Romans 3

I told Matt I was not excited to commentate and write a devotional on the first few chapters of Romans. It is a powerful passage but difficult to plow through. As we enter into this first century argument, there are certain things we must understand and important lessons to be learned. So Hagah (chew on this)….

Paul’s opposition, a certain group of first century Jews, believed that they were in a special position in regard to God because of their heritage. Paul agrees that they are (vs. 2 “Much in every way!) The difference was Paul believed their special position was one of special RESPONSIBILITY, these Jews believed it was one of special PRIVILEGE. Paul states they are special because God has entrusted them with His commandments. God said to them, “You are a special people, therefore you must live a special life.” He did not say, “You are a special people, therefore you can do whatever you want.”

The Jews and Gentiles are all under sin (vs. 9). We are not declared righteous by observing the law (v.20). A new righteousness has been made known, and it comes from God through Jesus (22). Imagine these words coming from Paul, a Pharisee. In what ways has Paul’s mind and heart been transformed? Why would these statements be revolutionary coming from a former Pharisee?

As God’s people, how do you live? Do you see grace and salvation as your privilege or your responsibility?

So much to discuss…


  1. YES. :)

    I like the note in my Bible that says "... Paul made it clear that membership in God's family is based on internal, not external, qualities.... Attending church or being baptized, confirmed, or accepted for membership is not enough, just as submitting to circumcision was not enough for the Jews. God desires our heartfelt devotion and obedience."

  2. The very beginning of RESPONSIBILITY is that which represents the first step along the so-called Romans Road to salvation. I believe that anyone that has come to faith recognizes that GRACE starts with understanding that we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). The recognition of our condition, sinners whom without the gift of grace (unmerited favor) are separated from God eternally, marks the beginning of the journey on the road to salvation. God’s unmerited favor is recognized in those first baby-steps of the faith journey, understanding who we are prior to redemption and then accepting that there is only way that facilitates our rescue.

    Clearly, God invites us to be set apart to be special from the Father-inspired, first confession. We are privileged to be given the opportunity, but that is where privilege ends. Once set apart, by our own confession and acceptance of Christ, we are honored with the becoming one of the saints, with which awesome responsibility is assigned. Jared, thanks for your insightful observation and question. I often take my profession of faith and my “special status” too lightly not recognizing the awesome and wonderful responsibility that comes with it.