"The Law Explained"
I. The Advantage of the Law vv. 1-2
With two opening questions Paul balances his argument. He has thoroughly presented the side that in God's eyes the Jew is guilty for not obeying the law and not justified simply for knowing it. Now, a person hearing this might begin to question, "Then is there no advantage to being a Jew or of circumcision?" The Jews advantage is this: unto them were committed the oracles (or, utterance) of God. God's revealed and written will was given to Israel by God through His prophets. This awesome privilege is their advantage. The measure of this advantage is understood better later when Paul presents the purpose and scope of effect of the law.
II. The Absoluteness of the Law vv. 3-8
1. Man's unbelief does not make the faith of God without effect.
2. God is true though every man be a liar.
3. God is righteous in His judgment while man is unrighteous.
IV. The Apex of the Law vv. 20-30
We see in these verses the true purpose and effect of the Law and the excelling of another law—faith. The Law reaches its maximum potential and capacity in its judgment on sin. It is unable to justify or to make righteous, but is limited to the effect of bringing the KNOWLEDGE OF SIN.
The righteousness of God is manifested without the law by a law that excels the old law. The righteousness of God is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all them that believe. This law makes no difference between the Jew and Gentile. As under the law ALL are guilty, so by grace through faith ALL may be made righteous. This provision is not cheap or simply a "free love", but was purchased, REDEEMED, by the shed blood and laid down life of Christ. God set Christ in our place to die and we by faith receive the righteousness of God and the remission of sins that are past. As God is righteous in taking vengeance upon those under the law, He is equally righteous in justifying those that believe in Jesus for Jesus took their place, become their 'propitiation' (the price of atonement.) All men, Jews and Gentiles, Circumcision and Uncircumcision are justified through faith and not by the deeds of the law. There is ONE God Who justifies only ONE way—by faith.
V. The Affirming of the Law v.31
The excelling of the law of faith does not make the law useless or void, but establishes it. Faith is not a removing or destroying of the law, but is truly a work that excels the law, a great pillar built upon the law. The law brings the knowledge of sin to a man, and that man who has recognized his condition may be justified by faith. Without the law that man would have no knowledge of sin, and therefore would see no need for justification, redemption, or atonement. The law which was once broken is established through faith in the substitutionary work of Christ for it has been SATISFIED.