“God’s Judgments and God’s Faithfulness” Pt. 1
July 3, 2016
Life is filled with perplexing questions —
- What color is a chameleon on a mirror?
- Where does weight go when you lose it?
- Why are Chinese fortune cookies written in English?
- Why is abbreviated such a long word?
- Is there another word for synonym?
- Why is there only one Monopolies Commission?
- How do you write “zero” in Roman numerals?
- How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?
- Would a fly without wings be called a walk?
- Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?
- Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?
- What was the best thing before sliced bread?
- Where do forest rangers go to “get away from it all?”
- How is it possible to have a civil war?
- Whose cruel idea was it for the word “lisp” to have an “s” in it?
- Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?
More seriously, John Patrick says every person needs to answer these nine questions —
- Where did I come from?
- Why am I here?
- Where am I going?
- How do I come to terms with death?
- How do I make sense of suffering?
- How can I possibly believe in justice?
- What can I know?
- What should I believe?
- What must I do?
We have questions about many things, including how God operates in this world. And one of the primary questions about God’s activities is whether He is always fair in all He does. And that idea dominates the opening verses of Romans 3. In chapter two, Paul made clear that unbelieving Jews will be judged, despite their being part of the Abrahamic Covenant. Following his clear declaration against the faithless Jews in 2:25, Paul answers in chapter 3 a series of four potential objections that might be made against his comments against the sinning and unrepentant Jews.
Paul’s theme in these opening verses is that —
God is faithful and true when He judges sinners — even Jewish sinners.
In this passage, Paul answers four questions that might be made against his teaching on the nature of sin and God’s judgment of Jewish sinners (he’s continuing the diatribe against the hypothetical, typical Jew who might be objecting to his understanding of the nature of sin).
Q1: If God Judges Jews, Is There an Advantage to Being a Jew? (vv. 1-2)
- The problem: It doesn’t seem advantageous to be Jewish if God condemns Jews (v. 1)
- The solution: God has given Jews many benefits, beginning with Scripture (v. 2)
Q2: If God Judges Jews, is God Unfaithful to His Promises? (vv. 3-4)
- The problem: If Jews do not believe, then it seems that that God hasn’t kept His promises (v. 3)
- The solution: God is always true to Himself and will be vindicated for His actions (v. 4)
Download the rest of this sermon from Romans 3:1-4.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website later today.