The Book of Romans-Chapter 3

(1) Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? (this is not only a Hebrew parallelism, but it is what is called a “pilpul” or heated argument. This is a rabbinical technique that asks a question, and his students will discuss the possible answers. After some time, the rabbi will come back and give an answer to his question. That is what Paul is doing here, only in writing. The first two chapters of Romans has presented the fact that no person has an excuse before God. He now goes on to discuss the importance of Torah and how it should be observed in faith).
(2) Great in every respect (Paul will show that having the Torah is an advantage if it is followed correctly. But just having the Torah is not useful if you think it saves you, or you are superior by just being born Jewish and having the Torah. Yeshua had the same thing to say in Matt 3.9). First, of all, that they (Israel) were entrusted with the oracles of God (the Torah-all Scripture was written by Jews. This rules out the Book of Mormon (written by a non-Jew), the Koran (written by a non-Jew) to name a few- see Rom 9.4; Deut 31.24; Psa 147.19-20; Acts 7.38).
(3) What then? If some (not all) did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God will it (this verse has been used by some to justify replacement theology. They say because most Jews rejected Yeshua and the Temple and city was destroyed, that means that God has a new plan. But, Paul is teaching that the Lord will never reject Israel and replace them with anyone/anything else)?
(4) May it never be! Rather, let God be found true though every man a liar, as it is written “That thou mightiest be justified in thy words, and mightiest prevail when thou art judged.”
(5) But if our righteousness 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 (the Torah based faith given by God to Israel will continue even if some do not observe it that way.  Paul is going to discuss being “saved by faith” without the Torah). 
(6) May it never be! For otherwise how will God judge the world?
(7) But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to his glory, why am I still being judged as a sinner ( Paul faces judgment for his own sin)?
(8) And why not say, as we are slanderously reported (that he taught against the Torah-Acts 21.21-27-or that these people just speaking evil of him) and as some affirm that we say “Let us do evil that good may come.” Their condemnation is just.
(9) What then? Are we (the Jews) better (or have an advantage) then they? Not at all (not entirely), for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin (both groups sin and face judgment);
(10) as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one;
(11)  there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God (Rom 5.8; John 1.13);
(12) All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, there is not even one.” (13) Their throat is an open grave (liars), with their tongues they keep deceiving,” ” the poison of asps is under their lips:”
(14) “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:”
(15) Their feet are swift to shed blood, (16) destruction and misery are their paths,
(17) And the path of peace have they not known.”
(18)”There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
(19) Now we know that whatever the Torah says, it speaks to those under the Torah that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may become accountable to God (if the Jewish people, to whom the Torah “speaks to” are facing judgment, then those who do not share this benefit (the world) are no better off, so nobody has a thing to say (be quiet),
(20) because by the works of the Torah no flesh will be justified in his sight; for through the Torah comes the knowledge of sin (Jews and Gentiles have no excuse. A person must “line up” with the revelation given in the Torah).
(21) But now apart from the Torah the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Torah and the Prophets (two witnesses, personified in Moses and Elijah)
(22) even the righteousness of God through the faith of Yeshua the Messiah for all those who believe (who trust in God); for there is no distinction;
(23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (if you trust your own works apart from faith)
(24) being justified (vindicated by faith) as a gift by his grace through the redemption (bought back) which is in Messiah Yeshua;
(25) whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation (kipporet, mercy seat, “hilasterion” in Greek, where “hilarious” comes from) in his blood through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in the forebearance of God he passed over the sins previously committed (Acts 14.16; 17.30-all of this was done and planned for before the world was. What Yeshua was going to do, and what the Father was going to do was “factored in” when God placed in front of himself the “hilasterion” (mercy seat, kipporet). As a result, salvation was “hilariously” allowed to burst forth. Sin demanded death (Gen 2.17) but having confidence (faith) in what Yeshua would do on the cross, he “passed over” the death penalty for those who had faith. Satan accused God of lying about death and having no integrity. Yeshua was resurrected, vindicating him as the Messiah and his blood is the proof that God was righteous all along (by letting death pass over those with faith), silencing Satan’s accusations against God (and us) forever. Yeshua is the mercy seat he “looks through” on our behalf).
(26) for the demonstration of his righteousness at the present time, that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith (confidence) in Yeshua.
(27) where then is boasting  (it was all God’s work, we deserved death but saved us anyway)? By what kind of law (or system, rule)? Of works? No, but by the law (system, or rule) of faith.
(28) For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Torah (Paul is not in conflict with what he said in 2.13, but the Torah is not to be used to seek righteousness with God. Faith goes together with Torah. If one tries to earn salvation by obedience, he fails. On the other hand, if one has faith but willfully disregards the Torah, this also fails. This goes for both groups, Jew or Gentile. Faith in Yeshua will produce good works as defined in the Torah. God is Lord of all people, through faith). (29) Or is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not the God of the Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,
(30) since indeed God will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one (the Shema-Deut 6.4). 
(31) Do we nullify the Torah through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Torah (for a sinner to recognize what sin is, he must know what the Torah calls sin. Many things that people call sin is not sin if it can’t be found in the Torah, it’s just their personal preference about something someone does. A sinner who turns to God uses the Torah as a teacher to guide his life. This is pleasing to the Lord. Jews and Gentiles are to follow the Torah as it applies to each group. By doing this, it establishes the Torah in its rightful position as a guide and teacher and not as a system of good works in order to earn something from God).

Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament, Verse-by-Verse Bible Studies

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