Romans & Galatians
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Kathryn Smith
February 12, 2002
"Paul's Law - Romas 3:21-31"

I.   3:21-30 - Jesus Christ, the "Righteousness [setting right] of God"
A.   Focus: eschatology apocalypse ("revealed")
1.   Eschatological - End times
2.   Apocalyptic - cosmic, cataclysmic changes
B.   All may be "set right" before God - without distinction
C.   Theodicy - is God just in condemning humans? Is God's law just in condemning humans?
1.   3:25-26 - God demonstrates his self-righteousness and is absolutely just in condemning humans for their action
2.   The purpose of God sending Christ was to bring grace to the same people who are being judged
II.   3:31 making the law's meaning real here and now (questions that are asked here and answered elsewhere in the book)
A.   How can God be just for condemning humanity (Although God condemns humanity, God is actively working to redeem humanity)
B.   Why did God even send the law it cannot save us? (God sent the law for another purpose)
C.   What good is it being Israel if all are equally condemned? (Romans 9)
III.   Sets the stage for Abraham in chapter 4
A.   The story of Abraham (Genesis 11-50)
1.   God told Abraham to leave his land and trust Him
2.   While on the trip, God shows up and asks to make a covenant with Abraham
a.   God is going to give Abraham land, bless him, and make his descendents as numerous as the stars in the sky - all the nations in the world will be blessed through you
b.   Abraham has to circumcise his sons on the 8th day (and the adult days)
c.   If circumcision is not taken place then they are cut off forever from Israel
d.   There is now Jewish people or Israel yet
3.   Abraham went on to have two sons
4.   One son of Abraham (Isaac/Israel) has twelve sons and they become the tribes of Israel
B.   God's promises, not God's laws, create the people of God
C.   Romans3Both Gentiles & Jews inherit the promise
D.   The issue - boundary markers
1.   How do we determine whose "in" and who's "out"?
2.   A sociological, not a theological, question
3.   Christ, not Torah, is the boundary maker
IV.   Conclusion of Passage
A.   Except when the issue of entrance requirements is being discussed, Pause sees the two categories - "Jew" and "Gentile" - as continuing to be significant as distinct categories of humanity