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Romans 3:20 - NO Flesh Shall Be Justified Bookmark

"It is in vain to seek for justification by the works of the law. All must plead guilty. Guilty before God, is a dreadful word; but no man can be justified by a law which condemns him for breaking it. The corruption in our nature, will for ever stop any justification by our own works."  (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
By the deeds of the law — By works; or by such deeds as the Law requires. The word “Law” has, in the Scriptures, a great variety of significations. Its strict and proper meaning is, a rule of conduct prescribed by superior authority. The course of reasoning in these chapters shows the sense in which the apostle uses it here. He intends evidently to apply it to those rules or laws by which the Jews and Gentiles pretended to frame their lives; and to affirm that people could be justified by no conformity to those laws. He had shown Romans 1 that “the pagan, the entire Gentile world,” had violated the laws of nature; the rules of virtue made known to them by reason, tradition, and conscience. He had shown the same Romans 2–3 in respect to the Jews. They had equally failed in rendering obedience to their Law. In both these cases the reference was, not to “ceremonial” or ritual laws, but to the moral law; whether that law was made known by reason or by revelation. The apostle had not been discussing the question whether they had yielded obedience to their ceremonial law, but whether they had been found holy, that is, whether they had obeyed the moral law. The conclusion was, that in all this they had failed, and that therefore they could not be justified by that Law. That the apostle did not intend to speak of external works only is apparent; for he all along charges them with a lack of conformity of the heart no less than with a lack of conformity of the life; see Romans 1:26, Romans 1:29-31; Romans 2:28-29. The conclusion is therefore a general one, that by no law, made known either by reason, conscience, tradition, or revelation, could man be justified; that there was no form of obedience which could be rendered, that would justify people in the sight of a holy God. (Dr. Albert Barnes)

"because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin." (NASB)

"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." (KJV)

"For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are." (NLT)

"For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin." (NET)

Because (dioti, again, dia, hoti).

By the works of the law (ex ergo?n nomou).  “Out of works of law.” Mosaic law and any law as the source of being set right with God. Paul quotes Psalm 43:2 as he did in Galatians 2:16 to prove his point.

The knowledge of sin (epigno?sis hamartias).  The effect of law universally is rebellion to it (1Corinthians 15:56).  Paul has shown this carefully in Galatians 3:19-22.  Cf. Hebrews 10:3. He has now proven the guilt of both Gentile and Jew. (Robertson's Word Studies)

"For You are God, my only safe haven.  Why have You tossed me aside? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies?" (Psalm 43:2 NLT)

"Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law.  And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law.  For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law." (Galatians 2:16)

"For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power." (1 Corinthians 15:56)

"Why, then, was the law given?  It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised.  God gave His law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people.  Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when He gave His promise to Abraham. Is there a conflict, then, between God's law and God's promises?  Absolutely not!  If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God's promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ." (Galatians 3:19-22 NLT)

"But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year." (Hebrews 10:3)

We have a debt we owe that we cannot pay!  We are locked in a downward spiraling death dance that leads us to only one place!  There is only one cure for the disease, death!  After this comes the judgment.  This indictment is so complete and so well written that they used to teach it in law school.  There was a time in the past when a degree in theology was a prerequisite for law school.  The prevailing thought was that if you were not steeped in God's law, you lacked the wisdom to govern men.  Where does this leave us sinners?  Condemned by a perfect and holy God! The law has done its job!  But wait!  We have God's promise of deliverance by faith in Jesus Christ!  This faith brings new life!  This is the life that inspires a former slave trader to write "Amazing Grace."  This is the life that empowers mere flesh to write "It Is Well With My Soul," in the midst of a great personal tragedy.  This is the life that illuminated Martin Luther with the words, "The Just Shall live by Faith."  We today are no different.  We have a sin and death problem that has only one solution.  The solution has a name, Jesus Christ and "no one comes to the Father" but by Him!

"It is in vain to seek for justification by the works of the law. All must plead guilty. Guilty before God, is a dreadful word; but no man can be justified by a law which condemns him for breaking it. The corruption in our nature, will for ever stop any justification by our own works."  (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
By the deeds of the law — By works; or by such deeds as the Law requires. The word “Law” has, in the Scriptures, a great variety of significations. Its strict and proper meaning is, a rule of conduct prescribed by superior authority. The course of reasoning in these chapters shows the sense in which the apostle uses it here. He intends evidently to apply it to those rules or laws by which the Jews and Gentiles pretended to frame their lives; and to affirm that people could be justified by no conformity to those laws. He had shown Romans 1 that “the pagan, the entire Gentile world,” had violated the laws of nature; the rules of virtue made known to them by reason, tradition, and conscience. He had shown the same Romans 2–3 in respect to the Jews. They had equally failed in rendering obedience to their Law. In both these cases the reference was, not to “ceremonial” or ritual laws, but to the moral law; whether that law was made known by reason or by revelation. The apostle had not been discussing the question whether they had yielded obedience to their ceremonial law, but whether they had been found holy, that is, whether they had obeyed the moral law. The conclusion was, that in all this they had failed, and that therefore they could not be justified by that Law. That the apostle did not intend to speak of external works only is apparent; for he all along charges them with a lack of conformity of the heart no less than with a lack of conformity of the life; see Romans 1:26, Romans 1:29-31; Romans 2:28-29. The conclusion is therefore a general one, that by no law, made known either by reason, conscience, tradition, or revelation, could man be justified; that there was no form of obedience which could be rendered, that would justify people in the sight of a holy God. (Dr. Albert Barnes)

"because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin." (NASB)

"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." (KJV)

"For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are." (NLT)

"For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin." (NET)

Because (dioti, again, dia, hoti).

By the works of the law (ex ergo?n nomou).  “Out of works of law.” Mosaic law and any law as the source of being set right with God. Paul quotes Psalm 43:2 as he did in Galatians 2:16 to prove his point.

The knowledge of sin (epigno?sis hamartias).  The effect of law universally is rebellion to it (1Corinthians 15:56).  Paul has shown this carefully in Galatians 3:19-22.  Cf. Hebrews 10:3. He has now proven the guilt of both Gentile and Jew. (Robertson's Word Studies)

"For You are God, my only safe haven.  Why have You tossed me aside? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies?" (Psalm 43:2 NLT)

"Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law.  And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law.  For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law." (Galatians 2:16)

"For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power." (1 Corinthians 15:56)

"Why, then, was the law given?  It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised.  God gave His law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people.  Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when He gave His promise to Abraham. Is there a conflict, then, between God's law and God's promises?  Absolutely not!  If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God's promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ." (Galatians 3:19-22 NLT)

"But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year." (Hebrews 10:3)

We have a debt we owe that we cannot pay!  We are locked in a downward spiraling death dance that leads us to only one place!  There is only one cure for the disease, death!  After this comes the judgment.  This indictment is so complete and so well written that they used to teach it in law school.  There was a time in the past when a degree in theology was a prerequisite for law school.  The prevailing thought was that if you were not steeped in God's law, you lacked the wisdom to govern men.  Where does this leave us sinners?  Condemned by a perfect and holy God! The law has done its job!  But wait!  We have God's promise of deliverance by faith in Jesus Christ!  This faith brings new life!  This is the life that inspires a former slave trader to write "Amazing Grace."  This is the life that empowers mere flesh to write "It Is Well With My Soul," in the midst of a great personal tragedy.  This is the life that illuminated Martin Luther with the words, "The Just Shall live by Faith."  We today are no different.  We have a sin and death problem that has only one solution.  The solution has a name, Jesus Christ and "no one comes to the Father" but by Him!



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