divine conclusion concerning sin wherein all alike are determined and
proven to be under sin thus shutting us up to mercy and grace alone as
it is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
AIM: That we might give due recognition to the
fact of our unworthiness and our inability even generate the desire to
serve God so making way for a proper appreciation of God’s grace.
INTR: Since the
18th verse of chapter one, the focus of Paul has been upon establishing
the fact of man’s guilt before God and His holiness.
1. It may seem
that this is overkill until we realize that the greater the realization
of sin and sinfulness and the extent of its effect the greater will be
the estimation of the Grace of God and the righteousness of Christ.
2. There is a tendency among men to think in terms of relative
righteousness – that is to compare sinfulness as greater or lesser as it
there is some commendatory quality may be found in us.
emphatic statement of verse 10 and the follow-up statement in verse 23
leave no wiggle room for self-righteousness to enter.
THESIS: Being able to realize the total
depravity, total inability, and the lack of desire for God in men leaves
us with no alternative but the mercy of God and the application of His
grace through the Spirit producing the nature of Christ in us. Only then
will a proper response be rendered.
I. A summary statement in
answer to a question (vv. 9-11)
1. The question would come in
response to the idea of a Jewish advantage and Paul answering the
rhetorical question as a Jew.
1) The gentiles and their manner of sin
and perversion was addressed in chapter 1 and
2) The Jews were
identified as being in the same manner of rebellion in spite of
2. The conclusion – all are under sin
1) That is under
the power and guilt of sin and
2) Likewise, under condemnation
because of sin
3) The Jews were born in sin and the ceremonial law
did not change that and
4) All, even the elect, are the same by birth
and thus by nature as all men.
3. The conclusion is (v. 10) there is
none righteous – not even one.
1) None were found in the state of
creative holiness as was Adam and
2) None had ever aspired to
righteousness apart from grace: The fool hath said in his heart, There
is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is
none that doeth good. Psalms 14:1.
4. Reading on in Psalm 14 we find
the source of Paul’s quote here:
1) The LORD looked down from heaven
upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand,
and seek God. Psalms 14:2.
2) This makes self-generation or
self-approval nonsensical – they neither understand nor look for God.
II. The divine indictment (vv. 12-18)
1. There is the universal
absence of good (verse 12) such as meets the divine definition and we
continue with: They are all gone aside, they are all together become
filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Psalms 14:3.
The sins of the lips (v. 13) which are characterizes as instruments of
offence toward man and God: For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;
their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre;
they flatter with their tongue. Psalms 5:9 AND They have sharpened their
tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah.
3. Given to cursing and bitterness (v. 14): His mouth
is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief
and vanity. Psalms 10:7.
4. Sins of action (v. 15) follow the
expression of the lips: Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to
shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting
and destruction are in their paths. Their feet run to evil, and they
make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of
iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. Isaiah 59:7
Verse 16 is cited from this verse as well and is a parallelism
verse 17 the ignorance of peace with God or the fact that such peace is
needed and so all their ways become crooked or corrupted.
keeping with the above “there is no fear of God before their eyes” – The
transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear
of God before his eyes. Psalms 36:1. (By this we understand that these
have no sense of His majesty, His goodness, or His grace!
The establishment of universal guilt (vv. 19-20)
1. While there are
many aspects of understanding the Law, this stands tall among them:
1) The universal failure of men under the Law negates any claim to a
merited righteousness since
2) Every mouth (claim to legal
righteousness) is stopped and the whole world is proven guilty.
The door is shut – the best efforts at obeying the Law cannot bring
justification in the sight of God (we may approve each other but it will
be to no avail).
1) In fact, the Law and the impossibility of full
compliance should be abundant evidence to all
2) The Law simply
exposes sin and cannot save. See For what the law could not do, in that
it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness
of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: Romans 8:3.