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.
I ended last week with the comment that 9-20 was basically a good reminder that, since God expects sinless behavior, having sinned righteousness cannot be obtained by doing good. Doing good cannot make up for doing bad. Rather justice demands a penalty to be paid. Thus Jesus.
From those verses, we move to Righteousness Through Faith.
vs 21-24 thus Jesus, moves us to this section. We all fall short. Even if we live a good life, mind our manners, help others… it doesn’t matter without Jesus. That is what v20 was pointing out, and expanded upon here in v21-24. I read somewhere this statement that I love – we are in a “transitions from speaking of the righteousness which is by the law (a righteousness which is earned by one’s performance) to a righteousness which is from God (a righteousness which is not based on one’s performance, but freely given to those who put their trust in Jesus).”
Now the hard part… this is so hard for me right now. The reason I mention this is my wife is not a Christian. I am throwing this out there. I am sharing something that I have not shared out here before. She believes in God. She believes in the power of prayer. She believes in heaven. She believes in doing good. She is one of the most amazing women you will ever met. She is a wonderful person, helps others, loves others, is truly someone you would want to know. So I struggle with this section as I realize that she will fall short in God’s eyes. Because of that, and knowing her, I must be the silent warrior in her life, trying to live by example and offer up a comment or two – never pushing but explaining, living and loving. I am the active warrior in my daughters’ lives. They love “it”. They get “it”. They want more of “it”.
This divided part of my life, makes the rest really hard. This part of the scripture is hard… we all fall short thus Jesus – I get that for me. We all fall short thus Jesus – I get that for my girls, most of my family and friends. We all fall short thus Jesus – but what about her – now what? When will the divided road end?
vs 25,26 This again is speaking directly at the Jews. Here we are talking about the fact that sin, prior to Jesus died, was forgiven by the mercy of God. But, the penalty for sin had not been paid. NOW all of that has been taken care of by Jesus and the cross.
vs 31 What a way to end a chapter… “31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.” Faith upholds the law, whether that is mosaic law, or the Gentiles who try to earn their way to heaven because they don’t know the mosaic law.
No matter what, every Jew will admit that they have not lived up to the full extent of the law, and every Gentile will admit that they have done something he knows is wrong. They failed to live up to the law. The atonement that came was through Jesus’ death. God has a way to forgive us without appearing unjust. All of us falls short, if we believe in Him through Jesus Christ, we will be taken care of.
If we will just believe, we will be taken care of. Let me rephrase that – If we truly believe, we will be taken care of. Images that will not go away – Jesus and the cross.
His gift to us… can a person cry out of joy and cry for others at the same time?
Thank you for listening…