Sep. 6. Sin Is Universal; Salvation Is in Christ

Rom. 3:1-31

Jews had a spiritual advantage over the Gentiles because they had received the law and promises of future blessings. The fact that they as a people had rejected their position did not prevent God from carrying out His plan. Because of their rejection of Christ, they had lost their advantage and were no better in God’s sight than were the Gentiles.

Paul pointed out that the rejection of God’s promises did not change the fact that He had made them and that He would carry out His plan. Man sometimes has the attitude, “If I ignore a fact, it will go away.” That is not true.

The Jews felt that their sinning glorified God, in that it showed the great contrast between Him and themselves. Therefore, He should not punish them for their sins. Paul showed that if that were true, God would not be able to condemn the world for its sins. The death of Christ would have been useless.

Paul repeated his charge that Jews were like Gentiles as both were guilty of sin. He quoted from some of their own Scriptures, the Psalms regarding their sinfulness. The works of the law could justify no one.

God’s love for man would not allow Him to leave His creation to be destroyed without a means of redemption. Since Paul had concluded that man could not be justified by the Law of Moses, he explained how that faith in Jesus Christ apart from that law would lead to salvation of all men who would accept Him.

Paul stated that, “All (Jews and Gentiles) have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Man is guilty and cannot be saved in his sinful condition. It is through God’s grace (unmerited favor) and not anything good that man has done that made salvation available. Works of the law (of Moses) were just not sufficient to merit salvation.

Under the Law of Moses, the shedding of blood by animal sacrifices was necessary to partially atone for man’s sins. These sacrifices only pointed to the final shedding of Christ’s blood to provide complete forgiveness of sins.

The blood of Christ will provide forgiveness only if man will accept it through faith in Jesus as the Christ. A mere affirmation that one believes in Christ is not sufficient. The New Testament Scriptures teach that one must possess an active faith, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (Jas. 2:26)

There is nothing that man can do that will cause him to deserve salvation. God has placed certain conditions that man must meet in order to achieve salvation through the law of faith. Jesus said that after we have done those things, we have only done our duty and are still not deserving of God’s grace. It is through His love and the blood of Christ that we have the opportunity to partake of His plan of salvation given first to the Jews but later to the Gentiles.

The purpose of the Law of Moses was to prepare the world for the coming of Christ and His law. All of the duties of the law have been fulfilled and therefore, it is completed or established.