Summary: Series in Romans
Text- Romans 3:9-20
Title- The Reality of Our Unrighteousness
Romans 3:9-20 9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; 10 as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; 11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; 12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE." 13 "THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING," "THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS"; 14 "WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS"; 15 "THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD, 16 DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS, 17 AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN." 18 "THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES." 19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
1. We are all “under” sin- vs. 9-12
a. No one is righteous
b. No one understands
c. No one seeks for God
d. All have turned aside
e. All have become useless
f. No one does good
2. Our speech is evil- vs. 13-14
3. Our actions are evil- vs. 15-17
a. Feet hurry to shed blood
b. Destruction is in our path
c. Don’t know peace
4. Our motives are evil- vs. 18
a. No fear of God
5. The law doesn’t make us righteous- vs. 19-20
a. The law reveals our unrighteousness
Please turn in your Bible to the book of Romans 3:9-20…
Before we read the passage, let’s take a minute to pray…
The passage that we will be reading today is the conclusion of Paul’s long explanation of the sinfulness of man. It is the capstone. It is where he ties everything up nicely. Just in case we somehow missed his point in the previous two chapters, he highlights his point here.
Paul has already used a number of different evidences to prove his point. He has used nature, experience, and culture to prove his point. But like any good teacher or preacher, he isn’t finished until he uses scripture to prove his point.
In this text Paul will quote from a number of different OT passages to drive the point home to us. Let’s read it…
The first thing we see from this passage is that we are all under sin. We looked at this passage briefly last week, but in the verses that follow, Paul explains exactly what it means to be under sin.
I find it interesting that he uses the Greek preposition “hupo” here which is commonly translated “under”. He doesn’t simply say that we commit sin, or that we are sinful people, he says that we are under sin. This word generally refers to being subservient, to being a slave. To be under the control and authority of someone else. We are not merely sinners, we are under sin. It controls us and enslaves us.
Paul then goes on in verse 10 to say, “as it is written”. He follows up this assertion that we are all sinners by offering a whole host of scripture.
First of all he says, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE”. SO the first evidence that we are under sin is that no one is righteous. Paul uses the words “none” and “not even one” a total of six times in these verses. He seems to have abandoned all subtlety and is now beating the concept of mans sin into our heads with a mallet.
The word righteous here simply means right in the sight of God. It means acceptable and clean by God’s standards. It means to be in right relationship to God. Paul clearly declares that there is none righteous.
…but what about the pope?... none. What about my pastor?...nope, none. What about my saintly mother who never said a mean word in her life?... none. With all the billions of people who have lived over the thousands of years there must have been someone who was able to hold it together right, Paul says, not even one.
There are some theologians who have claimed that man has the ability to climb their way out of the pit of sin they are in through obedience to God and faithfulness. They believe that they can merit salvation based on their righteous actions. But there is none who are righteous, not even one.