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Thursday Devo


Romans 3:19-20
19 Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. 20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.


3:19–20 These verses represent the culmination and conclusion of vv. 9–18 and all of 1:18–3:20, showing that all, without exception, are sinners.
3:19 The law here, as is typically the case in Romans, refers to the Mosaic law. Those under the law are the Jews. But why is every mouth left without excuse and condemned before God if the law is addressed only to the Jews? Paul’s logic is that if the Jews, who are God’s special covenant people, cannot keep the law, then it follows that Gentiles, who are taught much of the law by their consciences, will not avoid God’s condemnation either.
3:20 Works of the law is understood by some to refer only to the ceremonial law, i.e., those laws that separate Jews from Gentiles (such as circumcision, food laws, and Sabbath). But the context gives no indication of such a restriction, and therefore the phrase should be taken to refer to all the works or deeds required by the law. The law required perfect obedience to God’s will. All people sin and fall short of this standard, therefore no one is justified by the law. Justified is a legal term and indicates that no one will be declared to be righteous by God, who is the divine judge by virtue of his own goodness, since all violate and none fulfill God’s requirements.


  • This verse in Romans illustrates perfectly how so many of us get things wrong. It is our tendency to drift, not towards faithfulness, but towards religion and rule-keeping. If we aren't careful, we'll start to behave like if we just try harder and do better, we can somehow earn our relationship with God. But as Paul is clearly saying, we are incapable of keeping the law. But it can serve as a mirror to show us where we are sinful. Rather than be discouraged by this, we should learn to run to the Father and lean on Jesus and all he did for us on the cross. This realization should bring us into an even deeper and more intimate relationship with Him. Do you ever drift towards rule-following? How can you remind yourself that your are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone?

  • Many scholars have pointed out that Proverbs 31 talks about different seasons of this woman's life, not necessarily her daily routine. Others have pointed out that all these things point to a certain spirit and overflow of a woman who fears the Lord. But ultimately, it feels like a pretty impossible standard. It's much like God's Law, which scripture says shows us how sinful we are. It's an impossible standard to keep! So if you ask the question, "Can I live up to this standard?", the answer is, "NO!" That's why we need Jesus. That's why Christ is our hope. What we can't do on our own, He has already accomplished. And He is strong in our weaknesses. Spend some time this week praying that you wouldn't place too much emphasis on your behaviors and striving to be the perfect Christian, but rest in the fact that Jesus is your only hope.


  • That you wouldn't drift toward religion.
  • That you would learn to rest in the hope we find in Jesus.

This Week's City 7:

Try to commit to memory! 

4. Can a person be good enough to go to heaven? No. Because Jesus rose from the dead proving He is God, I believe a person is saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
(John 1:12, 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 4:1-25, 5:1-2, 6-11, 6:23, 10:1-4, 10:9; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:1-9; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Titus 3:4-7)

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