Romans, Part 8
- Paul begins Chapter 3 by answering questions for those reading his letter
- His clarification of advantages in people is important for us to examine
- Mainly because we have to learn from it and adapt it to our lives
- The humbleness that Christ showed needs to be our MAIN theme
-- Where religion gets in the way of relationship; where ceremony invades worship
-- It is what we must be on guard against, and ensure we are following Christ
- Stand and read Romans 3:9-20 / Pray
Point 1 – Is there an advantage? (9-18)
- Paul finishes his thought from v1-8 asking the question, “Are we any better?”
- That is, because we (he and the readers) are Jewish are they any better with God?
- The answer is, yes and no – really depending on how you view it
- First, they are better because they have heard the Word and have been entrusted
- But, they are NO better because they too stand in the same judgment from God
- Just because they have heard it, doesn’t mean that they are now “good to go”
- This same principle must translate to the believers of today as well
-- APP: This is where religion gets in the way and we have to push it out of sight
- Paul spends lots of time quoting Old Testament here; we’d be wise to take note
- Romans 3:10-12 = Psalm 14:1-3; Ecclesiastes 7:20
- Romans 3:13 = Psalm 5:9, Psalm 140:3
- Romans 3:14 = Psalm 10:7
- Romans 3:15-17 = Isaiah 59:7-8
- Romans 3:18 = Psalm 36:1
- Recurring theme here is that the OT matters, and it is the foundation to Grace
- However, see what Paul is doing here – He puts mankind under a microscope
- This is where it gets real interesting for believers and where we have to dive in
- We have turned away; together becoming worthless
- Peter encourages us: 1 Pet 3:11, “They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it.”
- Our throats (our words) are an open grave
- Our tongues practice deceit and constantly look to better ourselves
- We have poisonous lips, bent on doing destruction to one another
- Our mouths are full of negativity; cursing; and unforgiveness (bitterness)
Psalm 10:3-5, “He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the LORD. In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. His ways are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by him; he sneers at all his enemies.”
- Are feet are quick to attack; we seek to tear one another down always
- Everywhere we go, everything we touch is marked with death and ruin
- We have no peace; AND we disregard the teaching of God for things we’d like
2 Tim 4:3, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
- It’s important to just say this honestly (to define the need) – so here goes:
- If we were to be honest, we’d probably admit to several times in our lives when we turned to God WHEN things stopped going our way, not before.
- It’s as if God is our own personal supplier; only when we run out of us …
- This is the attitude Paul is addressing to the church and to the church today
- TRANS: Paul finishes the first section of this letter with a defining statement
Point 2 – The World is Accountable to God (19-20)
- The Lord never gave us the Law expecting that any of us could keep it
- He knew our hearts, and the fact that WE were always going to be lost to sin
- It didn’t matter what we did, said, wrote, or spoke – sin was in our hearts
- Clarification I want to make here is that this is not a reference to the things done
-- Paul is writing to say that in each of us there is a LOST spirit
-- Something empty within us because we rejected God for ourselves
-- It speaks to the very nature of human beings; and leaves none to be excused
- Martin Luther wrote, “The principle point of the Law in true Christian theology is to make people not better but worse; that is to say, it shows them their sin, so that they may be humbled, terrified, bruised, and broken, and by this means be driven to seek comfort and so to come to that blessed Christ.”
- I’ve heard from 2 different preachers this week this example and so I share it here
-- When you go to the doctor, and you are about to die, what do you want?
-- Do want him to lie to you or do you want him to be flat-out honest?
-- Well, when you come to church and study the Word what do you want?
-- Do we come to examine the truth about ourselves or to feel good and lovely?
- I don’t know about you – but when I go to the doctor I want to know the truth
- I want to know what’s going on and I want to know it right now!
- APP: If I have some disease that can be treated, tell me the CURE!
- The Law of God shows us where we have blown it and where we need to change
- APP: The cure is Jesus Christ and – we HAVE the cure to give to others!
- This is why the Bible records that we ALL will be held accountable to God
- No one is declared righteous short of having Christ as their Savior – NO ONE
- APP: Because of the Law, we have become AWARE of our sin
- It is in this time that we have to decide how we will respond