We are in the Church Stream today as we continue reading from the Lexham English Bible.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
3 – this is the finale~ of this chapter. Romans 3 is not just the heart of the power of the gospel chapter. Chapter 3 of Romans is the main heart valve of the gospel. Bible smuggling was mentioned last week regarding Romans. I’ll conclude that comment this week by saying that when only a small piece of paper could be smuggled in; something the size of a 3X5 card, then the core of it all needed to be included, the content was Romans 3! It is a marvel what hinges on this chapter. Christ expels our sin and appeases its effect upon our soul and destiny. The new bridge to the “Amazing Grace” song bursts upon the mind; “my chains are gone, I’ve been set free.” Romans 3 is good news that makes sense to us. Paul makes the crucifixion make sense. It is intriguing that the disciples (and everyone else) didn’t understand what was happening as Jesus was dying. We do however thanks to Paul’s writing to us.
4 – Abraham is the illustration employed here. All to whom Paul is addressing here have top regard for Abraham. The old school Jewish crew that Paul is addressing specifically need to understand God’s role in salvation by remembering that Abraham was justified by faith and completely so. He believed and was justified. Done. Circumcision was a ritual done later by Abraham and his son Isaac. Yes, it was the first next thing Abraham was required to do, but it was done after Abraham was justified. To become “children of Abraham”, if that is how they were to perceive it, then one needed to simply believe God – like Abraham did. And believing God (like Abraham did) was to now follow Jesus v.s. follow Abraham in circumcision. Abraham’s faith in God is what guided him, not his circumcision – that was only incidental. This is vital to put it lightly. New Believers needed to be welcomed by the older believers and welcomed in faith like Abraham was. The issue is not that God made the Jews and the Devil made the Gentiles. This two-leveled stigmatism could become so severe that it would morph into a mental template of Jews circumcised and Gentiles uncircumcised (thus the Gentiles don’t really even deserve to be here) that it would become a problem that would hobble the church forever. Paul needed to explain what we find in ch. 4.
5 – is a “wow” chapter. It is loaded with the verses we memorized in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. It’s one of those ‘gold mine’ chapters with no many good finds and discoveries that it needs to be gone over slowly and repeatedly. The theological backdrop is that we find ourselves enswirled in a world of sin living a life of sin. We didn’t ask to be born. We simply realize that we are here and it was not our choice. Invariably we opt to sin somewhere along the way and then cannot undo what we have chosen. Adam, much the same way, had to have a horribly sobering moments (perhaps many) during his centuries of life when he slumped onto a rock or chair and groaned, “I just ate a piece of fruit … I didn’t know it would lead to all this mess. I didn’t know it would ruin everything for everyone. Is there no remedy? Will it be this way forever?!” Adam’s choice cements our choice to disobey. Now, since Christ’s righteousness is offered on behalf of all, choosing Him remedies the fact that Adam’s choice brought death. Adam chose death and it extends to us. We can choose Christ for His righteousness also extends to us to cancel death.
6 – Life and grace and gratitude and Christ’s covering for us are to be our motives in living. To think, “hey, I’m eternally forgiven, no matter what. I’m free, therefore, to keep living in sin for God will redeem me” is wrong thinking. It is desperately immature and a smack in the face who gave His Son for us at a costly price. Someone who is thinking this way, [and there have been many] is oriented completely wrong. It’s s reckless to think this way. It’s as wrong headed as a rich brat continuing to meddle in crime and saying, “it’s fine, my old man will keep paying bail and the attorney fees. I can get out of any mess. No need for me to reform my ways.” … really? A net under a high elevation work site is there in case we fall. It’s not installed to be moronically played on all day like a trampoline. Sin has wages that must be paid. Yet greater than death is God’s gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, and He must be received by us. We didn’t choose to be born. We didn’t realize that our sin would lead to such a death. But it’s all true and it engulfs us. We do have the ability to choose Christ, and we must do so to cancel our eternal death.
The Thread through the Streams for this week – “Take it to God”
– Moses is thrust into a terrible face-off with the world’s most powerful man at the time. Moses has some serious questions and he takes it to God. We see a Moses who is coming to God and coming against a Pharaoh who is fighting against the God who is about to make a move.
-David (in I Sam.) is running for his life and takes each day and each event and each step in his heart to God. This scenario v.s. a Saul who doesn’t come to God for anything.
-The Psalms this week are such a celebration as David is rejoicing in His Lord. He takes his joy to God who gives him joy. And when feeling forsaken, David goes straight to God with it.
-Isaiah tells all who are thirsty, hungry, broken, unsatisfied, seeking righteousness to do what? … to come to God. For His salvation is near. The wicked also are called out for their wickedness.
-Hosea is calling for his wife to come back to him just as Israel is called to come back to the LORD: “afterward the children of Israel will return and seek Yahweh their God and David their King.”
Mark – tells of disciples who are called to Jesus, others are coming to Jesus, craving to get to Jesus, longing to be touched and healed and saved by Jesus. It’s beautiful pictures; one after another.
Paul’s letter to Romans explains the thinking of God and the intricacies involved, the theory of what it is and what allows for us to be able to get to God. It’s mind bending and inspiring. Very motivating writing that the world must know