Romans 3:29-31

Romans 3:29-31 — Is He the God of the Jews only? is He not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:

Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.

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

There is one God (a foundational truth of the Jews), therefore, He is God to Jews and Gentiles.

Faith doesn't void the Law, it completes it and fulfills it.

By faith = out of faith, as opposed to "out of law"

Through faith = by means of, with no Law to be saved out of.

The Jews were justified by faith, by way of works, whereas Gentiles are justified directly by way of faith.

Christ satisfied the Law, therefore He established justification by the Laws' demands (verse 31).

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10 Responses to Romans 3:29-31

  1. jeff says:

    The Jews being justified by faith by works but not gentiles is questionable to me. I know it is said that the Jews had to “do the law” as an act of faith to legitimaize their salvation but I would say the same would be true today for Gentiles (Romans 13:7-10; Galatians 5:13,14). We are to “do the law” as well, as we are the fulfillment of it in Christ. God is pretty clear in every dispensation that faith results in us doing the works God calls those people to do. Faith is defined as hearing what God says and hearing implies we are doing what he says. The works may differ; the fact that we are to do them never does.

  2. Walker says:

    Our works are in response to God’s grace and have NOTHING to do with our justification — Titus 3:5, Romans 4:5 (and all of Romans 4 for that matter), Ephesians 2:8 (and verse 10 goes on to explain that our good works are a result, not the means, of our justification. See also Philippians 2:13.)

    Romans 13:7-10 and Galatians 5:13-14 have nothing to do with justification. They are referring to our conduct AFTER salvation.

  3. jeff says:

    Right, and if those works aren’t there justification never happened, just as it was for the Jews.

  4. Walker says:

    Sorry, but I have to disagree. Our justification should produce good works, but only the Lord can see what’s in a person’s heart. And the Bible makes it clear that some people are saved and don’t produce works (1 Cor. 3:15).

    I’m not arguing that Christians should do good works, but for us today they are a response to what Christ has done for us. For the Jews, they were a requirement. That’s the distinction Paul makes in Galatians 3:3 — Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

  5. jeff says:

    I don’t think there’s a “should.” 1 Cor. 3:14 and 15 says that “any man,” same person in both verses, dealing with believers, will have works that pass through and works that don’t.

    The problem I have is with the statement that Jews were justified by works when Paul’s main point is that no flesh is justified by works, it’s always been faith, no matter what dispensation. The result of faith is doing what God says. Still true today. I know you say it’s by faith by works but that doesnt’ add up.

    Every man ever saved was saved by God’s grace through faith. No man has ever done any work to gain salvation, no Jew or Gentile, Paul makes that clear. Jews did sacrifices in their day and Law stuff (love); today we do Christ stuff (love). If people in either dispensation didn’t have faith they wouldn’t do anything acceptable to God. Faith is the way we receive God’s grace for salvation and it always results in works. Always. Ephesians 2:8-10 even states that these works were ordained by God to do, i.e.–not optional in His mind.

    Every judgment of God is based on works. Works prove the reality of the faith. No faith, nothing good. With faith, good results. To say that works are a reponse out of love for God (not that they can’t be or aren’t) and then at the same time say a guy could get in without any works is akin to saying that people who don’t love God will be in. That doesnt’ float.

  6. Walker says:

    Your explanation of 1 Corinthians 3:14-15 is not justified by the context. It clearly is not saying that the same man’s works will endure and earn him a reward and be burned up so that he barely scrapes into heaven without reward. What these verses are doing is contrasting those who respond to grace by service with those who have saving faith but never grow.

    You’re not disagreeing with me, you’re disagreeing with Paul. Over and over he points out the contrast between Jews under the Law and Gentiles under grace.

    It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace (Galatians 5:1-4).

    That’s a pretty strange thing for Paul to say if there is no difference. Jews were saved by faith, of course, but they had to obey the ceremonial law to cover them because they were unable to obey the moral laws. If their justification was based on their works, none of them would ever have been saved. In our case, however, Christ fulfilled the ceremonial (and moral) laws for us. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor (Galatians 3:25).

    God’s judgment of me is not based on my works — and for that I’m very grateful. His judgment of me is based on Christ’s work on the cross. That’s why my works aren’t a requirement for my justification. To say otherwise indicates that Christ’s death wasn’t sufficient on it’s own.

    I disagree with your last statement. It isn’t our works or our love for God that justifies us, it’s our faith in Christ’s work. Period. I’m pretty sure we’re not even capable of loving God until after we are justified.

    The Lord knows whether or not an individual has placed his faith in Christ. I don’t, and I’m not about to put myself in the position of judge based on what I see of a person’s works.

  7. jeff says:

    1) 1 Cor 3–I’m saying the same man will have works that are burned up and works that endure, not the same works, different works, some good and some bad, same man. Verse 13 says every man’s work will be manifest, you’ll know what was good and bad.

    2) As to disagreeing with Paul, I’d disagree. Paul is saying that Jews and Gentiles were both saved by faith, never by works. You can’t earn merit with God by works. I have no problem with that. I do have a problem with your statement that believers can be believers without works and at the same time saying that Jews were saved by works.

    3) Your judgment is based on your faith and faith is judged by your works.

    4) My last statement in the previous comment is based on your statement that people who love God might not do any works. I disagree. Your salvation is based on faith. Anyone with faith would love God. You said works are a result of loving God. Therefore, anyone with faith would love God and anyone who loves God would have works.

    Works don’t save anyone. That does not mean works don’t play a huge role in determining faith, they do. The testimony of Scripture backs that up. Chucking the necessity for good works because the Bible says we’re not saved by them misses the point. True faith always results in works. It’s not an issue of judging others necessarily (although taht certainly does come in when we choose leaders), but of judging the reality of our own faith, at least. Any man who believes he’s going to heaven and can’t come up with any good works should be afraid. And telling people they can go without them is a work I wouldn’t want to stand before GOd with..

  8. Walker says:

    1) I understand that’s what you’re saying, but it’s not what the verses are saying. He’s talking about two different men — one whose works earn him rewards and one who scrapes by. Paul makes it clear to the Corinthians that they were carnal, living in sin, and yet saved.
    1 Corinthians 3:1-3 — And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?

    Again in 1 Corinthians 5, he calls the Corinthians Christians but makes it clear that they aren’t producing any works — It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst … I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 5:1-2, 5).

    Not an ideal situation, and Paul was upset about it, but it had no bearing on the man’s salvation.

    2) So are you saying Jews had no obligation to keep the law? And I didn’t say that Jews were saved by works. They were saved by faith in God and their faith had to be manifested by obeying the law. In contrast, for us in the age of grace its Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost (Titus 3:5). The law, as far as God is concerned, is being kept — in Christ.

    3) God’s judgment of me is based on my faith in Christ’s work, totally apart from my own works. Nothing of mine enters into the equation at all at any point other than the simple fact of whether I believe that Christ’s work is sufficient.

    4) Again, it’s all about Christ and not at all about me or my works or my love. There’s nothing I need to do because 1) there’s nothing I can do and 2) everything that needs to be done has already been done by Christ on the cross.

    5) 1 Corinthians 4:5 — Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.

    In the later chapters of Romans, Paul gets into what a Christian’s response should be to his justification. I’ll cover that when I get to it.

  9. jeff says:

    I am saying that Jews had an obligation to keep the Law just as we have an obligation to fulfill the law of Christ, “both” are demonstrated in love. If Jews didn’t do the Law they showed they had no faith, of course they messed up but forgiveness was available. And, of course we mess up but forgiveness is guaranteed to us as well. Paul says no flesh is jsutified by the Law, period. Jews were not saved by keeping the law, they were saved by faith. Many verses in the prophets an dpsalms talk about how sacrifcies irritated God because their heart wasn’t in it. Love was still a key determiner of the legitimacy of faith.

    As to judgments and works, you just can’t avoid the fact that all judgments that God does are based on works. Romans 2:5-10 says every man will be judged by his works. To thsoe who patiently continue to do good will get eternal life, those who do bad will get judgment. Works prove the legitimacy of faith, always has an dalways will.

    We are not saved by our works. Our works show whether we have faith. A person who doesn’t have works doesn’t have faith. You have to keep the horse before the cart, which is what I’m attempting to do in my explanation, faith is the horse and faith saves us. The test as to whether a man has faith is whether his faith does anything.

  10. Walker says:

    We’re covering ground we’ve already covered. I stick by my points based on the verses I’ve included above.
    Let’s see how it plays out in the rest of Romans.

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