Romans 3:21-31

  • Righteousness (dikaiosunh) – The character or quality of being right or just.  It would be right standing with God’s character.
  • Believe (pisteuontaV) – to believe, to be persuaded of, to place confidence in.
  • Justified (dikaioumenoi ) – The act of pronouncing righteous
  • Freely (dwrean) – means freely, as a gift without payment, gratis, for nothing
  • Grace (cariV) – means grace, free help to one who is undeserving.
  • Redemption (apolutrwsewV ) – redemption, release, deliverance of the payment of a price
  • Sacrifice of Atonement (ilasthrion) – that which expiates or propitiates the means of expiation or the place of propitiation.  Expiation means – to make complete satisfaction for.  “-piation” is a Latin word for “to seek to appease, to purify with sacred rites.  Propitiate means – to appease and render favorable.  The opposite would be to irritate, vex or antagonize.



Word Bank:




Romans 3:21-26

Four parts:

1) Restates that God's righteousness has been revealed in verse 21 (restatement of 1:17)

2) Just as all humans are equally under sin, they also have equal access to God's righteousness by faith (22-23)

3) The source for humans to attain God's righteousness is through God's provision of Christ's atoning sacrifice. (24-25)

4) The atonement solves the age long problem of pagan religions.  How can a just God forgive sins and still be just?  The righteousness of God is required to be achieved by humans but     God who is The Righteous One cannot simply forgive and forget without destroying his own character.  The answer is the atoning sacrifice of Christ. (25-26)  God has both provided man with his righteousness and maintained his integrity in Christ's death.


Romans 3:21  nuni  BUT NOW     de   APART              cwriV  FROM            nomou LAW           dikaiosunh  RIGHTEOUSNESS OF                      qeou GOD           pefanerwtai  HAS BEEN MANIFESTED,

marturoumenh  BEING BORNE WITNESS          upo  BY         tou  THE nomou  LAW          kai  AND          twn  THE          profhtwn  PROPHETS:


"But now" is the hinge on which the door of a dark room (chapters 1-3) opens into the light.


“Righteousness of God” refers to right standing with God.

First use of Law has no article so it says “Law” not “the Law” (of Moses).

“Has Been Made Known” (NIV) is “has been manifested” in the perfect tense and means “stands manifested”

The Hebrew Scriptures (OT) were made of two sections:

a)      the Law

b)      the Prophets

In chapter 4 Paul is going to draw an example from both of these portions of the OT to confirm his doctrine.  From the Law he uses Abraham and from the Prophets (which included     1 and 2             Samuel) he will use David.


Romans 3:22  dikaiosunh  RIGHTEOUSNESS    de  EVEN OF     qeou GOD         dia  THROUGH           pistewV  FAITH OF        ihsou  JESUS    cristou  CHRIST,                       eiV  TOWARDS         pantaV  ALL          kai  AND           epi  UPON    pantaV  ALL

 touV  THOSE THAT          pisteuontaV  BELIEVE:       ou   IS NO          gar  FOR                       estin   THERE                   diastolh  DIFFERENCE:


In this verse Paul introduces the object of faith for the first time: Jesus Christ.

"Through faith in Jesus Christ" is translated correctly above as "through faith of Jesus Christ" which means "through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ"


Romans 3:23  panteV  ALL          gar   FOR              hmarton SINNED           kai AND                usterountai  COME SHORT     thV  OF THE            doxhV  GLORY          tou  OF              qeou  GOD;

"Sinned" is in the aorist which may be summarizing all the sins of time in one word or may be referring to all people sinning in Adam at one time.

"Come Short" is in the present tense and indicates a continual action.  It identifies a continuous failure.

The “Glory of God” refers to his character.

Since we lack the character of God we do not have a relationship with God nor do we have fellowship.


Notice in verse 22 that all who believe receive right standing.

It is not all who have sinned (verse 23) who are in right standing.


Romans 3:24  dikaioumenoi  BEING JUSTIFIED           dwrean  GRATUITOUSLY  th  BY           autou  HIS                cariti    GRACE,                 dia  THROUGH                                  thV   apolutrwsewV  REDEMPTION           thV  WHICH [IS]             en  IN          cristw  CHRIST                ihsou  JESUS;


Righteousness (right standing) with God causes us to be justified.

What is justification?

a)      Justification is an act, not a process

b)      Justification is something God does to man.  Man can not do it to themselves anymore than a criminal can declare themselves not guilty in a court room.  God is the judge and the one who measures us.  He declares justified or guilty.

c)      Justification is a legal term.

d)      Justification means to acquit

e)      Justification means to DECLARE righteous.  It does not mean to MAKE righteous!

f)       Justification is not a change that God does in us.  Justification is a change in our relationship to God and his righteousness (or, his character).

g)      Justification identifies a persons standing in regard to the Law.  Justification does not describe the person's character.




  • An act
  • God does to man
  • Means to declare righteous
  • A change in our relationship to God
  • Describes the person’s standing in regard to the Law (God’s character)


  • A process
  • Man does with God’s help
  • Means to be and act righteous
  • A change in us
  • Describes the persons character as being in line with God’ character



Difference between forgiveness and justified:  You can have a debt cancelled and be forgiven. Or, you can have someone pay your debt and your character is justified.


Freely is seen when someone very poor wants to pay someone who is very rich for a sandwich.  The very rich king is so rich he doesn't sell things.  He either keeps them or gives them away.


Romans 3:25  on  WHOM           proeqeto    o  SET FORTH             qeoV GOD                                ilasthrion A MERCY SEAT              dia   thV   THROUGH     pistewV  FAITH     en   tw  IN         autou  HIS           aimati  BLOOD,          eiV FOR A      endeixin  SHOWING FORTH           thV  OF        dikaiosunhV  RIGHTEOUSNESS                   autou  HIS         dia  IN RESPECT OF       thn  THE       paresin  PASSING BY           twn  THE           progegonotwn   THAT HAD BEFORE TAKEN PLACE             amarthmatwn  SINS


Romans 3:26  en  IN       th  THE       anoch  FORBEARANCE       tou  OF        qeou  GOD                      proV  FOR [THE]            endeixin SHOWING FORTH               thV   OF     dikaiosunhV RIGHTEOUSNESS           autou  HIS         en  IN            tw  THE            nun  PRESENT             kairw  TIME,             eiV   to  FOR           einai   BEING    auton  HIS            dikaion  JUST         kai  AND            dikaiounta  JUSTIFYING              ton  HIM THAT [IS]        ek  OF THE            pistewV  FAITH          ihsou OF JESUS.


Romans 3:27  pou  WHERE             oun   THEN [IS]             h  THE              kauchsiV BOASTING?              exekleisqh  IT WAS EXCLUDED.            dia  THROUGH             poiou  WHAT                nomou LAW?                                    twn  OF          ergwn  WORKS?                                                                      ouci  NO,        alla  BUT      dia  THROUGH       nomou  A LAW                          pistewV OF FAITH.


Romans 3:28  logizomeqa WE RECKON       oun  THEREFORE          pistei  BY FAITH  dikaiousqai  TO BE JUSTIFIED         anqrwpon  A MAN                         cwriV  APART FROM              ergwn  WORKS                 nomou  OF LAW.


Romans 3:29  h  OF         ioudaiwn  JEWS            o  [IS HE] THE             qeoV  GOD          monon  ONLY?              ouci    de  AND NOT             kai  ALSO                              eqnwn  OF GENTILES?           nai YEA,         kai  ALSO         eqnwn  OF GENTILES:


Romans 3:30  epeiper  SINCE INDEED          eiV  o  ONE          qeoV  GOD [IT IS]           oV  WHO        dikaiwsei   WILL JUSTIFY [THE]         peritomhn   CIRCUMCISION     ek BY            pistewV  FAITH,                kai AND                                     akrobustian   UNCIRCUMCISION        dia   thV  THROUGH        pistewV  FAITH.


Romans 3:31  nomon LAW            oun  THEN                                                                                                katargoumen  DO WE MAKE OF NO EFFECT               dia   thV   THROUGH              pistewV  FAITH?            mh  MAY                                                                genoito  IT NOT BE!       alla  BUT        nomon  LAW       istwmen WE ESTABLISH