I’ve got nothin’ to boast about — neither have any of us. Alas, this doesn’t always stop me from feeling like I’m at least better than “those people.” Paul didn’t think so, and (sigh) he’s probably right. Here’s my paraphrase of Romans 3:27-31:
Well then, what can be our reason to boast? We have NONE! What excludes boasting? A law of works? No! A law of FAITH excludes boasting. For our logic has lead us to the conclusion that people are to be declared righteous by faith, completely separate and apart from works of law.
Otherwise God would be one of those local, tribal gods — of Jews only, and not the God of the whole world. But He IS the God of the nations (rest of the world) also.
In every case, if God is one and the same in all circumstances, who will declare righteous the Jews by faith and the Gentiles (non-Jews) by faith, do we thereby nullify the law and make it of no effect? Certainly not! We establish the law/teachings.
Two questions here: The first one is simple but not easy. We are proud and we want to say, “I did it my way.” Sadder words were never spoken. Ladies does this remind you of the man in your life who refuses to ask for directions even though it’s painfully obvious he hasn’t a clue where he’s going? Alas, it isn’t only men who suffer from this malady; we just suffer in different ways. In this case, the human race has wandered around lost, trying and failing to keep Torah, or the law we perceive instinctively in the case of us non-Jews, for thousands and thousands of years. We have all failed miserably; look around you. We’re still trying and we’re still failing. If any of us ever manifest any degree of righteousness, it is only be through Jesus, the life of God, working in and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The second question is a little harder. Does this new righteousness that comes to us by trusting Jesus nullify the law? It would seem so. The law has failed (even if through no intrinsic fault of its own), and it is being displaced by this new paradigm; faith. Well, yes and no. Yes, we have or should finally realize that we aren’t able to attain righteousness using the law as a guide to place our feet in the right path. Faith is the only way. BUT in simply following our Lord by faith and trust in Him, we DO righteousness at long, long last. The law which failed as a tool to bring about righteousness has now finally been upheld and fulfilled in Christ — and through Christ, in His disciples.