Our last reading for this week is Romans 3:27-31
v27: Where is boasting then: We have no boast. We did nothing to bring about our redemption. Messiah did it all.
- Excluded: Shut out. Done away with. Removed. There is no place for boasting.
- Law…of works: We cannot find redemption through the law of works (doing the right number of good deeds), we can’t find redemption through any doctrines or teachings.
- The law of faith: We need to be people who believe and then demonstrate faith. Faith is simply an agreement with G-d. We did not play a role in our redemption or in our salvation by our faith. By faith we simply acknowledge what G-d has done through His Son.
v28: Conclude: Reckon. Reach a logical conclusion.
- A man: This could mean any human being – Jew or Gentile, male or female.
- Justified: Declared righteous. This is written in the passive indicating that it is something done to us – we cannot do it for ourselves.
- Apart from (without) the deeds (works) of the law: Righteousness comes through faith alone. It is apart from or separated from the works of the law.
v29: Is (G-d) the G-d of the Jews only: The Jews received the Scripture from G-d, but that does not mean that G-d is only for them.
- G-d of the Gentiles: G-d created and loves the Gentiles too. His plan includes the Gentiles. He gave Israel a specific calling. Their calling was to be servants, servants that were to proclaim the message of the gospel to the nations.
v30: Circumcised: Meaning the Jewish people.
- Uncircumcised: The Gentiles.
- By faith: Both Jews and Gentiles are justified (made righteous) through the same faith. There is no difference.
v31: Note: Many within Christianity disregard this verse today. Is this the reason why many in the church lack the power and the perspective to know how to live righteously? Although we are not justified or made righteous by the works of the law, it does not mean that the law is no longer relevant for us. In fact, with the Holy Spirit living in us, He enables us to fulfil the righteous requirements of the law (Roms 8:4). We are not under the law – this means that we are not judged by the law ie we do not receive the punishment associated with the law (the wrath of G-d and eternal death). But, like Abraham (who predated the law) we are, led by the Holy Spirit, called to utilize the law by faith,
- (Has the law been rendered null and void): Has it been rendered powerless? Has it been dealt a deathblow? Does it no longer have any effect?
- Certainly Not!: Literally: May it never be. Sometimes translated ‘G-d forbid!’.
- We establish the law: We stand it up. Through faith, the commandments should have even greater relevance in our lives. We can now understand that they are the righteous standards of G-d – not as a means of salvation, but as a blessed way to live while here on earth. They reveal to us how to live in a way that is pleasing to G-d. Under the Holy Spirit’s leadership, we can apply them to our lives – not based upon the letter of the law, but by the purpose, the righteousness, the heart, of the law. In our lives, in our behaviour, we want to demonstrate that we are living in a way that glorify’ s G-d. We want our lives to be a testimony to others.