The Apostle Paul opens by asking what advantage the Jews have and what does their fleshly circumcision profit them? And answers his own question by stating that the Oracles of God were committed unto the Jews (verses 1 to 2). Not only was the Levitical and Mosaic Law given to the Jews, but the book of creation (Genesis) was written by Moses, including Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Not to mention that the Old Testament prophecies were given to them, including the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
But not all Jews believed, in fact the majority of them were in abject apostasy, but that didn’t make God’s plan and purpose of no effect. Those who were in unbelief would have to try and overcome God’s judgment one day. No matter what one believes, one cannot avoid God’s judgment. (verses 3 to 4). Imagine being judged by a God you believed didn’t exist? A case of eating humble pie much?
It was plain to see that the Jews had become as bad as the pagan Gentiles :
9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
For those who think they are good people – God said there is none that doeth good – Not one.
The Jews who were supposed to be a light unto the Gentile nations and who had to lead them to salvation were in the same boat, it was a case of the blind leading the blind, so they couldn’t get anyone saved even if they were given a satellite tracking device and two Rabbis to assist them :
13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17 And the way of peace have they not known:
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Matthew 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
Israel had become full of cursing, their feet swift to shed blood because they martyred just about every prophet God had sent them, not to mention their Messiah. They had taken up the ways of the pagan Gentiles and stopped fearing God. In a nutshell, the apostate Jews thought they were still special and could behave anyway they wanted to because they were the elect of God. But God had changed the way He had been dealing with people, especially Israel :
19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
A dispensational change had taken place :
No-one could be justified by the deeds of the law even if they tried – verse 20
The RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD WITHOUT THE LAW had now become manifested (been revealed) – verse 21.
The righteousness of God was also now manifested upon all (as opposed to our own righteousness) and could only be obtained by the faith of Christ, unto all who BELIEVED, to both Jew and Gentile alike – there being no difference.
Israel had lost her special status.
Verse 24 tells us that ALL are justified freely by His grace – meaning that we do not have to do works in order to be justified in the eyes of God. In fact, we can’t justify ourselves in any way period.
Then we come to verse 25:
3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
What Romans 3:25 is basically stating is that mankind’s sins from Genesis 3 to Acts 9 weren’t dealt with, and the Apostle Paul now deals with it according to his “my” gospel.
Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
In times past Israel had the blood of bulls and goats, some might have lived righteous lives in accordance with the Law, been within the God-given parameters of their performance based programmes, but none of these things could justify them in the eyes of a holy and righteous God. Instead, they were forborne by God, placed in a holding pattern
Exodus 34:6-7 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
Why weren’t these peoples’ sins dealt with?
Because NOTHING other than the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ could justify a person in the eyes of God. Not the keeping of the law, not the blood of bulls and goats and not one’s own righteousness.
Hebrews 10:For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
Israel had an advantageous position, but what she had was insufficient, hence the requirement for water baptism which was for the remission of sins until Christ died on Calvary’s cross :
Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
So we see that the shed blood of Christ not only encompasses the faith of Christ during this current dispensation (God’s imputed righteousness purely by faith in the Gospel of 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, without the deeds of the law),
also the faith of Christ in a future dispensation where peoples’ faith is based upon a performance based programme. They will be save BY faith, meaning that they will do works BY faith,
we are saved THROUGH faith in this current dispensation without a performance or works based salvation programme.
Christ’s shed blood at Calvary also encompasses the remission for SINS PAST – the sins that weren’t dealt with sins Genesis 3 to the time the Apostle Paul’s “MY” gospel came into effect.