Class Notes: 8/6/2023
The book of Romans part 154; Rom 3::20-21
In our verse by verse study of Romans last time we finished Rom 3:19; with the Expanded Translation "But we understand that whatever things the Mosaic Law says, it speaks to those under the jurisdiction of the law: that every mouth may be closed, and the whole world may become accountable to the God (Jesus Christ)."
We noted that all that God demands comes from His perfect integrity.
In relating to Himself God's spirituality or personality is supreme, but in His relationship to man God's integrity is supreme. Where man is concerned God's integrity takes precedence over every other divine attribute.
The Mosaic Law reveals God's integrity in three ways: Codex #1, the commandments reveal condemnation; Codex #2, the statutes reveal salvation by grace and faith alone; Codex #3, the judgments reveal freedom when human government functions in accord with the principles of laws of Divine establishment.
Rom 3:20; "because by the works of law" begins with the inferential conjunction "dioti" that is used to introduce an inferential clause translated "because" plus the prepositional phrase "ek" (by) plus the ablative of "ergon" (works or deeds), plus a genitive of relationship of "nomos" (law).
In this case there is no definite article in the Greek but the NASB translators insert it with a note. Without the article it refers to any law or set of rules not just the Mosaic Law.
The ablative is not the regular case for expressing means but it does express means here because the origin or source is implied. So "ek" plus the ablative connotes means here and should be translated "because by the works of law." NASB note 1
"shall no flesh be justified in his sight" - the negative "ouk" (no) plus the subject, the nominative singular "sarx" (flesh) the entire human race. Then the future passive indicative of "dikaios" that means to declare righteous, to vindicate, to justify plus the adjective "pas" (all).
The future tense is a gnomic future; it is used to state an unqualified, dogmatic statement of fact. The passive voice: the entire human race or all flesh receives the action of the verb.
This is telling us that there is No justification and No vindication from God by keeping the law. This means that being a "good person" is not sufficient.
The indicative mood is declarative for a statement of unqualified, dogmatic doctrinal truth. God's integrity cannot and does not declare righteous, cannot and does not vindicate the works of the law, now or ever.
The works of the law represent arrogant self-righteousness, a distortion of the law; "in his sight" - an adverb used as an improper preposition, "enopion" (sight), plus "autos" (His) used here to identify God. "Therefore by the works of the law no human being shall be vindicated in his sight or from His point of view."
"for by law the knowledge of sin" - the postpositive conjunctive particle "gar" (for), used here to express an inference. A prepositional phrase, "dia plus the genitive of nomos" (through law). NASB note 2
Plus a predicate nominative "epignosis", generally meaning full knowledge or Spirit taught knowledge but also means consciousness, and the objective genitive singular from "hamartia" (sin). Translated (for through law consciousness of sin).
Expanded Translation Rom 3:20; "Therefore by works of law no human being shall be justified in his sight: for through law consciousness of sin."
We see from this verse that the law is incapable of making man righteous when compared with God's integrity because the law demands a capability, a perfection that is absolute and beyond man's abilities.
Keeping Mosaic Law or any other law cannot produce righteousness in man that is equivalent to God's righteousness.
The law can only condemn man's righteousness, along with man's sinfulness, as being totally inadequate. The law is an instrument of condemnation; only the judgment of Christ on the cross is an instrument of salvation.
This tells us that the Mosaic Law is not an instrument of justification or vindication before the integrity of God Rom 3:20, 28; Gal 2:16. The Mosaic Law is an instrument of condemnation to the entire human race both Jew and Gentile. Rom 3:20; Gal 3:21-28; 1Tim 1:9,10.
The purpose of the law is to curse mankind with a hopeless curse Gal 3:10, 13.
"Keeping" the Mosaic Law produces a self-righteousness that is in conflict with God's righteousness. This self-righteousness cannot be compared with God's perfect righteousness that is imputed to believers at the moment we believe in Jesus Christ.
Many Jews lost the advantages of the law by trying to use it as an instrument of salvation Rom 9:30-33.
Because God's integrity takes precedence over His other attributes he works of the law cannot provide justification Acts 13:39.
The rich young ruler illustrates this failure in Matt 19:16-28;
Rom 3:21-26; describe God's perfect integrity with the Greek word "dikaiosune" (righteousness).
Rom 3:21; "But now without law the righteousness of God." It begins with the enclitic particle "de" used as an adversative conjunction.
It introduces a contrast between self-righteousness produced by keeping the law and imputed righteousness from God's integrity. Then the adverb of time, "nune" (now), plus the nominative singular subject "dikaiosune" (righteousness) with it is "theos" (of God) an objective possessive genitive.
"Dikaiosune" is a second stage word construction in the organization of the Greek language. In the 9th century BC during the time of Homer there were two words, a noun and an adjective "dikh" and "dikaios," were simple words representative of Homer's time.
Multi-syllable words did not come into the Greek language until the time of Attic Greek. In the 5th century B.C. when thought became much deeper it required some special technical words. So the Greeks invented a suffix that comes off of the "dik" base that meant righteousness in Homeric Greek.
But when the suffix "sunh" is added you move into abstract thought. The translation here in the NASB is "But now apart from the law the righteousness of God."
© Copyright 2023, Michael Lemmon Bible Ministries. World Rights Reserved.