We’re continuing our study through the book of Romans. Paul has been talking about religious people without Christ. He makes the point that there’s a problem of pride involved in this group.
He now moves on to another point. Is there some advantage to being religious?
What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.
If you remember, the apostle started by saying that there’s no advantage to being a sinner apart from God. He then started talking about religion and the fact that all of your good works can’t save you.
Now, however, he says that there’s an advantage that religion brings. According to Paul, the greatest plus is the fact that they have access to the Word of God. Religious people have the Bible available to them and they’re somewhat familiar with it.
I can see this exemplified in our society. Right now, people aren’t as religious as they used to be. A hundred years ago, even many unsaved people would attend a church service. A lot of them would even read the Bible.
When you would try to evangelize, they knew some of the Scriptures you referred to. Many of them would even hold the Bible in high esteem.
In our present society, most unchurched people have no clue what the Bible says. The fact that you quote a Scripture means nothing to them. Now, the best evangelism is a testimony of how God changed your life.
So the advantage of religion is a basic understanding of who God is. It at least has a foundation in the fact that there’s a God.
Now the issue is faith.
What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: “So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.”
Paul’s next question is; what if they have access to this Word and don’t believe it? Does that make it worthless?
The resounding answer is “NO!”. God doesn’t need me to believe Him for Him to be right. God’s Word stands whether I believe it or not.
The phrase, prevail when you judge, literally means God is victorious in His decisions. God is going to perform His Word no matter what the circumstances look like. He doesn’t need my input to be victorious. The Lord is perfectly capable in and of Himself.
My agreement with the Word of God simply puts me in position to walk with Him in His victory. That’s something we all need to learn.
There’s a phrase I used to hear a lot when I was younger. “God said it…I believe it…that settles it.”
Now that I’m older (and maybe a bit wiser), I’ve grown very uncomfortable with that saying. I believe that it should be revised. For it to truly reflect the Scripture it should be, “God said it…that settles it!”
The advantage of religion is that is gives you a basic knowledge of God. But we need to go beyond that. We need to know the Word and, by faith, trust it and walk in it. That’s how we can receive the full blessings of our victory in Christ.
Question: What kind of religious foundation, if any, did you have before receiving Christ as your Lord?
© 2020 Nick Zaccardi