Tuesday Morning Bible study

July 21, 2023

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


Paul’s analysis of mankind in Chapters 1 and 2 have revealed signs of desperate failure of both Jew and Gentile alike.  The verdict of the day of judgment is a foregone conclusion.  In chapter one, Paul proved the world’s guilt because of the revelation of God’s glory in Creation.  Man is without excuse.  In Chapter 2, he condemned the self-righteous Jew because of God’s witness of conscience.  In chapter 3, the Jews have been impenitent, refused to obey the word, failed to walk in the light, and failed to live up to the law; but they professed Godliness.  They are without excuse.  They are guilty as charged by the testimony of three witnesses:


1.      Creation

2.      Conscience

3.      Law


But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested.

(Ro. 3:21)



As Paul brings forth the revelation of Justification by faith, he is plowing new ground that has never been plowed before.  Justified is a legal term used by Paul.  Webster defines it as to “vindicate, to excuse, to adjust” – “jus” refers to righteousness, justice, law.


Romans 3:27:  Where is boasting then?  It is excluded.  By what law? Of works? Nay: but by the law of Faith.”


The law of faith of which Paul speaks excludes all human pride.  Salvation is by grace alone.  If it could be earned, it would be a reward.  It is clearly a gift which must be accepted by the Hand of God by faith alone.  This is the great doctrine of the Book of Romans:  Faith is a means, a tool.  The gift of righteousness comes in a person.  It is a gift wrapped in Jesus.  The only qualifications are that it must be received by faith. 


As humans we tend to forgive by excusing, tolerating, or justifying.  But when God justifies, He also forgives our sin. Paul clearly makes his case that it is not our hold on Christ that saves us---It is Christ Himself.  It is not even faith in Christ that saves us---though that be the instrument.  It is Christ’s blood and merits.  Jesus then is the source of our hope.


Living by Faith:  Hab. 2:4: Behold his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him, but the just shall live by his faith.”


Purified by Faith:  Acts 15:1: And He made no difference between us and them (Gentiles) but purified their hearts by faith.


Sanctified by Faith: Acts 26:18: To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith, that is in me.


Standing in Faith: Romans 11: 19-20: You may say, ' the branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.’  Well because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith.  Be not high minded but fear.


Walking in Faith: 11 Cor. 5: 6 & 7: For we walk by Faith and not by sight.


Justified by Faith: Galatians 3: 24 & 25: The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after that faith has come, we are no longer under the schoolmaster.


Access by Faith: Ephesians 3: 11 & 12:  According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.


Ro. 3:1-4:  What advantage then has the Jew? Or what profit is there of circumcision?  Much in every way.  Chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of the law.  But what if some did not believe?  Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?  God forbid yea, let God be true, but every man a liar as it is written.  ‘That you might be justified in your sayings and might overcome when you are judged’ (Ps. 51:4).


Paul just preached in chapter 2 that circumcision will not save the Jew.  That was a hard blow to their religious beliefs.    Now he puts the Jew on the same level as the pagan and Gentile.  Then what advantage has the Jew?”   Paul answers it.   God has committed His Word to them.  They know God and the plan of the ages.


I doubt if Paul knew he was writing the New Testament.  It was after Paul’s death that John wrote that Jesus is the Word of God and in Him the Word became flesh (John 1: 1, 2, 14, 17 & 18). 


God must keep his Word because He is the truth.  God is true in His nature.  Even if every man in the world is a liar (which he is).  God will remain consistent with Himself.  What chaos there would be if God’s nature changed!!!  Paul appeals to Psalm 51:4. Against you, you only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight; that you might be justified when you speak and be clear when you judge.


God had sent Nathan to David to charge the King with murder and pronounce him worthy of death.  David went to God about it.  The moment he felt the Lord’s Holy gaze upon his soul, he realized he was guilty as charged.



David knew the only possibility of redemption was to throw himself—unrighteous as he was upon God’s purposes of salvation.  Before pleading with God not to enter judgment with him he had appealed: “in your faithfulness and righteousness answer me” (Ps.143:1)


Ro. 3:5-8: If our unrighteousness commends the righteousness of God, what shall we say?  Is God unrighteous who takes vengeance? (I speak as a man).  God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?  For if the truth of God has more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?  But not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil that good may come” whose damnation is just.” 


Paul doesn’t deny that sin makes God’s glory stand out, but he denies the conclusion the Jew’s drew from it that their unfaithfulness enhanced God’s Glory.  Paul carries this kind of thinking to its absurd conclusion.  God does not need the awful contrast of man’s evil to establish His Holiness.  His Holiness requires Him to punish sin.  If He ever backed off from punishing sin, you and I would have no place to go for salvation.  It is true, of course, that God has the power to turn evil to a good purpose, but that doesn’t make the evil good.


He is addressing a teaching of that day that was pretty sick.  There are many today who believe in this easy believism.   Paul has been accused of preaching this kind of reasoning.  Paul taught if men wanted to honor God with sin, the way to do it was to confess as did David, and then let God display his mercy through Christ.  When God forgives men, their evil remains evil, but his mercy shines like a match lit in a darkened room.


Jewish protests were silenced.  On his missionary travels Paul must have met many Jewish hecklers in the synagogue and the market square.  Today as Christians, we must be prepared to silence hecklers of the Christian faith with the same logic used by Paul.  If Christians were able to use the Word of God as a sword the way Paul did, we would be able to stand up to the laws that are now being used to persecute Christians and take away our liberties.


3:9-12: What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise; for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles that they are all under sin.  As it is written.  There is none righteous, no not one:  There is none that understands.  There is none that seeks after God.  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one.


If anyone thinks he has any standing before God, he is deceived.  All human righteousness is as filthy rags.  In Verse 10, Paul says, “As it is written”.  In this letter, Paul quotes (preaching) from the Old Testament 19 times.


Man’s depravity is so great he cannot respond to God’s wooing without a supernatural shove.  John 6:44: No man can come to me except the father which has sent me draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day.


Those who come to Him through Christ come not because of man seeking God, but God seeking man.  Even after a man receives the Lord it is hard to live for Him.


Ro. 3: 13-18: Their throat is an open sepulcher; and their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips; Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.  Their feet are swift to shed blood; Destruction and misery are in their ways.  And the way of peace have they not known.  There is no fear of God before their eyes.”


Paul continues to quote the Old Testament.  The vileness of the old human nature manifests itself in a person’s words.   The whole being of man has shared in evil (throat, tongue, lips mouth, feet, ways, and eyes).


Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”  People can be poisoned, exploited, and destroyed with lies.  Man will say anything to gain his own selfish ends.  Isa. 59:7: The feet of the Israelites are swift to shed blood.”   Given the provocation, all of us are capable of killing.


Ps. 36:1: The transgression of the wicked; says within my heart, there is no fear of God before his eyes.


If the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, then the lack of it must be the fountain of evil and the source of wickedness.  Satan inspires men to gamble that there is no judgment in this life or after this life. 


Ro. 3:19: Now we know that whatsoever the law says, it says to them who are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and the entire world may become guilty before God.


Paul is building up the grand conclusion that the whole world is guilty before God, that God may show mercy to all.  Mercy is the parent of all God’s deeds.


Ro. 3:20: Therefore, by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for the law is the knowledge of sin.


Paul clinches his case.  The law is a straight edge only.  When people are placed along side, it reveals how crooked they are.  Man cannot wash his face with the law.  To know God’s standards is to realize one’s own hopeless inadequacy.  Once a person is convinced of his corruption and aware that he has no righteousness of his own, he will look to the Lord to save him.


3: 21-23: But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference.  For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.


Can sinners be regarded as though they had never once sinned?  The answer to that question brings us to the great hinge of Romans.  Paul’s letter now turns from man’s failure to God’s wondrous provision for him.  Two words announce the shift, “But now”.  Since man needs righteousness to go to Heaven, God must provide it as a free gift.


The Old Testament contains a prophet’s witness to the gift of righteousness.  The law has declared man a hopeless sinner, the prophets reveal the coming sin-bearer, the Lord Jesus Christ.  The gift of righteousness is in a person.  It is gift wrapped in Jesus.  The only qualification is that it must be received by faith.  Faith in Christ does not make us worthy of the gift.  Faith is the means of receiving it, the appropriating device.  The only channel to receive the new righteousness is by the Law of Faith.


When it comes to man’s righteousness, there is no difference between the worst and best people.  All are invited to trust in Christ and receive God’s righteousness as a free gift.


3:24:  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”


The law says sinners must die.  God cannot compromise himself.  How can men die a spiritual death and still live with God as righteous people?  That is the genius of God’s plan.  It is accomplished by receiving the death of the Lord.  We become a living union of the Cross.  Jew and Gentile meet at the cross on a common level.


After sin (disobedience) comes guilt.  After guilt, self-hatred.  Sin provides Satan with his ground of accusation before God while our sense of guilt gives him his ground to accuse our hearts.


The blood is our atonement.  We need forgiveness lest we come under judgment; and we are forgiven because God sees the blood.  The blood is used over 100 times in connection with Atonement.  On the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16), the blood was taken from the sin offering and brought into the Most Holy Place, there sprinkled before the Lord seven times.  The high priest was a type of the Lord Jesus in his redemptive work. 


The Passover Lamb is the type in the Old Testament of our redemption by the

Blood of the Lamb of God.   God said, “When I see the blood, I will pass over you.”  Jesus’ blood is for God to see.


Redemption is a single act as far as God is concerned:


1.      The moment we are saved we are delivered from the guilt of sin.

2.      We are delivered from the power of sin.

3.       We are delivered from the presence of sin.


The process of deliverance of the presence and power of sin may be progressive, but when God looks at us, He sees the righteousness of Christ and our completed redemption as the Spirit of Life in Christ rules over the Spirit of Sin and Death in our flesh nature.


Ro. 3: 25-26: When God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness, that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus.


At the mercy-seat the sprinkling of many people with the blood of one animal portrayed the cleansing of many with the death of one Man, Jesus Christ.  The blood sacrifice of the Old Testament marvelously pictured Jesus’ work.   The actual gift of righteousness is the Lord Himself.


God is just in forbearing with sinners in ancient times because He knew the Cross was coming.  He is just in our time because he is faithful to Jesus’ blood.  He forgives all who come to Him in Jesus’ name.  In every way His justice stands unblemished.


3:27-28:  Where is boasting then?  It is excluded.  By what law? Of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.  Therefore, we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.


It is very humbling to think we can’t do anything to qualify ourselves for salvation.  Man hates to think he can’t help himself.  Pride is a basic human sin.  Humanity likes flaunting Christian acts for show.  We must be careful of testimonies that flaunt the act rather than the source of the victory.


3:29-30:  Is he God of the Jews only?  Is he not also God of the Gentiles?  Yes, of the Gentiles also.  Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith and Uncircumcision through faith.


In those days people thought in terms of national gods-- One for the Jews and one for the Gentiles.  I believe the nations of the world still have that problem.  There is only one God and only one way to salvation regardless of what nation. 


3:31: Do we then make void the law through faith?  God forbid; yea, we establish the law.


The Law of Faith confirms the Law.  Jesus fulfilled the Law for us.  We can’t produce righteousness of ourselves.  We accept His righteousness and as we become like him, we will see His righteousness revealed in us.


Law and Faith are not enemies.  People who substitute law for grace dishonor the Lord.  Jesus exalted the law more gloriously because He was without sin.


Chapter 4 continues as Abraham was accepted as righteous because of His Faith.  He believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness.  That is the whole point of the Faith heroes in the Book of Hebrews.


We come to you Father God, of whom we are your family, and our loved ones are your family.  I pray that out of your glorious riches, you will strengthen us with power through your Holy Spirit in our inner being, so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith.  We pray that we may be rooted and established in love, that we may have the power, together with others to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know the love that surpasses knowledge---that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  May we continually spread the knowledge of the fragrance of Christ.


Mat 10:41: He that receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. It is Jesus Christ who is the righteous Man.


Preached by:  Pastor Carolyn Sissom First in 1988 and multiple times thereafter., 10155 West Hidden Lakes Lane, Richmond, TX

Scripture from K.J.V.  I entered into the labors of C.S. Lovett’s Lights on Romans; F.F. Bruce Bible Commentary; Romans by Leslie C. Allen; Matthew Henry’s Commentary;  Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those from whom I entered into their labors.

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