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Romans 3


 1 What (1) is then the preferment of the Jew? Or what is the profit of circumcision?


(1) The first meeting with, or preventing an objection of the Jews; what then, have the Jews no more preferment than the Gentiles? Yes, that have they, saith the Apostle, on Godís behalf; for he committed the tables of the covenant to them, so that the unbelief of a few, cannot cause the whole nation without exception to be cast away of God, who is true, and who also useth their unworthiness to commend and set forth his goodness.


 2 Much every manner of way; for (a) chiefly, because unto them were committed the (b) oracles of God.


(a) The Jews state and condition was chiefest.
(b) Words.


 3 For what, though some did not (c) believe? Shall their (*) unbelief make the (d) (♣) faith of God without effect?


(c) Brake the covenant.

(*) Isaiah 46:13; Romans 9:5; 2 Timothy 2:12 .
(d) The faith that God gave.

(♣) Or, promise.


 4 God forbid; yea, let God be (*) true, and (♣) every man a liar, as it is written, (♦) That thou mightest be (e) (♠) justified in thy words, and overcome, (f) when thou art judged.


(*) John 3:34 .

(♣) Psalm 116:11 .

(♦) Psalm 51:6 .

(e) That thy justice might be plainly seen.

(♠) That thou mayest be declared just, and thy goodness and truth in performing thy promises may appear, when man either of curiosity or arrogancy would judge thy works.
(f) For as much as thou shewedst forth an evident token of thy righteousness, constancy and faith, by preserving him who had broken his covenant.


 5  (2) Now if (*) our (g) unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous which punisheth? (I speak as (h) (♣) a man.)


(2) Another prevention, issuing out of the former answer; that the justice of God is in such sort commended and set forth by our unrighteousness, that therefore God forgetteth not that he is the judge of the world, and therefore a most severe revenger of unrighteousness.

(*) He sheweth how the wicked do reason against God.
(g) Treachery, and all the fruits thereof.
(h) Therefore I speak not these words of my own person, as though I thought so, but this is the talk of man's wisdom, which is not subject to the will of God.

(♣) Whose carnal wisdom will not obey the will of God.


 6 God forbid; else how shall God judge the world?


 7  (3) For if the (i) verity of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory, why am I yet condemned as a sinner?


(3) A third objection which addeth somewhat to the former, if sins do turn to the glory of God, they are not only to be punished, but we ought rather to give ourselves to them; which blasphemy Paul contending himself to curse and detest, pronounceth just punishment against such blasphemers.
(i) The truth and constancy.


 8 And (as we are blamed, and as some affirm, that we say) why do we not evil, that good may come thereof? Whose damnation is just.


 9  (4) What then? (♣) Are we more excellent? No, in no wise; for we have already proved, that all, both Jews and Gentiles are (k) (*) under sin,


(4) Another answer to the first objection; that the Jews, if they be considered in themselves, are no better than other men are; as it hath been long since pronounced by the mouth of the Prophets.

(♣) Lest the Jews should be puffed up in that he preferred them to the Gentiles, he sheweth that this their preferment standeth only in the mercy of God, for as much as both Jew and Gentile through sin are subject to Godís wrath, that they might both be made equal in Christ.
(k) Are guilty of sin.

(*) Galatians 3:21 .


 10 As it is written, (*) There is none righteous, no not one.


(*) Psalm 14:1-3; Psalm 53:1-3 .


 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh God.


 12 They have all gone out of the way, they have been made altogether unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no not one.


 13  (*) Their throat is an open sepulcher, they have used their tongues to deceit, (♣) the poison of asps is under their lips.


(*) Psalm 5:10 .

(♣) Psalm 140:4 .


 14  (*) Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.


(*) Psalm 10:7 .


 15  (*) Their feet are swift to shed blood.


(*) Proverbs 1:16; Isaiah 59:7 .


 16 Destruction and calamity are in their ways;


 17 And the (l) way of peace they have not known.


(l) An innocent and peaceable life.


 18  (*) The fear of God is not before their eyes.


(*) Psalm 36:1 .


 19  (5) (*) Now we know that whatsoever the (m) (♣) Law saith, it saith it to them which are under the Law, that (6) every mouth may be stopped, and all the world be (n) (♠) subject to the judgment of God.


(5) He proveth that this grievous accusation which is uttered by David and Isaiah, doeth properly concern the Jews.

(*) Galatians 2:17 .
(m) The Law of Moses.

(♣) That is, the old testament.
(6) A conclusion of all the former disputation, from Romans 1:8 . Therefore saith the Apostle, No man can hope to be justified by any Law, whether it be that general Law, or the particular Law of Moses, and therefore to be saved; seeing it appeareth (as we have already proved) by comparing the Law and man's life together, that all men are sinners, and therefore worthy of condemnation in the sight of God.
(n) Be found guilty before God.

(♠) The Law doeth not make us guilty, but doeth declare that we are guilty before God and deserve condemnation.


 20 Therefore by the (o) works of the (*) Law shall no (p) flesh be (q) justified in his (r) sight; for by the Law cometh the knowledge of sin.


(o) By that which the Law can by us be performed.

(*) He meaneth the Law either written or unwritten which commandeth or forbiddeth anything, whose works cannot justify because we cannot perform them.
(p) Flesh is here taken for man, as in many other places, and furthermore hath here a greater force; for it is put to shew the contrary between God and man, as if you would say, Man who is nothing else but a piece of flesh defiled with sin, and God who is most pure and most perfect in himself.
(q) Absolved before the judgment seat of God.
(r) A secret setting of the righteousness which is before men, be they never so just, against the justice which can stand before God; now there is no righteousness that can stand before God, but the righteousness of Christ only.


 21  (7) But now is the (*) righteousness of God made manifest without the Law, having witness of the Law, and of the Prophets;


(7) Therefore saith the Apostle, lest that men should perish, God doth now exhibit that, which he promised of old, that is to say, a way whereby we may be justified and saved before him without the Law.

(*) Romans 2:17 .


 22  (8) To wit, the righteousness of God by the faith of (s) Jesus Christ, unto all, and upon all that believe.


(8) The matter, as it were of this righteousness, is Christ Jesus apprehended by faith, and for this end offered to all people, as without him all people are shut out from the kingdom of God.
(s) Which we give to Jesus Christ, or which resteth upon him.


 23 For there is no difference; for all have sinned, and are (*) deprived of the (t) glory of God,


(*) The word signifieth them which are left behind in the race and are not able to run to the mark, that is to everlasting life, which here is called the glory of God.

(t) By the Glory of God, is meant that mark which we all shoot at, that is, everlasting life, which standeth in that we are made partakers of the glory of God.


 24  (9) And are justified (u) freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,


(9) Therefore this righteousness touching us, is altogether freely given, for it standeth upon those things which we have not done ourselves, but such as Christ hath suffered for our sakes, to deliver us from sin.
(u) Of his free gift, and mere liberality.


 25  (10) Whom God hath set forth to be a reconciliation through faith in his (x) blood, to declare his (*) righteousness, by the forgiveness of the sins that (y) are passed through the (z) patience of God,


(10) God then is the author of that free justification, because it pleaseth him, and Christ is he, which suffered punishment for our sins, and in whom we have remission of them, and the means whereby we apprehend Christ, is faith. To be short, the end is the setting forth of the goodness of God, that by this means it may appear, that he is merciful indeed, and constant in his promises, as he that freely, and of mere grace justifieth the believers.
(x) This name of Blood, calleth us back to the figure of the old sacrifices, the truth and substance of which sacrifices is in Christ.

(*) Or fidelity in performing his promise.
(y) Of those sins which we committed when we were his enemies.

(z) Through his patience, and suffering nature.



 26 To shew at (a) this time his righteousness, that he might be (b) just, and a (c) justifier of him which is of the (d) faith of Jesus.


(a) To wit, when Paul wrote this.
(b) That he might be found exceeding true and faithful.
(c) Making him just, and without blame by imputing Christ righteousness unto him.
(d) Of the number of them which by faith lay hold upon Christ; contrary to whom, are they which look to be saved by circumcision, that is, by the Law.


 27  (11) Where is then the rejoicing? It is excluded. By what (e) Law? Of works? Nay, but by the (*) Law of faith.


(11) An argument to prove this conclusion, that we are justified by faith without works, taken from the end of Justification. The end of Justification is the glory of God alone; therefore we are justified by faith without works; for if we were justified either by our own works only, or partly by faith, and partly by works, the glory of this justification should not be wholly given to God.
(e) By what doctrine? Now the doctrine of works hath his condition joined with it, If thou doest; and the doctrine of faith hath this condition, If thou believest.

(*) The Law of faith is the Gospel which offereth salvation with condition (if thou believest) which condition also Christ freely giveth to us. So the condition of the Law is (if thou doest all these things) the which only Christ hath fulfilled for us.


 28 Therefore we conclude, that a man is justified by faith, without the works of the Law.


 29  (12)  God, is he the God of the (f) Jews only, and not of the Gentiles also? Yes, even of the Gentiles also.


(12) Another argument of an absurdity; if justification depended upon the Law of Moses, then should God be a Saviour to the Jews only. Again, if he should save the Jews after one sort, and the Gentiles after another, he should not be one and like himself. Therefore he will justify both of them after one selfsame manner, that is to say, by faith. Moreover, this argument must be joined to that which followeth next, that this conclusion may be firm and evident.
(f) God is said to be their God, after the manner of the Scripture, whom he loveth and tendereth.


 30 For it is one God, who shall justify (g) circumcision (*) of faith, and uncircumcision through faith.


(g) The circumcised.

(*) Meaning, that they are all justified by one means, and if they will have any difference, it only standeth in words; for in effect there is none.


 31  (13) Do we then make the Law of (h) none effect through faith? God forbid; yea, we (i) (*) establish the Law.


(13) The taking away of an objection; yet is not the Law taken away therefore, but is rather established, as it shall be declared in his proper place.
(h) Vain, void, to no purpose, and of no force.
(i) We make it effectual and strong.

(*) The doctrine of faith is the ornament of the Law; for it embraceth Christ, who by his death hath satisfied the Law, so that the Law which could not bring us to salvation by reason of our own corruption, is now made effectual to us by Christ Jesus. 




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