The Jews and the Law (continued)
3:1What advantage then hath the Jew?1 or what is the profit of circumcision? 3:2Much every way: first of all, that they were intrusted with the oracles of God. 3:3For what if some were without faith? shall their want of faith make of none effect the faithfulness of God? 3:4God 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.
3:5But 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.) 3:6God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? 3:7But if the truth of God through my lie abounded unto his glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 3:8and 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.
- What advantage hath the Jew? The Hebrews surely represent the thoughts in man that have come up out of the purely material and passed over to a higher concept of God and of His laws, into a closer and clearer relationship with God. These thoughts are, however, still under law, the law of sin and death; for true freedom, spiritual understanding and realization, life and peace, come only by the still higher way—which is the Christ method, the way taught and demonstrated by Jesus Christ.—MBD: Hebrew
None Is Righteouus
There is none righteous, no, not one;
3:11There is none that understandeth,
There is none that seeketh after God;
3:12They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable;
There is none that doeth good,
no, not, so much as one:
3:13Their throat is an open sepulchre;
With their tongues they have used deceit:
The poison of asps is under their lips:
3:14Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
3:16Destruction and misery are in their ways;
3:19Now 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: 3:20because by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for through the law cometh the knowledge of sin.
Righteousness through Faith1
3:21But now apart from the law a righteousness of God hath been manifested,2 being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 3:22even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all them that believe; for there is no distinction; 3:23for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; 3:24being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 3:25whom 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; 3:26for 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.
3:27Where then is the glorying?3 It is excluded. By what manner of law? of works? Nay: but by a law of faith. 3:28We reckon therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.4 3:29Or is God the God of Jews only? is he not the God of Gentiles also?5 Yea, of Gentiles also: 3:30if so be that God is one, and he shall justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith. 3:31Do we then make the law of none effect through faith? God forbid: nay, we establish the law.
- Righteousness through Faith. Man as the offspring of God is a composite idea of all that God is. Spiritually he is the creative law of God in action. A person must have a consciousness of his spiritual identity, a certain integrity to hold him firm and steady amid the winds and waves of negative thought. This Is illustrated in the case of a person who is misunderstood, as Jesus was. When condemnation comes upon anyone from without, he is apt to be beaten down In humiliation and grief unless he has a strong consciousness of his own spiritual integrity. If this consciousness is very strong, if he has great faith in his righteousness—not the righteousness of the limited personal man, but of the Christ indwelling—he can go safely through such an experience, often unmoved by it. This is a very practical demonstration of faith.—Unity Correspondence School Series 2, Lesson 8: Faith
- a righteousness of God hath been manifested. “Apart from the law,” which is a predetermined standard, “a righteousness of God hath been manifested”. Faith in the Christ within man quickens his perceptive faculties. As he learns to believe in himself as a sharer of the divine nature, which is infinite in love, wisdom and power, he draws on the qualities that arouse his faith still more fully, and they enlighten him according to his need. Man can know this righteousness of God and manifest it also. The fact that it is in harmony with the standard set by the thinkers and seers of early times (the Mosaic law) and with the law of cause and effect (the Prophets) is strong corroborative evidence of its truth. Man's inner conviction is further evidence on this point.
- Where then is the glorying? There exists a higher and better order than man has seen manifested in the natural world or has proved in its fullness. He accepts this order as true in faith, though still unmanifest to the eye of flesh. The habit of looking to something higher than himself, for strength and wisdom develops in him humility, thus excluding self-conceit or “glorying.”
- Apart from the works of the law. The works of faith include the exercising of man's inner vision in such a way as to show him that spiritual strength sufficient for all his needs is to be had for the taking; also the keeping of the inner eye single, so that he sees good only. As he does these works they justify his course by proving it the law of life and well-being.
- Is he not God of the Gentiles also? Since faith is a universal law of man's being, it can be applied by all alike regardless of forms and ceremonies. “He shall justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith.” The religious instinct (Jews) and the external interests (Gentiles) are both subject to this law.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations by Mark Hicks
Following Entry: Rom. 4