This is my installment for the Blogger Small Group post on Romans chapter 3. There is always time for anyone to join in if they like (seeBlogger Small Group Rules/Guidlelines). Right now we are a few weeks into the group, which started in James.
No need to try and catch up, just start in the same place we are and post your opinions.
This is laying the ground work for me. The “don’t put yourself above another” kind of ground work. Everyone sins, plain and simple. Everyone stumbles, plain and simple. It is what we did prior to that sin and following that sin which will make the difference. If we believe our good deeds will get us somewhere – well we are in trouble. If we believe in Jesus and what he did for us, and I am not talking about an every Sunday morning type of believe, I am talking about an every second type of believe – then that gap is filled. God is there.
No One is Righteous
vs 9-18 We are all not worthy. Paul is laying that out for us. This includes the Jews and the Gentiles. Everyone sins. Specificially he is talking about behavior. I just get the feeling that Paul is saying – just because you are a Jew don’t think you’ve got it made – that they shouldn’t be less fearful of God. And then he throws in the kicker… if measured from God’s standard of goodness Jesus says that no one is good– except God alone.
v19 I have read that this implies that all are under the law, since all are held guilty. But there are those that are not aware of the law of Moses, so does this say that the “law” is the law of the conscience. That they must do good and live according to their own conscience? If so, can anyone even live up to their own standards, let alone God’s. If the law is referring to conscience as well and they don’t understand or know what Jesus did for us, will they be judged differently? I think about a friend of mine who believes “in God” just not Jesus. She lives a pretty good life, does things for others, etc. So what does that mean for her?
v20 At first glance I was thinking this moved us back to the book of James, just because you know the law does not mean you obey the law. Knowing and doing are two different things. But here it states, “through the law we become conscious of sin.” If we are aware of the sin, and ignore it then that is even worse. Man you really have to hate a conscious…:D
This is basically a good reminder that, since God expects sinless behavior, having sinned righteousness cannot be obtained by doing good- especially since one can live a life of always doing good. With that in mind, doing good cannot make up for doing bad. Rather justice demands a penalty to be paid. Thus Jesus.
Thus Jesus… thus Jesus… thus Jesus…