Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Romans 3:2 (NLT)
Yes, there are great benefits! First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the whole revelation of God.

- it occurs to me that this is referring to Jesus Christ himself (not just the written scripts and history, etc.), born as a Jew bringing God's whole revelation first to the Jews and then through them to the entire world.

This raises the concept that if Jews have the whole revelation of God, then other peoples in the world could have valid, (but less complete) revelations of God.

Romans 3:8 (NLT)
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.

- Paul seems to be dealing with arguments some people raise against salvation by God's grace alone. Little has changed in two thousand years. We still hear these same claims today saying that grace isn't sufficient or will be abused. Something in our human nature seems to prefer Performance-Based relationships, even though they ulimately trap us in an endless cycle of trying and failing, or worse - trying and succeeding, and then taking the credit for ourselves.

Romans 3:9 (NLT)
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, are under the power of sin.

- I love how pertinant Paul's remarks are for today. Nothing turns people away from God more than a holier-than-thou, know-it-all attitude amongst those who claim to know and represent him. (ask me how I know! D'oh!!)

Romans 3:20 (NLT)
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.

- A reiteration of my point about performance-based relationships.

Romans 3:22 (NLT)
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.
- Now Paul lays out a very clear and succinct explanation of The Good News!...

Romans 3:30 (NLT)
There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles.

--- But wait! Is Paul now taking back all he just said? How do we comprehend this next statement?

Romans 3:31 (NLT)
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.

- Paul is about to delve into the difference between "keeping the law" as a contractual obligation to appease God as opposed to the larger spiritual intentions. He is about to expound God's greatest Law of all - the Law of Love, as expressed and demostrated through Jesus Christ.

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