February 16, 2018

The Lord's Faithfulness Trumps My Faithlessness. Every. Single. Day.

Romans 3:1–12

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God's Righteousness Upheld

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written,

  “That you may be justified in your words,
    and prevail when you are judged.”

But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could God judge the world? But if through my lie God's truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.

No One Is Righteous

What then? Are we Jews1 any better off?2 No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written:

  “None is righteous, no, not one;
11     no one understands;
    no one seeks for God.
12   All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
    no one does good,
    not even one.”

Footnotes

[1] 3:9 Greek Are we
[2] 3:9 Or at any disadvantage?

The Lord's Faithfulness Trumps My Faithlessness. Every. Single. Day.



Central Truth

God loves us despite our failures. He has made a way for us to be justified because even when we are faithless, He remains faithful! By trusting in Jesus Christ as our Savior, God's perfectly just nature is satisfied, and we can cling tight to His promise of eternal life.

Devotional | Romans 3:1–12

Since I became a believer four and a half years ago, the Lord has been so gracious to woo me into a loving relationship with Him. Daily, He finds ways to show up in my life and make Himself known to me. It could...

Since I became a believer four and a half years ago, the Lord has been so gracious to woo me into a loving relationship with Him. Daily, He finds ways to show up in my life and make Himself known to me. It could be a golden nugget of Scripture He illumines in my quiet time, a lyric of a worship song that clenches my heart in indescribable ways, or a small glimpse of His perfect love in the way my husband loves me.

Sometimes I find myself wondering, "Why does He continue to pursue me like this when I find myself falling short daily?" Isn't He annoyed when I lose my mind in the midst of traffic? Doesn't He want to give up on me when I snap at my husband? Surely He at least rolls His eyes when I hit the snooze button instead of getting up for my quiet time with Him. Don't my demonstrations of faithlessness cause His faithfulness to vanish?

The answer? It is found in this golden nugget of Romans and validated throughout Scripture. "By no means!" There is nothing I can do to alter the character or promises of God (Numbers 23:19). He is faithful despite my moments of weakness (2 Timothy 2:13). And He loves me despite my sin (Romans 5:8).

You might be asking yourself, "How is that possible? Doesn't God's law demand perfection?" It does. But the law is not the means of my salvation—Jesus is! God knew I would never be good enough to live up to His standard of righteousness, but He needs to uphold a perfect standard of justice. Therefore, He chose to make a way for me to spend eternity with Him by sending His Son to die on a cross as the perfect sacrifice. Jesus made the payment in full, canceling my debt so that my sin might no longer lead to death (John 3:16).

Final words? Don't let your sin discredit you and make you feel unworthy of our Father's unrelenting love. Instead, open your hearts to Him, and let Him transform your faithlessness into faithfulness.

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Bio | Sarah Fonda

Journey-ers! Sarah Fonda here. Before we dive in to Romans today, let's chat! 

I am married to the world's largest St. Louis Cardinals fan, my husband of two and a half years, Nathan (don't get him started on the 2011 World Series). When we aren't watching baseball, we love to cook, play board games, go for walks in the park, and watch football. (Go, Cowboys!)

Above all this, our first priority is Jesus. If you have any questions about how to seek, start, or strengthen your relationship with this Savior, come see us in the Watermark Equipping Ministry!

Discussion Questions

1. How has God "wooed" you this week? Was it through His Word? His people? How did you respond to His love?

2. Where have you fallen short this week? Do you consistently confess your sin to other believers so that they can pray for you? How does unconfessed sin affect you?

3. How is it possible for a perfect and holy God to allow sinners to enter into eternal life with Him? How does He manage to stay faithful to His promises despite our disobedience?

 

13 Comments available

stephen jacobs 2 days ago

  1. God has “wooed” me thru my brother with relentless support during my move from small town to big town.
  2. Judging others or sexual lust
  3. His death of the cross (GRACE) covers my unworthiness to enter His Kingdom.

greg jones 5 days ago

@HughStephenson
You bring up something in your comment that is a bigger part of Romans. My opinion.
Are we created with God’s grace within us? I say no. Is God’s grace apart from Him, like a token? Or, is God’s grace a part of Him? I say if apart from Him, we can only know of his grace. If a part within Him, of, then I say we experience Him through grace.
I, hear, the frustration of Paul and the Psalmist trying to make points better than I understand the points they always want to make. There is a difference, for example, a slave to sloth with a grace token in his possession, and the faithfulness of a sloth who is a slave to Christ.
That can be frustrating to explain.

greg jones 5 days ago

I love the verses Sarah referenced and her final words today. Our sin doesn’t prevent us from trusting God, Adam proved that for us. Fear of God came with sin, Adam hid Genesis 3. Christ righteousness takes away sin but the effects of sin one being fear. By faith we can live fearlessly before God, which leads to faithfulness, which leads to a kind of trust Adam could not comprehend before the fall. To live in fear of God leads to a faithlessness, that seeks to hide, like Adam, from what can be trusted about God.

Our faithfulness is found in not hiding from his faithfulness.
Thank you for pointing that out today.

Selena Thompson 5 days ago

"There is nothing I can do to alter the character or promises of God"
Thank you Sarah for this devo this morning! This statement is the nugget of the day, for me. I think sometimes we put God in a box that looks similar to our earthly life and begin to see God as the military father we grew up with that was all rules or the husband we married that is temperamental and struggles with anger or the boss we have that is never really impressed with our work no matter how hard we try. It is a blessing to rest in knowing there is nothing I can do to alter who God is!! Psalm 116:5 “The Lord is gracious and righteous, our God is full of compassion.” Have a great weekend!

Denise Hubbard 5 days ago

Not only are we to be rightly related to God, but He is the gold standard of how we are to be related to others. He is perfectly consistent in His love for us. (Hebrews 13:8)

Lisa Olsen 5 days ago

Thank you, Sarah! After reading your devo, the common phrase…”I wish I would have known then what I know now” came to mind. Not that I have arrived or am not still battling sin daily and even struggling with doubt at times, but I am in a place where I “get” the Gospel message. Like so many others, I spent most of my life on the proverbial hamsters wheel, trying with all my might to “be good” so I can therefore “be accepted”. It has taken many, many, MANY years and tears to see truth…that I cannot save myself and that I need a savior. Jesus.

Michael Scaman 5 days ago

“there is none good no not one” Rom 3:10-12

From a second run of psalms. ‘No one is good’ in Ps 14 and we start seeing a phrase ‘the right hand of God’ as if God is flexing His muscles. The right hand of God associated with salvation and in each psalm Ps 14 to 21 (except 19 about the law and stars made by God’s fingers). In my view the whole section drives to a pictures of the savior.

He keeps the law 15, He is raised 16, 17, 18, (deep breath of awe 19 ), He’s the one we should trust 20, He rejoices Ps 21. This? This is the good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep, the King Ps 22, 23, and 24.

We lift up our eyes to Him in 24.
We lift up our souls to Him in 25.

Michael Scaman 5 days ago

On the subject of Feb 14, Paul uses the phrase ‘as it is written’ 14 times in Romans and 2 of them are in this section.

“That you may be justified in your words,
and prevail when you are judged.” Rom 3:4

This is from a run of psalms on judgement, Ps 49 and 50 are broadly on the judgement of the world, Ps 51 (directly quoting Ps 51:4 ) is the centerpiece of the five and is David’s song of contrition where David’s appeals for mercy is based on the nature of God’s character. The following Psalms, namely Ps 52, 53, are on the judgement of the wicked

It seems fitting Paul would quote from psalm largely about sin and failures of men that keep God at the center.

Trey Collins 5 days ago

Great devo Sarah and an excellent reminder of the character and nature of God. Reading something like this in the morning just sets my soul to joy for the upcoming day!

Jennifer Borgne 5 days ago

Happy Friday all.
Sarah, a timely reminder that my salvation is nothing to do with me. It’s everything to do with Christ and what He’s done. The law is not my means of salvation - Jesus is! Praise Him, because the burden of living up to something out of my reach is met in Christ. Grace is marvelous and freeing.

Ronnie Oldfield 5 days ago

Great devo to end the week Sarah, thank you.
Question 3b was an easy one for me. God is faithful cause that is His perfect nature.
While I was still enjoying wallowing in the cesspool of life, Christ died for me. How faithful is that?
He is my rock on which I stand, the Holy Spirit washes over me so the stench of the cesspool is made sweet like lavender.
And yes every day seems to be rinse dry repeat. He keeps me humble as He keeps me convicted Jesus is my only hope. Ty Sarah

Hope Harris 5 days ago

Keller says: “In Romans 2. Paul is saying the worst criminals and a moral, religious, upright Person who thinks that because of his good deeds and his righteousness God owes him blessing. Paul is saying as different as those look on the surface, underneath those are both expressions of the same radical self-centeredness, radical self-absorption, that is sin.”

@HughStephenson pointed out a few days ago sin is missing the mark. The mark is we were created to honor and glorify God. We all miss the mark by what we do, be it bad to bone deeds or noteworthy good acts; if the focus on ourselves. Keller concludes that both types of people must come to the end of them end of themselves. We must reach; a place where we become nothing. Only then do we realize our need for a savior and salvation.

Hugh Stephenson 5 days ago

Well done Sarah. I too am amazed by the faithfulness of God. He really does show up every day.

Wiersbe points out the link to Psalm 14 in verse 10 refers to man saying, “No, God”. Taking license again, I would add “Yes, Me!”

I spent 2013 and 2014 looking back in regret. Nowdays, my confessions center in the present. I say “Yes, God” in big picture ways but I keep saying “No, God, Yes Me” to some old sins; pride, fear, control, gluttony, lust, materialism and sloth. These coping mechanisms are less frequent and severe but still there. Though God has granted me complete healing of my compulsions of alcohol and porn these other sin patterns still remain. Yet, they seem to serve the purpose of thorns in my flesh keeping me hugely reliant on Him and driving me to submission to Him. Praise God for that.

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