Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO ROMANS 3\\

In this chapter are an answer to several objections which follow one
upon another, relating to what the apostle had said concerning the
equality of the Gentiles with the Jews; and various proofs out of the
Psalms and Prophets, showing the general depravity and corruption of
mankind, of the Jews as well as of the Gentiles; and the conclusion
from all this, that there is no justification by the works of the law,
but by the righteousness of God received by faith, of which a large and
clear account is given. The first objection is in \\#Ro 3:1\\, and is
taken from the unprofitableness of being a Jew and a circumcised
person, if that is true which is asserted in the preceding chapter; to
which an answer is given, \\#Ro 3:2\\, showing that though many things
might be instanced in, in which the Jew had the advantage of the
Gentile in external things; this might be mentioned as one for all, and
taken sufficient answer, that the Jews had the oracles or word of God
committed to their trust, by which they became acquainted with the will
of God. The apostle foreseeing that another objection would arise upon
this; what signifies their having the oracles of God, when these are
not believed by them? prevents it by observing, \\#Ro 3:3\\, that
though some did not believe, some did, and as for the unbelief of
others, the truth and faithfulness of God in his word were not made
void by it; however false and deceitful men are, God is always true to
his word, \\#Ro 3:4\\, and which is confirmed by a passage of
Scripture, cited out of \\#Ps 51:4\\, hence arises another objection,
that if the righteousness of God is commended and illustrated by the
unrighteousness of man, then it would be unjust in God to take
vengeance on men for their sins, \\#Ro 3:5\\, which is removed with
abhorrence, and answered by observing, that if there was any truth in
it, the world could not be judged by God, as it certainly will,
\\#Ro 3:6\\, but still the objection is continued and strengthened,
\\#Ro 3:7\\, that if God is glorified through the sins of men, not only
men ought not to be punished for them, but they should not be reckoned
sinners, or as doers of evil things, but of good things, and be
indulged in them; to which is replied, that this was the common calumny
cast upon the doctrine of the apostle, and persons of such principles
and practices are deserving of damnation, \\#Ro 3:8\\. Having removed
these objections, the apostle reassumes his former assertion, and
supports it, that a carnal circumcised Jew is no better than a carnal
uncircumcised Gentile; it being already sufficiently made to appear,
that they are both under the power and guilt of sin; and as a further
evidence of it, he produces several passages out of the book of Psalms,
and out of the prophecies of Isaiah, which fully express the sad
corruption of human nature, and especially of the Jews; and this
account begins in \\#Ro 3:10\\, and ends in \\#Ro 3:18\\, and which
account he suggests, \\#Ro 3:19\\, carries in it such a full conviction
of the truth of what he had said, that all men are under sin, that no
one would be able to open his mouth in his own defence, but all must
acknowledge themselves guilty before God: and then he proceeds to the
conclusion he meant to draw from all this, that there is no
justification of any before God by the deeds of the law; giving this as
a reason for it, because the law discovered sin, but not a justifying
righteousness, \\#Ro 3:20\\, that is revealed in another way, by the
Gospel, and not the law, though both law and prophets bear a testimony
to it, \\#Ro 3:21\\, which righteousness is described by the author of
it, God; by the means through which it comes to the use and comfort of
men, the faith of Christ; and by the subjects of it, them that believe;
in the justification of which there is no difference, \\#Ro 3:22\\, of
which a reason is given, \\#Ro 3:23\\, taken from the general state of
men, as sinners, and bereaved of the image of God: the several causes,
ways, means, and end of the justification of such persons are
suggested; the moving cause is the free grace of God, the meritorious
or procuring cause the redemption that is in Christ, \\#Ro 3:24\\, and
his propitiatory sacrifice, \\#Ro 3:25\\, which is owing to the eternal
purpose of God, whose end in it was to declare his purity, holiness,
and justice; which end is repeated and enlarged on, in \\#Ro 3:26\\,
upon which the apostle asks, \\#Ro 3:27\\, what is become of boasting
in the creature? and answers himself by saying, it was excluded, not by
the doctrine of works, but by the doctrine of faith, and particularly
the doctrine of justification by faith in the righteousness of Christ;
wherefore the conclusion stands firm and just, from the premises, that
justification is by faith without the works of the law, \\#Ro 3:28\\,
and it is further confirmed, that Jews and Gentiles, with respect to
their state and condition God-ward, are on a level; he is the God of the
one, as well as of the other, \\#Ro 3:29\\, and this appears by his
justifying both in one and the same way, through faith in the
righteousness of this Son, \\#Ro 3:30\\, and the chapter is concluded
by obviating an objection that might be made, that through this
doctrine of justification by faith the law is made void, and is of no
use, \\#Ro 3:31\\, to which the apostle answers, that this is so far
from being fact, that the law is established by it.

Ver 1. \\What advantage then hath the Jew\\? &c.] If he is not properly
a Jew, who is born of Jewish parents, and brought up in the customs,
rites, and religion of the Jewish nation, but anyone of whatsoever
nation, that is born again of water, and of the Spirit; where is the
superior excellency of the Jew to the Gentile? A man may as well be
born and brought up a Heathen as a Jew; the one has no more advantages
than the other by his birth and education: it may be rendered, "what
hath the Jew more?" or "what has he superfluous" or "abundant?" the
phrase answers to the Hebrew \^Mdal Nwrty hm\^ in \\#Ec 1:3\\, which is
rendered, "what profit hath a man?" and in \\#Ec 6:8\\, \^Mkxl rtwy hm\^,
"what hath a wise man more" and in \\#Ro 3:11\\, \^Mdal rty hm\^,
"what is a man better?" the first of these passages the Septuagint
render by \~tiv perisseia\~, "what abundance?" and the last by \~ti\~
\~perisson\~, "what more", or "superfluous", or "abundant?" the phrase
used by the apostle here:

\\or what profit is there of circumcision\\? since that which is outward
in the flesh profits not unless the law is kept, otherwise circumcision
is no circumcision; and if an uncircumcised Gentile keeps the law, he
is a better man than a circumcised Jew; yea, he judges and condemns
him; for the only true circumcision is internal, spiritual, and in the
heart. To this the apostle answers in the \\#Ro 3:2\\.
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