Romans 3 – The World: Guilty Before God & Rebellion

East Anglia: with the administrative counties of Norfolk and Suffolk (in red) to the north and south respectively and Cambridgeshire (in pink) to the west.
Essex, parts of which are sometimes considered part of East Anglia, is highlighted in white.

They say that Rome wasn’t made in a day.  It was made out of centuries of pure barbaric  hatred and control.

Tomorrow we’ll look at…

Romans 3
The World: Guilty Before God

1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?

2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

“Faith” – the Greek word means either “faith’ or “faithfulness.”  Here it means “faithfulness.”  God is faithful to His promises wad would punish Israel for its unbelief.

4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

God’s punishment of sin exhibits His faithfulness to His righteous character. 

The Iceni /aɪˈsiːnaɪ/ or Eceni were a Brythonic tribe in Britannia (or Britain) who inhabited an area corresponding roughly to the modern-day county of Norfolk from the 1st century B.C. to the 1st century A.D.
They were bordered by the Corieltauvi to the west, and the Catuvellauni and Trinovantes to the south.
The tribe turned into a civitas during the Roman occupation of Britannia. Their capital was Venta Icenorum, located at modern-day Caistor St Edmund.

Julius Caesar described the Iceni as Cenimagni, who surrendered to him during his second expedition to Britain in 54 B.C. The Cenimagni may have been a branch of the Iceni or it could be a corruption of Iceni Magni meaning “Great Iceni.

Many people do not believe that God will punish people in the end, that this is just a scare tactic.  If this was true then God would not be faithful to His believers, His words would be moot, He would be no better than the devil himself. 

Oh no, God is exactly who He says He is and He will do exactly as He says He will.

5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)

“I speak as a man” – or “I am using a human argument,” in the sense of its weakness and absurdity.

6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?

7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?

8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.

9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

3:10-18 – a collection of Old Testament quotations that underscores Paul’s charge that both Jews and Gentiles are under the power of sin.  Several factors explain why the citations are not always verbatim:

1. New Testament quotations sometimes gave the general sense and were to meant to be word-for-word.

2. Quotation marks were not used in Greek.

3. The quotations were often taken from the Greek translation (the Septuagint) of the Hebrew Bible.

Prasutagus may have been one of the eleven kings who surrendered to Claudius following the Roman conquest in 43, or he may have been installed as king following the defeat of a rebellion of the Iceni in 47 A.D.
In any case, as an ally of Rome his tribe were allowed to remain nominally independent, and to ensure this Prasutagus named the Roman emperor as co-heir to his kingdom, along with his two daughters.

Tacitus says he lived a long and prosperous life, but when he died, the Romans ignored his will and took over, depriving the nobles of their lands and plundering the kingdom.

Boudica was flogged and their daughters raped. Roman financiers called in their loans.

All this led to the revolt of the Iceni, under the leadership of Boudica, in 60 or 61.

Coins have been found in Suffolk inscribed SVB ESVPRASTO ESICO FECIT, “under Esuprastus Esico made (this)” in Latin. Some archaeologists believe that Esuprastus was the true name of the king Tacitus calls Prasutagus, while others think he was a different person.

4. Sometimes the New Testament writer, in order to drive home his point, would purposely (under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost) adapt an Old Testament passage or combine two or more passages.

11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

13 Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

“Open sepulcher” – expressing the corruption of the heart.

14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:

16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:

17 And the way of peace have they not known:

18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

“Fear of God” – awesome reverence for God; the source of all godliness.

19 Now 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.

“They who are under the law” – the Jews.  They are under the law by choice, this is not God’s choosing.

20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

22 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:

Boudica , also known as Boadicea, and known in Welsh as Buddug (60 or 61 A.D.) was queen of the British Iceni tribe, a Celtic tribe who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire.
Boudica’s husband Prasutagus was ruler of the Iceni tribe, who had ruled as a nominally independent ally of Rome, and had left his kingdom jointly to his daughters and the Roman Emperor in his will.

However, when he died, his will was ignored and the kingdom was annexed as if conquered.

Boudica was flogged, her daughters were raped, and Roman financiers called in their loans.

In 60 or 61 A.D., while the Roman governor Gaius Suetonius Paulinus was leading a campaign on the island of Anglesey off the northwest coast of Wales, Boudica led the Iceni as well as the Trinovantes and others in revolt.

They destroyed Camulodunum, which is modern Colchester. Camulodunum was earlier the capital of the Trinovantes, but at that time was a colonia—a settlement for discharged Roman soldiers, as well as the site of a temple to the former Emperor Claudius.

Upon hearing the news of the revolt, Suetonius hurried to Londinium (modern London), the twenty-year-old commercial settlement that was the rebels’ next target.

The Romans, having concluded that they did not have the numbers to defend the settlement, evacuated and abandoned Londinium. Boudica led 100,000 Iceni, Trinovantes and others to fight the Legio IX Hispana and burned and destroyed Londinium, and Verulamium (modern-day St Albans).

An estimated 70,000–80,000 Romans and British were killed in the three cities by those led by Boudica.

Suetonius, meanwhile, regrouped his forces in the West Midlands, and despite being heavily outnumbered, defeated the Britons in the Battle of Watling Street.

The crisis caused the Emperor Nero to consider withdrawing all Roman forces from Britain, but Suetonius’ eventual victory over Boudica confirmed Roman control of the province.

Boudica then either killed herself so she would not be captured, or fell ill and died. The extant sources, Tacitus and Cassius Dio, differ.

3:22-23 – “For there is no difference…glory of God” – a parenthetical thought: “All them that believe” (v. 23) are “justified freely” (v. 24), not “all have sinned” (v. 23) are “justified freely” (v. 24).  Therefore, “justified” goes with “believe,” not with “sinned.”

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

“Glory of God” – the glory of God is what God intended us to be.  The glory that man had before the fall (see Gen 1:26-28; Ps 8:5; cf. Eph 4:24; Col 3:10). 

At this time there is no glory in us, but the believer will obtain that glory through their faith in Jesus Christ.  In the end we will be what God made us to be prior to the fall of Adam and Eve.

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

“Justified” – Paul uses the Greek verb for “justified” 27 times, mostly in Romans and Galatians. 

The term describes what happens when someone believes in Christ as his Savior: From the negative viewpoint, God declares the person to be not guilty; from the positive viewpoint, He declares him to be righteous.

God cancels the guilt of the person’s sin and credits righteousness to him.  Paul emphasizes two points in this regard:

1. No one lives a perfectly good, holy, righteous life.  On the contrary “there is none righteous” (v. 10) and “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (v. 23). “By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight” (v. 20).

2. But even though all are sinners and not sons, God will declare everyone who puts his trust in Jesus not guilty but righteous. 

This legal declaration is valid because Christ died to pay the penalty for our sin and lived a life of perfect righteousness that can in turn be imputed to us.  This is the central theme of Romans and is stated in the theme verse 1:17 (“the righteousness of God”).

Christ’s righteousness (His obedience to God’s law and His sacrificial death) will be credited to believers as their own.  Paul uses the Greek word for credited (reckoned, imputed, or counted) 11 times in chapter 4 alone.

25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

“To be a propitiation” – or “as the One who would turn aside God’s wrath, taking away sin.”  The Greek for this phrase speaks of a sacrifice that satisfies the righteous wrath of God: Without this appeasement all people are justify destined for eternal punishment (1 Jn 2:2).

26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

“By faith” – when Luther translated this passage, he added the word “alone,” which, though not in the Greek, accurately reflects the meaning.

29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:

30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.

31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Paul anticipated being charged with antinomianism (against law): If justification comes by faith alone, then is not the law rejected?  He gives a more complete answer in chapters 6-7 and reasserts the validity of the law in 13:8-10; cf. also 1 Tim 1:8-10.

Rebellion

Why did the British rebel?

The above bronze head, usually said to be of Claudius (though Nero is also a possibility), was found in the River Alde at the village of Rendham, Suffolk, in 1907.
The head has been broken away from a statue. There is no real evidence, but a widely accepted hunch is that the statue was at Camulodunum; that it was destroyed by the rebels and the head carried off as a trophy; perhaps being hurled into the river as an offering to the gods.

In 1979, part of the leg of a bronze horse was found at Ashill, Norfolk. Apparently, metallurgical analysis has suggested that head and leg could both have come from the same statue.

By 61 A.D., the Romans were in control of southern Britain. Then they faced their most serious problem to date – rebellion!

It began while the Roman governor Paulinus (the soldier in charge of Roman Britain) was away in North Wales.

He had led the Roman army and got rid of the Druids, the priests of the old Celtic religion.

The trouble started in East Anglia. The Iceni tribe lived there and Prasutagus, the king, was a friend of the Romans.

When he died, he left half his kingdom to the Roman emperor, and half to his wife, Queen Boudicca. The Romans wanted it all.

They also wanted extra taxes and they wanted Boudicca to give up her throne.

How did the Romans get it wrong?

The Romans treated Boudicca and her daughters very badly. They took land and farm animals away from the Iceni.

The Iceni became very angry, and decided to fight back! The Romans ran away. Warriors from other tribes came to join Boudicca and her Iceni army.

Which Roman towns were burned?

Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, also spelled Paullinus, (fl. 1st century) was a Roman general best known as the commander who defeated the rebellion of Boudica.
In 59 he was appointed governor of Britain, replacing Quintus Veranius, who had died in office.

He continued Veranius’s policy of aggressively subduing the tribes of modern Wales, and was successful for his first two years in the post.

His reputation as a general came to rival that of Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo.
Two future governor
s served under him: Quintus Petillius Cerialis as legate of Legio IX Hispana, and Gnaeus Julius Agricola as a military tribune attached to II Augusta, but seconded to Suetonius’s staff.

The Britons marched to Camulodunum (Colchester), the capital of Roman Britain. Boudicca’s warriors attacked the town.

They burned the new Roman temple, where Roman soldiers and their families had taken shelter.

Next Boudicca led her army towards Londinium (London).

The Romans had made London an important town and port. By now, news of the rebellion had spread.

The Roman governor, Paulinus, dashed from Wales to London, but he did not have enough soldiers to fight Boudicca.

He left London, taking his soldiers with him. Many people fled the city. The Iceni burned London and killed hundreds of people, both Britons and Romans.

What did the Roman Army do?

Boudicca turned north to attack another Roman town, Verulamium (St Albans). Paulinus was in the Midlands, preparing for battle.

He called for more soldiers. Part of the Roman army was at Exeter, but its commander refused to come.

Paulinus had to make do with what he could muster – perhaps 10,000 men.

Boudicca may have had ten times more soldiers than the Romans, but the Romans were well trained. There was a great battle.

The only reports of it come from Roman writers, such as Tacitus. Tacitus says most of the Britons were killed.

Rather than be captured, Boudicca drank poison to kill herself. The Romans had won.

What happened after the rebellion?

After Boudicca’s rebellion, people in southern Britain settled down to live under Roman rule.

Many Britons enjoyed living in Roman-style towns with baths and shops.

A druid was a member of the priestly class among the Celtic peoples of Gaul, Britain, Ireland, and possibly elsewhere during the Iron Age.
Very little is known about the ancient druids. They left no written accounts of themselves and the only evidence is a few descriptions left by Greek, Roman and various scattered authors and artists, as well as stories created by later medieval Irish writers.

While archaeological evidence has been uncovered pertaining to the religious practices of the Iron Age people, “not one single artefact or image has been unearthed that can undoubtedly be connected with the ancient Druids.

Some spoke and wrote in Latin (the Roman language), and wore Roman fashions.

Tacitus thought these luxuries were making the people of Britain weak.

Fun Facts:

In a London river, archaeologists found the skulls of people possibly killed by Boudicca’s army.

Boudicca rode in a horse-drawn chariot. Romans said she sliced the heads off her enemies, as she charged into battle. 

…The Roman Army.