Rom 3 – Rules diagnose disease, but can’t cause health

(3.1) So is it worth anything to be a Jew?  Is there any value in my surgically altered wang? (2) YES! LOTS!  For it is through the Jews that Papa’s Word has come into the world.  What an honor! (3) Yes, there were some unfaithful Jews, but there is no amount of unfaithfulness that could detract in any way from Papa’s faithfulness. (4) Not one iota!!!  If every person in the world told lies every minute of every day forever, it couldn’t change the fact that Papa is True.  It is written:

Your word will prove you true; The final word will be your Word.”

(5) It’s true!  Our wrongness serves as a witness to Papa’s rightness. 

  • Now, if this is true…
  • Does it mean Papa is wrong to discipline us? (6) Don’t be silly!  Papa disciplines ALL of her beloved sons, Gentiles and Jews together. Because we are not exempt from her love, we are not exempt from her saving discipline. 
  • (7) Does it mean it’s a good thing to do wrong?  (8) Some who distort our teaching accuse us of saying that:  “Let’s be bad so Papa can display her goodness.”  And of course, that’s just plain dumb.

(9) So are Jews BETTER than non-Jews?  No.  As we’ve already said, both Jews and Greeks are crushed under the same darkness and dysfunction. (10) The Bible says:

“How many people live in right relationship with each other?  Zero. (11) How many understand reality? How many are interested in getting to know Papa?  Zero. (12) They have turned away from Papa, away from each other; they are utterly incapable of the love and kindness they were created for. (13) Their throats exhale death; their tongues shape lies. Their lips are poison. (14) Their mouths are stuffed with hate. (15) Their feet rush into violence, (16) leaving misery in their wake. (17) They are clueless when it comes to living in harmony. (18) They do not take Papa seriously.”

(19) Jews live under Torah, and it is to them that Torah speaks.  But Torah speaks to these few in order to speak the truth about the whole world. (20) Think about it:  How many people achieve a face-to-face relationship with Papa by obeying Torah?  Zero!  That’s not what Torah is for anyway.  Torah is a diagnostic tool; it reveals sickness, but it does not cause health.

(21) But the good news is that, apart from Torah’s diagnosis of illness, health has finally come and shown itself to us!  This is what the scriptures are all about, (22) the Triune health/rightness/harmony finding its home in humanity, expressing itself in the shared life of all who believe the truth of Master Jesus.  In this context, the Jew-Gentile distinction doesn’t matter, (23) because ALL have been diagnosed with the same disease, (24) and ALL are now freely given the cure — the Triune goodness incarnate in human life.  This cure lives IN the risen body of the One to whom all people are bound — Master Jesus.  (25) By sharing in our death, he gave us to share in his union with Papa, a union experienced by those who believe.  Papa sent Jesus to reveal to us her forgiveness, (26) to reveal the rightness/beauty of the Triune Life, the life experienced by those who believe the gospel of Jesus.

(27) How could ethnic self-importance have any place within this kind of reality?!?  It doesn’t.  Because this is not about how good we are at achieving religious tasks; it’s about knowing what has already been achieved on our behalf. (28) We enter into the Triune rightness/wholeness not by rule-following but by truth-believing.

(29) Or do you think Papa is just another tribal deity?  Do you think of her as an idol that belongs to the Jews?  No!  There is no ‘god of the Jews’ or ‘god of the Gentiles.  There is ONE God for ALL, and all belong to HER: (30) HEAR OH ISRAEL, THE LORD IS ONE!  The one Triune Life is given freely to the circumcised and the uncircumcised, and all receive this gift by believing that it is true.

(31) Does this dethrone Torah?  Absolutely not!  Because Torah was never on the throne to begin with!  Torah serves the throne, and has served it well.

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