absolute nature of the righteousness of God and its coexistence with God
in all His attributes making all efforts at detracting from or enhancing
it both fruitless and ungodly.
AIM: That we
might abandon all thoughts of comparison or contribution to His
righteous and rather that we reverence Him and the oracles of God which
so gloriously reveal Him.
matter of universal guilt before God continues to be addressed in this
chapter and is as such a continuation (remembering that chapter
divisions were added as an aid to searching the scriptures).
continues to press the issue of Jewish advantage as to the revelation of
God and the Gospel and we begin with a rhetorical question.
one is quickly answered, and it behooves us to recognize and study what
was given to them and so to make it our advantage as well.
employs a device that is most effective; he puts words into the mouths
of readers in anticipation of the negative thoughts they might have.
THESIS: The righteousness of God is
a standalone truth and needs no assistance from men in the sense of
either proving it or of supplanting it in the interest of defending
their own righteousness. He is God; He is righteous! That statement is
made without equivocation.
I. The Jewish advantage (vv. 1-2)
1. Early in chapter 2, Paul asserted that God is no respecter of persons
which would seem to contradict this. One suggested that Paul has heard
someone speak of the necessity of being a Jew.
1) In the sense of one
born again of the Spirit of God there is no advantage in that the middle
wall of partition has been broken down
2) In the sense of the
historical heritage of the Jews, there is an advantage.
question is quickly answered and speaks much to us that is of value:
1) It was the Jews to whom the oracles of God were committed as
custodians and by this was meant:
i. The Law of Moses including all
the early history of creation and the nation.
ii. The institution of
the ceremonial Law whereby types and shadows spoke volumes in reference
to Christ and of the nature of the God they served as filled with mercy
iii. They were given the prophets who spoke in the
Spirit of Christ and were looking to Him
(a) There was an immediate
application to their ministry and
(b) They were preaching of the
coming Messiah and
(c) They foresaw and taught of the events of this
present age and of the world to come.
iv. The fact of the Trinity had
been given to them.
2) Thus, a long association with the living
truths of the living God has been theirs exclusively. You only have I
known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for
all your iniquities. Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Amos
3. It is important to inject here that the very fact that the
Old Testament is so referenced as the oracles of God and that so much of
the New Testament is anticipated here provides abundant warrant to study
both and to consider the Bible as one Book.
II. Jewish and other
unfaithfulness (vv. 3-4)
1. A second question is asked relating to
the unbelief (unfaithfulness) of some as appearing in opposition to God
being able to carry out His promises.
1) It is to be noted that
unfaithfulness is the issue here in reference to both since the many of
the Old Testament were truly people of faith and faithfulness and
The promises of God never have and never will hinge on the faith or
faithlessness of men!
2. The apostasy of the Jews in the Old
Testament is a matter of record. One has rightly noted that their
behavior is almost rhythmic in their idolatry, captivity, repentance and
return only to start the cycle over.
3. This could in no way,
however, negate the determination of God to bring Christ into the world
in a prescribed manner with an unwavering purpose and a people to
1) The promise to David concerning Christ coming
through his progeny was given before the sin with Bathsheba – it was of
this union that Solomon came into the world.
2) The quote here is
from Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy
sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear
when thou judgest. Psalms 51:4.
i. It is not that God needs to be
cleared or justified by men only
ii. He will have them to know that
truth is His and righteousness.
III. An ungodly supposition (vv.
1. The suggestion had been pressed that since the righteousness
of God stands out in glorious contrast against the sinfulness of men
that somehow sin made God look better.
2. This would lead to the
conclusion that God should not be so hard on sin and that He would be
wrong to take vengeance on those who were helping Him (Paul will again
address this issue in writing: What shall we say then? Shall we continue
in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead
to sin, live any longer therein? Romans 6:1-2.
3. This calls out and
anticipates the devices of men employed to minimize thoughts of divine
4. The question continues with the reasoning that God has
“abounded through my lie unto His glory.”
1) While the glory of God
excels in comparison to the sin and sinfulness of man
2) He is
righteous and glorious with no assistance and what a monstrosity He
would be if He propagated evil just so good may come.
damnation is just! (Paul had been accused of preaching such heresy).
5. We need only go to the cross to see the hatred and intolerance God
has for sin as we witness what was done to Christ because He bore my
sins in His body on the tree.