A Sermon on Romans 3:27-31
Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. (ESV)
Merely knowing the truth will not save anyone. The Jews are a vivid example of this desperate condition. So often they prided themselves as God’s chosen people and thus did not need Paul’s teachings. However, Paul shows that boasting in our works or our heritage will do nothing in terms of one’s salvation. Salvation is open to all people, yet there is nothing that we actually do that merits our salvation; it is truly only by the work of the Lord. It may seem that Paul has been repeating the same statements several times in the past few chapters, and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones adds that this is because the message is crucial, and because of sin, the truth does not always appear right away to those who are listening. Dr. Lloyd-Jones also shows that we too are guilty of boasting. Sometimes we may say that our faith or our works are the reason we receive salvation, but that is wrong! Our faith is merely the instrument by which we receive salvation, and our works are merely the outward expression of the work of the Lord. We should be very mindful that our faith is not only intellectual or a belief; it must be a true element of trust and committal in our lives.