Section 6, Chapter 4
The advantages of the Jews. All men are sinners and none can be justified by the works of the law, but only by the grace of Christ.
3:1. What advantage then hath the Jew: or what is the profit of circumcision?
3:2. Much every way. First indeed, because the words of God were committed to them.
3:3. For what if some of them have not believed? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid!
3:4. But God is true and every man a liar, as it is written: That thou mayest be justified in thy words and mayest overcome when thou art judged.
God only is essentially true. All men in their own capacity are liable to lies and errors: nevertheless God, who is the truth, will make good his promise of keeping his church in all truth. See St. John 16.13.
3:5. But if our injustice commend the justice of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust, who executeth wrath?
3:6. (I speak according to man.) God forbid! Otherwise how shall God judge this world?
3:7. For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie, unto his glory, why am I also yet judged as a sinner?
3:8. And not rather (as we are slandered and as some affirm that we say) let us do evil that there may come good? Whose damnation is just.
3:9. What then? Do we excel them? No, not so. For we have charged both Jews and Greeks, that they are all under sin.
3:10. As it is written: There is not any man just.
There is not any man just, viz. . .by virtue either of the law of nature, or of the law of Moses; but only by faith and grace.
3:11. There is none that understandeth: there is none that seeketh after God.
3:12. All have turned out of the way: they are become unprofitable together: there is none that doth good, there is not so much as one.
3:13. Their throat is an open sepulchre: with their tongues they have dealt deceitfully. The venom of asps is under their lips.
3:14. Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
3:15. Their feet swift to shed blood:
3:16. Destruction and misery in their ways:
3:17. And the way of peace they have not known.
3:18. There is no fear of God before their eyes.
3:19. Now we know that what things soever the law speaketh, it speaketh to them that are in the law: that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may be made subject to God.
3:20. Because by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified before him. For by the law is the knowledge of sin.
3:21. But now, without the law, the justice of God is made manifest, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.
3:22. Even the justice of God, by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all, and upon all them that believe in him: for there is no distinction.
3:23. For all have sinned and do need the glory of God.
3:24. Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
3:25. Whom God hath proposed to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to the shewing of his justice, for the remission of former sins,
3:26. Through the forbearance of God, for the shewing of his justice in this time: that he himself may be just and the justifier of him who is of the faith of Jesus Christ
3:27. Where is then thy boasting? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.
3:28. For we account a man to be justified by faith, without the works of the law.
By faith, etc. . .The faith, to which the apostle here attributes man's justification, is not a presumptuous assurance of our being justified; but a firm and lively belief of all that God has revealed or promised. Heb. 11. A faith working through charity in Jesus Christ. Gal. 5.6. In short, a faith which takes in hope, love, repentance, and the use of the sacraments. And the works which he here excludes, are only the works of the law: that is, such as are done by the law of nature, or that of Moses, antecedent to the faith of Christ: but by no means, such as follow faith, and proceed from it.
3:29. Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? yes, of the Gentiles also.
3:30. For it is one God that justifieth circumcision by faith and uncircumcision through faith.
3:31. Do we then, destroy the law through faith? God forbid! But we establish the law.