In verses 1-8 the apostle answers four objections which he found that men raised against the gospel. (The objections are sated in verses 1, 3, 5 and 7, 8a; the answer are given in verses 2, 4, 6 and 8b.) These will repay careful study; in particular note how Paul describes the Old Testament scriptures, to what two attributes of God he holds fast, and what kind of conduct he strenuously repudiates.
In verses 10-18 Paul gives the general verdict of Scripture on man in his fallen condition.
What does Scripture say:
(a) about the general trend of human life (verses 10-12, cf. Is. 53:6a);
(b) about man’s speech (verses 13, 14); and
(c) about his conduct and inner attitude to God (verses 15-18)? How does this witness confirm the verdict of experience already given in 1:18-32 and 2:17-29 and lead to the conclusion of 3:19, 20?
Do you assent to the truth that it is impossible for anyone, by their own efforts, to escape condemnation at the bar of God’s judgment?
The answer to the question how guilty man can be saved is found in the revelation of a righteousness of God, i.e., a righteousness provided by God (see Study 1, Note).
It will help greatly to clarify what is said about this righteousness in this all-important paragraph (verses 21-26) if the various points are written down and appreciated one by one. There are twelve to fifteen of them.
What two inferences follow? See verses 27, 28 and verses 29, 30. Cf. 1 Cor. 1:29-31; Gal. 3:28.
What is Paul’s answer to an objector who might say that the gospel of salvation by faith, which Paul preached, made the law of no account?