A Clear Advantage

“Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.” (Romans 3:1-2)

In the middle of Paul’s discussion on Sin in Romans 1-3, he takes a moment to make a significant point. Paul wants his readers to understand that all have sinned, but he also wants everyone to know that all things are not equal. The Jews had an advantage. Unlike the Gentiles, they were given the word of God. Earlier on, Paul pointed out that even without the word of God the Gentiles were without excuse (Rom. 1:19-20). The word of God is not God’s only revelation. A person can come to understand there is a God by paying attention to creation. God’s handiwork is seen everywhere one looks, but still yet the word of God is clearer because it is a direct revelation. God tells us exactly what he wants. The Jews possessed this advantage and yet they still failed to do what God wanted.

These two verses are important because we are a people with many advantages. If you were born in the United States of America, then you were born in a country where Christianity is the dominant religion. Most of us freely attend worship each Sunday without the fear of persecution. We live in an age where we have more Bible study tools than ever before. We have greater access to the word of God than any other time in history. We have it on our phones, on our computers, and most of us own multiple copies of the Bible. We have access to the entire world via the internet. We have the ability to jump on a plane and travel anywhere in the world. America is one of the wealthiest nations in the world. We have extra money to spend on satellite TV, eating out, vacations, and other luxuries that many people never get to enjoy. I could go on and on but I think you get the point.

We don’t just have one advantage. We have many advantages. What are you doing with the advantages God has given to you. Everyone of them is a blessing, but God expects us to use these blessings to glorify him. God held the Jews accountable for the advantage he gave them, and he will do the same with us.

Take a few minutes and list all the advantages God has given you. Write them down on a piece of paper and then consider what you are doing with these blessings.

We have greater access to God’s word today. Are you reading it more? How has this deepened your Bible study?

We have greater ways to reach people via the internet. How are you using the internet and social media? What do you post on Facebook? You have a platform. Are you using it for good?

We enjoy freedom of religion in this country. How has this helped to strengthen your faith? Do you attend every worship service and Bible study you can?

We are blessed with wealth. We have more than most people in the world today. How are you using that to bless others and spread God’s word.

These are not the only advantages we enjoy, but they are some of the main ones. Consider what God has done for you and make sure you are acting accordingly. Do not neglect the blessings God has put in your care.

Scott Elliott is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and Austin Graduate School of Theology. He lives in La Grange, TX and is the minister for the La Grange Church of Christ. He is married and has two sons. He enjoys writing about the Christian faith and posting the occasional film review. His articles and reviews have appeared in RELEVANT magazine, Englewood Review of Books, and other publications.

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