LET GOD BE TRUE
Holy One, I thank You for Your wise and loving care. Today, may Your strength sustain me and Your wisdom instruct me.
Read ROMANS 3:1–8
3 What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? 2 Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God.
3 What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? 4 Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written:
“So that you may be proved right when you speak
and prevail when you judge.”[a]
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 some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!
- Romans 3:4 Psalm 51:4
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Approach God today by humbling yourself in his presence; ask Him to help you truly to let God be God in your life.
Paul has just written things that relativized Jewish practices like circumcision. To relativize, however, is not to denigrate, and here he clarifies that this is not his intention. He has guarded against a Jewish tendency to look down on Gentile believers; here he is defending Jewish heritage against possible Gentile dismissal. His aim is unity and concord.
Paul was proud to be Jewish. When he says there is value in circumcision, he means more than it appears. ‘The circumcision’ can be a reference to the whole Jewish people.1 This people has been singled out to receive and transmit ‘the very words of God’ (v 2) as contained in the Law, the Prophets and writings.2 Israel has been called to be a pioneer people, to experience God’s salvation at the Red Sea and then to live as exemplars of God’s ways. This is a massive responsibility and, despite all Israel’s failings (about which the Hebrew Scriptures are astonishingly frank), God has not made a mistake.
Indeed, there has been repeated unfaithfulness in Israel, as there has been in the church, but Israel’s God is faithful, purposeful, and persistent and will in the fullness of time win through. Even the unfaithfulness of God’s people does not defeat God. Quite the opposite: God is sovereign and creative and can find ways of turning human failures to good, of redeeming them. Israel’s failures have resulted, against the odds, in ‘riches for the Gentiles’.3 When we consider God’s omnipotence, perhaps we should understand it as ‘omnicompetence’: God is able to work out the divine purpose through whatever means He chooses, taking what we give him and, by means of grace and goodness, integrating it into a larger plan and purpose. To use such confidence as an excuse for sin, of course, is wholly to be rejected.
Ask God somehow to redeem your failures.
Holy Spirit, press in on me today. I confess any duplicity in me and thank You for Your forgiving, cleansing grace. Your strength is made perfect in my weakness.
1 eg., Rom 4:9, KJV 2 Rom 9:1–5 3 Rom 11:11,12
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