If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?
Romans 2:25-3:8 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27 And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law? 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. 29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.
3 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision?2 Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? 4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written,
“That You may be justified in Your words,
And prevail when You are judged.”
5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.) 6 May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world?7 But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), “Let us do evil that good may come”? Their condemnation is just.
Many things have changed since the time of Paul’s writing and many things have not. Now just as then, people can be divided into two categories concerning God, creation, and His love demonstrated to the world in that Jesus died for our sins. There are those who believe and those who do not believe. In today’s text Paul says: What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? Disbelief does not change what is. Those who do not believe in creation do not nullify the glory, the power and the majesty of God that is revealed in creation. Those who disbelieve in God, do not nullify the splendor, the vastness and the intricacies of creation. John 3:16 says: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” For those who do not believe in God’s love, it does not change that truth that Jesus died for their sins. It only prevents them from receiving the benefit of God’s love and faithfulness; redemption and eternal life. God’s love and faithfulness are not nullified. They are nullified for those who do not believe. Those same benefits are available to whoever believes. Psalm 100:5 says: The LORD is good, and His loving devotion endures forever; His faithfulness continues to all generations. In Deuteronomy 31:6 God says: “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” In Matthew 28:20, Jesus says: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Those who disbelieve do not nullify the faithfullness of God. They only disqualify themselves from its benefits. In John 10:10 Jesus says: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Those who disbelieve, or those who believe the thief rather than Jesus, do not nullify the abundant life He gives, they only get the death and destruction that comes from disbelief, for themselves.
Paul continues: But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.) May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world? But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner? And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), “Let us do evil that good may come”? Their condemnation is just. Again, now just as then, along with the question of belief, there are those who fall on every side of the grace verses righteousness question. There are some who say that a loving God would not judge anyone. As Paul says, God is not unrighteous in His judgment. Rather it is His righteousness that requires that there would be judgment against unrighteousness. God’s righteous judgment is not against people. It is against unrighteousness. He provided a way out of judgment for everyone; belief and righteousness in Christ. In John 3:16-21 Jesus says: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” There are also those who because of God’s mercy and grace; that Jesus did die for our sins, believe that they can presume on that grace, continuing in sin and the God of grace will be glorified. To those, Paul says: Their condemnation is just. In Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus says: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” For those who presume on God’s grace and continue in sin and unrighteousness; like those who disbelieve, the faithfulness and grace of God will be nullified for them.
May the words of the psalmist in Psalm 117 be our prayer and declaration: Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol Him, all you peoples. For great is His love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord. Amen. Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit; I believe and believing, I desire to walk in the fullness of Your grace, Your faithfulness and Your righteousness. Amen.