Summary: This is from a series I preached on Romans.

Title: “4 Universal Effects of Sin” Script: Romans 3:9-18

Type: Series/Expository Where: GNBC 2-21-21

Intro: The late well-known preacher Harry Ironside once asked a man after a gospel meeting, “Are you saved, sir?” “No, I really can’t say I am, but I would like to be.” “Why would you? Do you realize you are a lost sinner?” “Oh, of course, we’re all sinners.” “Ah! But that often means little or nothing. Are you a sinner yourself?” “Well, I suppose I am, but I’m not what you could call a bad sinner. I am, I think, rather a good one. I always try to do the best I know.” Dr. Ironside told the man there was little use in showing him how he could be saved if he still thought he was a “good sinner”. Good sinners are like honest liars and upright thieves: they are far from ready to admit that they are vile, hell-deserving sinners who need God’s grace to be saved (Illustrations of Bible Truth, H. A. Ironside [Moody Press], p. 71) (Steven Cole). Friend, there aren’t “good” sinners and “bad” sinners. There are just “sinners”. It’s universal.

Prop: Rom. 3:9-18 demonstrates 4 Universal Effects of Sin.

BG: 1. Paul wrote letter to Romans from Greek city of Corinth in 57 ad.

2. Romans 1-5 could be titled: “Where is your boasting?” as Paul disassembles all boasting and bragging in personal merit before the Lord.

3. One of my favorite preachers from past, Dr. Ian Paisley, creatively titled a sermon on this passage: “4 Black Nones in Ballymena Tonight”. The word “none” used multiple times in passage. Ballymena was town preaching in. “Nones” was a play on words of the fact that he was preaching in a heavily Catholic country. Not just restricted to Ballymena but entire world.

Prop: Romans 3:9-18 will show us 4 Universal Effects of Sin.

I. All Are Unrighteous vv. 9-10

A. The Sad Universal Condition of all Mankind is Made Evident by the Apostle.

1. No one is righteous before God.

a. Paul begins this section with 2 brief questions: 1. “What then?” – What’s the case> or What’s to follow?” 2. “Are we better than they?” In other words: Does the Jew have a spiritual advantage? Does the Gentile have the advantage? No! Paul goes straight for the spiritual jugular vein: “No one is righteous!” I think that sums up the human condition.

b. Righteous – dikaiosune – What does this mean for me? The indictment from Romans 1&2 is that everyone is under the dominion of sin.

2. What is Paul quoting here?

a. Well, the quote is not exact. It is not verbatim from any OT passage. I think it may be Paul’s interpretation of Ps. 14:3.

b. The important point for us to note is that there are no loopholes allowing us to get out of the consequences. Illust: Prenuptial Agreements: Planning for divorce. Just a way to be able to get out of your commitment with your stuff still intact. Well, Paul says there are no loopholes, no fancy contracts, no pricey lawyer to get you out. “No one is righteous. No, not one!” Let that note of finality fall upon your ears and heart. Not one! Not you. Not me. Not Billy Graham. Not the Pope (Never in question this Pope is a sinner.). None.

B. Do you Recognize the Fact that this Condemnation Applies to you and me today?

1. Since sin Universally Affects Man we are Universally Guilty before God.

a. “Most people view themselves as “good” sinners. They would say, “I know I’m not perfect. I’ve got my share of faults. But I’m not a murderer or terrorist or child molester. I’m a decent person. So, yes, I’m a sinner, but I’m a good sinner.” “Good” sinners, especially religious ones, are the most difficult to reach with the gospel. They faithfully attend church. They give money to the church. (May have a stained glass window to mark their generous endowment.) They serve on the church boards. Their family has been the backbone for years. “Who do you think you are, preacher, to call me a sinner? I’ll get you fired if you keep talking like that!” (Cole – “All Under Sin”)

b. We see here in v. 9 that Paul comes right back on the attack. He states the universal effects of sin. He says that EVERYONE is under the dominion of sin. Interestingly, this is the first actual mention of the word “sin” in the book of Romans. He has talked about specific sins and the consequences of those sins, but this is the first time he uses the word for sin. It is a word that he will now use nearly 50 times from now through chapter 8! Good people and bad people. Religious people and pagans. Supposed saints and scoundrels are all under the dominion of sin. Illust: Like gravity, sin’s dominion/power is active in and on your life if you are outside of Christ.

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