Bible Discussion — Romans 3

September 12, 2007, 12:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Bible, Chloe, David, Josh J, Mike J, Steve  | No Comments

This week, Bweinh.com looks at the next chapter in the book of Romans, Romans 3.

Genesis: 1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18 | 19-22 | 23-26
27-29 | 30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39 | 40-43 | 44-46 | 47-50

Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18
19-22 | 23-26 | 27-30 | 31-34 | 35-40

And the book of Romans: Chapter 1 | Chapter 2

 
INTRODUCTION:
Mike:
Romans 1: The Gentiles are guilty!
Romans 2: The Jews are guilty!
Romans 3:1-20: EVERYBODY’S GUILTY!
Romans 3:21-30: But:there is some good news.

David:
Paul has revealed God’s wrath against the ungodly, then extended the parameters of ungodliness to include the Jews. Now he attempts to ameliorate their position while simultaneously reaffirming their guilt. And he does it all in a language he has not mastered, making it all the more confusing.

 
SOMETHING YOU’D NEVER NOTICED BEFORE:
Steve:
Paul asks what the profit of circumcision was, immediately answering, “Much in every way!” He must have had lowered rates of HIV in mind.

Chloe:
Verse 2’s explanation of why the Jews were important — they were entrusted with the very words of God. Wow, how privileged are they? But then again, now we’ve all been entrusted with the Word of God.

Josh:
Verses 10-18 appear to be one long quotation, but are actually several shorter quotes from all over the OT, seamlessly compiled to establish a point.

David:
Paul says there are many advantages to being a Jew, but lists just one — they received the law.

 
BEST BAND NAME FROM THE PASSAGE:
Josh: Grave Throat; Not Even One
David: Just Damnation
Chloe: Every Mouth
Mike: Venom of Vipers
Steve: My Lie to His Glory

 
STORY IT REMINDS YOU OF::
David:
The little boy who kept telling his parents that Jesus had “justasified” him. When his parents corrected him and said he must mean “justified,” he said “No, justasified, because it’s just-as-if-I’d never sinned.”

Josh:
I didn’t submit it as a band name, but 3:23 reminds me of a time when I met members of a band called Fallen Short. I was out witnessing in a park using a survey method, and they had the alternative rock, chip on the shoulder attitude towards institutional religion. Our conversation was friendly but brief, and moments after walking away I realized the opportunity I’d missed to delve deeper when they told me their band name. It was six years ago and I still wish I’d said more.

 
DEEP THEOLOGICAL MEANING:
David:
Being a Jew may have made them “God’s chosen people,” but his plan through Abraham was always to “bless all nations.”

Mike:
Almost everything in this passage is deep and theological….but maybe most important is the way that righteous standing before God is fully offered to the whole world in Jesus, not just the incomplete righteousness of the law or the common grace evidenced in some Gentiles.

Steve:
BUT NOW, Paul writes — BUT NOW! Think of the wonder and promise inherent in those two little words, an immediate and drastic change that traded centuries of hapless history for the possibility of peace with the Creator. Now, now the righteousness of God APART from the law is revealed — finally. And with that, floundering man, bound to fail and fall short ever since the Garden tree, had hope restored and redemption delivered.

This whole book, the whole Gospel, can be fairly summed up in four words from this chapter. But now…Jesus Christ.

Chloe:
Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and then not fulfill?” God’s nature does not include lying or reneging, or even accidentally forgetting. We can count on Him more than we can even count on the sun to rise because that is who and what He is. Paul says, “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” Yes, that’s just it.

 
RANDOM THOUGHT:
Josh:
“Let us do evil that good may result” could have been the most popular religion ever.

David:
Greek was not Paul’s natural language, and Romans is his worst composition. Another apostle, whom I won’t name to avoid controversy, noted in 2 Peter 3:16 that Paul’s epistles contained “some things hard to be understood.”

Steve:
The series of quotations from verse 10 to verse 18 is a lot like what I do at work right now — the product of research and thought, boiling down a vast array of documents into their most relevant and important points to the issue at hand.

Mike:
It’s interesting how Paul interprets the Old Testament, an interpretive method which would not earn high marks from Dr. Schultz or any other Biblical Interpretation professor I’ve ever had. I guess if the Holy Spirit’s inspiring you, though…

 
WHERE IS JESUS IN THIS PASSAGE:
David:
The redeemer and justifier of all those who put their faith in Him. We are declared guilty, purchased from slavery and put right with God in one chapter.

Steve:
All over the place, but my favorite reference is verse 26. God is described as both just — because He displays his righteousness through the law’s requirement of perfection — and our justifier — because He has given us that same righteousness through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Josh:
The sacrifice of atonement.

Mike:
Everywhere, but especially in vv. 21-30 where we see how faith in Him sets us right before God.

 
VERSE TO REMEMBER:
Chloe:
3:4 — “Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: ‘That You may be justified in Your words, and may overcome when You are judged.'”

Steve:
3:21 — “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets.”

Mike:
3:23-24 — “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

Josh:
3:20 — “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

David:
3:23 — “For all have sinned and fall short of the Assemblies of — I mean — the glory of God.”

 
PORTION YOU WOULD MOST LIKE EXPLAINED IN HEAVEN:
Mike:
The “sacrifice” language applied to Jesus. Some of my more liberal friends have problems with this language, believing that God demanding shed blood is inhumane. So I will want to know whether Jesus was a legally required sacrifice in the manner of the Jewish sacrificial system — or whether “sacrifice” was just the closest human metaphor to what happened and so used to explain the unexplainable to us.

Steve:
I’d like to sit down for a few hours and listen to Paul expound on this passage, then take questions from the audience.

 
LESSON TO TAKE AWAY:
Josh:
Verses 3 and 4 remind me of the importance of always putting my faith in God alone. People will always let you down, whether they be leaders, loved ones, or the “religious.” But no matter how we fall, God is still true.

Steve:
The law was designed to show us we will fall short. When we do, we should not happily accept our faults, but neither should we respond with self-condemnation. There’s a whole new standard; the rules have changed. We have no excuse for remaining in our sin, for we have been justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ. And we have no cause to boast, save in the One who gave us life.

David:
Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also the God of the gentiles? Yes, of the gentiles also.

 
GENERAL RESPONSE TO THE PASSAGE:
Mike:
Verse 21 and following come on like a bolt out of the blue. Before this, Paul has gone to great lengths to establish everyone’s guilt and the ineffectiveness of other means of being righteous before God. To hear that there is a new way to be made righteous? Available to everyone? The news is just too good.

David:
Paul began to assert that the purpose of the law was not to make people right, but to prove people were wrong, a theme that he developed more as the book progresses. But he never taught, as some accused him, that we should “sin that grace may abound.”

Steve:
What a great three chapters. After proving that non-Jews were guilty under the law, Jews were guilty under the law, and the law was a sign of God’s perfect righteousness, Paul flips it all upside down, just as God did, by explaining that the righteousness we are to seek is one entirely APART from the law. Jesus paid it all. It’s hard to imagine now, but I bet this was a surprising twist to some ancient readers.

 
CONCLUSION:
David:
A good chapter.

Steve:
I sure do love the book of Romans, home of some of the most hope-filled doctrine in the New Testament.

Mike:
I’m so glad the book’s about to get to the good news!


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