Summary: This looks at the objections to Paul’s conclusions upon the Jewish people with Paul’s reply and final verdict given.
ROMANS: 3: 1- 20 OBJECTIONS REFUTED AND VERDICT GIVEN.
Paul has painted a depressing picture for us all whether were Pagan or humanitarian Gentiles whether were religious Jews all of us are condemned by our own actions. We have seen that the law holds up like a mirror what are lives are really like, as we all break the law. Is there any hope? The law we have seen certainly condemns us all but the law is not the basis of our hope. But the instructor to lead us to that hope. 3:20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. Because God himself is our hope!
In verses 1 - 4 Paul opens up with a diatribe, it was typical way philosophers of their day would communicate to their students poising questions and answers ; it’s in the form of imaginary persons offering questions up to Paul with Paul supplying the answers. It is an apologetic form of communication, being able to give answers to those who may have valid questions in regard to the faith and supply a reasoned response. In Pauls case its probably questions that have been poised at him during his Jewish evangelism in the synagogues Acts 17:1, 18:4, 19:8.
• It reminds me of my time in the Open Air Mission when we would get hecklers especially when we went down to London for the week. One of those days was spent at Hyde Park, speaker’s corner. You could be guaranteed a number of professional hecklers gathering around you to barrage you with an endless supply of OBJECTIONS some of which were boarding on the absurd others were worth responding too as they were genuine, and often when answered correctly could substantiate your point, this is exactly what Paul does here............
And we to must be those who are.... 1Peter 3: 15. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have.
1. THE FIRST OBJECTION REFUTED BY THE SCRIPTURES. V1-2
3:1. “Okay what advantage is there being a Jew and having the law , if only breaking leads to condemnation and only the inward work of circumcision that counts, then what’s the point in being a Jew at all, what is the advantage Paul were coming under judgement just like everybody else?”
You could well imagine Paul saying simply “YEP there is no advantage!” but Paul says quite the opposite v2 Much in every way. There is an advantage of being a Jew. First of all they have been entrusted with the very words of God. He is referring to the OT they have in their possession; A privilege no other nation had been entrusted with.
But having the Word does not save you – Observing its rites does not save you - but do not think there is no point. Because you have been entrusted with the very mind of God an opportunity to know it and live it out this is indeed is a unique advantage. No other nation had this advantage the Jewish nation had.
Let’s just consider our position in the UNITED KINGDOM or the USA with the pilgrim fathers, we too take for granted this book the Bible, we too consider ourselves a Christian nation with a rich heritage. Since the 16th Century we too have had in our possession a Bible translated into the English language. Tyndale’s Bible was the first English translation to draw directly from Hebrew and Greek texts. Yet what did we do with the man who brought us it?
Well in 1535 Tyndale was arrested, jailed in the castle of Vilvoorde outside Brussels for more than a year, tried for heresy and treason and then strangled and burnt at the stake and destroyed all smuggled Bibles there were. Tyndale’s final words, spoken at the stake with a fervent zeal, and a loud voice, were reported as "Lord! Open the King of England’s eyes.” Of course the Kings eyes were eventually opened and even the common plough boy was able to have a Bible.As he believed. But shouldn’t that prayer be extended to us living in the 21st century in the United Kingdom. Do not people’s eyes need to be opened to the wondrous truths found in the Bible? To the immense privalege we have in our posession the oracles of God.
Here we have the very oracles of God. 2Timothy 3:16. All Scripture is God breathed. In our possession is not this an immense advantage? Luke 12: 48. As Jesus said “ from everyone who has been given much; much will be demanded and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”