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…
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.
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.
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:
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.
Why did the British rebel?
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?
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.
Some spoke and wrote in Latin (the Roman language), and wore Roman fashions.
Tacitus thought these luxuries were making the people of Britain weak.
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.