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Summary: There is a risk that we act more superior than non-believers because we have some “inside knowledge of God” and they don’t?

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Romans #2 The Need for Salvation

“All People are Sinners”

Romans 1:18-3:20

INTRO:

One of the biggest questions of all time:

Why did God send his Son Jesus to die for our sins?

Why do you think that is? Discuss with people around you

We are going to address that issue tonight

Even though you might think you know the answer – you will find the truth disturbing.

Last week we talked about …

Tonight we turn to Romans 1:17-3:20

The question we wrestle with is “why the need for salvation?”

1. Human beings are without excuse

Paul gives his version of the history of the world – or history as to how sin entered the world.”

Rom. 1:18-20, “God made it plain … that people are without excuse.”

v. 24, “God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts …”

v. 28, “did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God

Gave up on living for God and lived for themselves

vv. 29-30, “... they have become filled with …” [vices]

vv. 31-32

So what is God response – he will judge us Rom. 2

2. Gentiles are sinners

Paul sets this up so that a Jew hearing this would think he is talking mostly about the Gentiles (non-Jews)

There was a sense of religious superiority that Jews were better than everyone else – since God had called them to be a nation before all nations

Isn’t there a risk that we become like the Jews – superior to non-believers because we have some “inside knowledge of God” and they don’t?

Paul says to this in Rom. 2:5-11

“God does not show favouritism”

3. Jews are Sinners

To imply as explicitly as Paul does that Jews are as equally classed as sinners is at first scandalous. However Paul recognizes that religious rule making leads to us playing God.

Ultimately, judging has to do with playing God. When we judge someone, we do three things. First, we place ourselves above another as if we were his or her God. Second, we condemn another. And third, we create the standard for another.

When we evaluate someone, we don’t do these three things. First, we do not place ourselves above the other person. Instead, we identify with the person as a fellow sinner and struggler, humbling ourselves as we realize that we are subject to temptations also (Gal. 6:1). Second, we do not condemn another person with the guilt, shame, and wrath of the law. We as sinners are just as guilty and do not have that privilege (Rom. 2:3). Third, we do not make up the standard. We humbly bow to God’s standard in evaluating each other and call each other to repentance.

[Henry Cloud and John Townsend, How People Grow: What the Bible Reveals about Personal Growth, pp. 53-54]

We cannot be left to make up the standard because we would make it too hard or too soft

4. Therefore ALL people are sinners

Only solution left is no one person is truly righteous

Other than God … Rom. 3:9

So why do we have God’s law?

Rom. 3:19-20

“… that we become conscious of sin.”


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