Romans 3:27 MEANING

Romans 3:27
(27-31) A review of the consequences of this process of justification. How does it affect the pretensions of the Jew? It shuts them out by laying stress no longer on works, which were the proper fulfilment of the first law as it stood, but upon faith. Faith is the true medium of justification. And faith belongs as much to Gentile as to Jew. For faith is the appointed means by which all mankind will be justified; and they will all be justified before the same tribunal, whether they be circumcised or not. Still this involves no abrogation of the Law, but rather a confirmation of it.

(27) It is excluded.--Strictly, It was excluded--at the moment when the law of faith--i.e., the gospel--was brought in.

By what law?--Properly, By what kind of law? Is this law which gets rid of boasting one which calls for works; or is it one that calls for faith?

The law of faith.--Another name for the gospel.

Verse 27. - Where then is the boasting? (that of the Jew, referred to in ch. 2, of his superiority to the Gentile with regard to justification). It is excluded. By what manner of (ποίου) law? Of works? Nay, but by the law of faith. Is it, then, here implied that the law of works would allow of boasting? Not so practically. But its theory would leave room for it, on the supposition of its conditions being fulfilled; it is a kind of law (observe ποίου νόμου;) which does not exclude it; for if a man could say, "I have fulfilled all the righteousness of the Law," he would have something wherein to glory. But the principle of the law of faith, which has been shown to be the only one available for the justification of either Jew or Gentile, in itself excludes it. It will be observed that the strict sense of the word νόμος, hitherto preserved, is extended in νόμος πίστεως. (For the various applications of which the word is capable, see especially ch. 7.)

3:27-31 God will have the great work of the justification and salvation of sinners carried on from first to last, so as to shut out boasting. Now, if we were saved by our own works, boasting would not be excluded. But the way of justification by faith for ever shuts out boasting. Yet believers are not left to be lawless; faith is a law, it is a working grace, wherever it is in truth. By faith, not in this matter an act of obedience, or a good work, but forming the relation between Christ and the sinner, which renders it proper that the believer should be pardoned and justified for the sake of the Saviour, and that the unbeliever who is not thus united or related to him, should remain under condemnation. The law is still of use to convince us of what is past, and to direct us for the future. Though we cannot be saved by it as a covenant, yet we own and submit to it, as a rule in the hand of the Mediator.Where is boasting then?.... There is no room nor reason for it, either in Jews or Gentiles: not in the Jews, who were very apt to boast of their being Abraham's seed; of their circumcision; of their being Israelites; of their having and keeping the law; of God being their God; and of their knowledge of him: nor in the Gentiles, who were ready to boast of their philosophy, wisdom, and learning; of their self-sufficiency, freewill, and of the things they had in their own power.

It is excluded; it is shut out of doors; the key is turned upon it; it is not allowed of; it is entirely exploded:

by what law? of works? nay; for, that establishes boasting when men seek life, righteousness, and salvation by the works of it, and fancy they shall be able to attain them this way:

but by the law of faith: not by a law requiring faith; nor as if the Gospel was a law, a new law, a remedial law, a law of milder terms; but the word "law" here answers to the Hebrew word which signifies any "doctrine" or "instruction", and oftentimes the doctrine of the Gospel, as in Isaiah 2:3, and here particularly, the doctrine of a sinner's justification by faith in the righteousness of Christ; according to which doctrine the most unlikely persons are justified, even ungodly persons, the worst and vilest of sinners; and that without any consideration of works, by faith only, which is freely given them; and by faith in Christ's righteousness only: so that there is not the least room for boasting in the creature, but all their boasting is in Christ, who is made unto them righteousness, and by whom they are justified.

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