What are the “ergon nomou/works of the law”? How we answer this question will determine how we enter into a covenant relationship with Yahusha. His blood and the zenith of His righteousness allows us to return to Covenant Torah. Will we be faithful and walk in His commandments?
Romans from a Torah Covenant Perspective - Chapter 3
Romans from a Torah Covenant Perspective
– Chapter 3 –
Romans 3:1What advantage then has the Jew? Or, what profit is there in circumcision? 2 Much in every way: primarily, because they were the first to be entrusted with the oracles of vuvh and the first to believe in His word. 3 For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief nullify faith in vuvh?
Paul is juxtaposing:
• Stewardship & ownership
• Responsibility & possession.
The Jews had become prideful in their view of ownership and possession. They believed, erroneously that they owned the entrance rights to the covenant in their bodies (circumcision) and that the Torah was their sole possession.
Romans 3:4 By no means: yes, let vuvh be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That You might be proven tzadik/righteous byYour words, and triumph when You judge.
Shaul uses the word tzadik/righteous he uses it in three different ways; 1. forensically, 2. nationally and 3. individually:
- Forensically – only Yahusha can make us forensically righteous (close inspection, inspection of our souls).
- Nationally – covenant entrance into יהוה s nation brought about a community or national righteousness.
- Individually – biblical conduct and ethics, shunning evil and choosing a life dedicated to service and obedience brings about a halacha/walk of righteousness.
Romans 3:5 But if our unrighteousness establishes the tzedakah of vuvh, 6 what shall we say? Is vuvh unrighteous when He inflicts wrath? I speak as a man. 6 By no means: for then how shall He judge the olam hazeh?
….of course, this is human logic and reasoning.
If יהוה doesn’t judge them then how can he judge the nations?Click here to Read More
Romans 3:7 For if the emet of vuvh has increased through my lying nature for His glory; why am ‘I’ still judged as a sinner? 8 And not rather – as some slander us by reports, and as some affirm that we say, Let us break Torah/do evil, that grace/good may come – 7 Their condemnation for this is forever.
Vs. 7’s objection is brought forward in the person of the ungodly, not Paul! The first person, ‘I’ of V.7 is a hypothetical person making a statement, it’s rhetorical.
Paul continues on by impersonating the objector by using the first person singular.
The point: the Jewish sinner’s being used to highlight the glory of יהוה doesn’t give them an ‘out’ when it comes to YHWH’s judgement, just because it brought about the righteousness of Yahusha! Jewish ethnicity is not a ‘get out of jail free card.’
Romans 3:9 What then? Are we better than them? No, in no way: for we have proven before that the Yahudim, Greeks and Arameans, are all under sin;
Genesis 11 the table of nations (Babel), and later, the Israelite nation (Golden Calf). The nations at Babel were give over to the judgment of other elohim, the elohim of the nations; and the Israelite nation at the Golden Calf were give over to the judgement of the BoL.
1. Man is a sinner by act.
2. Man is a sinner by nature.
3. Man is a sinner by imputation.
4. The estate of man, the human family is condemned under sin.
Romans 3:10 As it is written: (Psalms 14:1, 53:1, 5:9, 140:3, 10:7, Ecclesiastes 7:20, Proverbs 1:16, Isaiah 59:7, Psalms 36:1) There is not one tzadik, no, not one: 11 There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after tvkt. 12 They are all gone out of the way; they have all together become worthless; there is none that does good, no, not one.
Romans 3:13 Their throat is an open tomb; with their languages they have spoken deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouths are full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood, Destruction and misery are in their way: 17 And the way of shalom have they not known: 18 There is no fear of Elohim before their eyes.
Job 25:4 How then can a man be just with Elohim, or how can he be clean who is born of a woman?
All are under the power of sin, a universal condition not limited to any sector of humanity!
Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things the law says, it says to those who are living (under the law) in the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all of the world may become guilty before vuvh.
‘Under the law’ would be ‘hupo nomo’ which is found in Romans 6:14. But here there’s No valid reason for ‘En to nomo’ being translated as ‘under law’ other than it’s to willfully, defiantly mislead you away from the commandment of יהוה!
It views the whole of the law in a uanessacry negative light. ’In the law’, ‘within the law’ or ‘inside the law.’ is the only acceptable translation. We’re talking about those who sit within the sphere or influence of the Book of the Law, not Torah in general.
Romans 3:20 Therefore by the works of the law alone, without heartfelt faith, there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law comes the knowledge of sin.
‘Works of the Law’ ‘ergon nomou’, 4 interpretations:
- Institutionalized Church interpretation – keeping the Law of Moses or any customs and commands therein.
- Messianic Interpretation – trying to attain justification by keeping the law of Moses. This doesn’t mean we don’t keep the Law of Moses but we just rightly apply it (which they never do).
- Karaite Messianic Interpretation (Avi ben Mordechai) Oral Law, traditions of the rabbis and elders.
- MelchiTzedik – Works of the law is the labor of the Book of the Law (3:10) as opposed to the rest of the newly blood ratified and covenant inclusion -the Book of the Covenant Torah community (4:21)
DSS Mss. 4QMMT uses ‘Ma’asei ha Torah’ the Hebrew equivalent of ‘ergon nomou’ to define rules of conduct and inclusion into the DSS community based upon their interpretation of the Book of the Law, Deuteronomy in particular with 25 copies.
Based upon Galatians 3:10, 4:16, Dss 4QMMT, Romans 3:20 and the 25 copies of the Book of Law unearthed at Qumran the evidence that ‘ergon nomou’ ‘Ma’asei ha Torah’ ‘works of law’ is identifiable as the Book of the Law is unequivocal.
Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of vuvh apart from the law is manifested, being witnessed by the Torah and the neviim.
Yahusha is manifested apart from the BoL which is witnessed by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the Torah and the prophets.
Up until this time the major event of YHWH’s righteousness that guided the Jews was the Exodus, the giving of the BoC.
He manifest His righteousness even further by sparing the nation from His own genocide and imposing the BoL upon them – a do or die situation – the final option!
Now, something apart from the BoL has revealed itself in Yahusha bringing a full 360 degree return to יהוה through an Exodus from the nations and the zenith of his righteousness; a return to Covenant Torah in Yahusha.
Romans 3:22 Even the tzedakah of vuvh through faith in Yahusha the Messiah to all and upon all them that believe:
‘Pisteos Iesou Christou.’‘the faithfulness of Yahusha the Messiah.’ It’s not objective, ‘faith in Christ’, but subjective; ‘Messiah’s faith’, or ‘Messiah’s faithfulness!’
for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of vuvh; 24 Being justified freely by His unmerited favor through the redemption that is in Messiah Yahusha: 25 Whom vuvh has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past.
‘Hilasterion’, ‘Keporah’ or ‘mercy seat’ in the LXX. But I do like the King Jimmy ‘propitiation through faith in His blood.’
The LXX shines light upon our poor translations: Yahusha is clearly referred to as a new kind of Mercy Seat!
Romans 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time His tzedakah: that He might be tzadik, and the justifier of anyone who believes on Yahusha.
Romans 3:27 Where is man’s boasting then? It is worthless. By what law is man made tzadik? By works alone? No: but by the law of faith.
Just as Israel accepted YHWH’s proposal, by faith and entered into Book of the Covenant Torah through blood ratification and a covenant confirming meal.
We must likewise accept Yahusha’s proposal, by faith, enter into covenant; after partaking of His Last Supper and crucifixion.
Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is made righteous by faith apart from the works of the law.
Romans 3:29 Is He the Elohim of the Jews only? Is He not also the Elohim of the nations? Yes, of course, of the nations also: 30 Since it is Elohim-Echad, who shall justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcised through faith.
יהוה disinherited the nations and put them under the dominion of other elohim.
Then He went about to creating a new nation out of Abraham – a nation that also fell in rebellion and were put, not under rebel elohim, like the nations, but under the schoolmaster – BoL, still under His dominion, unlike the nations that are under the dominion of rebel elohim.
Now Yahusha has wiped the slate clean and healed the nations giving all the opportunity to join the One True Elohim of Israel and His Holy nation and holy priesthood!
Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the Torah through personal emunah? By no means: actually we establish the Torah.
Are the concepts of grace and mercy only found in the New Testament? Shaul/Paul ties into the linguistic connection of mercy to corporate Israel and the biblical prophecy made by Hoshea/Hosea. Israel will be regathered and united under a Melchizedek High Priest, Yahusha!
Do you cause fellow believers to stumble by your eating? Many have used this passage to establish unbiblical precedents. Shaul/Paul is not doing away with the dietary instructions, but rather establishes standards of building a community and whats causes harm to that community. We are command to exhibit faithfulness with our approach to our food, so not as to condemn ourselves with what we allow.
Does your zealousness for the Father and His Torah cause you to lose discernment when it comes to the Son? On its own, Torah will not lead us to total righteousness. Only covenant relationship through Yahusha will allow us to enter into forensic righteousness before Yahuwah.
The Holy Spirit herself doth testify? We take a pause in our study of Romans to reflect on verses 16 and 17 in the eighth chapter to focus specifically on the Ruach Ha Kodesh/Holy Spirit. Join us as we test the traditional understandings of the nature of the Ruach/Spirit against the whole of Scripture and the truth of the text.
Who is the True Lawgiver, man or Yahuwah? Yahuwah’s government looks nothing like the corrupt government of men. We have responsibilities and requirements for stewarding the life that Yahuwah has blessed us with, and we will be required to answer for our decisions. The only true liberty we can ever find is in walking in Royal Covenant Torah.
Do you bear the Root, or is the Root bearing you? What Yahuwah planted one Israel that became two nations through division and eventually both nations were laid bare before all the nations, as branches both natural and unnatural or cultivated and uncultivated were cut off. Regardless of what type of branch we are, if we are not connected to the root of that tree which is Messiah, we wither and die.
Who are the people of Yah? Shaul/Paul understood that there was a seamless priestly garment that was a covering for all of Israel. One Messiah, One Covenant, One People. Yahuwah will prune and graft in, but will always be focused on the branches of Isreal, rooted in Yahusha.
How can an adulteress bride return to her husband? Shaul/Paul uses his intimate knowledge of Torah to help the audience awaken to the reality of redemption through Yahusha. If we interpret the verses without a proper knowledge of Torah, we run the risk of creating a false dichotomy between law and grace.
Have you come into the community? Despite current popular doctrines, a walk of faith is not simply “me and Jesus”. Shaul/Paul sides with Yahusha in gathering believers together for corporate unity under Messiah. Division becomes a byproduct of a person being called into the Israel of Elohim.
What is a woman’s role in the church? Many teach that the Scriptures endorse a silent and subservient while the men lead. As the letter to the Romans closes, Shaul/Paul’s final greetings reveal a marvelous hermeneutic truth: leadership in the home and in the congregation is appointed by Yahuwah and His annointing does not recognize gender preference.