Read Romans 3:1-31
The New Testament describes three types of people. Every person fits into one (or possibly two) of these categories. You do. So do your closest friend and the person whose home is next to yours. Paul describes them for us in Romans 3.
Jews- These are descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They have been blessed as the original recipients of the Old Testament law and were historically set apart and identified by their practice of circumcision. God promised them a specific land and that they would be a source of blessing or cursing to other people (Gen. 12:1-3). That sounds like a great privilege to be part of that group!
Gentiles- Anyone who is not a Jew is a Gentile. Paul describes them like this in Ephesians 2:12: “…excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.” It sounds like a desperate situation to be a Gentile!
But in spite of the apparent “advantages” of being a Jew, Paul levels the playing field. He reminds us that both of these types of people are sinful (v. 23) and unrighteous when left to themselves (vv. 9-20). That’s where the third group comes in…
The church- No, I am not talking specifically about those who attend or who are members of a local church. The universal church is made up of all people…whether Jew or Gentile…who have received the forgiveness of God through the grace offered in His Son Jesus. This forgiveness is granted not on the basis of performance, but on the basis of personal faith in Him. The person who is part of the church has no bragging rights. After all, he or she is the recipient of an undeserved gift!
Which type of person are you? Initially, you were a Jew or Gentile on the basis of your physical birth. But you can only become a part of the church through spiritual rebirth (Jn. 3). What about your best friend or your closest neighbor? He/she will only have rightstanding with God based on personal faith in Jesus.