The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
People love to accuse Christians. Really, they will take just about any tack in this project. But the one which seems most likely in Romans 3:1-8 is this. It seems like Christians think they are better than anyone else. They are proud of themselves, but they’re just as bad as the rest of us. They like to sin and think forgiveness is a good excuse to sin.
That’s the accusation Paul brings up in verse 8. It isn’t all that surprising. However, we should notice what Paul’s main point is. He is bringing out the fact that the Jews have an advantage over the Gentiles. They have received the words of God. They know about God’s calling them, his provision for them, the way he has rescued them again and again, and the promises he has for their future.
Who should we expect to be more grateful to God? Who should we expect to be obedient? Certainly those who have the Word of God. They are the ones who have learned God’s promises. They are aware of God’s character. There should be no doubt about it. Yet, in Paul’s experience, the people of God are the least repentant, the least obedient, the least willing to trust in the Lord.
The same holds true of Christians. Many times we are the least willing to confess our sins. We are the most likely to be arrogant. It’s been said many times, that we have a great relationship with God. We enjoy sinning and He enjoys forgiving. That should never be. The Scripture doesn’t condone it in any way. Rather, it calls the believer, Jew or Gentile Christian, to repentance. Are Christians just as bad as anyone else? Yes, all have fallen short of God’s glory. What hope do we have? No hope of our own, only a confidence that Jesus is the one who has purchased forgiveness. This is the hope we have in this life and in eternity.
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