Admitting Need

Key Verses: “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
—Romans 3:23,24

Selected Scripture:
Romans 3:1-4,

PAUL BEGINS OUR LESSON by stating that the Jews had much in the way of advantage in comparison to other nations because “unto them were committed the oracles of God.” (Rom. 3:2) The phrase ‘oracles of God’ means the utterances or words of God. The Jews had, through both their Law and their teachers, leaders, and prophets, God’s instructions as to how their life should be lived, and to what principles their character should be conformed. The Jews, however, lacked the necessary faith to keep God’s instructions as intended by him, so Paul asks these further questions, “What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness?” (Rom. 3:3, New International Version) Paul immediately answers, “God forbid.”—vs. 4

Paul realized the situation that the Jews suffered under, just as any nation would that God might have chosen to receive his law, words, and oracles. God’s laws are perfect and, as such, they cannot be obeyed perfectly by fallen beings, regardless of how hard they might try and how noble their intentions might be. The struggle of man against sin is present with all the fallen race, but was especially emphasized in the case of the Jews, because of their special selection by God. (Amos 3:2) Yet they were no more guilty of sin than any other nation or people. Their lack of faithfulness merely pointed out the situation that all mankind experiences. Paul points this out when he says, “We know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”—Rom. 3:19

The question remains, however, what about the faithfulness of God? What is his plan for the fallen race, both Jew and Gentile? Can they be recovered? Or must God start over? Paul assures us that God does indeed have a plan for the recovery of man, “The righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom. 3:21-23) Paul explains that God’s plan for man’s recovery centers in the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. Our Key Verse (vs. 24) further indicates that it is through God’s grace, or unmerited favor, that this redemption through Jesus is provided.

The apostle concludes his lesson by reminding us that, although redemption is given freely through the grace of God, there is a responsibility on our part to obtain the benefits provided by the Redeemer. That responsibility is faith: faith in God, the author of salvation; faith in Jesus, the instrument used to provide it; and faith, together with obedience, in the daily dealings of God in our lives as he shows us his will and guides us with his providence. Concerning faith, Paul says, “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, … that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. … by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith.”—Rom. 3:25-28

Dawn Bible Students Association
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