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

The Fall of Mankind is consistent–nothing has changed

Genesis 6:5-7 (CSB) When the LORD saw that human wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every inclination of the human mind was nothing but evil all the time, the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and he was deeply grieved. Then the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I created, off the face of the earth, together with the animals, creatures that crawl, and birds of the sky—for I regret that I made them.”

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

God

Sin is greater than we can imagine

Romans 3:9–18 (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.

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 fall of mankind.

Sin is so great: you and I cannot fix our own problems in the sight of God

Romans 3:19-20 (CSB) 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.

In the times that we live, humans are audacious to think that we can fix our own problems. Colossians 2:8 calls us to not think like the world and Romans 12:1-2 commands us to worship the Lord our God by renewing our mind. How many times has Christ in his word has given the gospel commandment to change your mind about your sin:

“Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand!”

Yet, we are caught up in modern thinking. Forget terms like post-modernism. Let us talk about how we got here. Somewhere, mankind thinks that they can take and receive the good things of God and understand the good things of God without God and worshipping God. We have been fooled by the way of thinking in our time that with enough smarts, money, time, manpower, will, and action, we can fix our own problems and the consequences of our own actions.

But here is the hubris and pride of man: we are not so quick to think that sin is the problem of humanity. We have fooled ourselves into thinking that whatever problems I have, it has to be everything else but sin. We try to go through sin, around sin or for the most part, ignore it altogether. And maybe, if we throw enough resources at it with a little dumb luck, we can eventually can resolve all of our problems.

We have tried this with our own sexuality and 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.

How many times have you heard this growing up in church? “Women, don’t show too much skin. You don’t want to make our brothers in Christ trip and stumble.” How rarely do we hear the call and command of God to have us repent of the way we think, call upon God, the Holy Spirit dwells in you and exercise self-control which is a fruit of the Spirit? How many times have we heard that message? I imagine not many times.

I find it hilarious that the sons of Adam continue to blame others for their own sin. It has nothing to do with what other people do. Your sin is your own.

I was introduced to porn when I was about 7 years old. But what am I going to do before a just and righteous God? “Oh, don’t count that against me–my dad introduced to me.” My worst fear is that we all know that there is a God and somehow God is going grade us on a curve.

This is not so.

The Gospel

Here is the gospel: there is one way only to get through our own sin.

Here is the gospel command: repent of your sin and trust in God.

Here is what the good news of Christ proclaims:

The righteousness of God is revealed

Romans 3:21-22 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.

That righteousness is through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. Remember in Romans 1:17? The righteousness has been revealed from faith to faith. That is God will have to give you his faith, his love, his grace, his heart in order for you to come to him and believe. Until then, you are in darkness. God has to give himself to you and dwell in you for you to open your eyes and believe.

Everyone of us is infinitely far from God

23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;

In case you didn’t pick up on the contents of Romans 3, or Romans, or the entire Bible. That is the line.

We are born so far from God, we cannot see Him at all. Why? Because we are blind. We are born blind, deaf, mute, and ignorant. We are born to die in our sins.

That gap between us and God is infinite.

In order to close and bridge the gap between God and mankind, man is finite and cannot make way to the Father

24 they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

This was always the way.

Jesus Christ is the Savior of all His people–in the Old and New Testaments

25-26 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 though 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.

Media

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