Each week we LIVESTREAM the Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, Lord's Day morning public worship at 11a, and Lord's Day p.m. singing (3p) and sermon (3:45), and the Midweek Sermon and Prayer Meeting at 6:30p on Wednesday

Monday, October 24, 2022

2022.10.24 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 3:27–31

Read Romans 3:27–31

Questions from the Scripture text: What does Romans 3:27 ask about? What has happened to it? Which law hasn’t done this? Which law has? What do “we” do in Romans 3:28? By What is a man declared righteous? Apart from what? About Whom does Romans 3:29 now ask? Whose God is He? Whom does Romans 3:30 first say that God will justify? Out of what? Whom else does He justify? Through what? What does Romans 3:31 ask if we do? What is the answer? What do we do, through faith, to the law?

How is boasting actually eliminated from our lives? Romans 3:27–31 looks forward to the sermon in the midweek prayer meeting. In these five verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that whereas the law of works couldn’t eliminate boasting, the law of the Spirit of life actually expunges it.

We all know, intuitively, that boasting is wrong. Yet, the works of the law had not inhibited boasting but fostered it (cf. Romans 2:19–20). Now the Spirit shows us the superiority of the gospel: the law of faith has actually excluded boasting (Romans 3:27)! This is an example of the law having been weakened through flesh and unable to do something (cf. Romans 8:3), so that the good law was to us the law of sin and death (cf. Romans 8:2). But, through faith in Jesus, the law is unto us the law of the Spirit of life (cf. Romans 8:2).

The law sets before us that all glorying in self is excluded (cf. Romans 1:18–3:20). But that has not actually excluded boasting from our hearts or our behavior. It is when the gospel establishes glorying in Christ alone (cf. Romans 3:21–26, Romans 15:17) that glorying in self is actually eliminated.

For some members of the Roman church, this was one of the most needed applications of the gospel; they were in danger of being full of themselves (cf. Romans 1:8; Romans 14:2; Romans 15:1). The gospel blows up all our boasting. It says that our best deeds need atoning. The law of works tells me that I have nothing to boast about, but if I get there by following that instruction, I may think of myself as better at “not boasting” than the next guy. So, it hasn’t been excluded. 

But the law of faith says that I can’t cling to a single thing in myself, not a single thing that I do (Romans 3:28). I can never turn to clinging to anything but Christ. There’s no such thing as “better” faith than the next guy, because as soon as I begin to think that way, I’ve begun to cling to faith instead of clinging to Christ.

The gospel has come along and said that there is only one kind of salvation—that which comes from covenant with God (He is the only God and Savior of either Jews or Gentiles, Romans 3:29). The only salvation is that which comes through faith in Christ (faith apart from the deeds of the law is the only instrument of saving either circumcised or uncircumcised, Romans 3:30), that which produces the very keeping of God’s law that the law itself could not produce (Romans 3:31).

Has your boasting been eliminated? To the same point, what is your day-to-day experience of exulting in Christ? What do you think of your own works? But how rich to you is the glory of Christ? 

Sample prayer:  Lord, thank You for setting before us the sinfulness that remains in even our best works. But thank You all the more for setting before us Christ and His perfections of atonement and righteousness. Eliminate our boasting in self by establishing our boasting in Him we ask, in His Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH435 “Not What My Hands Have Done”

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