About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Faithfulness (ch. 3:1-8)
the previous verses Paul was pretty hard on the Jews.
He did not spare any words by telling them that they weren’t any better
than the Gentile sinner. They sinned
just as much as the pagans. So, in
chapter 3 verse 1 he asks a very natural question that someone might ask him
after his discourse about the Jewish people.
He asks, “What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value
is there in circumcision?” After
what Paul has just said you might think the answer to this question is that
there is no advantage in being a Jew. Paul,
however, does not say there is no advantage of being Jewish.
In verse 2 he says that there is a great advantage of being Jewish in
verse 2 Paul begins to list the reasons why Jews have an advantage.
“First of all…”, he says, “they have been entrusted with the very
words of God”. The words
“first of all” should not be understood in terms of first of all,
second of all, third of all, and so on. The
Greek simply means "chiefly", or, "most importantly.
That is to say what Paul says next is the main reason why the Jews have
the advantage over the Gentile pagans.
chief reason why Jews have an advantage is because they have been entrusted with
the very words of God. It would be
like getting a head start in a marathon. Having
God’s will laid out for you would surely help you in the development of being
God’s people. The words "have
been entrusted" is a Greek aorist indicative verb.
This means that at one point of time the Jews in fact were given the Word
of God to live by.
might ask then did the Jews lose their God given choice to be entrusted with the
Word of God? Those who believe in
Replacement Theology would certainly say they have lost this entrustment.
It's my opinion, that might be seen in this verse, although I do know
that is debatable, that Paul believed the Jews as he was writing was still
entrusted with God's Word. Whether
they were or not when Paul wrote these words, I do believe the day will come
when they will once again be entrusted with the Word of God in fulfillment of
might ask, "What are the Words of God"?
Well, they are every word that God spoke in Old Testament times.
God spoke to many individuals. He
spoke to prophets that passed God's words on to
anticipates an argument, so in verse 3 he asks this question. "What
if some did not have faith?" Will
their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness?”
Paul states the clear and simple answer in verse 4 when he says, “Not
at all”. Just because
this point I should state my simple definition of the word "faith".
In Biblical terms, faith is trusting in God's trustworthiness".
If, for the most part, you substitute the word "trust" for the
word "faith" in the Bible, you'll have a pretty good understanding of
faith and how it is used in any particular passage.
know that God would not change His mind concerning these things because the
Abrahamic Covenant that is confirmed many times in the Old Testament was a
covenant that God made with Himself and not with
passage is important for those who believe that the Jews have no more
significance in the eyes of God, and that the church has replaced
15 gives us an understanding to why
is what it means when Paul says in verse 4, "let God be true and every man
a liar". God promised
supports what he has just said by quoting from Psalm 51:4.
Psalm 51 is all about David repenting of his sin.
He says that his sin is always before him.
Then he says that proves God is right in the way He thinks and just in
the way He judges. So, what Paul is
saying here with the use of this quote is that man is sinful.
God is the only right and just one. Because
of this fact, what God promises cannot be revoked.
what Paul has been saying here is that man's unrighteousness actually shows
forth God's righteousness more clearly. He
thus asks an important question in verse 5 that he admits is a purely human
based question. In simple terms,
Paul asks if man's unrighteousness makes God's righteousness more visible, then
isn't God being unjust in punishing us with His wrath?
The question implies that some might think that man's unrighteousness
actually supports God's cause of showing that He is righteous.
That being the case, man should not be punished for his sin.
Although I think that such logic brought forth by Paul's opposition is a
bit twisted, I can see why Paul would raise the question.
verse 6 Paul counters that argument by saying, "Certainly not".
Paul says that there is no logic in raising that question.
If that were so, how could God judge the world, he points out.
It's clear from this statement that Paul's opposition would believe that
God will judge the world. He in fact
will judge the world because man is unrighteous and sinful.
Sin still needs to be accounted for and that will eventually take place
at the White Throne Judgment as seen in Revelation 20.
course, if Paul's opposition did not believe God will judge the world, then what
Paul says here is useless. That
being said, Paul would not have made this point if he knew his opposition did
not believe God will some day judge the world.
verse 7 Paul continues this train of thought. He
gives a specific example of unrighteousness.
He states that if his untruthfulness enhances the truth of God and shows
God's glory, why does God still call him a sinner?
God should be happy that His glory is been clearly seen. Again,
Paul is anticipating the argument posed by this opposition.
verse 8 Paul says that he has been slandered by some when they say that he is
teaching people that they can do evil so good may come from their evil.
The good that would come is the clear distinction between God's
righteousness and man's unrighteousness, thus showing God's glory to all.
You will see this come up again later in Romans.
When Paul gets into his argument that salvation is by faith alone, some
got the idea that he was saying that the more we sin, the more we do wrong, the
more God can have mercy on us. The
logical, although as I've said before, twisted conclusion, is for us to sin all
we want so God can have mercy on us and His glory seen to all.
Paul was not saying any such thing, but sad to say, some were saying that
of Paul. Actually, some Christians
today live as though Paul did say such a thing.
Paul says that those who believe this, live this, and say that he teaches
this, deserve the condemnation they will receive from God.
Christians today live a very sloppy life. They
sin, thinking that God will forgive every sin.
They fail to understand that true repentance plays a very important part
in the forgiveness process. There is
no forgiveness without true repentance, so if you expect to sin, thinking God
will forgive you, you better think again.