Roy Osborne
July 2012


In the first three chapters of Romans, Paul lays down some fundamental principles and universal concepts of which every serious Bible student should be fully aware.   The tirade he unleashes against all forms of immorality underlines the fact that man was created with, and therefore has, inherently, a sense of right and wrong.
This means his origin gave him a sense of morality that other creatures do not have.  Paul refers to Gentiles, who do not have the written law but obey the principles of the law.  This means there is a broader law of moral behavior than the written law.  It is a law that everyone understands, and it is a law that their Creator intended for them to live by.   Of course, this incidentally shows that man is a being created by a Creator who made him aware that there is a difference between right and wrong.  He is not just a development of life from a lower form of creature, for none of them has a moral sense.  Right is the way the Creator meant for things to be.  Any other way is wrong.

Paul is speaking to the Jews, and he points out that those of the circumcision were the first to have the word of God.   They were the first to have contact with and a knowledge of the Creator.  In addition, they had the exalted privilege of being the family through which the blessing of salvation was to come to all mankind.  To be chosen by God for this distinction was a blessing beyond words to express.  However, in connection with this, Paul tells them that being a Jew did not exempt them from obedience to the moral rules of behavior.  And, that judgement was not going to be based on their identity, but on their behavior, and while they were judging the misbehavior of others, they had better make sure that they were not doing the same things.

The lesson for us in this is that being a part of some Christian group called a church would not be a factor in our final judgement.  It is not wearing the name of Christ that makes us right, but walking with Him daily in imitation of His life.

Finally, Paul makes it quite clear that no one can be perfectly righteous, as one must be to dwell with God.  Not even those who meticulously define all the rules of the church and of religious practice, and claim to follow them.  He specifically says that law (and this means any law) only makes us conscious of our sin and shortcomings.   It does not offer us any forgiveness for our sins.  He makes it clear that “none is righteous, no not one” : Rom.3:10.
But God has given us a solution to this problem, and we will discuss it in our next essay.