Thursday, December 19, 2013

Advent Archive: Romans 3:1-8

In chapter 2, Paul spent a lot of time explaining to Roman believers that man is in a serious predicament when it comes to his being judged by the one true and holy God. Chapter 2 goes on to explain that God is righteous and therefore judges righteously, and that the Law condemns man… Every man will be judged according to his works whether he is a Jew or a Gentile (2:6, 11). Chapter 3 takes that thought even further by telling us that not one man is righteous and that ALL have fallen short of the holiness we need.
In chapter 3, Paul seems to know that he is going to receive some opposition for what he is saying so he answers a few “supposed” questions from the audience. In verse 1 he asks, “If there is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile, then what advantage did the Jew have as one of God’s chosen people?” Paul then answers this question in verse 2 by saying that the Jews had the advantage of having God’s Word. What an advantage it is to have the Word of God that we might know Him and what He has revealed about Himself! In verses 3 through 8, Paul again asks and answers several questions concerning God’s faithfulness in relation to our sinning.
Verse 3 addresses the promises God made to the nation of Israel and asks, “If some Jews are not faithful to God and don’t believe Him, what happens when God judges them? Is God not being faithful to His promise if He judges Jews to whom He has promised He would be faithful?” In verse 4, Paul resounds with “God forbid!”
In this, Paul brings to light a massive truth: In a question of who is true, God or man, God will ALWAYS be true.
In other words, God will always be just and fair and right in His judgments because He’s God! If He were not just and fair and right in His judgments, He would cease to be God.
Verse 5 asks another interesting question: Does God receive glory from our sin? Our initial response would be “No way, our sin is against Him.” But Paul goes on to tell us that God will judge our sin and it is always righteous for God to judge sin. Therefore, God is glorified even in His righteousness judgment of sin.
So here’s the question of verse 8: If God gets glory out of our serving Him, and He will get glory out of judging our sin, should we just sin so that He will get glory? No. Here’s the summary of the passage. Do you remember verse 2 when Paul mentioned the “oracles of God,” meaning the Scriptures? Paul was bringing our attention to the fact that what God says He will do, He will be faithful to do… always. When God promises a blessing, He will bless. When God promises judgment, He will judge. God always keeps His Word. So what happens when someone takes the Word of God and twists it to get away with sin? That person will be judged and his “damnation (condemnation) is just (right).”
Be thankful for your God who is always true and just!

Food for Thought: Read Romans 3:1-8. What do we find about the character and nature of God from these eight verses?

Alan Obrien
Assistant Pastor |
Alan and his wife, Amy, have been serving the church family of Landmark Baptist Church since 2008. They have a daughter, Allison.