Romans 2 began with the affirmation that the religious person has no excuse. He knows better because he’s received God’s revelation in Scripture, but doesn’t perform any better.
Romans 3 begins with a question, “Is there an advantage” for someone born into a people group identified by circumcision as the chosen people? He answers, Yes, because they’ve “been entrusted with the very words of God” (v. 2). To benefit from this advantage they must put their faith in the promise of God found in His word.
If this faith step isn’t taken it doesn’t invalidate God’s promise. God will be faithful in keeping His promise. In fact the darker our sinful lives become, the more clearly God’s righteousness is seen. God is not unjust in bringing His wrath on us. We deserve it. “Let God be true, and every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).
Paul anticipated what some might say to this. If in dealing with my sin God’s truthfulness is enhanced and His glory increased, why should I be condemned for causing this positive outcome? Some might falsely accuse Paul of saying, “Let us do evil that good may result” (verse 8). But Paul says, “Certainly not!” God’s condemnation of the sinner is deserved and just.
We will see in our next visit the sinful nature of man is declared throughout the Bible. Paul is not teaching something new. He’s teaching something that has been universally demonstrated and known to be true. You can fool some people all the time, all people some of the time, but you never can fool God.