There is a righteousness outside of ourselves. It is the righteousness of Christ which we receive by faith. By faith we are justified, not by our own works or effort!

BibleGateway: Romans 3:21-31

ESV Text: Romans 3:21-31

Romans 3:21-31 (Listen)

The Righteousness of God Through Faith

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. (ESV)


KJV Text:

(Alt. audio): Chapter: 3
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 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; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. 29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: 30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.(KJV)


Hymn: TLH 262:
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

Hymnary.org — Organ Audio

1. A mighty Fortress is our God, 
A trusty Shield and Weapon; 
He helps us free from every need 
That hath us now o’ertaken. 
The old evil Foe 
Now means deadly woe; 
Deep guile and great might 
Are his dread arms in fight; 
On Earth is not his equal. 

2. With might of ours can naught be done, 
Soon were our loss effected; 
But for us fights the Valiant One, 
Whom God Himself elected. 
Ask ye, Who is this? 
Jesus Christ it is. 
Of Sabaoth Lord, 
And there’s none other God; 
He holds the field forever. 

3. Though devils all the world should fill, 
All eager to devour us. 
We tremble not, we fear no ill, 
They shall not overpower us. 
This world’s prince may still 
Scowl fierce as he will, 
He can harm us none, 
He’s judged; the deed is done; 
One little word can fell him. 

4. The Word they still shall let remain 
Nor any thanks have for it; 
He’s by our side upon the plain 
With His good gifts and Spirit. 
And take they our life, 
Goods, fame, child and wife, 
Let these all be gone, 
They yet have nothing won; 
The Kingdom our remaineth. 


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Nobody can be counted righteous by observing the Law because nobody observes it perfectly enough.

BibleGateway: Romans 3:9-20

ESV Text: Romans 3:9-20

Romans 3:9-20 (Listen)

No One Is Righteous

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written:

“None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (ESV)


KJV Text:

(Alt. audio): Chapter: 3
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. 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.

     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. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.(KJV)


Hymn: TLH 377:
Salvation unto us has Come

Hymnary.org — Organ Audio

1. Salvation unto us has come 
By God’s free grace and favor; 
Good works cannot avert our doom, 
They help and save us never. 
Faith looks to Jesus Christ alone, 
Who did for all the world atone; 
He is our one Redeemer. 

2. What God did in His Law demand 
And none to Him could render 
Caused wrath and woe on every hand 
For man, the vile offender. 
Our flesh has not those pure desires 
The spirit of the Law requires, 
And lost is our condition. 

3. It was a false, misleading dream 
That God His Law had given 
That sinners should themselves redeem 
And by their works gain heaven. 
The Law is but a mirror bright 
To bring the inbred sin to light 
That lurks within our nature. 

4. From sin our flesh could not abstain, 
Sin held its sway unceasing; 
The task was useless and in vain, 
Our gilt was e’er increasing. 
None can remove sin’s poisoned dart 
Or purify our guileful heart,- 
So deep is our corruption. 

5. Yet as the Law must be fulfilled 
Or we must die despairing, 
Christ came and hath God’s anger stilled, 
Our human nature sharing. 
He hath for us the Law obeyed 
And thus the Father’s vengeance stayed 
Which over us impended. 

6. Since Christ hath full atonement made 
And brought to us salvation, 
Each Christian therefore may be glad 
And build on this foundation. 
Thy grace alone, dear Lord, I plead, 
Thy death is now my life indeed, 
For Thou hast paid my ransom. 

7. Let me not doubt, but trust in Thee, 
Thy Word cannot be broken; 
Thy call rings out, “Come unto Me!” 
No falsehood hast Thou spoken. 
Baptized into Thy precious name, 
My faith cannot be put to shame, 
And I shall never perish. 

8. The Law reveals the guilt of sin 
And makes men conscience-stricken; 
The Gospel then doth enter in 
The sinful soul to quicken. 
Come to the cross, trust Christ, and live; 
The Law no peace can ever give, 
No comfort and no blessing. 

9. Faith clings to Jesus’ cross alone 
And rests in Him unceasing; 
And by its fruits true faith is known, 
With love and hope increasing. 
Yet faith alone doth justify, 
Works serve thy neighbor and supply 
The proof that faith is living. 

10. All blessing, honor, thanks, and praise 
To Father, Son, and Spirit, 
The God that saved us by His grace,- 
All glory to His merit! 
O Triune God in heaven above, 
Who hast revealed Thy saving love, 
Thy blessed name be hallowed.