NEW TESTAMENT CONTEXTUAL COMMENTARY
Dr. Robert R. Seyda
EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS
SUMMARY OF CHAPTER THREE
The Apostle Paul begins this chapter by asking what advantage was there being a Jewish member of the church in Rome. After all, were they not the first ones to receive God’s Law through Moses. They received circumcision as a sign of God’s covenant and were called His chosen people. But they ended up breaking the Law anyway. However, God did not break His promise to Abraham. God is always true to His word, He does not lie like humans do.
As a result, Paul said, the Jews missed their opportunity to be the first into the Kingdom of Heaven. In fact, God was looking for anyone who could work their way into the Kingdom, but He found none among the Gentiles, and then the Jews turned out to be no better, even though they had the Law. In fact, their sins were of the same sort as those of the Gentiles. Everything their Creator gave them with which they could praise and honor Him, they used for immoral purposes. Their mouths were like an open grave; their feet ran in search of sinful activities; their eyes turned toward idols instead of toward God.
So, says Paul, by this we can see that no one could get right with God on their own, not even by trying to follow the Law. In fact, each failure in keeping the Law only pointed out what hopeless and helpless sinners mankind had become. That’s why God had to find a better way, and that was by sending His only Son to become a human being and die so that they could be redeemed from sin’s bondage.
But it wasn’t easy. You see, God still demanded punishment for all the sins mankind committed; He still needed a sacrifice to atone for those sins so that the blood of the sacrifice could cover them and that God would no longer remember them. And that necessary sacrifice turned out to be His Son. So Jesus willingly took the punishment of mankind on His shoulders and suffered the penalty of God for those sins. It ended up killing Him. But God in His kindness, raised His Son back to life so that everyone who believes in Christ’s sacrifice may also have a new life.
But this new life is not to be lived selfishly for one’s own pleasure or gratification. Since our salvation is not based on our own works, we have nothing to boast about when we claim to be saved. All praise and honor belong to God. And the best way to show that praise and honor is to live our lives for His glory. So in the end, Paul answers his own question about whether the Jew had an advantage when it came to salvation. The answer, of course, is an emphatic, “No!” We are all the same, and, therefore, we all need the same salvation. And this one-of-a-kind salvation, can only come through faith in Jesus Christ, God’s sacrifice on the cross for our sins.
I praise God and thank Him every day for all of you who take the time to read His Word. He sees the hunger in your heart to know more about His plan for mankind. I’ve asked Him to bless you in your life and in your work for Him. I hope that you will continue your desire to grow in Christ and in God’s Word, as we move to the next chapter in the Book of Romans. – Dr. Robert R Seyda