The Letter to the Romans



9. God Is Faithful


Romans 3:1-8

1 What advantage, then, is there is being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision?

2 Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.

3 What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness?

4 Not at all! Let God be true, and everyman a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."

5 But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.)

6 Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world?

7 Someone might argue, "If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?"

8 Why not say-as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say-"Let us do evil that good may result"? Their condemnation is deserved. (NIV)


Key Words



Words of God



God's Faithfulness answers our Faithlessness

In the first two chapters of Romans, Paul has built a case showing that no one, neither Jew nor Gentile, has any inheritance or innate goodness that justifies him in God's sight. The Jews are not successfully keeping the law, God's revelation of his standards for mankind, and the Gentiles do not have the advantage of having the law. Further, mankind in general has suppressed the knowledge of God.

1. The Jews equated circumcision with belonging to God. Many Christians equate baptism with belonging to God. What is the real question people should ask themselves before they worry about baptism (or circumcision)?


2. Paul begins to explain the advantages of being a Jew. What are these advantages? (see Romans 9:4-5; Deuteronomy 4:8; Psalm 147:19; Acts 7:38)


3. Although the Jews had the word of God, many "did not have faith". In what did they not have faith? (see Romans 10:14-17; Hebrews 4:2; also 1 Thessalonians 2:13)


4. Paul declares that even though men do not have faith, God remains faithful and truthful. To what does he remain faithful? (see 2 Timothy 2:13; Genesis 17:19; 18:11-14; Numbers 23:19; Joshua 23:14-15; Deuteronomy 7:9-10; Psalm 51:4; Isaiah 49:7; John 3:31-36; 1 Corinthians10:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:24; 2 Thessalonians 3:2-3; Hebrews10:36-39; 11:11; 2 Peter 3:8-9)


5. How does our unrighteousness-our faithlessness-show God's righteousness more clearly? (see Romans 5:8; John 3:16; Galatians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 6:21; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 3:16; 4:10)


6. Paul addresses the human argument that since our sins have highlighted God's righteousness, we ought not to be judged as sinners since our sin has accomplished a good thing. Paul answers this question by pointing out God's sovereignty as the judge of the world. How has God's sovereignty as the world's judge been revealed? (see Genesis 6:6-8; 18:25; Judges 11:27; Job 9:15-20; Psalm 7:10-11; 94:1-3; Hebrews 12:22-24)


7. Arrogance underlies the attitude that Paul denounces: "Let us do evil that good may result." What realities does this attitude ignore? (see Romans 6:1-4, 14-18; 9:19-24; 8:30)


Application and Commitment

8. In what ways have you experienced God's faithfulness when you have been unfaithful?


9. In what ways do you take advantage of God's faithfulness by rationalizing sins in your life?


10. How does understanding God's sovereignty make a difference in the way you live?


11. Ask God to reveal to you the ways you are being unfaithful and taking his faithfulness for granted. Praise Him that He cannot be unfaithful, and surrender to him everything in your life. Ask Him to be your all-in-all and to help you know and embrace the truth about yourself that He wants to heal. Ask Him to help your heart submit to His sovereign Lordship, and praise Him for his gift of salvation.


Copyright (c) 2003 Graphics Studio, Redlands, CA USA. All rights reserved. Posted August 15, 2003.
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