Summary: A sermon on Romans 3:10-26 (Adapted from Croft Pentz and D. Stuart Briscoe)
Sermon for March 10, 2002
The 3:16’s of the Bible
World Trade Center Bombings and the unifying effect.
The togetherness is disappearing gradually, and human race is getting back to the business of fragmentation. President Bush is doing a good job of keeping people together. Become more challenging as time goes on.
A. Why does mankind always splinter and divide?
B. Mankind is united on this point: All are sinners. Can unite around this. Must unite around this.
C. The gospel is the greatest unifying message in the world. It begins with putting us all on the same footing. We are all depraved sinners.
D. Introduction to Romans.
1. Written by Paul
2. Paul was chosen by God to be the chief expounder of the Gospel to the world, and this letter to the Romans is Paul’s completest explanation of his understanding of the Gospel.
3. It is deep. Paul was a scholar of the first degree.
4. The righteousness of God is the central theme of the letter. God is the only standard of righteousness.
5. Many of us consider ourselves good people when we compare ourselves to others but when compared to God, we are all off course.
6. In the same way that there is and can only be one magnetic North and that all other points of the compass find their identity in relationship to North, so righteousness is found solely in the character of God, and all other standards of righteousness must be determined with reference to Him.
Thesis: In Romans 3:10-26 we have a description of the gospel message. We need to recognize that all of us are sinners: Vs. 10-20 gives us a description of ourselves. We need to have the cure applied: Vs. 21-26. Without these two things, mankind will never be unified.
I. The Sinner’s Condition (vs. 10-12)
A. Sin (Vs. 10)
1. We are all unified in this condition.
2. Sin can be compared to a disease or a sickness. Any solution to the human problem that fails to deal with the root cause of sin is no more a solution than cold compress on a fevered brow are a cure for the infection causing the fever.
3. We deal with the symptoms of a virus; we do not know a cure. Mankind deals with the symptoms of sin, but never deals with the real problem, the problem of sin. Mankind does not know of a solution.
4. NO one is righteous. Those people who have no interest in God and those who blatantly live in opposition to God are heading south from God’s north and are clearly at odds with Him. Paul drives home the point because some people, many people even in our day, believe that they are close enough. Close only counts in darts, horseshoes, hand grenades and nuclear war and we are not talking about any of those. Close does not count.
B. Slothful (Vs. 11)
1. Our minds are so affected by sin that there will always be some degree of deficiency in our grasp of the truth as it is to be found in the knowledge of God.
2. Most people are too slothful to really seek the truth. Minds do not want to seek out the truth.
3. Ask our society what is the main problem and most of the responses will basically be spiritual in nature. This does not mean that man has an inclination to go looking for God to fill the void. Many people recognize the problem but they refuse to go searching for the solution themselves because they are too slothful.
4. If they find the solution, they do not want to do it because it requires something on their part. Pass the buck. Somebody else’s problem.
5. Do not want to take responsibility. No way.
6. Most people know that they need to attend church but they are too lazy or too preoccupied with worldly concerns to do so.
7. If mankind really sought God, this place would be full.
C. Stubborn (Vs. 12)
1. Without exception, the human race has a bent to evil and a bias to disobedience.
2. Unprofitable. The word here really means something that has turned sour. Meat that goes bad, salt that loses it savor, so mankind is pitiful in its deteriorated uselessness.
3. None does good- Wait a minute. I know people who do good. Violently rejected by many people.
a. The expression does good would better be translated if the word "habitually" were included.
b. Again, the concept of goodness is defined with reference to God himself.
c. God is good all the time while man is not.
4. What Paul is saying is that there is no one who habitually does good apart from God. No one.