Romans 3:21

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it,

Romans 3:21 Meaning and Commentary

Romans 3:21

But now the righteousness of God
The apostle having proved that all men are unrighteous, and that no man can be justified in the sight of God by his obedience, either to the law of nature or of Moses, proceeds to give an account of that righteousness, which does justify before God; and so returns to his former subject, ( Romans 1:17 ) , concerning "the righteousness of God", the revelation of which he makes to be peculiar to the Gospel, as he does here; since he says, that it

without the law is manifested:
meaning, either that this righteousness is without the law, and the deeds of it, as performed by sinful men; or that the manifestation of it is without the law, either of nature or of Moses; for the law discovers sin, but not a righteousness which justifies from sin; it shows what righteousness is, but does not direct the sinner where there is one to be had, that will make him righteous in the sight of God: this is made known without the law, and only in the Gospel:

being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
a testimony is borne to the justifying righteousness of Christ both "by the law", particularly in the five books of Moses; which testify of Christ, of his obedience, sufferings, and death, by which he brought in life and righteousness; see ( Genesis 3:15 ) , compared with ( Daniel 9:24 ) ; and ( Genesis 15:6 ) with ( Romans 4:9 Romans 4:10 Romans 4:22-25 ) ; and ( Genesis 22:18 ) with ( Galatians 3:8 Galatians 3:9 Galatians 3:14 ) ; and ( Deuteronomy 30:11-14 ) with ( Romans 10:5-10 ) . And the prophets; Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, and others; see ( Isaiah 42:21 ) ( Isaiah 45:24 Isaiah 45:25 ) ( Isaiah 46:12 Isaiah 46:13 ) ( Isaiah 51:5 Isaiah 51:6 Isaiah 51:8 ) ( 53:11 ) ( Jeremiah 23:6 ) ( Daniel 9:24 ) .

Romans 3:21 In-Context

19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.
20 For no human being will be justified in his sight by works of the law, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it,
22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction;
23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.