Romans 3:1-8 (NIV)
1 What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? 2 Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God. 3 What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? 4 Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: “So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.” 5 But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) 6 Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? 7 Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” 8 Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say— “Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!
God’s Determined Faithfulness
Paul continues to speak to the Jewish Christians in chapter 3. He has clearly established with them that all of humanity is need of a savior, Jew and Gentile alike. Even though the Jews did not use their spiritual advantages to take dominion and be God’s messenger across the earth, God’s faithfulness is not abolished by Israel’s faithlessness. In the words of N.T. Wright, “Jesus, as Israel’s representative, has offered the faithful obedience which Israel should have offered but did not. The Messiah is the messenger who finally delivers the message.” And what is the message Jesus offered?!? A message of salvation, healing and deliverance. Jesus came to save us from sin; He did not come to leave us in sin, much less to encourage sin. Paul is quick to correct faulty thinking that our unrighteousness enhances God’s righteousness, as if any human effort (bad or good) could add or take away from God’s perfection. Sin never glorifies God nor makes Him look good. Sin will always take us further than we plan to go, cause us to stay longer than we plan to stay and cost us more than we plan to pay. Sin cannot be managed nor controlled; it must be crucified. This is why the gospel is truly good news. It is the only answer to the sin that so easily entangles us. Those who belong to Christ exchange their identity of “sinner” for “saint” and can cling to the power of God’s spirit to continually surrender their mind, will and emotions to His perfect reign.
As a follower of Jesus, what should be our attitude toward sin? Do you have this attitude over your sin and those around you?
How has God delivered you from sin’s bondage and destruction?