Coachlight Bible Study

Romans Chapter Three - The Lord’s Courtroom


Our excursion into Romans will lead us to the recognition that all of mankind is in need of God’s Righteousness. 

In chapter one, we learned that the heathen Gentile once knew God, if even just through what is taught by observing creation. The problem begins when this heathen, while knowing God, is not thankful to God, nor did he glorify God.  This began a downward progression into sin and perverseness leading to a lost state of not knowing the difference between right and wrong.

Chapter two, brings out the fact that the more moral Jew, is lost as well.  Outwardly this man would put on his religion to judge the Heathen; while inwardly he is guilty of the same sins.  Paul points out that neither the Jew’s Law, Circumcision, nor birth would save him.

In chapter three, we see first some arguments of refutation that Paul knew would come from his writing chapter two, then we find ourselves in God’s courtroom.  God’s courtroom includes a fourteen point indictment, no defense is called for, God’s verdict, and the appeasement provided for by God through Christ.  Christ declares the Righteousness of God.


I. The 1st Argument – Is There An Advantage To Being Jewish?


Romans 3:1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?

Romans 3:2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.


A. Is There An Advantage To The Jew If His Jewishness Won’t Save Him

B. Is There An Advantage To Be Circumcised If His Jewishness Won’t Save Him

C. Yes, The Jew Was Given The Oracles Of God


1. Stephen Taught That The Jews Were Given The Living Oracles Of God


Acts 7: 38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

Acts 7: 39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,


2. Paul Taught That The Oracles Help Us Develop Our Sense Of Discernment


Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

Hebrews 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. {is unskilful: Gr. hath no experience}

Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. {of full age: or, perfect} {use: or, an habit, or, perfection}


II. The 2nd Argument – Will Unbelief Make Faith Have No Effect?


Romans 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.


A. Since Israel Was Unfaithful to God – Does This Cause God To Be Unfaithful?

B. God Forbid – (Conotation Of Utter Shock Or Disgust)

C. God Judges According To Who And What He Is – Not Outside Influences

D. If Someone Is Unfaithful To God – God Is Still Faithful To That Person


Romans 3:5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)

Romans 3:6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?

Romans 3:7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?

Romans 3:8 And 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.


III. The 3rd  Argument – Will Our Unfaithfulness Make God Unjust?

A. If A Man’s Unfaithfulness To God Makes God’s Faithfulness More Evident

B. Then Is God Unjust When He Judges That Man As A Sinner

C. Should We Sin So That Others May See God’s Goodness Come?

D. God Forbid – This Reasoning Would Take Away God’s Righteous Judgment


IV. The World Needs God’s Righteousness – God’s Courtroom


Romans 3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved<4256> both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;


4256 proaitiaomai proaitiaomai pro-ahee-tee-ah’-om-ahee  from 4253 and a derivative of 156; ; v   AV-prove before 1; 1

1) to bring a charge against previously (i.e. in what has previously been said)


A. The Charge Against The Whole World

1. Is The Church Better Than The Heathen Gentile Or Self-Righteous Jew?

2. No – We Have Already Proved That They Are All Under Sin

3. Paul Teaches In Chapter 6 Being Under Sin And Under Grace


Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Romans 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Romans 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. {which…: Gr. whereto ye were delivered}

Romans 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.


Contrast Of Being Under Sin Or Under Righteousness

You Are The Servant Of Whom You Obey

Under Law

Under Grace

Servant Of Sin

Servant Of Obedience

Death Is End Result

Righteousness Is The End Result

Being Free From Sin – You Become The Servant Of Righteousness


B. The 14 Count Indictment


Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Romans 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

Romans 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Romans 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

Romans 3:14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

Romans 3:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:

Romans 3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:

Romans 3:17 And the way of peace have they not known:

Romans 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.


1. There Is None Righteous – No Not One

2. There Is None That Understandeth

3. There Is None That Seeketh After God.

4. They Are All Gone Out Of The Way

5. They Are Together Become Unprofitable

6. There Is None That Doeth Good

7 Their Throat Is An Open Sepulchre

a. With Their Tongues They Have Used Deceit

b. The Poison Of Asps Is Under Their Lips

c. Whose Mouth Is Full Of Cursing And Bitterness

8. Their Feet Are Swift To Shed Blood

9. Destruction And Misery Are In Their Ways

10. And The Way Of Peace Have They Not Known

11. There Is No Fear Of God Before Their Eyes


C. The World’s Defense

Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. {guilty…: or, subject to the judgment of God}

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


1. Paul Anticipates The Jewish Reaction

a. These Charges Don’t Apply To Us – We Have The Law

b. These Charges Apply To The Heathen – They Are Without The Law

2. Paul States: The Law Says What It Says To Those Under The Law

3. There Is Really No Defense – This Is God’s Courtroom

4. All Mouths Stopped At God’s Verdict

5. No Lawyers Can Try And Confuse The Issue


D. God’s Verdict – All The World Is Guilty

1. All The World Will Be Guilty Before God

2. No Man Will Be Justified By God With His Works Of The Law

3. The Knowledge Of Sin Comes By The Law


V. God’s Righteousness Is Provided By God


A. Because Of God’s Verdict Man Can Not Enter God’s World

B. Because Of God’s Righteousness God Entered Into Man’s World

1. God’s Righteousness Is Christ

2. Let’s Remember The Theme Of Romans


Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.


C. Definition Of Righteousness<1343>


1343 dikaiosunh dikaiosune dik-ah-yos-oo’-nay  from 1342; TDNT-2:192,168; n f

AV-righteousness 92; 92

1) in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God

1a) the doctrine concerning the way in which man may attain a state approved of God

1b) integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking, feeling, and acting

2) in a narrower sense, justice or the virtue which gives each his due


D. Definition Of Justify<1344>


1344 dikaiow dikaioo dik-ah-yo’-o  from 1342; TDNT-2:211,168; v

AV-justify 37, be freed 1, be righteous 1, justifier 1; 40

1) to render righteous or such he ought to be

2) to show, exhibit, evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered

3) to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be


Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

Romans 3:22 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:

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

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

Romans 3:25 Whom God hath 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; {set forth: or, foreordained} {remission: or, passing over}

Romans 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

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

Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Romans 3:29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:

Romans 3:30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.

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


D. Justification By Faith

1. This Justification Is Apart From The Law

2. God’s Righteousness Was Witnessed By The Law – The Law Cannot Provide

a. In The OT Each Jew Was A Witness To Righteousness Apart From Himself

1. When He Brought An Animal To The Altar

2. When He Killed The Animal

3. When Confessed His Sin

b. The Prophets Were Witness To God’s Righteousness


Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. {laid…: Heb. made the iniquity of us all to meet on him}

Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.


II Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him


3. Justification Come By Faith Of Christ Jesus Upon All That Believe

a. Not For Those Who Believe In God

b. For Those That Believe God’s Word – He Purchased Our Salvation

4. There Is No Difference In The Need Of Jew Or Gentile

5. All Have Sinned And Come Short Of The Glory Of God

6. The Righteousness Of God That Brings Justification

a. It Is Given Freely

b. It Is Given By His Grace

c. It Is Given Through The Redemption That Is In Christ


E. God Set Forth A Propitiation – Word Used In Septuagint For Mercy Seat


2435 ilasthrion hilasterion hil-as-tay’-ree-on  from a derivative of 2433; TDNT-3:318,362; n n

AV-propitiation 1, mercyseat 1; 2

1) relating to an appeasing or expiating, having placating or expiating force, expiatory; a means of appeasing or expiating, a propitiation

1a) used of the cover of the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies, which was sprinkled with the blood of the expiatory victim on the annual day of atonement (this rite signifying that the life of the people, the loss of which they had merited by their sins, was offered to God in the blood as the life of the victim, and that God by this ceremony was appeased and their sins expiated); hence the lid of expiation, the propitiatory

1b) an expiatory sacrifice

1c) a expiatory victim


1. The Mercy Seat Of The Ark A Type Of Christ

a. The Ark Was The Meeting Place Between God And Man

b. Was The Lid Of The Ark – Covered With Gold

c. At Each End Was A Gold Cherub

d. The Ark Contained The Law

e. The Mercy Seat Covered The Law

f. Mercy Seat Means Place Of Propitiation

g. Israel’s Sins Were Atoned By Sprinkling Blood On The Mercy Seat

2. Jesus Christ Is Our Mercy Seat

a. Jesus Christ Is Where God Meets Man

b. He Is The Person Through Whom Our Sins Are Atoned

c. He Is The Person Who Paid The Penalty

d. It Is Because Of Christ The Offended Party Is Appeased

F. Why Did God Set Forth A Propitiation? – To Declare His Righteousness

G. A Man Is Justified By Faith Without The Deeds Of The Law