The Epistle of ROMANS
Chapter Three *
[ * It is recommended that you begin these studies with Romans Chapter One. ]
1. What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
Literal: What then is the advantage or superiority of the Judean? Or what is the profit or benefit of the circumcision?
2. Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.
Literal: Much (profit) in every way: in the first place that they were entrusted (committed) with the Word of God.
This use of the word 'oracles' is also used in Hebrews 5: 12 in reference to the Word of God.
Hebrews 5: 12 -- For when the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. [emphasis added]
You need to have God teach you the milk of the Word (foundational principals such as the law of believing) before you are able to handle some of the meat of the Word (advanced material such as the operation of the manifestations of Holy Spirit). Why? Simply because you need to operate believing in order to operate the manifestations of Holy Spirit. Don't get too involved in the strife of the world because it will distract you from the study and the application of the Word in your life. Newspapers, television etc. will feed your mind with a steady stream of negatives and will affect your ability to believe. God urges us in His Word not to get entangled in the affairs of this life.
3. For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
Literal a: For what if some believe not (have no confidence in)? Shall their distrust and unbelief make of no effect the faith of God?
The firmly relying confidence in God and His Word is, of course, not affected by those who do not believe. If no one believes the Word, it is still truth. But there are some that will not believe and obey as God tells us in the following verse:
Romans 10: 16 -- But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report (preaching)?
One of the better explanations of verse 3 is in the epistle of II Timothy.
II Timothy 2: 13 -- If we believe not, (are not faithful), yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
God is still faithful to His Word whether man believes it or not. He cannot deny His Word; God cannot lie. God is all light and in Him is no darkness at all. We can always rely on God because He is always faithful to His Word. Here is another powerful literal translation according to Biblical research:
Literal b: So, shall the unfaithfulness of a believer make the trustworthiness of God ineffectual?
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.
Literal: May it not be! (God forbid) but let God be true, and every man false (a liar), according as it has been written, that thou should be justified in thy words and overcome with victory when being judged.
The verse that sheds some light on this latter part of this verse is in Psalms.
Psalms 51: 4 -- Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
David is praying to God because he has sinned and he is bringing it out in the open before God, so that when judgement day arrives, he is clear or justified (freed of any guilt) concerning what God has to say to him. He has not tried to hide or conceal anything from God but is confessing his sins to God so that he may be victorious and overcome in the day of judgement. The Word says every man is a liar and that every man will sin or break fellowship. We are able to confess that broken fellowship and get back into harmony with God. If we never confess our sins, we will surely hear about it on judgement day. But if we confess them, we will be clear of them and then we will overcome, be victorious and be free of guilt when God speaks to us as we are judged. We can approach the bema with confidence and freedom from guilt.
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.)
Literal: But if our unrighteousness (wrong, what ought not to be) commend (to represent as worthy) God's righteousness, what shall we say? Is God unrighteousness who allows the infliction of wrath? According to man I speak.
God allows this wrath but God, Himself, never inflicts or brings wrath upon anyone. He is a just God and He cannot break His Word. Men bring wrath upon themselves with their actions. Looking further into the word 'commend', we need to take a look at:
Romans 5: 8 -- But God commendeth (favorably introduced) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
6. God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?
Literal: May it not be! (God forbid) Since how shall God judge the world?
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?
Literal: For if the truth of God in my lie abounded to His glory, why yet am I also judged as a sinner?
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.
Literal: And not, according as we are injuriously charged (spoken evil of, defamed, slandered) and according as some affirm that we say, Let us practice evil things that good things may come? whose judgement (damnation) is just.
The following two verses that appear later in The Book of Romans will shed much light on verse 8.
Romans 6: 1 -- What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin (the Law), that grace may abound?
Romans 6: 15 -- What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
Remember, the book of Romans is basic doctrine and God is showing and instructing people to stop practicing the Law since this is a new administration where no man is justified by the deeds of the law but by the faith of Jesus Christ and by the grace of God Almighty. Our Sonship rights are given to us. We do not earn them by works. We receive them into manifestation into our life by believing. And now that God has made this point clear about the doing away of the Law, He is saying that this is, of course, not a reason to sin or to do evil things. Certainly, this appears obvious, however, God is so sharp that He makes sure these points are gone over in a most simplistic way so that there is no room for error. God only asks us to believe what He tries so hard to teach us and believing must be coupled with action. God repeats many things over and over again because that is one of the ways that we learn. God goes over and over something in a myriad of ways to help us understand, learn, and apply.
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;
Literal: What then? Are we (Judeans) better or have an advantage (over the Gentiles)? Not at all. For we before have accused or charged (proved) both Judean and Gentile, all with being under sin.
10. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Literal: According as it has been written, there is not a righteous one, not even one.
To review the definition of righteousness: right, just, fulfilling all claims which are right and becoming; just as it should be; a right state, of which God is the standard. The word 'one' is heis meaning 'the one and the same'. Righteousness cannot exist without a knowledge and application of God's Word.
11. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Literal: There is not one that understands, there is not one that seeks after God.
He seeks after us first.
12. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Literal: They are all gone out of the way (turned aside or away), together they became unprofitable or of no use; there is not one practicing kindness, there is not so much as one.
13. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips;
Literal: Their throat is an opened sepulchre (a burial place); with their tongues they used deceit as a bait to deceive (by adulteration or by false admixtures); poison of asps is under or in the power of their lips.
As a result of the faith of Jesus Christ, we have the righteousness of God as one of our Sonship rights. We can see that a knowledge of God and the application of His Word in our lives brings us many blessings in contrast to the type of person and lifestyle being described in these verses.
Psalms 5: 9 -- For there is no faithfulness in their mouth (or stedfastness); their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.
This is what comes out of the mouth of your enemies -- flattery and deceit. It would be best to avoid these people completely, if possible. The word 'deceit' is most interesting in that these people will say things to lure as when using a bait. This deception is a result of 1) adulteration which is to make inferior, impure, and not genuine; harmful and less valuable. In other words, their words must contain some partial truth, but it is mixed with lies to purposely confuse, deceive, lure and in turn control another's actions. You cannot completely trust anyone of the world who does not keep God first. This deception is also the result of 2) a false admixture which is mixing with the truth some lies, lures, baits, and that which is not genuine. All of this is designed to deceive and control. That's what you get from worldly people.
14. Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Literal: Of whom the mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
The word 'cursing' is actually a prayer of imprecation. Imprecate is to pray for evil to come upon someone such as a curse or to summon devil spirits by incantation. You do have the power of attorney to rebuke someone in the name of Jesus Christ. This power is, of course, not to be abused. The least worldly people know about you, at times, the better off you are. Besides cursing, their mouth is also full of bitterness which is characterized by strong feelings of hatred and resentment.
15. Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Literal: Their feet are swift or quick to shed blood.
16. Destruction and misery are in their ways:
Literal: Ruin and misery are in their ways (manner of action or method of proceeding):
17. And the way of peace have they not known:
Literal: And a way of peace they did not know:
18. There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Literal: There is no fear (respect) for God before their eyes.
19. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Literal: Now we know that whatsoever the law says, to those in (under) the law it speaks, that every mouth may be stopped (enclosed with a fence or hedge) and all the world may become subject to the judgement of God.
20. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Literal in part: Wherefore (on account of which) by the deeds or works of the law, shall no flesh be justified (set forth as righteous) in the sight or presence of Him;
God again is stressing this point that no man or woman can be justified by works. We are justified (set apart as righteous) by the grace of God. It is a gift or a right that is given to those who believe, along with the rest of our Sonship rights. God seems to be setting the stage for the transition from the Law to the Age of Grace.
Literal of complete verse: Wherefore by the deeds or works of the law, shall no flesh be justified in His sight, for by, or through the law, is a clear and exact knowledge of sin.
In your Bible, turn to Romans, Chapter 7, verse 7. This will shed more of God's light on this subject in that it states that sin could not be known if it weren't for the law. This is basically the same thing the last part of verse 20 is saying. Understanding the different administrations in the Bible will help you to understand this verse. You should absolutely study The Seven Administrations which is available in our list of teachings. You will never understand the Bible without a thorough knowledge of these different time periods.
21. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Literal: But now, apart from or without the law, the righteousness of God has been made apparent and openly known (manifested), being borne witness (to confirm or prove) by the law and the prophets.
In the Law, the prophets prophesied about the grace that should come unto us.
I Peter 1: 10 -- Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you.
They could not find this time period [Administration] in which we now live -- The Age of Grace.
22. Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Literal: Even the righteousness of God which is by the faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference or distinction:
The word 'even' is a conjunction and marks an addition to what has gone before.
Over 1900 years ago, we received all the faith we are ever going to receive. You receive this faith when you are born again. The measure of faith dealt to every man when he believes is the faith of Jesus Christ. You can't get any more. And here, from the end of the verse, we can again see that God is no respecter of persons because it doesn't matter what color or sex you are, it is available to anyone and everyone.
Romans 10: 12 -- For there is no difference between the Jew (Judean) and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Colossians 3: 11 -- Where there is neither Greek nor (and) Jew (Judean), circumcision nor (and) uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor (bondman) free: but Christ is all, and in all (in you).
You are to imitate God and not be a respecter of persons.
23. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Literal: For all have sinned (missed the mark) and come short of the glory (honor, recognition, splendor, brilliance) of God;
24. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus;
Literal: Being justified (being set forth as righteous by a judicial act) freely or gratuitously by his grace (divine favor) through the redemption (payment resulting in deliverance of the person from sin) which is in Christ Jesus.
25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Literal a: Whom God set forth or foreordained a mercy seat (place of conciliation or expiation) through faith in his (Jesus Christ's) blood.
When we believe, we take part in the purpose of Jesus Christ who won over the works of darkness and reconciled us back to God. He shed his blood for our sins. "Through faith in his blood" means that we believe in the resurrection and confess Jesus Christ as Lord in our lives and we become born again with eternal life and we are reconciled back to God, our Heavenly Father.
Literal b: Whom God set forth a mercy seat through faith in his blood -- for a showing forth (or pointing out) of his righteousness, for the remission (passing over, overlooking) of sins that are past, through or in the power of the forbearance or self-restraint of God.
This word remission here is referring to remission of punishment in the Old Testament. In the Lexicon, it is described as a 'suspension or overlooking of punishment'. This is unlike a completely different definition of remission for the New Testament which implies 'full pardon and forgiveness'. The Lexicon explains that before the death of Christ, there was remission as a work of God's forbearance. After Christ's death, remission was a work or result of God's grace. The first definition was a 'letting pass', an 'overlooking' for the Old Testament period before the death of Christ; The second definition is a 'dismission' or 'setting free', a 'discharge' for the New Testament period after the death of Christ. This is quite an interesting distinction and I am sure you can appreciate the importance of Biblical research FIRST, then teaching, with this example.
26. To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Literal: To declare or make known at this present time, His righteousness, that He might be just and justifying him that is of the faith or believes in Jesus Christ.
The Word 'just' here when referring to God refers to His doings as answering to the rule which He has established for Himself. The fact that God declares His righteousness means that He must be a just God and that He must honor His Word. Because God is just and gave us righteousness, this allows us to be justified if we believe in Jesus Christ and confess Him as Lord in our lives. So obviously, God who is just, and gives us the Sonship rights of righteousness and also justification, it of course follows that God justifies us -- He alone is the source.
27. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
Literal: Where then is boasting or a reason to boast? It was excluded or shut out. Through what? The law? Of works? No. Through a law of believing.
Everything we receive from God is the result of our believing, so what can a person have to boast about? It's not from adherence to the Old Testament Law and it is not from works -- it is by faith (pistis) or believing which is a firmly relying confidence in God and His Word.
28. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Literal: Therefore we reckon or conclude a man to be justified by faith (believing) apart from or without the works of the law.
It is astounding how many times God is covering this point concerning our justification and our righteousness -- by faith. The Greek word for faith is pistis which means BELIEVING.
29. Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
Literal: Is He the God of the Judeans only? And not also of the Gentiles? Yes, also of the Gentiles.
30. Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
Literal: Since indeed it is one God who will justify the circumcision by faith (believing) and the uncircumcision through faith (believing).
Again, it just doesn't matter if a person is circumcised or uncircumcised, God will justify that person through faith -- (i.e. BY BELIEVING). Once again, let's repeat a backup scripture in Romans mentioned previously in this teaching:
Romans 10: 12 -- For there is no difference between the Jew (Judean) and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.
To comfort and reassure your heart, let's now back up one scripture.
Romans 10: 11 -- For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
You shall never be ashamed for believing the Word of God and doing your best to study and understand it. The opposite is true.
31. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
Literal: Do we then make of none effect the law through faith (believing)? May it not be! (God forbid) But we establish the law.
Because we can believe now in this Age of Grace, that does not mean that the Old Testament Law is useless and we are going to abolish it. The verse is saying that we 'establish' the Law. The word 'establish' is to cause to stand, to place, set. We surely can learn much from the law which is quite an understatement. The law foretold of a mysterious time period -- the Age of Grace and all about Christ, our redeemer. This Age of Grace where you and I now live established the law because, for one reason, it is the result of the prophecies of the law. So even though we are not under the jurisdiction of the law, it stands, it is set, it is established. That's what the Word says and that's what it means. And we can and do learn a lot from the law even though it is not written directly to us today but is for our learning. In the words of Jesus Christ and in conclusion of Chapter Three in Romans:
Matthew 5: 17 -- Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
The word 'fulfil' here means to perform fully, complete, accomplish. To perform fully is to cause to stand; to complete is to establish, place or set.