The Book of Romans Bible Study Chapter 3 Part 1

We go on to Romans 3:1-8

v1: Note: After reading Roms 2:26-29 (G-d counting Gentiles as circumcised if they obey Him, and counting Jews as uncircumcised if they disobey) some people state that being Jewish, therefore, has very little value or significance. Paul begins to address this issue. 

v2: Much: Paul states here that being Jewish has great significance. 

  • In every way: According to every manner of life.
  • To them were committed (entrusted) the oracles: Paul begins to pinpoint all the things that G-d has done for the Jewish people and with the Jewish people.
  • Oracles: The utterances of G-d (what He has said and revealed) to humanity. The Word of G-d was entrusted to the Jewish people, and, through them, it came to us – fully inspired and inerrant (2 Tim 3:16). 

v3: Some did not believe: They were faithlessMany Jewish people rejected the gospel and did not walk in faith. During those 40 years in the wilderness the kingdom was divided because of faithlessness (idolatry). Many people did not obey G-d and nor did they believe Him. 

  • Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of G-d (null and void): G-d’s faithfulness does not depend on Israel or upon the Jewish people. G-d is always faithful (2 Tim 2:13). Despite the unfaithfulness of the people, G-d, in His faithfulness, continued to use them in order to fulfil His plans and purposes. 

v4: Let G-d be true: G-d is always truthful. When we (as Old Testament Jewish people, or New Testament believers) disobey G-d and fail Him, it does not affect His holiness, righteousness or faithfulness. 

  • It is written: Quoted from Ps 51:4
  • Overcome when You are judged (literally: Victorious in Your Judgment): This is not talking about G-d being victorious when He pours out His judgment on this world, but rather about Him being judged or evaluated based upon His Word, according to what He has said. G-d is perfectly righteous and perfectly just. He will perfectly keep His Word. 

v5: Our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of G-d: When a human being is unrighteous (disobedient or rebellious), G-d’s Word (what He promises to do) and His actions toward that unrighteous behaviour manifests His faithfulness. He righteously does what He said He will do. 

  • What should we say? Based on what has been said above: Can we call G-d unjust or unrighteous for punishing unrighteousness with His wrath? G-d has warned us that He is going to deal with human disobedience. When He does deal with disobedience it manifests His glory and His righteousness (eg. In Exodus, the disobedience of Pharoah led to the manifestation of G-d’s glory to the Egyptians as well as to the Israelites. Through Pharoah’s disobedience, they learnt about the faithfulness of G-d to redeem His people). Some people erroneously and blasphemously believed (and many possibly still believe) that because disobedience brought about a good outcome (it gives G-d the opportunity to show His righteousness) they should not in fact be punished for their disobedience but rewarded for it. This is not the case. 

v6: Note: If G-d rewarded disobedience (because it afforded Him an opportunity to manifest His faithfulness and righteousness) then He would never be able to punish wrong. 

v7: Lie: Falsehood. This verse is running on the same logic as discussed above. People think that if their lies bring about a good thing – ie the elevation of G-d’s truth – then they question why they should be judged for their lies. They falsely assume that their lies should be rewarded as their lies show up the truth of G-d. 

v8: Slanderously reported: Literally the word for blasphemed against. Blasphemy is usually a word associated with G-d. Paul is using this word in relation to Christians (Christians being blasphemed against) as the Living G-d dwells within us by means of the Holy Spirit. 

  • As some affirm that we say: Paul and his companions were speaking truth to the people. Not only did the people disagree with them, but they also falsely accused them – saying that they were saying things that they had not actually said. They were saying that Paul was saying ‘Let us do evil so that good may come’. Their reason for doing this was to discredit Paul and those with him (just like they want to discredit Christians today). We never want to be people who do evil things. G-d never moves us to do evil. He did not move Judas to betray Yeshua. Although good did come from Yeshua’s crucifixion, Judas was not serving G-d or G-d’s will or purposes when he betrayed Yeshua. Satan exploited the sinful tendency in the life of Judas. G-d, never motivating or causing the terrible things happening around us, is never-the-less free to use those things to manifest His glory. 
  • Their condemnation is just: G-d will judge the sinner. Even though G-d can use what the sinner has done and turn it to good, the sinner, if he doesn’t repent, will be judged and face the consequences of his sin. 

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