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Romans  ◦   Chapter 3

1If anybody can be saved–and genetics don't make a difference–then you may ask: What advantage is there in being a Jew, and what good is circumcision?2Being a Jew has tremendous advantage! The Jews have been given the truth from God himself. They have been blessed with the Scriptures, with the teaching tools of circumcision, the sanctuary and feast days–all designed to enlighten the mind with healing truth. Not only that, but they have been given instructions on healthy living, which results in better health and more efficient mental function.

3But what if some have not recognized the meaning of all that God has given them and have not developed trust in God? Will their failure to trust God nullify God's trustworthiness?4Absolutely not! God is trustworthy even if every human being is a liar and a fraud. As it is written: "God, may you be proved right and true in the hearts and minds of your intelligent creatures when you present yourself openly for their judgment."

5But if our sickness and selfishness make God's enduring, healing love easier to see and understand, how do we interpret that? Do we say that since our wickedness makes God's goodness easier to see, since our selfishness makes God's love easier to comprehend, since our sickness makes God's Remedy easier to understand, that we are therefore helping God win his case? Is God unjust if he doesn't give us a free pass? (I am using a human argument that fails to understand the basic principles upon which the universe operates.)6Absolutely not! If that were the case, how could God allow anyone to experience the consequences of the persistent refusal of his life-giving Remedy?7Some who see sin as a legal problem might argue, "If I were to lie in order to help God reveal what truthfulness is and thus increase his glory, I am actually on his side helping him, so why should I suffer the fate of a sinner?"8They might as well try claiming–as we are being falsely accused of saying–"It is by doing wrong that the right occurs. It is by doing evil that good results. It is by acting selfishly that love grows." Those who teach such things deserve the consequence of a depraved and destroyed mind, which is the only result of practicing methods at variance with God's. They fail to understand that violations of God's law of love actually damage the sinner and destroy God's image, methods and principles within them.

9What conclusion shall we then draw? Are we any better than anyone else? Of course not! We have already shown that all humanity, Jews and Gentiles alike, are all infected with the same destructive element–distrust, fear and selfishness–and all are in need of the same Remedy.10As it is written: "There is no one whose heart and mind are perfectly healthy, no one that is free from the infection of distrust, fear and selfishness–not even one.11There is no one who understands God's character, methods and principles; no one who seeks to know God.

12"The entire human race has accepted lies about God and has turned away from him. They have become completely necrotic in character; there is no one who does good, who loves others, who is selfless and kind — not even one."

13"The words they speak bring only death; Their mouths utter only lies about God. The poison of lies from the serpent Satan is on their lips because they have accepted his version of God."

14"Their voice is filled with cursing and bitterness, and they complain about life being unfair."

15"They are quick to murder;16They are tornadoes of destruction, whirlwinds of misery wreaking havoc wherever they go.

17"They don't know how to bring peace, heal wounds, be kind, or sacrifice self for the good of others."

18"They don't admire and respect God, but are afraid of him because they don't know him."

19Now, we know that the Ten Commandments are like a medical diagnostic instrument identifying infection and exposing disease. It diagnoses accurately everyone who is infected with distrust of God — who is filled with selfishness and dying of sin — so that everyone who claims to be sin-free or free of selfishness will be silenced, and the entire world will recognize their need of God's healing solution.20Therefore no one will be recognized as having a healthy relationship with God and being like Christ in character by adhering to a set of rules; rather, it is through the Ten Commandments that we become aware of our sickly state of mind.

21But now God has revealed a healthy state of being — a character that is right and perfect in every way — that did not come from the written code, but is exactly what the Scriptures and the Ten Commandments were pointing your minds toward.22This perfect state of being comes from Christ and is created within us by God when we place our trust in him. Our trust in him is established by the evidence given through Jesus Christ of his supreme trustworthiness. There is no difference among any ethnic groups,23for all humanity is infected with the same disease — of distrust, fear and selfishness — and is deformed in character and falls far short of God's glorious ideal for humanity.24Yet all who are willing are healed freely by God's gracious Remedy which has been provided by Jesus Christ.25God presented Jesus as the way and the means of restoration. Now, through the trust established by the evidence of God’s character revealed when Christ died, we may partake of the Remedy procured by Christ. God did this to demonstrate that he is right and good — because in his forbearance he suspended, for a time, the ultimate consequence of us being out of harmony with his design for life — yet he has been falsely accused of being unfair.26He did it to demonstrate at the present time how right and good he is, so that he would also be seen as being right when he heals those who trust in Jesus.

27Where, then, is human bragging or accomplishment? It has no place, for our healing has been accomplished by God, through trust made possible by Jesus. And why is boasting not possible? Because our efforts to conform to a set of rules do not establish trust, or remove the infection of selfishness from our hearts! Only trust in God eliminates fear and opens the heart to him. Then, in order to recreate us to be like Jesus, God lovingly applies to our hearts and minds the Remedy Christ achieved.28Therefore, we insist that a person is cleansed (set right with God) only by trusting in God and opening their heart to him–and this is different from keeping rules.29Is the Creator of the entire human race the God of the Jews only? Is he not God of all humanity, including Gentiles? Of course!–he is the God of all humanity,30and he will heal the circumcised if they trust him, and the uncircumcised will also be healed if they trust him.31Do we then destroy, or make useless by our trust, the written code God gave to help us? Of course not! We show that the written code was helpful in diagnosing our sickness, revealing God's plan to heal, and leading us back to trust, so we could be healed.