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Romans 3


Romans for Youth
Commentary by Pastor Ron Beckham

Romans Chapter 3

Verse 1.  “Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision?”

Paul, who wrote the Book of Romans, asks: How does it help you to be a Jew?  To be religious?

Verse 2.  “Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God.”

It’s wonderful to be Jewish.  Through the Jews, God gave His words to the world in the Old Testament part of the Bible.

Verse 3.  “What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?”

What IF some of the Jews (or other religious people) do not believe (have faith) in the Lord?  God is faithful, even if we are not.

Verse 4.  “May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, ‘That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.’”

In this verse, Paul quotes David: “You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge” (Psalm 51:4b).  Jesus, God the Son, IS the truth (John 14:6).  God tells the truth and He is true, even if everybody else tells lies.

Verse 5.  “But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.)”

There are many liars in the world, but God always tells the truth.  God is angry because people tell lies and He is right to be angry.  Many men and women ask questions like the ones in this verse.

Verse 6.  “May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world?”

God is right to be angry at people who lie.  He is honest and true and will be the Judge of everyone who has ever lived.

Verse 7.  “But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner?”

The “religious” people of that time were calling Paul (who told the truth) a liar and a “sinner.”  But the truth about God was shown through Paul’s words.  If Paul’s words glorified God (and they did), then why did people call him a sinner?

Verse 8.  “And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), ‘Let us do evil that good may come’? Their condemnation is just.”

People lied about Paul.  He did NOT say, “Let’s do bad things so that good may come out of it.”  His accusers would be judged by God (condemned) for the lies they were telling.

Verse 9.  “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;”

Paul asks the question, “Are we better than others because we tell the truth and they are liars?  He answers “NO” to that question, because we are ALL sinners, each in our own way.

Verse 10.  “as it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one;’”

The reason that none of us are better than others (VERSE 9) is because ALL of us are sinners in the sight of God.  None can do right (righteous) things.

Verse 11.  “There is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God;”

Even when we did not seek or want Him, Jesus Christ gave Himself for our sins.  It is God who seeks US, not the other way around.  Nobody really understands.  We are to TRUST in the Lord and what HE has done FOR us.

Verse 12.  “All have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one.”

Jesus said, “I AM the way” to God (John 14:6).  It is like God planted good “seeds” in our hearts, but instead of fields of wheat, weeds came up.  We have been “unprofitable” to God.  We are not “good” – only God is good.  We need HIM to help us.

Verse 13.  “Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips”

Those who were calling Paul a “liar” (verse 8 & context) did not have the LIFE of God in them – they were like scary voices coming out of a grave.  They were like snakes in the grass and THEY were the liars.  Not Paul.

Verse 14.  “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness;”

The “religious” people who were attacking Paul were actually bitter people, and their words were like “cursing” in the sight of God.  Psalm 10:7 says something very much like this verse.

Verse 15.  “Their feet are swift to shed blood,”

There’s something wrong with people who like to hurt others.  Stay away from them.

Verse 16.  “Destruction and misery are in their paths,”

People who like to hurt others cause many problems and much sadness in this world.  Everywhere they go, they bring trouble.

Verse 17.  “And the path of peace they have not known.”

Jesus brings us God’s peace (John 14:27).  There is something wrong with those who keep on hurting others in actions and words – they don’t know the Lord.

Verse 18.  “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

If they trusted in God, they would respect the rights of other people.  Because they harm others, it shows that they do not “fear” (have) God in their hearts.

Verse 19.  “Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;”

The Law speaks to us all, telling us that we have done wrong in God’s sight.  We have nothing to say to God.  We all can only be quiet before Him and understand that we are judged by His Law.

Verse 20.  “because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”

Many try to please God by being nice (keeping God’s Law), but we cannot be PERFECT (“justified”) in doing good.  The Law shows us that we are NOT perfect.

Verse 21.  “But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,”

God gave us the Law to show us our sins, but it also shows us how to be made right.  You can see this not only in the Law, but also in the words of the Old Testament Prophets (who gave us God’s word).

Verse 22.  “even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;”

Here’s how to be RIGHT in the sight of God: Have FAITH in Jesus Christ.  Trust in Him and you will be saved, and that is true for EVERYONE who believes.  God is good to ALL of us.

Verse 23.  “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

ALL sin (miss the mark) in God’s sight.  His “mark” is like trying to jump to the moon.  Some can jump higher than others, but nobody can jump to the moon.  NONE can be “saved” (please God) on their own.

Verse 24.  “being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;”

To be “justified” is to be made RIGHT in God’s sight.  To have “redemption” is to be saved from sin.  God can do what we cannot, for we have His FREE gift through “grace” (we did not earn it, but He gave us Jesus anyway).

Verse 25.  “whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;”

Jesus Christ gave His life, His blood, for you and me.  He died so that we might live, when we have faith (believe) in Him.  We see that He is GOOD, overlooking our sins when we accept the gift of His Son.

Verse 26.  “for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

God is fair and just to us all.  We see His justice and fairness in Jesus, for He made it possible for us all to have “faith” (believe) in Jesus Christ and be saved.

Verse 27.  “Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.”

To be RIGHT before God, is to believe (have faith in) what JESUS did.  You are not saved by keeping the Law or doing good (though we should do good).  You are saved by faith in Christ.  There is no other way.

Verse 28.  “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.”

We’re NOT saved by fooling ourselves that we are keeping the Law.  We are saved by faith (trusting) in Jesus.

Verse 29.  “Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,”

If God only saved people through keeping the Law God gave to the Jews, that wouldn’t be fair!  But He is the God of EVERYBODY!  And He IS fair.

Verse 30.  “since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.”

The “circumcised” are the Jews.  The “uncircumcised” are everybody else.  God is one and He has given us one way to be saved: through faith in Jesus Christ. 

Verse 31.  “Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.”

Is the Law of God still needed?  Yes it is!  Faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved, and the Law is very important.  It proves we are sinners and shows us our need to have faith in Jesus.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries


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