Romans Chapter 3
Romans 3:1 “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit [is there] of circumcision?”
Paul asks this question as if another Jew is asking. It seems that the covenant that God made with Abraham (circumcision), is no advantage at all. Paul asks, what is the reason for circumcision, if it does not benefit the Jew?
Romans 3:2 “Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.”
The non-Jew up until the time of Jesus had no chance of learning of the true God. The law was revealed to the natural Jew only at that time. The promises made were for the physical house of Israel until Jesus tore the middle wall of partition down in the temple when He gave His body on the cross for all mankind. The promise of the Messiah was to the physical house of Israel. The physical house of Israel (Jew), was the one taught in the temple, the laws of God. They were the privileged few.
“Oracles”: This Greek word is logian, a diminutive form of the common New Testament word logos, which is normally translated “word.” These are important sayings or messages, especially supernatural ones.
Here Paul uses the word to encompass the entire Old Testament, the Jews received the very words of the true God. The Jews had a great advantage in having the Old Testament, because it contained the truth about salvation and about the gospel in its basic form. When Paul said “preach the Word”, he meant the oracles of God recorded in scripture.
Romans 3:3 “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?”
The fact that some reject the Truth does not make it any less the Truth. Some have not the faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God.
Romans 10:9-10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
We see in these Scriptures just what it takes to be saved.
God will fulfill all the promises He made to the nation, even if individual Jews are not able to receive them because of their unbelief.
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.”
If all mankind were to agree that God had been unfaithful to His promises, it would only prove that all are liars and God is true.
Psalms 116:11 “I said in my haste, All men [are] liars.”
Hebrews 6:17-18 “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed [it] by an oath:” “That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:”
In the last 2 scriptures of Hebrews, you see the word immutable. Immutable means unchangeable or always the same. We see above that men are liars, but it is impossible for God to lie, since He is the Truth. “Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life”. Every man and woman (one at a time), shall stand before this absolute Truth and be judged. We will be justified by Jesus Christ when we Christians stand before Him. Those who rejected Jesus as their personal Savior will be without excuse.
Romans 5-8: Paul anticipates and answers the objection that his teaching actually impugned the very holiness and purity of God’s character.
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)”
“Commend the righteousness of God”: By contrast, like a jeweler who displays a diamond on black velvet to make the stone appear even more beautiful. (defined: to express approval of; praise; to praise or acclaim).
“I speak as a man”: He is simply paraphrasing the weak, unbiblical logic of his opponents, the product of their natural, unregenerate minds.
We have no righteousness except that purchased for us by the Lord Jesus Christ. Because we are unrighteous, do we presume to judge God for taking vengeance on our unrighteousness? As I said before, those who do not accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and take on His righteousness are without excuse and deserve God’s vengeance.
Romans 3:6 “God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?”
Paul’s point is that if God condoned sin, He would have no equitable, righteous basis for judgement.
One thing we can surely depend on is that God is just. God has made a way out for the unrighteous. They must accept Jesus as Savior and Lord and then they will be judged righteous, because they have taken on Jesus’ righteousness. There are only 2 types of people as far as God is concerned (those who accept Jesus and those who do not).
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?”
We might try to justify our sin before God, telling God that our lie makes His Truth even greater, but He will not go for that flimsy excuse.
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.”
Paul is saying, here, that some liars are going around saying, that He says do evil so that God’s good will be greater. Paul just simply says they are lying. They not only lie, but their condemnation is just.
Tragically, the apostle’s gospel message of salvation by grace through faith alone had been perverted by his opponents who argued it provided not only a license to sin, but outright encouragement to do so (see 5:20; 6:1-2).
In verses 9-20 Paul concludes his indictment of mankind with this summary: Jew and Gentile alike stand guilty before God.
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;”
“Are we better”: “We”, probably refers to the Christians in Rome who will receive this letter. Christians do not have an intrinsically superior nature to all those Paul has shown to stand under God’s condemnation.
“Under sin” means completely enslaved and dominated by sin.
Romans 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:”
In the 23rd verse of this chapter Paul makes it very clear that all have sinned.
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
Psalms 14:1 “The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, [there is] none that doeth good.”
The Jews could not and did not keep the law and the heathen did not even have a law to keep. Man is universally evil. All have sinned, but praise God, He sent a Savior named Jesus Christ. His righteousness is what we must have. Our righteousness is but filthy rags.
Romans 3:11 “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.”
“None … understandeth”: Man is unable to comprehend the truth of God or grasp His standard of righteousness. Sadly, his spiritual ignorance does not result from a lack of opportunity, but is an expression of his depravity and rebellion.
“None … seeketh”: This verse clearly implies that the world’s false religions are fallen man’s attempts to escape the true God, not to seek Him. Man’s natural tendency is to seek his own interest, but his only hope is for God to seek him. It is only as a result of God’s work in the heart that anyone seeks Him.
This describes our generation perfectly. It seems there is no one seeking after God; or at least very few. If we seek God we will find Him.
Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”
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.”
Even the Jews who had the law were not keeping it. The priests were twisting the law around and carrying their own customs out in the temple rather than carrying out God’s law. Jesus came to save the lost world. Just as this Scripture says, no one truly deserves to be saved.
Basically meaning: “To go or choose the wrong way”, much as a soldier running the wrong way or deserting. All men are inclined to leave God’s way and pursue their own.
“None that doeth good”: Nine times (in verses 10-17), Paul uses words such as “none” and “all” to show the universality of human sin and rebellion.
Romans 3:13 “Their throat [is] an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps [is] under their lips:”
There is a similar Scripture in Psalms.
Psalms 140:3 “They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison [is] under their lips. Selah.”
We see from this that the tongue can be a very evil and hurtful instrument when it speaks from an evil heart. I believe that is what is meant by the throat being an open sepulcher. Look with me in the book of James to see some of this.
James 3:6-8 ” And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” “For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:” “But the tongue can no man tame; [it is] an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”
A sepulcher is a tomb or in this case, like an open grave. These were sealed not only to show respect for the deceased, but to hide the sight and stench of the body’s decay. As an unsealed tomb allows those who pass to see and smell what is inside, the unregenerate man’s open throat, that is the foul words that come from it, reveal the decay of his heart.
When we receive Jesus as our Savior, the very first member of our body that we should turn over to Jesus is our tongue. The natural tongue is very evil, if not controlled by the Spirit.
Romans 3:14 “Whose mouth [is] full of cursing and bitterness:”
What generation in all of history has been guiltier of cursing than the present? Every movie, or at least the vast majority of them, contains terrible cursing. Bitterness and strife are on every hand. Bitterness against parents is perhaps #1 on the list.
This is quoted from Psalm 10:7. It refers to wanting the worst for someone and publicly expressing that desire in caustic, derisive language.
Bitterness could be described as the open, public expression of emotional hostility against one’s enemy.
Romans Chapter 3 Questions
1. The question in verse 1 is what?
2. What way was the physical Jew advantaged?
3. When did the Gentile first have an opportunity to know God?
4. Who was the promise of Messiah made to?
5. Does the fact that some did not believe affect the Truth?
6. Let God be ____ but every man a ____.
7. Where, in Psalms, does it say all men are liars?
8. How had God verified His promise?
9. What does immutable mean?
10. Jesus is the ______, the_________, and the _______.
11. Is God ____ who taketh vengeance?
12. How was Paul speaking in verse 5?
13. Who shall judge the world?
14. What 2 types of people are there as far as God is concerned?
15. What had been slanderously reported that Paul said?
16. Who are under sin?
17. There is ____ righteous no ____ ____.
18. In the 14th chapter of Psalms verse 1, who says there is no God?
19. We have all sinned, but what can we praise God for in this?
20. In verse 11, who seeketh after God?
21. Verse 12 says, who does good?
22. Their _________ is an open sepulcher.
23. What is said to be under the lips in verse 13?
24. What is meant by an open sepulcher?
25. What is impossible to tame other than with God’s help?
26. Which generation in all of history has been more guilty of cursing than any other?
27. Ephesians 4:30-32 tell us what?