20because by the works of the Law none of mankind will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes knowledge of sin.
20Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Imagine that a person was on trial for a crime that they had committed. The odds are all stacked against them and they were pronounced guilty. The law rightly condemns them as guilty. However, when the judge is set to announce the punishment, the judge says that they are free. This is how Paul explains justification. It is a legal term and a declaration that Christ no longer condemns the sinner and now regards them as righteous. In this sermon from Romans 3:20 titled “Justification Explained,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that it is not that Christians are righteous; it is a removal of sin and a pronouncement from the Lord that He considers them righteous. Paul understands that the Jews had fallen into a trap, thinking that they were able to be justified by the law that they were given. However, God gave the law to show how truly sinful everyone is and how they are in need of a Savior. Dr. Lloyd-Jones further illustrates how the word justification is used throughout Scripture and how the Roman Catholics defined the word. He makes interesting points of how the modern day Christian generally does not understand the definition of many key words used throughout Scripture. Dr. Lloyd-Jones also examines the difference between justification and sanctification.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.