Summary: There is no advantage to knowing Christ if we do not put some actions to our belief and walk in faith.
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Pastor James May
THE GREAT ADVANTAGE
(Romans Study Series #6)
Romans 3:1-9, "What advantage then hath the Jew? Or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say) Let us do evil that good may come? Whose damnation is just. What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin:"
In our last study we read the Apostle Paul’s words to the church at Rome. It was evident that he was speaking to both Jews and Gentiles but most of his remarks spoke directly at the heart of Judaism and the act of circumcision according to the Law of Moses.
He has already shown that just because we possess the knowledge of God’s perfect way does not mean that we will necessarily be saved by that knowledge. Paul ahs proven that knowledge is not salvation, that rituals and ceremonies won’t save us and our position, in the church really doesn’t mean anything either, when it comes to salvation. The only thing that matters is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
With these statements to the Jews of Rome in mind, Paul begins this chapter by asking a question that would make the Jews think hard.
What advantage do you have as a Jew? What benefit to your life does the act of circumcision give to you that sets you apart from everyone else?
The Jews had many advantages but they only became advantages if the things of God that they possessed were taken off the shelf and put to work.
You can possess all knowledge, have the highest degree of education and be wealthy beyond your wildest dream but, if you don’t have Jesus and you don’t make proper use of what you have, then those things become a greater curse against you.
The act of circumcision that the Jews received from Moses was strictly adhered to but what good was it unless someone were to realize that this was a natural act that symbolized the separation of sin from the heart of a believer. Unless the law would lead someone to Christ, then it was really powerless except to condemn us to death.
The fact is that they were, in each successive generation, certain of their direct linage of Abraham and thus were entitled to the inheritance that God had promised to Abraham. This was their proof that they belong to God as His chosen nation.
While Israel should have had a surplus of blessing to give to other nations, their position and possessions did not enrich them because they failed to take advantage of them. They were too caught up in their own circumstances to consider how much of a blessing or a curse they would be for multitudes of generations to come, both Jew and Gentile.
I wonder how many of us are squandering our advantage in God? Are wasting the power, position and provision of God’s investment of love in us? Are we disregarding our heritage, casting it aside because we lack a personal relationship with our God?
Like Paul says in the 2nd verse of this chapter, we have a great advantage over those who don’t know Christ. We have the great cookie and we have the best thing that this life can offer to a human being because God has chosen us to carry the Word of the gospel to the whole world. God has entrusted each of us with the “New Wine” of the Holy Ghost and he allows us to carry this great promise and message around in earthen vessels that are easily broken.