Rom. 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Some of you fellas do not understand the term "FREE" but think it is some kind of price tag that you must PAY for! FREE means there is no cost and if something is given to you FREE you cannot boast in EARNING it! Paul just finished explaing what God has provided "FREELY by his grace" in Roman 3:24-26 Rom. 3:24 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. The Greek term translated "freely" is also translated "without a cause" in the New Testament where the enemies of Christ hated him "without a cause" in him. Here it follows the declaration in Romans 3:23 that condemns all men as sinners and all coming short of the glory of God or those who do have CAUSE IN THEM to be condemned and rejected by God. It is to such that HAVE NO CAUSE IN THEM to be justified by God that Paul says we who were formerly "sinners" were "justified FREELY" or without a cause in us by what God provided in Christ for sinners. "FREELY" modifies "by his grace" describing the kind of grace that justifies sinners is WITHOUT A CAUSE in the sinner. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. That is precisely why he asks the question in Romans 3:27 - WHERE IS BOASTING THEN? If something is obtained FREELY without a cause in the sinner but all due to the cause in God's provision received by faith, then, where is any grounds for boasting????? NONE! Unless your GOOD WORKS can be found as the cause of justification? 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Paul now considers "works" in regard to it as a "law" or essence of what it is that defines it in contrast to faith and what it is by essence that defines it in contrast to works. They are placed in contrast with each other not complimentary or synegistically. One INCLUDES boasting by its very defined essence or "law" that defines it while the other EXCLUDES boasting by its very defined essence or "law" that defines it. Absolute proof that this is how Paul is dealing with"works" and "faith as what they are by defined essence or "law" is that Paul continues with this "boasting" question in Romans 4:1-5 where the essence or law of works is defined as follows: 1 ¶ What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. Rom. 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: However, what God provided is "FREELY BY GRACE" - Rom. 3:24. Hence, works by essence or what defines them is contrary to grace because if you work for someone or something it makes the one you worked for INDEBTED to you. Moreover, Paul defines "faith" in regard to its essence that defines it in regard to justification "FREELY BY HIS GRACE" 1. It is contrary to and without works: Rom. 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 2. It is without obedience to divine ordinances: 9 ¶ Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 3. It is without Law keeping -Rom. 4:13-15 4. It is of grace - Rom. 4:16 Rom. 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, Rom. 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.[/COLOR] 5. It is the kind of faith that is without personal participation with God in obtaining the promise of justification - Rom. 4;16-21 God waited until both Abraham and Sarah were "dead" concerning any ability to assist or ACTIVELY participate in the birth of Isaac: 18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. Verse 21 defines the LAW or ESSENCE of faith in justification - it is the full persuasion in the heart that God ALONE performs what God promises in the gospel as this is directly applied to the gospel in verse 22-25: 23 ¶ Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. If it is of grace it is no longer of works otherwise grace is no more grace (Rom. 11:6) and we are justified "FREELY BY HIS GRACE" or grace that is not based upon any cause in us! It is based solely upon the cause found in God's provision in Christ's life and death FOR US (Rom. 4:23-25).