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November 5, 2017


TEXT: Romans 3: 9 - 20
READING:  Isaiah 58: 1-14

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SUBJ: The 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.
3. The 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 advantage.
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.
2. 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. Psalms 140:3.
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
5. Verse 16 is cited from this verse as well and is a parallelism
6. In 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.
7. In 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!

III. 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.
2. 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.