The Book of Romans
Paul continues his theme that all humanity is guilty of sin. So far, we have discovered that sin is rebellion against God. Humanity has rejected divine revelation, they have changed the glory of an uncorruptible God into images made like corruptible man, birds, beast, and creeping things, and they have developed into a lower degree of moral disgrace and depravity. Religious people, self-righteous people, and so-called “good people” need a Savior because God’s standard of righteousness is different than man’s and God’s judgment of guilty sinners is fair. There is no safety to be found in formal religion and outward acts because salvation is a condition of the heart. Paul continues his argument by asking the question, what advantage is available to the Jew that will enable him to go to heaven that is not available to the Gentile.
As a nation, the Jews have the special privilege of writing and compiling the Old Testament Scriptures. As a nation, they have received many covenant blessings from God. Their unbelief and unfaithfulness has not make God unfaithful concerning His promises to Israel. However, the special privilege enjoyed by the Nation of Israel does not preclude the fact that all humanity is guilty of sin and in need of a Savior.
I. Unbelief does not Invalidate the Promises, Vs, 1-4
- V 1, What advantage then hath the Jew? V 2, Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. As a nation the Jews have the special privilege of writing and compiling the Old Testament Scriptures. They are the beneficiaries of the Covenant Blessings from God. Among the Covenant blessings is the promise that Abraham would be a blessing to all nations. Genesis 12:2-3, And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. God’s salvation history reveals that He has used the Nation of Israel to preserve His promise to provide a Savior to all of humanity. Genesis 3:15, And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. The prophet Isaiah foretold of the suffering of Christ. Isaiah 53:12, Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
- V 3, For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? The unfaithfulness of the Nation of Israel has not invalidated God’s promise to Abraham that the Nation of Israel would be a blessing to all nations. The blessing is not found in riches of gold but in the suffering of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Psalms 89:34-37, My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established forever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven.
II. Unbelief does not Modify Vengeance, Vs, 5-6
- V 5, But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man). Speaking from a foolish human point of view the question is raised, if humanity’s unrighteousness reveals God’s righteousness, why then will God punish unrighteousness. To put it another way, if God is shown to be in the right by man’s sin, then God is honored by our shortcomings. How then can God punish us when we have helped display His righteousness?
- V 6, God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? Paul answers his question with another question, if God does not punish unrighteousness, then God is not just and there will be no Day of Judgment. The flaw in this logic is that God’s justice demands that He judge unrighteousness. To claim that God is unjust because He judges unrighteousness is a ludicrous argument. People who think otherwise deserve condemnation because their focus is not on glorifying God but on giving free reign to their sinful desires.
III. Unbelief does not alter Guilt, Vs, 7-9
- V 7, For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? The question in this verse is the same basic objection as in v 5, except this time the sinner objects to being called a sinner if his or her sin enhances God’s truth.
- V 8, And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just. Paul takes the erroneous argument a step further. If God can bring good out of evil, then we should not be judged for doing evil, because good may come of it. God will be proved righteous and in that way glorified by our sin. Obviously such a position is preposterous. Paul does not even try to argue against such a senseless viewpoint. he simply assigns those who hold this viewpoint to God’s judgment.
- V 9, What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; The question means, “Do we Jews have an advantage over the Gentiles?” In other words, “is there anything we can cling to for protection?” The obvious answer is no, since all are under sin.
All humanity is guilty of sin. Sin is rebellion against God. Humanity has rejected divine revelation, they have changed the glory of an uncorruptible God into images made like corruptible man, birds, beast, and creeping things, and they have developed into a lower degree of moral disgrace and depravity. Religious people, self-righteous people, and so-called “good people” need a Savior because God’s standard of righteousness is different than man’s and God’s judgment of guilty sinners is fair. There is no safety to be found in formal religion and outward acts because salvation is a condition of the heart. Unbelief does not invalidate God’s promises. Unbelief does not modify God’s vengeances. Unbelief does not alter humanities guilt. There is no available advantage to the Jew or Gentile that will enable him to go to heaven! The Jew, who had the advantage of his religious and physical heritage plus the presence of oral and written divine revelation, is nevertheless no better in the sight of God because he has rejected God revelation. Therefore all men are equally guilty before God. Humanity is under the penalty, power, and presence of sin. Mankind is totally unable to save himself. When the individual admits their guilt and inability to correct their spiritual condition, they are in a position to receive God’s provision of righteousness. The way to heaven is through Jesus Christ! John 14:6, Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Salvation is through faith and not by outward works! Ephesians 2:8, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Created and Researched by Pastor Dennis Baker
Zion Baptist Church
3485 New Baumgartner Rd. - St. Louis, MO 63129 - Phone: 314-846-1867