Summary: Looks at the importance of being saved, and at our mission as Christians to witness.
A REALITY CHECK
Earlier this month, the news came out about congressman Mark Foley. Since the news came out and Congressman Foley resigned, the Republicans have been trying to explain that Foley was just one man, and that he is not representative of the party. The Democrats have been rejoicing over the embarrassment this close to the elections and many Christian leaders have been lamenting the condition of our nation and its leadership.
I am sickened by what he’s done, but I wonder. Has anyone prayed for representative Foley’s salvation? Has anyone tried to tell him about Jesus?
Jesus says that if you have looked on a woman to lust after her, you are guilty of adultery. The only thing that has kept you from carrying out the physical act is the grace of God. If you have been angry with your brother, if you have called him a fool, even in your heart, then you are guilty of murder. Jesus goes even further and says that we are to treat each other the way we want to be treated and that whoever knows to good and does not do it, then he has sinned.
Although I am grieved with what has happened, although I am sickened by much of what I see happening in our nation, I believe this morning that you and I need to take time out for a reality check.
Turn with me in your Bibles this morning please, to the book of Romans. Romans chapter 3 and verse 9. Romans chapter 3 and verse 9.
- Read Romans 3:9-27a
In this passage of scripture, we find God using Paul’s pen to announce 4 essential truths.
I. MAN HAS A TERRIBLE PROBLEM
Man has a terrible problem.
> Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Everyone has sinned. Every man, every woman, every person who has ever lived; except Jesus Christ, has sinned. All have sinned.
Look at the way the Bible describes us.
1. No one is righteous – v10
No one is righteous. No one is holy. Without Jesus Christ, the best we can do stinks to high heaven. There are those in our society who claim that man is basically good, and who believe that in the end things will work out with God. Listen to what the Bible says.
> Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like something unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment;
The King James version translates this verse saying, “Our righteousness is as flighty rags.”
The word translated there as “filthy rags” literally means, “menstrual cloth.” Forgive my bluntness but God says the best thing you have ever done, apart from Him, stinks like that. When we do things, when we help others, isn’t there sometimes some pride mixed in with our motives? Don’t we sometimes help people because we want them to owe us, or because we want people to know how good we are, or because we are people pleasers? We serve with mixed emotions. Now, if the best we can do stinks like that to God, how do you think your intentional sin smells to Him?
Man has a problem. No one is righteous.
2. No one understands – v11 No one understands God. No one understands His expectations. No one understands what his sin is doing to his life. As a matter if fact, the Bible says that apart from Jesus Christ, man is willingly ignorant.
3. No one seeks God – v11 Some will claim they do. Look at all of the temples around the world. … They’re not seeking God. They’re not seeking the real God, the holy God. They are seeking something made in their image. Something they can figure out. They’re seeking Santa Clause to solve their problems.
4. No one follows God – v12 They have all turned away. …
> Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way.
We’re modifying what it means to follow and obey God. …
5. No one is useful – 12 All have become useless. Like a dull tool... Less than useful to God. Like rotten fruit.
6. No one does good – v12 Corruption rather than holiness.
7. No one fears God – v18. Sadly, we even see this in the church today. I thank the Lord for grace. I need grace. But I am afraid that in our excitement about grace, we have lost a healthy fear of God. Look at the way Paul describes these folks.
a. They lie – v13
b. They curse – v14
c. They are full of bitterness – v14
d. They flee from peace – v17
Sadly, we see this even in the church today. How accurately God describes us when we says that we have the venom of asps under our lips, just waiting for someone to offend us, just waiting for someone slight us, just waiting for someone hurt us, so we can strike them with our venom laced words.