Summary: Paul is the prosecuting attorney bringing an indictment in the case of God vs. Humanity. Evidence is presented, and the Verdict is read. Link inc. to formatted text, audio/video, PowerPoint.
God vs. Humanity
There’s something terribly wrong in the world. Something terribly wrong. You don’t even need a Bible to tell you that. But God did not make a world with something wrong. When God created the world he said, That’s good. Now what has happened? S-I-N, sin. You can almost hear the, the hiss of the serpent as you say sin. And when you look in the middle of that word sin you see a capital letter I. And the sin is not primarily in the world as much as it is in hearts, and not primarily so much in hearts as in my heart and in your heart. The only thing we do perfectly is sin!
Sin fascinates, and then assassinates. It thrills, then kills! You’ll get what you want, but you won’t want what you get!
Life is short, death is sure, sin the curse, Christ the cure. But you’re not going to get the cure until you have a proper diagnosis, until you see the problem. We have a generation today that doesn’t want to hear much about sin. Paul opens this book and he begins to lay down the problem so we can see it and understand it. So first of all, he talked in chapter one about the sin of the heathen, those who’ve never heard. And then in chapter two he talks about the sin of the hypocrite. And then in the last part of chapter two he talks about the sin of the Hebrew, those who thought that because they were God’s chosen, because they’d heard so much, because they have the Bible, because they knew much truth, that somehow sin did not affect them. And so after he deals with the sin of the heathen and the hypocrite and the Hebrew, then he just sums it up and he comes to the sin of humanity, all of us. He says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
What Paul is doing here is this--he is becoming a prosecuting attorney and he is bringing the human race before the judgment bar of Almighty God and he’s making an indictment and the case is this: God vs. humanity. And since you’re human, it’s an indictment against you, so it would pay you well to listen. I want you to hear the indictment as it’s stated.
Romans chapter 3 verses 9 and 10: "What then, are we better than they," better than the heathen, better than the hypocrite, better than the Hebrew? "What then, are we better than they? No, in no wise, for we have therefore proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one." Now the word under sin literally means dominated by sin, ruled by sin, subjugated to sin. It is not only that we sin but we serve sin, that we have become slaves of sin. You know the irony of it is that the sinner boasts about his freedom, he’s so free, but that’s ridiculous. He is a slave to his sin. He is free to do what he wants but he’s not free to do as he ought, and he is the servant, the slave of sin.
And does it matter about his ethnic background, whether he’s a Jew or Gentile, white or black, young or old, rich or poor? He is a sinner. And your family heritage doesn’t matter. God has no grandchildren, only children. No one is a Christian because their parents were! We can trace our roots back to a crooked farmer and a drunken sailor. The farmer was Adam and the sailor was Noah. We are sinners by birth, by nature, by heritage.
The people in the book of Romans were wanting to compare themselves to somebody else and say, I’m better than he or she is. But you see, that’s not the standard. The standard is the glory of God and that’s the reason Paul is going to say later on in verse 23 that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." We need to quit comparing ourselves to one another. Sometimes you ask people to come to church, they say, I don’t need to go down there, I’m just as good as those folks down there at the church. They’ve got it backward. They need to say, I’m just as bad as those folks down there at the church. We all have sin down in our hearts. You say, Not in my sweet little heart. Oh yes it is. An oak tree is in the heart of an acorn. Now it may not ever come to maturity but it is there. Sin is hurtful, hellish, heinous, and it is in every heart and every mind. And so Paul says that we have proved that we’re all guilty. You see, because sin is an internal thing, that’s the reason that reformation is not enough. We don’t just need to turn over a new leaf, we need a whole new tree...we must be born again!