What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin.
We have arrived at Paul’s conclusion of what he has been discussing in this, the first main section of Romans. Without any doubt, his conclusion is one of those “good news – bad news” kind of things. The good news is that neither Jew nor Gentile has anything over the other: They have amazing equality. The bad news is that they both have serious problems with God.
Verse 9 leads us right into the fray: The Jewish Christians have no advantage over the Gentile Christians, because the very thing that makes them Jewish is the Law, and the Law condemns them for their disobedience to it.
In verses 10-18, Paul cites Old Testament passages to bear this out; I’ll let you read them on your own…
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
Does anybody really want to go back to the Law?
This is precisely why God promised deliverance through Jesus Christ, for the Law could never make a person righteous in His sight, and it is also precisely why God has no intention of ever going back to the Law in the future. The Law has served its purpose by making the people aware of their sin and their need of salvation. If you look at the world around you, you might notice that apart from God, people have a nasty habit of not noticing that their ways aren’t exactly all that wonderful. Of course we know that the Law also had a second purpose, that of binding God’s people together into a Kingdom, a Nation, and in the Old Testament, it did so in form by providing an illustration of what would come in Christ.
And then Jesus came and fulfilled the Law entirely, bringing about, by His sacrifice on the cross, a wholly new kind of Nation, a Nation that is not of this world, but rather a Kingdom of Heaven, a Kingdom that is within us even now.
When we next get together, Paul begins a new section in Romans, one that explains the redemptive work of our Lord; see you then.