Summary: Everybody desperately needs to believe in Jesus Christ: 1. Because He is the only hope for justification (vs. 19-24). 2. Because He is the only hope for redemption (vs. 24). 3. Because He is the only hope for propitiation (vs. 24-26). 4. Because He is the only hope for righteousness (vs. 20-31).

Our Desperate Need for Jesus Christ

The Book of Romans

Romans 3:19-31

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - April 17, 2016

(Revised October 18, 2020)


*Please open your Bibles to Romans chapter 3, and remember that it begins like the closing argument in a trial where all mankind is found guilty before God. The "trial" began in chapter 1, where Paul made God's case against the ungodly Gentile people of the world. There Paul went into great detail about the foolishness and wickedness that comes from rejecting the true God.

*For example, in Romans 1:21-22, Paul said:

21. because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

22. Professing to be wise, they became fools.

*In Romans 1:29-32, Paul also said those ungodly people were:

29. being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,

30. backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31. undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;

32. who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

*Next in chapter 2, Paul turned his attention from ungodly Gentiles to religious people, and he firstly addressed the Jews. Paul opened with this stern warning in vs. 1-3:

1. Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

2. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.

3. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?

*We must understand that this warning wasn't just for the Jews who were trying to keep God's law. It's for anyone who tries to live a moral life.

*In these 3 chapters Paul has been steadily walking us to the truth that everyone is guilty of disobeying the perfectly holy God. Everyone has fallen under the condemnation of God. Everyone deserves the wrath of God. And the only hope of escaping God's wrath is by salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

*EVERYBODY DESPERATELY NEEDS TO BELIEVE IN JESUS! Please think about this truth as we read Romans 3:19-30.


*People can't make it without hope. An Air Force survival instructor explained this truth with "The Rule of Threes." He said, "You can survive 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, 3 hours without shelter, and 3 minutes without air. But you cannot survive 3 seconds without hope." (1)

*People can't make it without hope, but Christians, we have hope! We have the only real hope in the world, because we have Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior! Everybody desperately needs to believe in Jesus Christ, and tonight's Scripture helps us see why.


*Without God's justification all of us are guilty before God. That's why in vs. 19, the Holy Spirit led Paul to say, "Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and ALL THE WORLD MAY BECOME GUILTY BEFORE GOD." All the world is guilty before God, because all of us were born with a sinful nature.

*Nobody ever has to teach their children how to lie, or be selfish, or be mean to their brothers and sisters. It just comes naturally. That's why in vs. 9-10, Paul began with this question:

9. What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.

10. As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one."

*And as a result, vs. 20 says, "Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin."

*No one can be justified by keeping the law, because no one has ever been able to keep the law, -- no one that is except Jesus Christ. As for the rest of us? Verse 23 says, "ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

*We all fall short. We are all guilty with no hope of ever measuring up. Disney World has minimum height requirements for some of the rides. You can look them upon the internet.

*At the Magic Kingdom, you are not getting on "The Barnstormer" unless you are 35 inches tall. You are not getting on "Splash Mountain" unless you are 40 inches tall. And you are not getting on "Space Mountain" unless you are 44 inches tall. (2)

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