God Remains Faithful
3 Then what’s the advantage of being a Jew? Is there any value in the ceremony of circumcision? 2 Yes, there are great benefits! First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the whole revelation of God.[a]
3 True, some of them were unfaithful; but just because they were unfaithful, does that mean God will be unfaithful? 4 Of course not! Even if everyone else is a liar, God is true. As the Scriptures say about him,
“You will be proved right in what you say,
and you will win your case in court.”[b]
5 “But,” some might say, “our sinfulness serves a good purpose, for it helps people see how righteous God is. Isn’t it unfair, then, for him to punish us?” (This is merely a human point of view.) 6 Of course not! If God were not entirely fair, how would he be qualified to judge the world? 7 “But,” someone might still argue, “how can God condemn me as a sinner if my dishonesty highlights his truthfulness and brings him more glory?” 8 And some people even slander us by claiming that we say, “The more we sin, the better it is!” Those who say such things deserve to be condemned.
All People Are Sinners
9 Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles,[c] are under the power of sin. 10 As the Scriptures say,
“No one is righteous—
not even one.
11 No one is truly wise;
no one is seeking God.
12 All have turned away;
all have become useless.
No one does good,
not a single one.”
13 “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with lies.”
“Snake venom drips from their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “They rush to commit murder.
16 Destruction and misery always follow them.
17 They don’t know where to find peace.”
18 “They have no fear of God at all.”
19 Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. 20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
Christ Took Our Punishment
21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses[i] and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.
27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. 28 So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.
29 After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course he is. 30 There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles.[j] 31 Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.
I switched versions of the bible to the New Living Translation for our reading today. I felt it was more clear and explained this passage very well, at least it did for me. 🙂 Today is all about God’s faithfulness. Paul is still expanding on his explanation of the law and how it is not what makes you righteous, nor does being a Jew give you special passage to heaven someday. Paul says something very important in verse 20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
The law was never intended to be the thing that saves us, but rather it would highlight how and where we sin. It would also emphasis the need for a savior, because as a people, we are hopeless on our own. Paul writes in vs 23 how we have all sinned and fall short of God’s standard. This verse has 2 very important lessons we need to understand. 1.- it says all have sinned, so he does not mean just the Jew or just the gentile. 2.- All means all. No one has been made fully righteous by following the law, the law, as we said, merely highlighted our unrighteousness.
This really is a continuation of what we talked about yesterday. I mentioned we should be careful not to have the “at least I dont do that” attitude towards others. When we consider that in conjunction with Paul writing that we are all sinners, and there is not even one righteous person, this truly does put us all in exactly the same boat, despite how big or small our sins are (in our own eyes). We all have equal need for Jesus so it needs to be our utmost priority to point others to Him also. Afterall, someone took the time to point Him to you and I, why can’t we do the same?
God you are so good and mighty. Thank you for your incredible faithfulness to us even when we fall short. Thank you again for Your incredible plan of salvation, for Your hope you give to all mankind. Help us all to feel the urgency to point our friends and neighbors to you. Give us wisdom how to do that. Thank you Lord for the sunshine today, bless the day of each one reading here today, may the work of their hands be productive. In Jesus name, amen.