But if our unrighteousness 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.) 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 also still being judged as a sinner? 8
And why not say
(as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), Let us do evil that good may come? Their condemnation is just.
9What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;
10as it is written,
THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
12ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS;
THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD,
THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.
13THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE,
WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,
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 PATHS,
17AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.
18THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.
19Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
Justification by Faith
21But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; 26for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
27Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. 28For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.
31Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.
Parallel VersesAmerican Standard Version
But 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.)
But if our injustice commend the justice of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust, who executeth wrath?
Darby Bible Translation
But if our unrighteousness commend God's righteousness, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who inflicts wrath? I speak according to man.
English Revised Version
But if our unrighteousness commendeth the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who visiteth with wrath? (I speak after the manner of men.)
Webster's Bible Translation
But if our unrighteousness commendeth the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man.)
Weymouth New Testament
But if our unrighteousness sets God's righteousness in a clearer light, what shall we say? (Is God unrighteous--I speak in our everyday language-- when He inflicts punishment?
World English Bible
But if our unrighteousness commends the righteousness of God, what will we say? Is God unrighteous who inflicts wrath? I speak like men do.
Young's Literal Translation
And, if our unrighteousness God's righteousness doth establish, what shall we say? is God unrighteous who is inflicting the wrath? (after the manner of a man I speak)
'There is no difference.'--ROMANS iii. 22. The things in which all men are alike are far more important than those in which they differ. The diversities are superficial, the identities are deep as life. Physical processes and wants are the same for everybody. All men, be they kings or beggars, civilised or savage, rich or poor, wise or foolish, cultured or illiterate, breathe the same breath, hunger and thirst, eat and drink, sleep, are smitten by the same diseases, and die at last the same death. …
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)
The Law Established through Faith
Discourse I "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: Yea, we establish the law." Romans 3:31. 1. St. Paul, having the beginning of this Epistle laid down his general proposition, namely, that "the gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;" -- the powerful means, whereby God makes every believer a partaker of present and eternal salvation; -- goes on to show, that there is no other way under heaven whereby men can be saved. He speaks particularly …
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions
God Justified, Though Man Believes Not
"For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, and every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged."--Romans 3:3,4. The seed of Israel had great privileges even before the coming of Christ. God had promised by covenant that they should have those privileges; and they did enjoy them. They had a revelation and a light divine, while all the world …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 38: 1892
WHEN THE SOUL is seriously impressed with the conviction of its guilt, when terror and alarm get hold upon it concerning the inevitable consequences of its sin, the soul is afraid of God. It dreads at that time every attribute of divinity. But most of all the sinner is afraid of God's justice. "Ah," saith he to himself, "God is a just God; and if so, how can he pardon my sins? for my iniquities cry aloud for punishment, and my transgressions demand that his right hand should smite me low. How can …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 5: 1859
"That the Righteousness of the Law Might be Fulfilled in Us. "
Rom. viii. 4.--"That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us." God having a great design to declare unto the world both his justice and mercy towards men, he found out this mean most suitable and proportioned unto it, which is here spoken of in the third verse,--to send his own Son to bear the punishment of sin, that the righteousness of the law might be freely and graciously fulfilled in sinners. And, indeed, it was not imaginable by us, how he could declare both in the salvation …
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning
How Christ is the Way in General, "I am the Way. "
We come now to speak more particularly to the words; and, first, Of his being a way. Our design being to point at the way of use-making of Christ in all our necessities, straits, and difficulties which are in our way to heaven; and particularly to point out the way how believers should make use of Christ in all their particular exigencies; and so live by faith in him, walk in him, grow up in him, advance and march forward toward glory in him. It will not be amiss to speak of this fulness of Christ …
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life
How Christ is Made Use of for Justification as a Way.
What Christ hath done to purchase, procure, and bring about our justification before God, is mentioned already, viz. That he stood in the room of sinners, engaging for them as their cautioner, undertaking, and at length paying down the ransom; becoming sin, or a sacrifice for sin, and a curse for them, and so laying down his life a ransom to satisfy divine justice; and this he hath made known in the gospel, calling sinners to an accepting of him as their only Mediator, and to a resting upon him for …
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life
The Necessity of Other Preparatory Acts Besides Faith
1. HERETICAL ERRORS AND THE TEACHING OF THE CHURCH.--Martin Luther, to quiet his conscience, evolved the notion that faith alone justifies and that the Catholic doctrine of the necessity of good works is pharisaical and derogatory to the merits of Jesus Christ. This teaching was incorporated into the symbolic books of the Lutherans(811) and adopted by Calvin.(812) It has been called one of the two basic errors of Protestantism. The Tridentine Council solemnly condemns it as follows: "If anyone saith …
Joseph Pohle—Grace, Actual and Habitual
"Being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."--Rom. iii. 24. The Heidelberg Catechism teaches that true conversion consists of these two parts: the dying of the old man, and the rising again of the new. This last should be noticed. The Catechism says not that the new life originates in conversion, but that it arises in conversion. That which arises must exist before. Else how could it arise? This agrees with our statement that regeneration precedes conversion, …
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit
Certainty of Our Justification.
"Being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."--Rom. iii. 24. The foregoing illustrations shed unexpected light upon the fact that God justifies the ungodly, and not him who is actually just in himself; and upon the word of Christ: "Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." (John xv. 3) They illustrate the significant fact that God does not determine our status according to what we are, but by the status to which He assigns us He determines …
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit
'Being justified freely by his grace.' Rom 3:34. Q-xxxiii: WHAT IS JUSTIFICATION? A: It is an act of God's free grace, whereby he pardons all our sins, and accepts us as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ, imputed to us, and received by faith alone. Justification is the very hinge and pillar of Christianity. An error about justification is dangerous, like a defect in a foundation. Justification by Christ is a spring of the water of life. To have the poison of corrupt doctrine …
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity
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