Romans 3: Commentary, Bible Study And Summary

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Let’s take a close look at Romans chapter 3 and study it together and add some personal commentary to it.  Please leave your own comment so that we can all learn from one another.

The Book of Romans

The Book of Romans is among my favorites in the entire Bible. This book has caused many to come to saving faith as they are walked down the Roman Road of Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23 and many others.  Written somewhere between A.D. 55 and A.D. 57, Paul wrote this letter or epistle which today we call the Book of Romans, while he was in Corinth and possibly staying with Phoebe (16:1-2).  Paul felt that his ministry may have been fulfilled in the areas around Judea and the Mediterranean and so he desired to eventually go to Spain (Rom 15:17-24).  The Reformers saw this book as the key to the Great Reformation because it holds all the essentials of salvation like the cross, sin, repentance, the law, judgment, faith, works, grace, justification, election, sanctification, the role of Christ and the Holy Spirit in the church and in the life of the believer as well as the place that the Jews and Gentiles held in God’s election, so let’s examine the 3rd chapter of the Book of Romans together.

Romans 3 Commentary, Bible Study And Summary

Romans 3:1-3 God’s Righteousness Upheld

“Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision?  Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.  What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God?  By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”

There is no advantage to works like circumcision but there was to being a Jew who not only recorded but preserved the Word of God (the oracles).  Their unfaithfulness didn’t nullify the faithfulness of God at all.  As you see in the wanderings in the Wilderness, God was faithful even with His people were not.  God is always true as He cannot lie like humans often do.

Romans 3:9-20 No One is Righteous but God

“What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.  Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.  For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.”

These verses are rich in the message of the gospel acting as cobblestones in the Romans Road to salvation.  There isn’t even one person who is righteous; no one does good at all…not even one of us!  Every one of their and our mouths were open graves before they/we were saved.  Like you, my feet ran swiftly toward sinful activities and I had no peace at all.  There was no fear of God before our eyes, much like the unsaved today, but then the law exposed our standing before God.  Our words couldn’t justify us so we had to shut our mouths and stop trying to justify ourselves.  It is for this reason that the whole world will be held accountable to God unless they repent and trust in Christ.  The best of our works cannot justify us.  The law’s purpose is fulfilled in our lives in the sense that it showed us what sin was.  Paul said it well when he wrote that it was our schoolmaster, bringing us about to knowledge of sin (Gal 3:24).

Romans 3:21-26 God’s Righteousness is Through Faith

“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,  whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

God’s righteousness is revealed or displayed apart from His law but it is displayed through having faith in Jesus Christ for anyone that believes.  There isn’t any difference between any of us because all of us have sinned and fallen so far short of God’s glory to be as good as humanly unbridgeable.  That’s why it must take a free gift, freely received, and that is the gift of faith which could only come through Jesus redeeming the unredeemable. God had to satisfy His wrath on Jesus, and this is what propitiation means.  It involved His suffering, the shedding of His blood, and His death and it did satisfy God’s wrath and that is why it can only be received by faith.  This was how the righteousness of God was displayed…in His great patience or forbearing of our sins, it was just as death passed over the first born of all those who believed God in Egypt, so those who believe in Christ today have had His deadly wrath pass over them.   This passing over, made possible by Christ’s work at Calvary, is the passing over of our sins and the punishment we deserved.  This is how Jesus is both the just and the justifier. God is the Just One and the Justifier and those who have faith in Christ are the ones who are justified (2 Cor 5:21).

Romans 3:27-31 Justified Apart from the Works of the Law

“Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.  For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.  Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.  Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.”

The is law given to the proud and only when they are humbled by it, can grace be given, therefore no one could possibly boast about it (Eph 2:8-9).  Who has ever been justified by the law or without faith?  No one!  God is the God not only of the Jews but also of the Gentiles because more than these, He is a God of grace and not of race. For whoever it is that trusts in Him, He is their God. That doesn’t mean that the law is null and void but we live by the law because Jesus Himself said if you really love Me, you will keep or obey My commandments (John 14:15).  Our love for Him and our faith in Him doesn’t mean that we don’t obey Him.  That is contrary to the Word of God.


If you want to share the gospel, you must understand the Book of Romans and chapter 3 is a huge part of the Romans Road to salvation, especially Romans 3:10-12, 23.  It should be used to humble the proud, bring them to the knowledge of their sin, allow them to see the sinfulness of all mankind, the wrath that abides on all who disbelieve, that no amount of doing good will ever justify a person, that the law should take away any excuses, and when they are finally humbled, and not before, tell them that they can only be saved by the free gift of God which is faith in Jesus Christ.  There is no other way a person can be saved.

Take a walk through this related article: What is the Romans Road to Salvation?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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