Romans 3: All Have Need of Christ

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 112–113


Paul warned the Roman Saints that God’s judgment awaits all men. Because of wickedness and disobedience, everyone falls short of perfection and needs a Savior and Redeemer. Jesus Christ is our Savior. He redeemed all mankind so that we may, through faith in Him and true repentance, escape the condemnation of a just and loving God. As you read Romans 3, pay special attention to the changes made by the Joseph Smith Translation.
tablets of the law

Because no one keeps the law perfectly, we all need a Savior

Understanding the Scriptures

Romans 3

Oracles (v. 2)Words of God 
Abounded (v. 7)Increased 
Slanderously (v. 8)Falsely; revile 
Propitiation (v. 25)Sacrifice or payment for our sins 
Forebearance (v. 25)Patience 

Romans 3:12–20—“Their Throat Is An Open Sepulchre”

Paul used familiar objects to explain how our speech reveals who we are inside. A sepulcher is a grave or tomb, and the phrase “their throat is an open sepulchre” means that their words show the corruption of their hearts. Asps are snakes, and the phrase “the poison of asps is under their lips” means that their language can be poisonous and do themselves and others spiritual harm.

Romans 3:23—We Have All “Come Short of the Glory of God”

We have all broken God’s laws, so we cannot be declared clean and innocent (justified) by the law (see 1 John 1:8). The law can only show us where we have gone wrong. Having “come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), we have no hope of salvation except through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, who atoned for our sins (see Romans 3:24–25; 2 Nephi 2:8).

Studying the Scriptures

Do the following activity as you study Romans 3.

Activity A iconRelate Scripture to Modern-Day Counsel

Russell M. Nelson

Read Romans 3 and describe how verses 10–12 and 20–25 support the following statement from Elder Russell M. Nelson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “We should try to comprehend the meaning of the Atonement. Before we can comprehend it, though, we must understand the fall of Adam” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1993, 45; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, 33).

It may help to read the “Understanding the Scriptures” section above.