There is not a multiplicity of ways to enter into the Kingdom of heaven. There is only one way for all of humanity to enter it (Jew and Gentile alike) – and that is through Yeshua the Messiah. The Jewish people, although they are called the people of G-d, are not in some way exempt from receiving the gospel. The message of the gospel was given to Israel first – for their well-being and redemption, but then secondly it was given to them to take that message of redemption and share it with all the world.
v9:What then: Paul asks a question. He wants us to give this some thought or consideration.
- Are we better: Paul, being Jewish, is speaking about the Jewish community. He wants to know if they, based upon the fact that they are Jewish, think that they should get spiritual preference before G-d.
- Previously charged (stated): Paul has spoken or written about this at an earlier time.
- Greeks: Gentiles
- Under sin: ‘Under’ so frequently alludes to judgment. Jews and Gentiles alike (those who have not received the gospel) are going to receive judgment because of their sin.
v10: It is written: Paul frequently backs up what he is revealing by going back to the Old Testament Scripture. Here he quotes from Psalm 14:3.
- None righteous: Not one individual in all of human history (except for Yeshua – the only begotten Son of G-d) has been righteous.
v11: Note: See also Psalm 53:1-3
- Seeks…G-d: Pursues…G-d. People do not seek G-d because they are under the influence of sin. Sin (we were all born with that original sin) dominates us, so that we do not understand G-d and nor do we pursue Him.
v12: All: An inclusive word, meaning all of humanity.
- Gone out of the way: Turned aside. Gone on a detour. We have all deviated from that which is right or proper.
- Unprofitable: Corrupt. Rotten. Spoiled. In our sinful state, there is nothing of value or profitable within us.
- Good: This is not the normal word for good but at its core this is a word for ‘grace’. Noone is gracious or kind. In our unredeemed state none of us reflect the character of G-d.
v13: Note: Quoted from Psalm 5:9 and Psalm 140:3. Here Paul is describing humanity from G-d’s perspective.
- Open tomb (grave): An open grave is a dangerous place. It is easy to fall into. A grave is also associated with death, corruption, spiritual impurity.
- Practiced deceit: They do not speak the truth.
- Poison: Venom
- Asps: Dangerous snakes.
v14: Note: See Psalm 10:7
- Mouth is full of cursing: Israel was supposed to be an instrument of blessing. Believers are called to be a blessing to others, and not an instrument of cursing. Those who have not accepted the gospel do not speak in kindness to others.
- Bitterness: Unhappy people are generally bitter people.
v15: Note: Murder, and the increasing of the murder rate in our time, is an indication that humanity is corrupt.
v16: Destruction: Calamity. Something that is a catastrophe from a G-dly perspective.
- Misery: Overwhelming sorrow. Left to ourselves, the influence of sin will lead us down the path of destruction and misery, intense suffering physically but also emotionally (Luke 13:28).
v17: Note: See Isaiah 59:7-8
- Peace: We experience peace when we are walking in obedience to G-d’s will. We cannot experience peace outside of G-d’s will. And we can never walk in G-d’s will unless we have been redeemed.
v18: No fear of G-d: They do not give G-d priority in their lives. He is not the centre of their lives.
- Before their eyes: They do not have a G-dly perspective, therefore they make the wrong decisions.