Can God truly remain faithful and loving when He sends us to hell and to the lake of fire to be tortured and tormented, day and night, forever and ever?
Paul has been making an argument since chapter 1 from verse 18, that God’s wrath is revealed against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men, who by their unrighteousness, suppress the truth. In verses 1:18-32, Paul argued that the wrath of God is revealed against all those who refuse to acknowledge God as God
From verses 2:1-29, Paul turned towards the Jews, and told them that, they too were facing God’s wrath, and their mere possession of the law and their physical circumcision, will not protect them. Paul told them that both they as Jews, and Gentiles or Non Jews, will face the same judgement, and will be judged in the same way. Since they as Jews, are not obedient to the very same law that they possess, they are equally going to face God’s judgement.
The next logical question to what Paul was saying was that, if Jews are going to be judged the same way as Gentiles, despite having the law of God and being circumcised, what then is the value of being a circumcised Jew? In other words, what is then so special about being a circumcised Jew? In 3:1-8, Paul answered this question. This question could have been asked by Paul to try and clarify his position even more, or it could have been asked by someone else, even his opponents.
The Privileges of the Jews
“Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.” (Romans 3:1–2, ESV)
If Jews are going to be judged the same way as Gentiles, what then is the value of being a circumcised Jew? What is so special then about being a circumcised Jew? Paul answered this question in verses 1-2 above, by saying that, there is indeed an advantage of being a Jew, infect they have a great advantage. Paul, as if he intended to list more advantages but mentioned the chief one, said that the chief advantage is that, as Jews, they had been given the very word of God. This refers of course to the Old Testament. The fact that they had the very words of God, in itself was a huge advantage.
We know that Paul could have mentioned even more advantages since he has done so in Romans:
“They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.” (Romans 9:4–5, ESV)
Therefore we know that Paul was not denying the advantage that Jews had as the nation of the covenant. We also know that Paul believed that Jews indeed had advantages or privileges that Gentiles did not have but, their mere possession of the law of God without obeying it, will not count on their behalf on judgement day.
God remains faithful and Just
“What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”” (Romans 3:3–4, ESV)
By God’s faithfulness, Paul is referring to God’s commitment to continue to carry out the terms and condition of the covenant or agreement, that He has with the Jews as a nation. By the unfaithfulness of the Jews, Paul is referring to the failure by the Jews to meet their part of the covenant’s terms and conditions. Paul in verses 3-4, strongly rejects the claim that because some of the Jews are failing to keep the terms of the covenant, this makes God also unable to keep His part of the covenant.
On the contrary, God will continue to be true or reliable despite the Jews failure to keep their part of the covenant. According to the covenant, God remains true when He blesses the Jews and also when He judges the Jews for disobedience. By quoting Psalm 51:4, Paul argues that because God will judge the Jews for their disobedience, God will still be acting in line with the covenant, and therefore remain faithful despite the unfaithfulness of the Jews.
Sin can never glorify God
“But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could God judge the world? But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.” (Romans 3:5–8, ESV)
In verses 5-8, Paul is responding to a question that was most likely like this: “If you say that God is proven to be righteous when He judges the Jews for disobedience, then it means that the disobedience of the Jews brings glory to God. Why then does God punish the Jews, if their disobedience glorifies Him?” In other words, if the disobedience of the Jews, leads God to act in the manner that brings Him Glory, then why punish the Jews? Is God not unrighteous or unjust or unfair by punishing the Jews for doing what brings Him glory? Why does God not let the Jews continue to sin against Him, because their sin leads God to act in a manner that brings Him Glory?
In summary, the statement made by these questions is that God should not punish the Jews for their disobedience, because, their disobedience brings God glory, when He judges them. Paul strongly rejected this by saying that if God does this, God will not be able to judge the world. God will not be a just judge because, He will be using two different standards to Judge the Jews and the Gentiles or Non-Jews. How can God be a just judge of the world if He has different standards of judging for Jews and a different one for Gentiles.
Therefore, Paul rejects all these arguments and says that God will judge both the Jews and the Gentiles based on the law that the Jews possess, and based on the law that God wrote in the hearts of the Gentiles. Whether Jew or Gentile, those who disobey the law of God, will be judged.
What do we learn from this text?
God will always remain faithful to Himself and His word. Our unfaithfulness or disobedience to Him and His word, will never make God to also become unfaithful to Himself and His word. In Acts 17:30-31, God through Paul, commands all of us to repent, because God has fixed a day when all of us will face judgement, God has appointed a Judge and, God will judge based on righteousness. These are God’s words and He will remain faithful to them. If you are not faithful to God’s command to repent from your sins, God will remain faithful to His words and judgment day will come, and you will be judged based on righteousness. God’s righteousness and not yours.
A lot of people, and by lot, I mean a lot of people. These people have created their own God who will not judge them, even if they sin against Him continuously, because He is a loving God, He is a gracious God, He is a kind God. Although indeed God is loving, gracious, merciful and kind, He is also faithful to His word. He said He will judge unrighteousness and He will remain faithful to that word. “Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.” (Proverbs 11:21, ESV)
“The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”” (Exodus 34:6–7, ESV)
If you are one of those people, who are unfaithful to God and His word, who keep on sinning against God, you will not escape God’s judgement. Simply because you are not true to God’s word, does not mean that God will not be true to His word and judge you. The true God commands you to repent from your sins and put your trust only in Jesus for your salvation. If you refuse to do this, you will be thrown in the lake of fire and be tormented day and night, forever and ever.
I urge you right now to pray and ask God for mercy, to ask God to grant you the gift of repentance and faith.So that you can turn away from your sins and put your trust only in Jesus Christ for your salvation. Make that decision right now to turn away from your sins, and ask God for mercy, while you still have time and a chance to do so. If not, you are doomed to hell and eventually the lake of fire, where you will be tormented forever and ever. Repent and believe in Jesus right now.
These truth should bring fear in your heart. It should make you fearful because, if you are an unbeliever right now, apart from God’s mercy, you are destined to face God’s wrath on judgement day. Pray to God to give you the desire to set your mind on the things of God and not the things of the world. If you are a believer, then you should shout in praise and thanksgiving to God who has had mercy upon you, and given you the ability to repent and place your trust in Jesus alone for your salvation
God remains faithful to His word. even if you and I are not.
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