- In verses 1-8 the apostle answers four objections which he found that men raised against the gospel. (The objections are sated in verses 1, 3, 5 and 7, 8a; the answer are given in verses 2, 4, 6 and 8b.) These will repay careful study; in particular note how Paul describes the Old Testament scriptures, to what two attributes of God he holds fast, and what kind of conduct he strenuously repudiates.
- In verses 10-18 Paul gives the general verdict of Scripture on man in his fallen condition. What does Scripture say: (a) about the general trend of human life (verses 10-12, cf. Is. 53:6a); (b) about man’s speech (verses 13, 14); and (c) about his conduct and inner attitude to God (verses 15-18)? How does this witness confirm the verdict of experience already given in 1:18-32 and 2:17-29 and lead to the conclusion of 3:19, 20?
- Do you assent to the truth that it is impossible for anyone, by their own efforts, to escape condemnation at the bar of God’s judgment?