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Romans 3:26-31


Darlene

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Heavenly Father,

 

Well, here we are, closing out chapter 3. The heart of Romans in 5-8 is getting much closer...and I really look forward to that.

 

Other than that Father, I'm feeling very quiet again this morning. As I start to think thoughts, they keep hitting dead ends, and that's unusual for me...usually I can talk/pray up a storm.

 

And then, the thought crosses my mind, "well, maybe the Lord might want you to be a little quiet right now...maybe there are times in that quietness, that He continues to do a work...He works in your life in all ways...in the midst of trecherous storms, and in the peaceful and content, warm sunny days where no words are needed..."

 

I keep feeling like I need to 'do' something, 'think' something, 'say' something, and I'm coming up short lol. You know what's around the bend Father, so I'll stay where I'm at right now, until You unfold Your tomorrows.

 

This time that I spend in Your Word today, I just ask that You would continue to dig deeper into my soul, removing all the rocks that inhibit proper growth, and plant Your truth with roots that grow deep so that my life will be worthy to be used by You...for Your glory because You alone are God, and You alone are my Heavenly Father.

 

btw, whenever I think about You, my heart instantly wells up with emotion...with love for You. I'm beginning to get glimpses of Who You are, and it's stunning. The love of the Father who sent His Son...the love of the Son who was willing to be obedient to the Father...and the love of His Spirit, who is willing to live inside me, to help me, to guide me, to teach me about You.

 

I'd kinda like to just hold Your hand right now, up against my cheek so that You could feel the wetness of the tears that well up in my eyes, as I write that.

 

Thank You Jesus, for saving me.

 

In Your name I offer this prayer,

 

 

 

26. For the showing forth of His righteousness at this present season: that He might be Himself righteous, while declaring righteous the person having faith in Jesus.

 

27. Where then is the [Jewish] boasting? It is excluded. By what manner of law? of works? Nay: but by a law of faith.

 

28. For we reckon that a man is declared righteous by faith, apart from works of law-works.

 

29. Or is God the God of Jews only? [who had the Law]. Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yea, of Gentiles also:

 

30. If so be that God is one! And He shall declare righteous the circumcision on the principle of faith [instead of law], and the uncircumcision through their [simple] faith.

 

31. Do we then annul law through faith? Far be the thought! on the contrary, we establish law!

 

The rvbv writes, "Both in verse 25 and verse 26 it is the effect of Christ's sacrifice, as displaying the Divine righteousness, that is before us. From Adam to Christ God had "passed over," not judged and put away, sin. The word translated "passed over" (paresis) in Chapter 3:25, is not the word for "remission," of Matthew 26:28, which is used fifteen times for the active pardon of sins; whereas the present word (paresis) is used in Romans 3:25 only. This word carries, in a sense, almost the same thought as the word "overlooked," in Acts 17:30. Of course there had to be, before the cross, such displays of Divine government as the Flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the plagues in Egypt, and the dispersion of rebellious Israel. Nevertheless, God did not take up man's sin for judgment according to His own being, until the cross. There He held the public Judgment Day of human sin, displaying His absolute righteousness in not sparing His own Son. Before the cross, as Bengel says, "the righteousness of God was not so apparent, for He seemed not to be so exacting with sin as He is, but to leave the sinner to himself, to regard not." But in the atoning death of Christ, God's righteousness was fully exhibited in His wrath against sin as it was in His holy sight. he was shown righteous, at the very moment He was, in love, working out the deliverance of the sinner from the wrath due. He was the Justifier, and yet just!

 

In the words, "at this present season," God directs our gaze back to the cross, where Christ was publicly set forth and judged for our sin; and also He covers this whole "season" of mercy, the present dispensation. Old Testament believers looked forward: they were forgiven on credit. But "this present season," is better. It is characterized by a righteousness already displayed in God's judging our sin at the cross; and therefore by God as the righteous Justifier of all who believe.

 

Now our faith is that one act of our hearts that appropriates the work of Christ; and we stand, by virtue of that work alone, in the immediate presence of the infinitely holy God. The words "most holy" occur about fourty times in describing the sanctuary matters of the Old Testament; but faith is the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ who fulfills all those shadows, takes the place of all this: therefore in the New Testament, our faith is called "our most holy faith"! (Jude 20).

 

Verse 27: Where then is the [Jewish] boasting? It is excluded. By what manner of law? of works? Nay: but by a law of faith.

 

Where then is the [Jewish] boasting? It is plain all through this discussion that Paul has the religious position and opposition of the Jews in mind. Boasting "was excluded at the moment when the law of faith, that is, the gospel, was brought in."

 

In view of this new gospel-revelation of the finished work of Christ, who did the whole work for us on Calvary, and that by God's appointment, everything is seen to be of God, and not at all of man. Therefore, even the Jews, to whom the Law had been given, had their mouths completely stopped, "because there was no work done," and no ground for boasting!

 

By what manner of law? of works? Not at all! but by a law of faith. "Law" in this instance is rule, or plan. This "law" or principle, of faith, applies not only to our justification, but to every aspect of the believer's life thereafter, - "building up yourselves on your most holy faith." "That life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God.

 

Verse 28: For we reckon that a man is declared righteous by faith, apart from works of law - This verse is not a conclusion arrived at, but a reason given why boasting is excluded.

 

Verses 29 and 30: Or is God [the God] of Jews only? [who alone had the Law]. Is He not [the God] of Gentiles also? Yea, of Gentiles also: since it is one God who shall declare righteous the circumcision on the principle of faith, and the uncircumcision through faith. To paraphrase: "Or is God the God of the Jews only? (as He must be, if justification is by the Law: for only to the Jews did God give the Law). Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yea, of Gentiles also: since God is One (in His being, and alike to all nations). And He shall justify the circumcision (Jewish believers) out of simple faith (and not by their keeping Moses' Law though they had it from God), and the uncircumcision (Gentiles, who had nothing) through their faith (apart from His giving them the Law)."

 

Watchman Nee writes: "Faith is the source out of which the circumcision, who already have the position as God's people, may be justified by God; hence, their justificaiton is out of faith. But as to the uncircumcision, who are positionally far away and are not God's people, faith is the way for them to reach the position where they can be justified by God; hence, their justification is through faith.

 

Verse 31: Do we then annul law through faith? Banish the thought! on the contrary, we establish law.

 

It is the constant cry of those who oppose grace, and most especially that declaration of grace that our justification is apart from law - apart from works of law - apart from ordinances, that it overthrows the Divine authority. But in this verse Paul says, "We establish law" through this doctrine of simple faith.

 

To illustrate: In the wilderness a man was found gathering up sticks to make a fire on the Sabbath day. Now, the Law had said, "Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitation on the Sabbath day." How, then, was this Law to be "established"? By letting the law-breaker off? No! By finding someone who had kept this commandment always, perfectly, and letting his obedience be reckoned to the law-breaker? No, in no wise!

 

How then, was the Law established? You know very well. All Israel were commanded by Jehovah to stone the man to death. We read:

 

"And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it had not been declared what should be done to him. And Jehovah said unto Moses, The man shall surely be put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him to death with stones; as Jehovah commanded Moses" (Numbers 15:33, ff).

 

Thus and thus only was the commandment of Jehovah established - by the execution of the penalty.

 

Paul preached Christ crucified: that Christ died for our sins, that "He tasted death for every man." And that Israel, who were under the Law, He redeemed from the curse of that Law by being made a curse for them. Thus the cross established law; for the full penalty of all that was against the Divine majesty, against God's holiness, His righteousness, His truth, was forever met, and that not according to man's conception of what sin and its penalty should be, but according to God's judgment, according to the measure of the sanctuary, of high heaven itself!

 

The Jew, prating about his own righteousness, went about to kill Paul, crying that he spake against the Law; whereas it was that very Jew who would lower the Law to his own ability to keep it, instead of allowing it its proper office; namely, to reveal his guilt, curse him, and condemn him to death, and thus drive him to the mercy of God in Christ, whose expiatory death established law by having its penalty executed!

 

RIGHTEOUSNESS WITHOUT WORKS

 

If God announces the gift of righteousness apart from works, why do you keep mourning over your bad wors, your failures? Do you not see that it is because you still have hopes in these works of yours that you are depressed and discouraged by their failure? If you truly saw and believed that God is reckoning righteous the ungodly who believe on Him, you would fairly hate your struggles to be "better"; for you would see that your dreams of good works have not at all commended you to God, and that your bad works do not at all hinder you from believing on Him, - that justifieth the ungodly!

 

Therefore, on seeing your failures, you should say, I am nothing but a failure; but God is dealing with me on another principle altogether than my works, good or bad, - a principle not involving my works, but based only on the work of Christ for me. I am anxious, indeed, to be pleasing to God and to be filled with His Spirit; but I am not at all justified, or accounted righteous, by these things. God, in justifying me, acted wholly and only on Christ's blood-shedding on my behalf.

 

Therefore I have this double attitude: first, I know that Christ is in Heaven before God for me, and that I stand in the value before God of His finished work; that God sees me nowhere else but in this dead, buried, and Risen Christ, and that His favor is toward me in Christ, and is limitless and eternal.

 

Then, second, toward the work of the Holy Spirit in me, my attitude is, a desire to be guided into the truth, to be obedient thereto, and to be chastened by God my Father if disobedient; to learn to pray in the Spirit, to walk by the Spirit, and to be filled with a love for the Scriptures and for the saints and for all men.

 

Yet none of these things justifies me! I had justification from God as a sinner, not as a saint! My saintliness does not increase it, nor, praise God, do my failures decrease it!"

 

 

 

Heavenly Father,

 

This is some powerful stuff, and it speaks boldly and in a holy manner to my soul. Like I said yesterday, I can see why the enemy has been fighting me progressing in this study...ropes that he had tied around me are falling away by the power of Your Truth in Your Word.

 

I don't ever think I could re-read this without feeling the depth of "wow" like I do right now. I could read this once a month for the next 50 years and I'd still go "wow".

 

You are so big and so immense, and I am so tiny and unworthy. That brings to mind that verse I talk about alot..."What is man that You are mindful of him?". I do love You because You loved me first.

 

I dunno Father, but thank You for today's study. May Your precious Holy Spirit move over these words and annoint them with Your glory. Use todays study to pierce every reader's heart as they read it and may they find themselves with their eyes turned to the heavens, in worship to our Father, His Son, and His precious Holy Spirit.

 

Though these days hold many pressures and are filling many with fear, may Your hand move over all our lives, bringing the stillness of Your peace and security.

 

You are God and I love You.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

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