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3. God's Faithfulness

1What advantage then hath the Jew? or what is the profit of circumcision? 2Much every way: first of all, that they were intrusted with the oracles of God. 3For what if some were without faith? shall their want of faith make of none effect the faithfulness of God? 4God forbid: yea, let God be found true, but every man a liar; as it is written,

That thou mightest be justified in thy words,

And mightest prevail when thou comest into judgment.

5But if our righteousness commendeth the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who visiteth with wrath? (I speak after the manner of men.) 6God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? 7But if the truth of God through my lie abounded unto his glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8and why not (as we are slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say), Let us do evil, that good may come? whose condemnation is just. 9What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we before laid to the charge both of Jews and Greeks, that they are all under sin; 10as it is written,

There is none righteous, no, not one;

11There is none that understandeth,

There is none that seeketh after God;

12They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable;

There is none that doeth good, no, not, so much as one:

13Their throat is an open sepulchre;

With their tongues they have used deceit:

The poison of asps is under their lips:

14Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

15Their feet are swift to shed blood;

16Destruction and misery are in their ways;

17And the way of peace have they not known:

18There is no fear of God before their eyes.

19Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it speaketh to them that are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God: 20because by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for through the law cometh the knowledge of sin. 21But now apart from the law a righteousness of God hath been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all them that believe; for there is no distinction; 23for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; 24being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, in his blood, to show his righteousness because of the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God; 26for the showing, I say, of his righteousness at this present season: that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him that hath faith in Jesus. 27Where then is the glorying? It is excluded. By what manner of law? of works? Nay: but by a law of faith. 28We reckon therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yea, of Gentiles also: 30if so be that God is one, and he shall justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith. 31Do we then make the law of none effect through faith? God forbid: nay, we establish the law.

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Ro 3:9-20. That the Jew Is Shut Up under Like Condemnation with the Gentile Is Proved by His Own Scripture.

9. are we better than they?—"do we excel them?"

No, in no wise—Better off the Jews certainly were, for having the oracles of God to teach them better; but as they were no better, that only aggravated their guilt.

10-12. As it is written, &c.—(Ps 14:1-3; 53:1-3). These statements of the Psalmist were indeed suggested by particular manifestations of human depravity occurring under his own eye; but as this only showed what man, when unrestrained, is in his present condition, they were quite pertinent to the apostle's purpose.

13-18. Their, &c.—From generals, the apostle here comes to particulars, culling from different parts of Scripture passages which speak of depravity as it affects the different members of the body; as if to show more affectingly how "from the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness" in us.

throat is an open sepulchre—(Ps 5:9); that is, "What proceeds out of their heart, and finds vent in speech and action through the throat, is like the pestilential breath of an open grave."

with their tongues they have used deceit—(Ps 5:9); that is, "That tongue which is man's glory (Ps 16:9; 57:8) is prostituted to the purposes of deception."

the poison of asps is under their lips—(Ps 140:3): that is, "Those lips which should 'drop as an honeycomb,' and 'feed many,' and 'give thanks unto His name' (So 4:11; Pr 10:21; Heb 13:15), are employed to secrete and to dart deadly poison."

14. Whose mouth, &c.—(Ps 10:7): that is, "That mouth which should be 'most sweet' (So 5:16), being 'set on fire of hell' (Jas 3:6), is filled with burning wrath against those whom it should only bless."

15. Their feet are swift to shed blood—(Pr 1:16; Isa 59:7): that is, "Those feet, which should 'run the way of God's commandments' (Ps 119:32), are employed to conduct men to deeds of darkest crime."

16, 17. Destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace have they not known—This is a supplementary statement about men's ways, suggested by what had been said about the "feet," and expresses the mischief and misery which men scatter in their path, instead of that peace which, as strangers to it themselves, they cannot diffuse.

18. There is no fear of God before their eyes—(Ps 36:1): that is, "Did the eyes but 'see Him who is invisible' (Heb 11:27), a reverential awe of Him with whom we have to do would chasten every joy and lift the soul out of its deepest depressions; but to all this the natural man is a stranger." How graphic is this picture of human depravity, finding its way through each several organ of the body into the life (Ro 3:13-17): but how small a part of the "desperate wickedness" that is within (Jer 17:9) "proceedeth out of the heart of man!" (Mr 7:21-23; Ps 19:12).




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