Saturday, June 14, 2008

Answers to Objections ____ Romans 3:1-8

· This very morning millions of Americans will wake up and run wrap their Sunday paper. Many will turn to the headlines while others will get the chuckles from the funnies. A hand full will diligently read the sports pages and a brave few will look at the real estate wondering about the current state of the housing market. Many whether they admit it or know will seek advice and wisdom in the dailies. Some will try their luck wit the Horoscopes. Others will be a little more grounded and look at the columns of Ann Landers or some kind of Dear Abby styled help column in search of guidance in dealing with and awkward situation.
· That is what we see when we look at the beginning of the third chapter of Romans. Paul has been written by a group of Christians he has never met, but they seek the Apostle’s wisdom and the Lord’s direction as they have some life situations that have manifested.
· Instead of asking how they should break up with their boyfriend, the best way to get a stain out of a favorite blouse or the proper etiquette for awkward situation they seek Paul for spiritual counsel about how to address the objects to Christianity that some raise.
· This must have been an uncomfortable situation for this young by fast growing metropolitan church. Yet we see that they must have put pride aside as they wrote openly to a man they had never met to discover how to reach those they had formed relationships with. Paul presents for use a very simple question and answer session that will help strengthen our faith and answer questions that we might be asked.

Romans 3:1-2 What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? 2 Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God.
· The questions at hand for Paul were “Why should I, a Gentile, here in Rome want to convert to Judaism to be a part of this new Jewish religion? What does following the weird custom of cutting my body do for me spiritually?”
· These were valid questions. Even if these objections were from people who really were going to be spiritually rebellious no matter what the answer, these questions were ones that were going to come up over and over and were going to have to be addressed.
· Paul’s response is not to tell them in some Nike slogan way to “Just do it!” Not at all. Instead he tells them that there is a laundry list of reasons why one would want to be part of a group who are faithful to God.
· Please notice though that he never endorses the Judaic faith as the way to go but instead only informs the reading audience that there are many great things about the chosen people of Israel. Paul tells us and the 55 A.D. readership that they are a special people because God has put them in charge of writing down and caring for God's revelation, the Holy Scriptures.

Romans 3:3-4 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: "That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged."

· In this Q&A Paul is presented with a question that seems a bit disconnected from the last but if we realize that this is still dealing with the Jewish and Greek populations it will make sense.
· If a veteran solider with many years of combat experience and many campaign ribbons sudden went a.w.o.l, that is absent with out official leave, would this mean that his military employer would desert him too. If this solid solider sudden abandon his post does that mean the army and his nation would abandon him in the same fashion. Not at all. The solider would still be considered active, His branch of service would still search him out and bring him back, but e would have to deal with the consequences of disobedience and his failure to remain firm and steadfast a wartime.
· This is the same for us or any one of Judaism. If we fail to be faithful to God, it does not meant that God will in return refuse to be faithful to His person in the promises He made to us. Jehovah God will gloriously continue to faithful to us when we turn and run when there are difficult times.
· Our unbelief does not render God null and void. It only enhances the tender and devoted care of God more as we see that He is never fleeting even were the stare at His wonders and lie to ourselves and say he does not exist. That He is not real or that He does not care. That God is either a psychological crutch of a deeply disturbed person or nothing more than the absentee landlord of our hearts who does not get involved in the day to day triflings of our lives. While this is enough to make a lover flee and it is quite frightening to think what if God left us, we can find even greater comfort in the truth of Hebrews 6:19, that the anchor of our soul is sure and steadfast.
· The faltering faith of Israel does not change the immutable position of God that he has called and elected His people to salvation. In fact we will find later in the 11th chapter of Romans that God’s faithfulness to His chosen people will result thin those who believe being grafted back in to the Family Tree of Yahweh.
· Let us look another objection that was raised back in the city of Rome. The Question presented seems to be one presented by the Whitehouse press corp. as it is one question with two parts. Maybe it was just posed by a double talking politician.

Romans 3:5-8 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) 6 Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world? 7 For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say, "Let us do evil that good may come"?--as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.
· I think that Grigori Rasputin the Russian priest and mystic sent this one in. You see Rasputin had this idea that justified his sins and sent a huge wave of people in to a devious lifestyle of a variety of immoral or evil practices. The “Mad Monk”, as he was known to promote sin as away to add to God’s glory and mercy. The mystical healer taught that the more we sin the more the red rich coopery blood of Jesus is worth, so we owe it to God as good steward of salvation to live life to it’s fullest enjoying all that can he had - wine, women, wealth, what have you. Rape, Robber, rudeness, resentment, all recommended.
· This is the same concept that is being presented to the Apostle Paul. The question that has come up is that “if our wrong doing only underlines and confirms God's right doing, shouldn't we be commended for helping out? Since our bad words don't even make a dent in his good words, isn't it wrong of God to back us to the wall and hold us to our word?”
· Wow what Gaul to ask a man who humble claims the title of Chief of all Sinners this. Can you hear this on a radio call in show, “Hi, Paul, yeah, I am a first time caller but a long time listener. Oh and a Big fan. I have your first book and going to buy your second. Anyway, It seems to me that if I sin, more doesn’t God get more glory for being more gracious and more merciful. That only means that I should try harder to sin make God look better right? The way I see it, God can’t judge me or punish me if I do all of this for Him. Right? Can I say hi to my mom and give a shout out to my boys at the factory?”
· Can you imagine what would take place over the air waves? I think you could hear a great, deep, slow cleansing breath that would almost have an underling growl like a Doberman as Paul sets forth to defend the Gospel and unleash Truth of Christ.
· Paul would declare war and began to unload the artillery of the Gospel like the intelligent masterful five star general of the Lord’s army that he is. Don’t foe a minute think that Paul was have just been a Jesus bully, nothing more that a pugilist with a Holy Spirit Haymaker. No, Paul would have intently listened to statements like, “If my lies serve to show off God's truth all the more gloriously, why blame me? I'm doing God a favor." And with the skill of Patton and McArthur, he would have planned his points of attack and arranged his conversation to keep from being flanked by miscellaneous information and useless arguments.
· While these objections can seem to be cage rattling at the very least, any of us felt this way the first time we drove a car. With sweaty palms we pushed in the clutch, check the mirrors, grindingly changed gears, looked back at the rear view mirror and now the speedometer and over at an anxiety ridden parent.
· We feel the same way when we first start to deal with questions from people. We get that same ball in the pit of our stomach and the beads of swear began to form on our brow. This why Paul is answering he hard questions directs young Timothy and us in 2nd Timothy 2:15 to “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
· So what hard Questions are you dealing with and how will you over come them. How will you teach others? How will you cure your own doubts?

No comments: