*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Romans 3:3 meaning

Even though God has chosen Israel, He still allows freedom of choice. Israel, and all men, are free to choose whether to believe. So if some did not choose to believe God’s word, it is because they decided not to. God, however, is always faithful, notwithstanding.

Paul is working up to the specific slander the competing Jewish “authorities” have applied to Paul’s gospel message. In Romans 3:8, they claim Paul teaches that it is good for believers to sin because it shows how merciful God is.

But before Paul addresses their slander, first Paul asks another rhetorical question, starting with What then? What then addresses another likely criticism of Paul’s teaching by the competing Jewish “authorities” (the “O Man”) who judge others for things they themselves practice (Romans 2:1). If these competing Jewish “authorities” read the Bible, claim to be experts in it, but did not believe what it says, does their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God and the Bible (v 3)?

Certainly not! God’s faithfulness is completely independent of what men do. The Bible is true whether people believe it or not. Someone might believe the sun is not real, but that does not affect whether the sun shines. The belief that the earth is flat does not transform the actual globular shape of our planet into that of a pancake. The fact that these competing Jewish “authorities” are hypocrites should not, in any way, negatively affect the faith of the Roman believers (Romans 1:8).

It is common for people to say they don’t believe in God, citing the hypocrisy of those who believe IN God. Obviously, this is nothing new. Paul points out, with irrefutable logic, that God is not altered by the hypocrisy of men.

Biblical Text

3 What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?  

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