chosen to not worry about in the past. Everyone needs a Savior, and Jesus is the only one who can foot the bill.

Tomorrow: Psalm 14

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please leave a comment to share them with us.

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5 thoughts on “Romans 3

  1. I am joining late along with Ray. This is exciting and I hope to catch up as time allows. I hope my computer knowledge grows also along with this opportunity to share our Bible study.

    • I am so excited to hear from you both! Don’t worry about catching up, the great thing about them all being posted is that you can follow along at your own pace as long as you have the blog bookmarked or written down to find it again. I hope it is an encouragement to you.

  2. I am joining late…I have been busy at funerals, hospitals, and rehab centers — all as visitations thankfully. I read Job the other day because my life seemed a little bit like his in some parallel way. Certainly, it isn’t even close; but the loss of life or declining health within my family and many friends has been a constant for me/us this summer. I read Romans, Chapter 8 several times the other day, as I have been looking for some solace or understanding, maybe guidance for how to best handle all the sickness, impending death, and death that seems to be pouring down all at once. (I can’t state that there was anything specific in this chapter that “solved” everything/anything for me…but I love the whole chapter. So…it must have some significance — I’ll just get it later.)

    Hence, the comment, “Faith in Jesus is the most important thing” seems almost like an understatement, as I stand amongst sickness and death. Man has certainly proven his limitations with regard to his ability or authority “give life” or even to restore it. I am reminded of Jesus’ comment to the rich man who, after giving account of all his righteous action in accordance with the Law, asked what he needs to do to gain heaven. His question was preceded by a comment to Jesus stating that Jesus was a good man, as if to note that Jesus was qualified to answer his question. After the rich man finished his question, Jesus asked the rich man why he called him (Jesus) good. Jesus clears up that point before answering the rich man’s question. Jesus stated that only the Father is good. As that is clearly so, by evidence in everything man does, how can one with a clear mind believe in his own righteousness? (let alone believe so apart from God)

    Man has been throughout his existence curious about his origin, and the creation of everything. Mythological portrayals from all corners of the earth are designed in part to account for this, I think. This interest that man seems to have always displayed, has to come from somewhere. I believe that man’s soul naturally seeks out its place just as man’s body does the same. For this is what happens when the body dies; it returns to the earth from whence it came. Likewise, the soul returns to its place with God from whence it came. It makes all the sense I can muster to think that man would seek God as a response to his soul or the Spirit of Life that is within him. The important issue is with regard to the god or God in which (s)he is inclined to believe.

    Jesus also said that the words I speak to you are Life, and Life is Spirit, and the body profits nothing. The body “moves” because it has the spirit of life, without it, the body is merely dust. Without the body (death), the spirit is free to return to its place with God, unencumbered by the body. The body will be restored again; but not by the physician who has no authority for such things; but by the Physician who has been given the authority of Life, resurrected from death to Life.

    So, these are my thoughts as I attempt to catch up with you, and apply or infuse my life into the readings and the commentaries. God bless all the Liss family, your bodies, and your work. May it continue to be pleasing to God as you serve Him in the work He has given you.

    • We love you guys! Thank you for your insight. I agree that it is an understatement. There are times that I am writing and want to use a billion words to explain, not an exaggeration! Also, as I am replying to you and Mary, Davy is reading the Bible next to me on his own. While I was reading your comments aloud to Louis, Davy asked to see a picture of you, so we looked at the pictures from us swimming together.

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