Thoughts on the Epistle to the Romans (62)

Moses striking the rock

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Romans 3:19.

Right from chapter 1, verse 18 Paul has demonstrated that everybody needs the gospel of Jesus Christ, because all have sinned. That applied to the uncivilized heathen peoples as well as to the Greeks and Romans. Finally there was the Jews’ claim that they were an exception, being the people of God. Paul acknowledged that they occupied a privileged position, especially as the “oracles of God” had been entrusted to them. But then he proved to them from their own scriptures that they, too, were “under sin”.

They simply could not discount the powerful proof of these passages, nor apply these words to the heathen. State laws apply to the inhabitants of the states concerned, and God’s law, which had been given to the people of Israel by Moses, was valid for the Jews. Thus they could not deny that the accusations in the law and the remainder of their holy scriptures applied to them.

No arguments or excuses remained for them. Whoever examines himself in the light of the Word of God finds his mouth “stopped”. He knows that he is also “under sin” and subject to God’s judgment. It is of no use comparing ourselves with others who may be much worse than ourselves. Our mouth is stopped. We cannot justify ourselves any longer. Only by recognizing this can we be receptive to the message of Jesus Christ and the unmerited grace of God.

Image: By Pieter de Grebber –, Public Domain,