Romans 3: 1-8: Jewish Objections to the Gospel –
There are very few of us here today who would be good public debaters. I am sure that most of you are like me in that you come away from a debate or argument thinking to yourself, ‘Oh, I should have this-or-that.’ Most of us do not think on our feet, but collect our thoughts in retrospect. Paul was a man who preached the Gospel and had to develop the skill of debating his point. When he went to the synagogues and encountered Jews who felt that he was tearing down the whole of the Old Testament and preaching heretical idolatry, he had to know how to hold his ground. You can imagine how heated the discussion would have gotten, as Jews who very committed to the truth would respond to what they thought Paul was saying. He would tell them that they cannot be saved by the things they had been trusting in, the law, circumcision, and good works. He would tell them that they were as accountable as the despised Gentiles, and needed Christ not Moses. He would tell them that there is nothing that one can add to their salvation, for we are saved by grace not works, and this would have sounded like an invitation to lawlessness. Can you here some of the questions and accusations coming back at Paul? ‘Paul if you are saying that circumcision does not save, are you saying that there is no advantage in being a Jew?’ ‘Paul, if you are saying that the Jews are lost because of their unbelief, then you are making God a liar because He promised to save us!’ ‘Paul, if you say there is nothing that we add to our salvation, and God is glorified by showing His grace in forgiving sin, aren’t you encouraging us to sin in order to glorify God?’ In 3:1-8, Paul anticipates some of these objections and answers them in short.