It is always useful to recall from where we have come for present context, so a short review is always in order.  In chapter 1, after Paul introduces himself, his credentials, and his audience, he begins to speak about the subject that we have now termed in our understanding, RADICAL DEPRAVITY, detailing it in 1:18-32, giving both reasons and examples regarding the terrible and approaching wrath of God.

Chapter 2 becomes a little more specific, addressing a specific target audience – the Jew in their midst – that perhaps had come because of some kind of agreement that Jesus was a man to follow, but still relying on their own Jewish ritual, rite, sign, or even membership of the specific group for their salvation.  Paul went on to explain that there is no ritual, rite, sign, place, set of words or actions, or membership of any specific earthly group that has salvific effect.  That salvation [soteria] only comes from one source for everyone – from Christ alone, by grace alone through faith alone, as the theologians of the Reformation put it.

That brings us to chapter 3, and I broke it down as follows:

KV 24:  Escape from wrath by His grace… (like a plea)

1-4:  Not everyone will believe

5-18:  ALL humans BEGIN under sin

19-26:  Christ has full atonement made (what a wonderful Saviour)

27-31:  One NEW Law for everyone – FAITH!

KV 24:  Escape from wrath by His grace…

Chapter 3 begins to tell the amazing story of how the terror-inducing wrath of God that is certain and coming may be escaped.  More of the Doctrines of Grace become visible here besides RADICAL DEPRAVITY that is detailed in 1:18-32, and SOVEREIGN ELECTION, which is hinted at in Chapter 2.  We see it reflected here as well, as it talks of what in our TULIP acrostic is known as Limited Atonement.  However, and as I stated last time, I really feel like I don’t like the acrostic, because the names it inspire prove insufficient to both the understanding of the topic and the definitions themselves.  Sovereign Election under the acrostic is called, for example, Unconditional Election.  This is a misnomer, because there were conditions for the election, but they are unknown to us and reside only in the heart of God, who made His Sovereign Choice (or election, same word in Greek, eklectos).  Limited Atonement as a term places the focus on the Number of the Special Club that God picked out, and only so many will get in, when this is a wrong focus on the wrong issue to begin with, and might even be responsible for that “we’re better than you” attitude that people who are ungenerously characterized as “Calvinists” are accused of.  I much prefer the term, DEFINITE ATONEMENT as reflective of the issue.

Instead of “why would God only pick some and pass by others for Salvation,” which generates all kinds of answers that are absolutely clueless (like God look down the tunnels of time and saw who would respond favourably…) – as if God has EVER had a day where HE needed to learn ANYTHING – Paul makes the case with a different focus.  My preferred way of stating it is like this – “Rather than “Why should God only save some,” it should be, “Why should God save anyone at all?”  Yet He does, through the substitutionary atonement by His Son on the Cross.  There is no other way, no matter what kind of external human spin you want to put on that.  And He WILL save all those that respond to Him in that fashion.  May I remind you what it says in the Westminster Confession of Faith regarding this decree of God?  Based on that Atonement on the Cross, all who He has made to respond favourably will be saved, as it says, that no violence will be done to the will of the creature. 

By the way, no real Calvinist will deny this.  Only what are known as hyper-Calvinists will use this as an excuse to NOT preach the gospel, claiming instead that God will save His elect anyway, not understanding that God has chosen to involve His children in that exercise as a sacred duty.  Let me ask it this way?  Do we know who the actual elect are?  Other than yourself, you really haven’t got a foggy clue.  That makes Jesus Command to make disciples a very serious charge indeed, beloved.  Paul will explain more about this sacred duty in chapter 10, in fact.  This is why I am not really satisfied with the term Limited Atonement.  It forces someone into a wrong focus and wrong understanding of the issue, and therefore they ask the wrong questions, which lead to wrong behaviours, which include avoiding preaching the Gospel wherever you can to whomever you can at all opportunities like we should.  Now – none of this denies human will or human responsibility, because we are all under sin BY DEFAULT.  Paul is going to state that in the first four verses of the chapter this evening, in fact.  With that truth revealed from Scripture, it is absolutely awe-inspiring that God would save any of us at all.  Let’s get into our analysis of the text, one verse at a time.

1-4:  Not everyone will believe

Recall that Paul was in chapter 2 assaulting the so-called confidence of the “Jew in the pew” as literal descendants of Abraham, and also their confidence in the sign of that Abrahamic covenant, circumcision.  In the closing verses of the last chapter, Paul told his audience that being a Jew was not a physical or literal qualification of the flesh, but rather was an inward thing in the Spirit and of faith alone.  This will be important to remember in just a moment.

1:  Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision?

  1. Paul is asking, “What is so special about being a national Jew, one of Jewish genetic stock?”  Also, with the same verse he is asking what benefit a physical circumcision have over a more “spiritual” meaning of the word?  And he is about to answer what has now become a rhetorical question.

2:  Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God.

  1. Apparently, there is a fair bit of superiority here, because the nation of Israel itself was gifted by a covenant with a trust – the very oracles of God.  The Greek word is logion, which is related to logos, the divine expression.  This is a reference to the very Word of God, literally.

3:  What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?

  1. And here is the main point I was trying to make in part earlier – The unbelief of humans will not nullify God’s word or God’s faithfulness to His word.  Here, Paul is asking it as a question, but it is a rhetorical question – with an obvious answer – no, it will not.
  2.  Because this is in the past tense, we know that some did not believe, and some did.  If you really think about this, you can enter into a larger understanding of what is being discussed.  Does this extend to the present day?  It must, and by this we know that not all men will believe – because not all have already.  We can also know that God had a hand in making people the way He wanted them to respond to demonstrate His attributes for His own glory.  Pharaoh in Exodus that Moses faced down is one example of that.  Pharaoh had a part in it too, and it is not my purpose to examine all the theological issues that creates here, but the will of Pharaoh was never violated by God, and both God and Pharaoh got the end that God desired for them.  And whit if others didn’t believe?  Well, again, it had no effect – their will was never violated. 
  3. You see, the statement is usually “that’s not fair that God wouldn’t save everyone.”  What could be fairer?  They got what they really wanted, and so will all that express this choice one way or the other.  There is even provision for those that want to switch camps – and God foreknew and foreordained or predestined it all.

4:  May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, “That You may be justified in Your words, And prevail when You are judged.”

  1. Paul even reflects this with his answer to his own question – “May it never be!”  In doing so, he states the standard for humans to know it – God is truth by its very definition.  Anyone that wants to differ is participating in a lie, some willingly, some not.  This is recorded for us in Scripture in Psalm 51:4b – which in context is talking about the same thing.  It reads, “Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge.”  This is King David’s confessional prayer for murder and adultery, interestingly, neither of which has any mechanism for forgiveness under the Mosaic Law, and yet David was forgiven and not given the death penalty that under the Law was required for both himself and his partner Bathsheba. 
  2. There are some observations that we can make from Paul’s use of this verse here.  First, Sin is always primarily against God, no matter what it is or who we intend our actions toward.  Second, sin is always evil in the sight of God, no matter the purpose for which it was accomplished.  That has a corollary – if you do the right thing but sin in the course of doing it, it is still the wrong thing.  Motives count too.  And He who sees all hearts knows all motives.

5-18:  ALL humans BEGIN under sin

All of this tells us that for this to be true, all humans had to start out under sin to begin with.  Sometimes, during pastoral ministry, I get the question of why bad things happen to good people.  The quaint quip is that “There are no good people.”  As true as that is, it is an incomplete explanation most times.  The reason that bad things happen is because sin entered the world when humans disobeyed God in Genesis 3.  We are not only responsible for our own misdeeds, but also for that original disobedient act – because we would have done no differently than our first father Adam – and it became somehow communicated from man to his offspring right down to today.  That is the concept of Original Sin.  It is more than just genetics, but somehow, we get it from our parents and we give it to our children without even trying.  It is because of that sin that we must teach our children the Gospel, and they too have their own wills that God will not violate, and it will not always line up with our best wishes for them.  We still need to talk to them – but obeying the Gospel after a certain point of maturity will be their choice, and not yours.  All this really does is demonstrate that sin is alive in the world and operating any way it can, even through believers at times (we’ll get there in chapter 7).

That actually says something about the idea of “covenant children” being baptized before making a mature choice to become a Christian as well, but we will be here all night if I get us off track onto that discussion.  Maybe another time.  Again, someone remind me.  Moving on.

5:  But if our unrighteousness  demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.)

  1. If our sovereign God is absolutely righteous by definition, then anything we do that isn’t absolute and perfect obedience to what God wants is unrighteousness.  If we were to ask it as a question in this context, in reference to what is righteous or unrighteous, we might ask “According to whose standard?”  If we were to ask that according to a perfect and almighty God’s standard (and we are), we must arrive at that conclusion.  Otherwise God really is unjust, and since Justice is one of His attributes, that cannot be correct.  I know, it sounds a lot like a logic argument, doesn’t it.  That’s because it is.  The God who personifies Justice will pour out His punishment on all injustice – and every person that has ever lived is squarely in those crosshairs, beloved, including you and me.

6:  May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world?

  1. Now remember, Paul is using an almost catechizing method of asking questions and then answering them.  If the above were not true, then how cold God judge the world?  The fact is, if it weren’t true (but it is), then all of the mooks that like to sit around and judge God according to their own (stupid) standards would be right.  However, contrary to their beliefs, there ARE absolutes, and God personifies them, and none of us can escape that reality by making stuff up to believe instead.

7:  But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner?

  1. The lie that Paul is speaking about here is traditional Judaism.  (True Judaism actually ends in Christianity.)  Although it was true that at one point in history, it was the God-given religion, that covenant with God through Moses was broken before it was even delivered on the first day of it.  I doubt it lasted much longer the second time, either.  What Paul is actually saying here is, “Look, I’m a Jew by birth – both parents were Jewish, from the tribe of Benjamin, a Pharisee of the strictest sect, and zealous for God to the point where I was a former persecutor of this way of Jesus – so if that lie I believed was enough to glorify God, then why as a Jew am I still a sinner?  Shouldn’t it be otherwise?  Well, yes, actually.

8:  And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), “Let us do evil that good may come”? Their condemnation is just.

  1. How do I know that is what Paul was saying?  Because this was a standard line from the Jews that were persecuting the early Christians to the Romans.  There was a reason Nero picked Christians to blame when he ordered the burning of Rome.  The results of that order galvanized Rome against Christianity.  You want to talk about what isn’t fair?  There you go.

9:  What then?  Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;

  1. Paul here is suggesting that while the Jews were gifted with a number of advantages that he has listed off until this point, the Jews are no better off spiritually than the Gentiles.  He has already said that both Jews and non-Jews are under the penalty of sin and wrath of God.  He is about to go through a series of quotations from the Old Testament to demonstrate this to the Jews in the audience primarily, but all Scripture IS given by God, so all the Gentiles in the crowd had the same stake in Paul’s argument as the Jews did.

10:  as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one;

  1. From this point through v.12 is a quote from both Psalm 14:1-3 and Psalm 53:1-3 (not surprising, they are both Psalms of David).  The context that Paul is using these quotes in is the same context as their old testament counterparts.  He is using texts that explain that no one on earth is righteous.

11:  There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God;

  1. There are a couple of interesting points about the words used here.  “Understands” comes from a word that means “to set together in order,” indicating the use of logical thought.  No one utilizes logic.  The word “seeks” comes from a word that means “to investigate carefully.”  No one thinks logically, and no one investigates in truly careful fashion.

12:  All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.”

  1. Why?  Because all have turned aside, or rather away (Greek).  In that turning aside, all have “become useless,” and that is a literal rendering.  Dear ones, God gave us a brain and He expects us to use it to find Him.
  2. You know, I took my degree from Carleton University here in Ottawa in Biology.  They taught us how to THINK back then, so I kind of get the meaning here – but in the last few decades, there has come this notion that people need to express opinions instead of pay attention to what they see, and that has led to a generation of parrots of their professor’s theories.  Of course that was afoot and in progress even when I was there, but I managed to escape it fully.
  3. You know what taught me to really think though?  It was my study of the Bible!  I just had to know what it really says – so that I can please the one who inspired His servants to write it.  And bless God, He has brought me into fellowship with some brothers and sisters that also want to know what it says so we can please Him together.

13:  “Their throat is an open grave, With their tongues they keep deceiving,” “The poison of asps is under their lips”;

  1. Here is more from the Psalms – 5:9b and 140:3.  The first speaks about the foes of David, and the latter speaks of violent men, in their original context.  Think of what all this means in connection with the previous verses.  Is it not that WE are all like this together?  We are ALL those foes of Christ (of whom David is a type) and violent men, some of us more than others, and there are more kinds of violence than just the physical. 
  2. For example, I have in the past been a practitioner of some of the martial arts.  I hold belts and awards in Judo and in Jiu-jitsu, the grandfather art from which Judo came (Judo was created by a man named Jigoro Kano in the 1882 AS a SPORT version of Jiu-jitsu, Aikido is all the kill moves from jiu-jitsu).  I still love to watch it performed by experts, but it usually takes the form of an all-out fight between two men, so I forego that pleasure these days, knowing that a violent man is not what I want to be.  But I also used to be quite a debater, and I at least used to be a student of the insult.  That’s verbal violence, and the Lord is teaching me another way of relating entirely.  Let no “unwholesome word” proceed for your mouth, it says in Ephesians 4:29 (NASB).  I will leave the poison of asps under the tongue as a trick for followers of Shaka Zulu.

14:  “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”;

  1. As you might expect, the “cursing” is really a malediction, something pronounced, or perhaps even prayed about to their version of what they think is a god, because that is the alternate meaning of this word.  Bitterness is used here in the sense of “evil speaking,” which I take to mean “saying bad things about” a person or other subject.  An example of that would be something like “McDonalds sucks!”
  2. This is also a quote from Psalm 10:7, and is used there in the context of those who are God’s adversaries.

15:  “Their feet are swift to shed blood,

  1. In this context, this statement could be understood to mean, “They are quick to let it fly,” where “it” is whatever form of abuse they happen to be hurling at their target.
  2. The quote here is a passage from Isaiah, 59:7f, just a snippet of verse, let alone contextual passage, but it is still significant.  This passage is spoken about those who claim to follow Yahweh, and yet are demonstrably NOT following him because of their displayed character.  Isaiah 59:1 starts this passage with, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short That it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull That it cannot hear.  But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”
  3. That means we should also be including ourselves in the definition Paul is giving here from various places in the Old Testament.

16:  Destruction and misery are in their paths,

  1. The word here for destruction means literally, “a shattering,” or “a breaking into [very tiny] pieces.”  The word for “misery” is used here as a noun for the concept of misery, meaning hardship, suffering, and distress; wretched.  “Paths” means “the way that these people take.”  Because of all of what has come before in the description from God, this is what is going to occur to these people.

17:  And the path of peace they have not known.”

  1. This is a statement of fact in summary that such individuals have not even understood or perceived the way that leads to peace [eirene, peace, well-being].  That’s scary.

18:  “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

  1. The meaning of the verse here is that there is no fear, the element that affects the disposition and attitude in the person in question.  There is NO fear, so no reason to obey God that they can see.
  2. This is a quote from Psalm 36:1b, which from the context (1a) is referring to the ungodly.  Wait, isn’t that all of us?  I mean read that above description again.  Paul is referring specifically to the Jews here, and is using Scripture from the Old Testament to show that they too are shut up under sin and have been from the beginning!  But to take a page from Cinderella, Gentile friends, “if the shoe fits, wear it!”

There can be no doubt as to our radical depravity before this awesome, terrifying, and holy God.  ALL are shut up under sin!  All that is in store for us sinners is the terrifying wrath of God that will shatter us in pieces, and bring us suffering, hardship, and misery, and ultimately all that in hell for eternity.  What hope is there?  Can any be saved from this condition Paul describes?

19-26:  Christ has for sin atonement made (what a wonderful Saviour)

Thank God that because of His Son, the answer is a resounding YES!  I picked these words to subtitle this thought unit of the chapter because it is an old hymn that comforts me.  It goes:

Christ Has for sin atonement made; (what a wonderful Saviour!)

We are redeemed, the price is paid. (What a wonderful Saviour!)

What a wonderful Saviour is Jesus, my Jesus –

What a wonderful Saviour is Jesus, my Lord.

The rest of the hymn can be looked up at if you are interested.  The point Paul is about to make is a Gospel point about the hope that humankind can be delivered from the wrath of God.  I don’t want to give it all away at the beginning, so let’s move into the text again slowly.

19:  Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;

  1. Paul, in summary here, is stating that because the Law says, it says this to people who are followers of the Law of Moses, not just to those outside the nation of Israel.  Further, he states that purpose to be the making of the people to be shutting up about how the Law is the cleanser – no, it is the standard.  No one met it, so shut up and realize that you too are accountable to God.

20:  because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for  through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

  1. See?  This is what I just said.  The LAW has NO cleansing effect.  It is merely the standard by which the world is to be judged – the standard, by the way, that shows us what behaviours are offensive to God.  If you were to put this into modern-day language, it would be like saying that the Criminal Code of Canada saves you.  We know – that is, it makes sense to us – that all the Criminal Code does is tell us what we should not do if we do not wish to run afoul of the Law.  It is not able to make our choices for us.  That is up to us – so it also does no violence as a decree to the will of the person under its authority.
  2. And yet, we still sin because that is our radically depraved nature in full operation against the Law of God.  With this summary, Paul moves into hope – with the logic that he said wrongdoers do not have, and so he states it plainly, which I love.

21:  But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

  1. Did you catch that?  Righteousness has been manifested, that is made apparent or obvious, APART from the Law!  That means that righteousness can be outside of the God-given standard.  Pay attention, this is a very finessed logic argument that Paul is on.  Further, that righteousness was witnessed by both the Law (the standard) and the Prophets (the ones charged by God with proclaiming the standard).

22:  even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

  1. And there it is!  The righteousness of God comes to us through faith (firm opinion, persuasion) in Jesus Christ for all those who believe!  Paul is not going to immediately explain this, for all of you waiting with bated breath, so you will have to get there when Paul intended.
  2. For there is no distinction.  Paul is saying that there is no distinction between Jews and Gentiles that are hearing of this righteousness that is outside of the Law.

23:  for all  have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

  1. You see, there is no distinction.  ALL have sinned.  The word for sin here is “to miss the mark.”  (quietly to myself, I wonder if some are even aiming in the right general direction)  As a result of missing the mark, all have not gained (come late, come short, finish or be behind) the glory of God. 
  2. Those of you who have heard me preach the Gospel know that I will often use this verse in isolation – from the surrounding context you can now see that I’m not actually using it out of context!  Paul is slowly and in some detail also preaching the Gospel!

24:  being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

  1. You see?  Although all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, we can be justified as a gift of His grace alone, by faith (v.22) alone, through the redemption that is in Christ alone.  We can be MADE RIGHT before God because of Jesus dying in our place on the cross.

25:  whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation  in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;

  1. See?  The cross is the place where God “displayed publicly” the Lord Jesus as an “atonement” in His (Jesus’) blood through faith.  “Christ has for sin atonement made!  What a wonderful Saviour!”  Why would God the Father do that?
  2. According to Paul, it was to demonstrate His righteousness.  Why?  In forbearance (that is the withholding of His own wrath against sin) of God – He (God) passed over THE sins.  God knew about those sins.  He was angry at those sins.  He has stored up wrath that He will release against those sins. 
  3. Notice here THE sins.  These are the specific sins of specific people here – and God is still angry at all sin.  What did God do with those specific sins of specific people?
  4. He passed over them.  He let them go.  He dismissed them, because of the substitutionary sacrifice Jesus made – He died in our place.  How appropriate are the words “He passed over them?”  The picture is of the Passover Lamb as the Israelites were ready to flee Egypt – when the angel of death saw the sign of the blood of that lamb on the doorposts, he passed by that home and moved on to homes that did not have that blood on the door posts.  Jesus Christ was OUR Passover Lamb beloved!  It is His blood that allows God to just let our sins go and account us as right before Him.

26:  for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

  1. Again, why?  Paul tells us that God was demonstrating His own righteousness at the present time.  What is the present time?  Is it the era when Paul spoke?  I suppose in part.  But it must also somehow speak to us at our present time, so I reason that it is at the time that God Himself justifies the one who truly believes in Jesus.  In this manner, God has not winked at sin, but instead has dealt with it by substituting Himself as the one that pays the penalty for ALL who will believe!  He is just (has not broken His word), and the justifier (the one who does the making right of sinners by substitution). 
  2. What is the key to this wonderful door to escape God’s coming terrifying wrath?  It is to place your trust (a component of faith) in the facts – God Himself has saved you by sacrificing His own Son (also God) in your place.  There is more to that, but that’s all Paul says here, so I will move on.

Did you get all that?  Because ALL are under sin, both Jews and Gentiles, there is no distinction in who is a sinner.  But Christ made payment for all our sins – actually all sins throughout all time – and will save all who turn to Him in true faith (belief) in Him and His sacrifice on the Cross.  Yes, there is more, but I’m moving at Paul’s pace down Paul’s path.

27-31:  One NEW Law for everyone – FAITH!

One of the astonishing realities of Christianity is that it is not a religion of tasks and rituals and deeds.  We must do God’s work, surely! I hear you say.  Of course we must, if we are to call ourselves Christians?  But just what is that work He is calling us to do?  A group of people had the exact same question for Jesus in John 6:28, which reads, “Therefore they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?'”

His answer was plain.  He did not stutter.  He did not even think about it.  He replied in verse 29, “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.'”  That is what we must DO if we DO anything at all – Galatians 2:20 (look that one up on your own) can be used to make the argument that Jesus is the one doing the work for us.  Regardless of where you want to land on this theologically, it is clear that we must believe, or have faith in Him because of His work in our place.  He initiated a NEW COVENANT, one which has one law – that you have faith in Him. That law is expressed best for me in 2 Cor. 5:21 – “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  Have a look.

27:  Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.

  1. See?  Because God did it all within the Trinity (and make no mistake, the whole Trinity was involved), no human can boast of how good they are that they could accomplish it themselves save one- Lord Jesus Christ Himself.  Right off the bat, no one but He can claim the win.
  2. What kind of law do we have under this New Covenant?  One of works, and deeds, and words, and rites, and vestments, and rituals?  The Mosaic law?  NO!  We have the Law of Faith.  That Law says that Jesus paid it all, and therefore, we owe it all to Him anyway.  For those that will put their faith and trust in Him, no work matters any longer unless it pleases Him.

28:  For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.

  1. This is the bottom line – anyone who is justified MUST be justified by faith – apart from any works of the Mosaic Law.  Now before anyone starts to accuse me of Antinomianism (a fancy long word for a heresy that means one has abandoned the law of God), I JUST stated that we have a NEW law under the New Covenant.  It works like this – because Jesus died in my place, I will do what pleases Him, and that is my Law.  Do you want to know what pleases Him?  Read the Moral Law (also called the Ten Commandments).  We don’t try to keep them for our salvation, but because God has saved us, we want to please Him by keeping His commandments, just like He did for the Father, even when it cost Him His own life.  And hang in there, more is coming.
  2. But why apart from the Mosaic Law?  Well, because God is not just the God of the Jews, is He?

29:  Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,

  1. God is the Creator of ALL.  Remember, He doesn’t play favourites.  He will save ALL those that call on His name.

30:  since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one.

  1. One God created everything.  One God will…”uncreate” everything at the end of time.  How then will this one God have different ways for different people to be justified from their sins before Him and escape His wrath?  The bottom line is that He will not have multiple ways for multiple people groups.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.  This One God has ONE WAY, and if you want to be His, you must follow it.  You cannot pick and choose what you will obey, or you are practicing elements of Antinomianism.  What does Paul say about that?

31:  Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law.

  1. Paul is confirming what I said earlier about the Law.  The Mosaic Law, or at least the Moral Law becomes now our standard for behaviour, and because we are now saved and justified before God, we seek to follow that so th
  2. At we may please the one who saved us – we establish that law in its real purpose and intent.

Hopefully you can see through my limited human effort that this was not any kind of shell game.  Instead, next chapter, we will see an Old Testament example of this justification outside of the Law in action.

That’s chapter 3, beloved – next time, chapter 4.

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