Trinity House » What Advantage the Jew? (My notes for a sermon on Romans 3.1-8)

1 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2 Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.

A lot of people speculate here about what kind of advantage Paul is talking about, or what kind of value he sees in circumcision. Basically, most people read this passage as saying that the Jews had the opportunity to be saved, if they would believe those oracles or put their faith in God and not their own flesh, as circumcision called them to do.

It would be great if I thought that was Paul’s intention because then I could preach for all of you to do the same with your baptisms. Jews would stand here merely for members of the visible Church before Christ. We could all easily apply this to ourselves.

But it’s not so easy. Paul speaks of these oracles of God earlier and he speaks of circumcision later. Let’s look at what Paul singles out in those other passages and then see whether that helps us here.

When Paul later talks about circumcision as the covenant God made with Abraham, he singles out that it is a covenant that calls and promises Abraham that he will be the father of many nations.

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