Romans 03 Overview

Romans 3, Argument, Outline, Select Doctrines

All people are sinful, justified freely through faith


Romans 3. All people are sinful, justified freely through faith. Do the Jews have any advantage? Yes, they were entrusted with the Scriptures. Their failure to believe God does not nullify God’s promises to them nor does it lessen God’s righteousness when he condemns them. Jews and Gentiles—all mankind—are under sin and are guilty before God. God’s righteousness has been made known through Jesus Christ, just as the law and the prophets revealed. Though all people are under sin, God’s righteousness is shown to anyone who has faith in Jesus Christ. This righteousness is a gift by grace taken through faith for both Jew and Gentile.

Outline Chapter 3

All people are sinful, justified freely through faith

  1. Romans 3:1-8. Jewish people who fail to understand the meaning and correct application of the Law fail God and miss his purpose for them. Those Gentiles who believe God experience God’s blessings. Paul asks rhetorical questions: What advantage does the Jew have? Paul’s answer is that God gave the Scripture to the world through the Jew. Even if they do not believe the Scripture, the Scripture promises to the Jew are still true. Does the Jews’ unbelief cancel God’s faithfulness to his word? No, it does not. Then, if our unrighteousness clearly demonstrates God’s righteousness and glorifies him, is God unfair to judge us? The answer is no. Finally, should we do evil since by our sin God’s righteousness and glory come into focus? Again, Paul says that is a wrong understanding.
  2. Romans 3:9-20.The Jews are not naturally better than Gentiles; all people are sinful in comparison to God. Because God entrusted the Jews with the Scripture, one might think they are under less judgment than Gentiles. Paul then lists proofs for all people being guilty. He begins by saying that no one is righteous. He documents the charge that all are under sin by giving a general picture of humanity. Furthermore, if the Jews are guilty, and they are more privileged than the rest of the world by receiving God’s Law, then it follows that the less privileged (Gentiles) are also guilty, “and all the world may become accountable to God." The Law taught about sin but it cannot justify the Jew or Gentile before God.
  3. Romans 3:21-31. God credits His own righteousness to unrighteous people through their faith in Jesus Christ. Paul has now demonstrated that all people are sinful and under God’s judgment. We all need God’s righteousness because all have sinned and all fall short of God’s glory, which is his holy perfection. Attempting to keep the Law is not the solution. Jesus was the one sacrificed and he satisfied God righteousness and justice. God is the God of all people—Jew and Gentile. Faith in God’s substitute sacrifice, Jesus, is the only way to be justified for Jew and Gentile. The Law has done its job by showing that mankind is sinful.

Doctrines and Applications

  1. Select doctrines in chapter 3.
    • Israel (Romans 3:1)
    • Circumcision (Romans 3:1)
    • God’s attributes (Romans 3:3, 4)
    • Judgment (Romans 3:6, 8, 19)
    • Sin (Romans 3:7, 9)
    • God’s righteousness (Romans 3:21, 22, 25)
    • Faith (Romans 3:22, 25, 26, 30-31)
    • Salvation words—God removed the sin barrier (Romans 3.24-25 Reconciliation).
  2. Applications
    • Just as Israel could not be saved because of her heritage and religious duties, neither can anyone else be saved by heritage or religion. Do not try.
    • The Old Testament Law and any law sets up rules. The one who breaks the rules is guilty. We know that we break right rules and so we are guilty.
    • Since all people are guilty before God and all gain God’s forgiveness and imputed righteousness only by faith in Jesus Christ, we all must believe in Jesus Christ as our savior.