Romans 3:9-19 Princeton Christian Church 22 August 2021
Today we will continue looking into the letter Paul wrote to the church in Rome. We will begin in Chapter 3 where Paul continues his thoughts from Chapter 2 concerning the position of the Jews and the Gentiles in relation to the Gospel.
Paul makes it clear that in the Gospel nothing is hidden. There are differences between Jews and Gentiles. But, overriding all differences of class, creed, and culture is the sobering fact that all are “under sin.” Verse 9 - “Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are under sin….”
The human race is together in this condition of sin. No matter what similarities we have or differences we have, we are all under sin, and even exposed in our sinfulness before God.
It is “sin”, but not necessarily “sins” which is our problem. It is the symptoms of the disease rather than the disease. We hear a lot today about a disease that has changed the way we go about our daily lives. Some people show symptoms of Covid 19 but test negative. Others seem to have little or no symptoms, but test positive. Symptoms without the disease. Sin is somewhat like that, with the exception that sin is still sin even when the symptoms are not readily evident. You see, it is possible to hide sin from those around us even when they know us very well. But, no one can successfully hide sin from God.
Paul gives us a string of examples of upright living by stating that there is no one who is perfect, or does as he should, compared to Christ. Several times in Romans Chapter 3, Paul writes the words – “NO ONE”.
So, how does Paul demonstrate “NO ONE”?
First, in verse 10 he tells us that NO ONE IS RIGHTEOUS.
We might question Paul, asking what is righteousness? Here is a definition: God is always in the right. He is always doing what is right --- ALWAYS! All other standards of righteousness must be determined with reference to God.
People who have absolutely no interest in knowing God are actually at odds with Him. Think about a compass. There is only one magnetic North on the compass. All other points on the compass find their identity in relationship to the North. There are in-between positions – NNE; SSW and so on. Many people are like that as well. They are close, like NNE, but they are not heading North, they are not heading toward Jesus Christ, the only place where righteousness can be found and experienced.
Secondly, in verse 11, Paul writes that NO ONE UNDERSTANDS.
The thought processes of men and women are so affected by sin that there will always be some degree of deficiency in the grasp of the truth as it is to be found only in the knowledge of God.
A politician who is confused about God will be confused about God’s world. And that, of course, leads to a confused worldview and inadequate political solutions. And, without getting too political here, don’t we need to pray fervently for politicians who are not confused, but are depending upon God for the woes of the world in which we live.
The socialist, who does not adequately understand God cannot fully understand God’s masterpiece. That masterpiece is Mankind. So, in all his thinking and offering of solutions to life, he will be in error at many points in his sociology.
A preacher was speaking from the text; the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.” During his preaching, he was suddenly interrupted by an atheist who asked, “How can blood cleanse sin?” For a moment the preacher was silent, and then he answered. “How can water quench your thirst?” The atheist answered, “I don’t know how water quenches thirst. But I know that it does.” The preacher’s answer was this: “Neither do I know how the blood of Christ cleanses sin, but I know that it does.”
Mahatma Gandhi was once approached by an atheist with the request to organize and promote an anti-God society. Gandhi replied, “It amazes me to find an intelligent person who fights against something which he does not at all belief exists.” And people today fight and argue against God whom they do not even believe exists!
The third, NO ONE we will look at is that NO ONE seeks God – verse 11.
You may have spoken to people who profess to have a desire to know God, but who, after careful thought, have agreed that their search is more for a good argument than for knowing or seeking a Living God.
The word “seek” means to make a determined and serious search for something. This kind of seeking is not the kind that most people naturally engage in.
Often, when someone is maybe wanting to know more about God, they may be led astray by something or someone who presents a type of religion that is actually anti-God Almighty. And they latch onto that image of a false god, rather than the God who can actually save them for eternity.
The fourth NO ONE Paul addresses are that NO ONE does good – verse 12.
Two things need to be strongly considered here.
First, the expression “does good” would be better translated if the word “habitually” were included in the thought. He is saying that no one consistently or habitually does good every day in every way.
Second, the concept of goodness is defined with reference to God Himself. Paul says that without a single exception, there is not a human being of any shape, size, age, color, degree of education, from any culture or background, or any environment, who has produced a life characterized by an uncompromising commitment to righteousness and unadulterated goodness.
NO NOT ONE!
So, today how is your righteousness? Does your compass point to Christ? Or is it somewhere in between righteousness and rebellion?
How is your understanding of God and how are you seeking Him diligently in your daily walk? How are you doing with “doing good?”
Gary K Fair