Summary: This message examines Paul's third round of evidence support his indictment of the human race.
Well I have to admit that this study from the book of Romans have roughed us up a little. So far Paul has definitely shown the reality of our sin problem. But before we dive in to our text I feel we need to quickly review what Paul has said up to this point in regard to our condition before. We are immoral, self-righteous, depraved and in danger of God’s wrath. However, Paul has showed us that there is a ray of hope in this dismal picture. Our sinful condition can be cured by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Reader’s Digest published this true story. A woman called the police department and complained, "People are speeding on our street, endangering the lives of children walking to school." The next morning, she herself was stopped for speeding. "But officer," she pleaded, "I’m the person who called yesterday to tell the police about these speeders." "Well then, ma’am," he replied, handing her a ticket, "you should be happy we caught one." As we come to the text today Paul is going to present one final round of evidence that shows our depravity before God. To the Jew, Paul shows that the Law cannot provide salvation. To both the Jew and Gentile, Paul shows that the Law does successfully condemn us for our sins. In fact, he presents his conclusion that no one is above the Law and we are all put in the same boat by the Law. Paul concludes that we are totally lost and totally helpless to do anything to help ourselves. God’s grace is mankind’s only solution to this sin problem. As we examine this third round of evidence our goal is to discover the lessons that we can take away from Paul’s words.
I. Sobering words for those who place their trust in their own righteousness.
A. Traditions and heritage will never give us a leg up on anyone else.
1. Paul presents the fact that there are two things seriously wrong with some the Jews.
a. The Jews were guilty of unbelief. They were only believing the parts of God’s Word that they wanted to.
b. The Jews felt because of their heritage they were exempted from God’s judgment.
2. The most amazing thing Paul presents is that despite man’s unfaithfulness God remains faithful to His promises.
3. Although God handpicked the Jewish people to be His possession, this did not give them an automatic place in Heaven.
4. The bottom line of Paul’s message is that regardless of whether we are a Jew or Gentile, we stand before God condemned because of our sin.
B. God’s nature will not allow Him to give anyone a free pass in regard to sin.
1. The Jewish leaders failed to understand that it wasn’t about maintaining the ceremonies, God demanded obedience to His Law.
2. Paul in no way is diminishing the privilege of being one of God’s chosen people, he wants the people to realize that being entrusted with the Law doesn’t give you the right to pick and choose the ones you obey.
3. God is holy and righteous by nature and if He would overlook the disobedience of the Jews simply because they were His chosen people, this would violate His own nature.
4. 11 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; 13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. (2 Timothy 2:11-13—NIV 2011)
5. Each and every person regardless of who they are will stand before God on the Day of Judgment to be judged on their obedience to Him.
C. There are many times when human logic makes no sense.
1. The objection presented to the case Paul was making was this: Since God promised to always be faithful to Abraham’s descendants, does it not make God unfaithful if He brings judgment upon them.
2. Paul shows that God stated that there would be consequences for disobedience and by judging the Jews’ disobedience God is actually showing His faithfulness.
3. The second objection is: Since sin gives God an opportunity to extend mercy, should we sin more to give God more opportunity to extend mercy.
4. Paul makes it clear this logic is completely wrong. This would mean that God was encouraging sinful behavior and if this was true He would no longer be Holy and righteous and no longer qualified to judge mankind.
II. Paul presents his most dismal picture of mankind’s condition before God.
A. Paul makes an all-inclusive statement in regard to mankind’s condition before God.
1. The only advantage that the Jews have is that they had access to God’s special revelation and to the blessings that come from being obedient to Him. Now everyone has this available through Jesus Christ.