3 Is there any advantage in being a Jew? Is there any value in being circumcised? 2 There is great value in every way! First of all, the Jews have been given the very words of God. 3 What if some Jews were not faithful? Will the fact that they weren’t faithful keep God from being faithful? 4 Not at all! God is true, even if every human being is a liar. It is written, “You are right when you sentence me. You are fair when you judge me.” (Psalm 51:4) 5 Doesn’t the fact that we are wrong prove more clearly that God is right? Then what can we say? Can we say that God is not fair when he brings his anger down on us? As you can tell, I am just using human ways of thinking. 6 God is certainly fair! If he weren’t, how could he judge the world? 7 Someone might argue, “When I lie, it becomes clearer that God is truthful. It makes his glory shine more brightly. Why then does he find me guilty of sin?” 8 Why not say, “Let’s do evil things so that good things will happen”? Some people actually lie by reporting that this is what we say. They are the ones who will rightly be found guilty. No One Is Right With God 9 What should we say then? Do we Jews have any advantage? Not at all! We have already claimed that Jews and Gentiles are sinners. Everyone is under the power of sin. 10 It is written, “No one is right with God, no one at all. 11 No one understands. No one trusts in God. 12 All of them have turned away. They have all become worthless. No one does anything good, no one at all.” (Psalms 14:1–3; 53:1–3; Ecclesiastes 7:20) 13 “Their throats are like open graves. With their tongues they tell lies.” (Psalm 5:9) “The words from their lips are like the poison of a snake.” (Psalm 140:3) 14 “Their mouths are full of curses and bitterness.” (Psalm 10:7) 15 “They run quickly to commit murder. 16 They leave a trail of harmful actions. 17 They do not know how to live in peace.” (Isaiah 59:7,8) 18 “They don’t have any respect for God.” (Psalm 36:1) 19 What the law says, it says to those who are ruled by the law. Its purpose is to shut every mouth and make the whole world accountable to God. 20 So no one will be considered right with God by obeying the law. Instead, the law makes us more aware of our sin.
This passage reminds me of all sorts of theological discussions that must have gone on in the temple courts and synagogues in Jesus’ and Paul’s time. Discussions over the law and discussions about HOW DO YOU AND I GET RIGHT WITH GOD?
These discussions have not stopped and here in Romans 3 – I love the final verse 20. “20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.” The Law gave us a ‘pass mark’ – and we all fall short … BUT GOD, BUT JESUS AND HIS SACRIFICE has found the way.
The world is broken and I am broken; we are all guilty. Yet we all long to want it to be right, to be resolved, ‘perfect’; the cry there must be more to life than this. Yet this side of heaven it will never be what it should be – “He has set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done” Ecclesiastes 3 v 11.
At times we could become overwhelmed at other times complacent in the ability to change – BUT GOD.
What can I do? I can share Jesus. I can love people. I can show people what Jesus looks like in me. I can ‘help save just one more’ – by being His Ambassador on earth for as long as I live. That is all He has asked me to do.
Oh Lord help us to become more like you. Help us to share our lives with others so they can see You in us.
Written by Ps. Sue Botta