TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN IS MUCH REQUIRED
48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
The first 8 verses of Romans chapter three are indeed several of the most difficult to interpret.
What the apostle through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God is telling the reader is that, although in this age there is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile, this does not preclude the fact that in the future God will indeed make His promise good concerning the Jew.
I. GOD’S PROMISE REVEALED (vs 1-3)
A. The advantage (vs 1)
What advantage has the Jew?
The word advantage is the greek word “perission” means “surplus” or “excess”.
In the last part of chapter two Paul seems to rub out any distinction between the Jew and the Gentile.
29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Now Paul goes back to meet that objection. There is a difference.
What profit is there of an outward badge (circumcision)?
25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
If the Jew and the Gentile are both on the same footing with God then what is the supposed advantage of being a Jew and of circumcision?
If circumcision in itself does not give righteousness, and if uncircumcision does not preclude righteousness, what profit was there ever in it?
This is the same question ask of church membership and ordinances of the church today.
If baptism has no part in my salvation what is the profit of it?
Why does God ask it of us?
The Jew was God’s chosen people. The title or the badge was not the distinctive element.
The distinction was in the character and behavior of the Jew and the fact that God work with them personally.
They were a chosen people.
Paul will go on to show that the Jew had an advantage but it was not exemption from judgment.
The Jew’s advantage became his condemnation. Vs 2
Much every way means that there are many and varied advantages, but he only mentions the chief one in chapter three.
Chiefly is the Greek word “proton” it means literally “first of all”.
I am not trying to correct the KJV.
Merely to clarify.
For Paul will go on to list other advantages later in the book of Romans.
4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
Also chapter 11.
The chief advantage is that they were given the oracle of God.
Oracles = Greek “logia” means literally “utterances”
It means more than the fact that they had the Old Testament Scripture.
But they had the utterances of God for them.
In other words the Old Testament Scripture related to the Jew.
It revealed promises made to the Jew particularly and peculiarly.
Dr. Adolph Saphir, a converted Jew, states correctly that
II. MEN REJECT GOD’S PROMISE (vs 3)
The Old Testament reveals God’s promise to send
The Jew rejected and crucified the Redeemer.
Does this make God’s faithfulness to keep His promise of no effect?
Is God’s promise void because of the unfaithfulness of the Jew?
All God’s promises for the future of the nation of
Men reject Him today as well.
But their rejection and denial will not mean a thing in the day of Judgment.
III. GOD RETAINS HIS PROMISES (sv 4-8)
The unbeliever is here shown to be the liar and God is shown to be true.
When God makes good His promises to
God’s promise will shine forth as the noon day sun because He kept them with those who were totally unworthy.
The Redeemer will set up His kingdom and rule and reign as King of kings.
1 John 5:10
10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
Paul enforces his statement with a quote from Psa 51:4.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
David had sinned against God and David was punished for his sin, yet God did by the hand of David all that he had spoken.
The analogy to
The same is true of the believer.
A. What happens then when we sin?
Paul received the same criticism that we Baptist receive.
It might be argued that since the nation’s unbelief merely puts in contrast the faithfulness of God, then God is unjust to punish that which brings greater glory to Him.
This was the greatest criticism that Paul faced in preaching the Gospel of grace.
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Paul’s preaching that we are saved by grace and not works, meant that God would save the vilest sinner by no merit of his own but through the shed blood of Jesus and that alone.
Therefore, came the argument for those who objected to salvation by grace that if this were true the why not sin the more, seeing that we are saved by grace and not works.
The foolish argument would be:
The more one sinned the more grace that God would extend.
If God can extend His grace to the vilest sinner, then is God unrighteous when He takes vengeance on the unbeliever?
When Paul says I speak as a man, he is not saying that the Holy Spirit is not involved in this particular Scripture but that he is asking the question from the human stand point. Vs 6
Paul’s answer is emphatic. God Forbid!
If God were unjust then He indeed could not judge the world. Vs 7
A lie is a moral falsehood.
Each individual could claim exemption from the judgment of God because his sin had advanced the glory of God.
In verse 8
Paul drives this argument that sin causes God’s glory to abound, to its logical and untenable conclusion.
If sin magnifies the glory of God, then the more sin, the more glory.
Some had falsely accused Paul of this absurdity.
It was ridiculous, for it was Paul who insisted that God must judge sin.
As surely as there is sin there must be judgment.
There are three judgments to be considered by us as individuals.
1. Judgment of sinners without Christ. (Great white throne judgment)
10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
2. The judgment of saved here and now (chastisement)
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
For those who may think that God will not judge those who are saved, these verses bring reality home.
3. The judgment seat of Christ
Where the Christian will be judged for his work.
10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
2 Cor 5:9-10
9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.