Romans 3:20 – By works of law nobody justified03-11-2020 - Posted by Andre Piet
…because, by works of law, no flesh at all shall be justified in His sight, for through law is the recognition of sin.
The series of quotations from “the law” from verses 10 to 18, was intended to also stop the mouth of Israel. After all, the law speaks to them. And with that it has been established that work (= earnings) can never be a basis for being justified. Or as Psalm 143: 2 says, “For no living one at all can be found righteous before You.” Every person falls short on the basis of performance. Possession of “the law” of which the Jew boasts does not change that truth. On the contrary, “for through the law there is recognition of sin”. The law designates sin and therefore only makes man aware of his deficiency.
Later in this letter the apostle even adds to this, when he argues that the law was not given that sin might be less but more (5:20; 7: 5,8). That was GOD’S purpose. That precisely because of this grace might abound. For only when all rights have been forfeited does the light of GOD’S grace shine. Only when man is empty-handed, can GOD fill them!