Good Wednesday morning. I am loving the cool nights, how about you? Windows open, AC off! Much better. If you haven’t checked out the community garden yet, now’s the time to do it. It is flourishing and is a wonderful example of creation care. God bless the workers who have tilled, sowed, tended, weeded, and are now harvesting.

Paul is still wrestling with the Jewish thought of superiority in this next chapter.

Romans 3:1-9

3 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2 Much, in every way. For in the first place the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 What if some were unfaithful? Will their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 By no means! Although everyone is a liar, let God be proved true, as it is written,

“So that you may be justified in your words,
and prevail in your judging.”
5 But if our injustice serves to confirm the justice of God, what should we say? That God is unjust to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) 6 By no means! For then how could God judge the world? 7 But if through my falsehood God’s truthfulness abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8 And why not say (as some people slander us by saying that we say), “Let us do evil so that good may come”? Their condemnation is deserved!

9 What then? Are we any better off? No, not at all; for we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin,

The advantage of the Jew is real, just not exclusive. And, it does not exempt them from God’s judgment. Someone wrote that this section of Paul is a rhetorical method to bring the readers from guilt to glory.

Ray Stedman wrote this: “Just imagine, for instance, an island in darkness, populated with people. There is only one way to escape the island, a narrow bridge over a deep chasm, but the darkness is so great that only a few find their way over that bridge. Everybody on that island has been provided with a little penlight that enables them to dimly illuminate a small space around them, barely enough to avoid the more obvious obstacles in their path. But a certain group of people is given a powerful searchlight that can shine thousands of yards into the darkness. It is given to them not only so that they can find the bridge, but also so they can show others the way out. Yet these people, who have so much more light than the others, spend their time utilizing this powerful searchlight to look for needles in a haystack. They turn that searchlight on a mound of hay and search for needles. That, in essence, was what the Jews were doing.”

Blessings on your day,
Pastor Sue