Chapter 3:1-8 God’s promises will not save them
Is there any benefit, then, in being a Jew? Is there any advantage in being circumcised? A great deal, in every way. First of all, it was to the Jews that the message of God was entrusted. What if some of them were unfaithful? Do you think their lack of faith could cancel God's faithfulness? Out of the question! God will always be true even if no human being can be relied on. As scripture says: That you may show your saving justice when you pass sentence and your victory may appear when you give judgement. But if our injustice serves to bring God's saving justice into view, can we say that God is unjust when – to use human terms – he brings his retribution down on us? Out of the question! It would mean that God could not be the judge of the world. You might as well say that if my untruthfulness makes God demonstrate his truthfulness, to his greater glory, then I should not be judged to be a sinner at all. In this case, the slanderous report some people are spreading would be true, that we teach that one should do evil that good may come of it. In fact such people are justly condemned.
Chapter 3:9-20 All are guilty
Well: are we any better off? Not at all: we have already indicted Jews and Greeks as being all alike under the dominion of sin. As scripture says:
Not one of them is upright, not a single one,
not a single one is wise,
not a single one seeks God.
All have turned away, all alike turned sour,
not one of them does right, not a single one.
Their throats are wide-open graves,
their tongues seductive.
Viper's venom behind their lips;
their speech is full of cursing and bitterness.
Their feet quick to shed innocent blood,
wherever they go there is havoc and ruin.
They do not know the way of peace,
there is no fear of God before their eyes.