The Text

Romans 3:9–26 (CSB) What then? Are we any better off? Not at all! For we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin, as it is written:

There is no one righteous, not even one.
There is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away;
all alike have become worthless.
There is no one who does what is good,
not even one.
Their throat is an open grave;
they deceive with their tongues.
Vipers’ venom is under their lips.
Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and wretchedness are in their paths,
and the path of peace they have not known.
There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are subject to the law, so that every mouth may be shut and the whole world may become subject to God’s judgment. For no one will be justified in his sight by the works of the law, because the knowledge of sin comes through the law.

But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been revealed, attested by the Law and the Prophets. The righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, since there is no distinction. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented him as the mercy seat by his blood, through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. God presented him to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so that he would be just and justify the one who has faith in Jesus.

The Support

God is our justification.

Genesis 3:7–19 (CSB) Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. So the LORD God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

And he said, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”

Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

The man replied, “The woman you gave to be with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate.”

So the LORD God asked the woman, “What have you done?”

And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

So the LORD God said to the serpent:

Because you have done this,
you are cursed more than any livestock
and more than any wild animal.
You will move on your belly
and eat dust all the days of your life.
I will put hostility between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will strike your head,
and you will strike his heel.

He said to the woman:

I will intensify your labor pains;
you will bear children with painful effort.
Your desire will be for your husband,
yet he will rule over you.

And he said to the man, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘Do not eat from it’:

The ground is cursed because of you.
You will eat from it by means of painful labor
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow
until you return to the ground,
since you were taken from it.
For you are dust,
and you will return to dust.”

How do I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that “No one is good, no, not even one” and “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God?”

Because outside of Christ, there are no human exceptions to the curse of sin. In other words, no human has been able to escape the fallen.

In the times that we live, humans are audacious to think that we can fix our own problems. Without going into too much detail, that is the essence of Humanism. We figured that if we throw more thinking, planning, scheming, resources, science at the problem, we can solve all the problems that ail us.

But here is the hubris of man: we are not so quick to think that sin is the problem of humanity. It has to be everything else but sin. We have to go through sin, around sin or for the most part, ignore it altogether and we can eventually resolve it. We have tried this with our own identity. The problem is that because of sin, we are no longer in Christ. The gospel states, “Put your hope and trust in Christ and you will be saved. When you are saved, then your identity that was once not in Christ is now in Christ.” What does the world do? Ignores the sin problem and instead tries to tell people that if they put their hope and identity into something you can control or think you can control like your gender or sexual preference, you might be saved.

And before we are so quick to dismiss this and in thinking “well, I know my gender and I am heterosexual”, tell me something: how many of us struggle with lust? How many of us struggle with porn or just straight up any type of sexual immorality? We trust in porn or re-categorize what is good porn or what is bad porn in attempts to ease our conscience.

So how is that not putting your identity into something other than Christ?

Where do you see God in the text? What does the text say about God?

God

God is all-knowing. Before God created us, He knew us. And when He knew us, he loved us. When he loved us, the Scriptures proclaimed, “He predestines us to Himself.”

The Gospel

Romans 3:21-26 But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been revealed, attested by the Law and the Prophets. The righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, since there is no distinction. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God presented him as the mercy seat by his blood, through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. God presented him to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so that he would be just and justify the one who has faith in Jesus.

Here is the good news: from the fall of mankind to the end of time, we are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

Now who is we? The righteousness of God is through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe, since there is no distinction.

But why would God need to save His people from their sins? For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Our Responsibility

What is ours to do? The Bible and especially the book of Romans is going to start making clear and distinct marks: either you are in Christ or you are not in Christ. There is no middle ground.

I dare each of you to ask God, “Where in my life am I acting and believing and speaking as thought I do not believe you are real and you are good and you are just and you are righteous.” I ask you to pray this prayer and see what the Lord says because I am seeing too many people who go to church and everything in their lives and with their tongue would confess that there is no God.

I dare you to press into God and have God himself examine you and do the real work of making you His own. Pray right now. See what God does.

Pray

Holy Spirit
  Examine me. Test me. Am I yours?

Do you bear witness with my spirit that I am a child of God?

Amen.