As it is written,
There is none righteous, no, not one:
There is none that understandeth,
there is none that seeketh after God.
They are all gone out of the way,
they are together become unprofitable;
there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Their throat is an open sepulchre;
with their tongues they have used deceit;
the poison of asps is under their lips:
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Destruction and misery are in their ways:
And the way of peace have they not known:
There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Now we know that what things soever the law saith,
it saith to them who are under the law:
that every mouth may be stopped,
and all the world may become guilty before God.
Therefore by the deeds of the law
there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:
for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Paul starts off this segment of scriptures with: it is written. We will go through some of the O.T. passages to get a better picture of what message he is trying to convey.
Vs. 10-12 are from Psalms 14:1-3
The fool hath said in his heart,
There is no God. They are corrupt,
they have done abominable works,
there is none that doeth good.
The LORD looked down from heaven
upon the children of men,
to see if there were any that did understand,
and seek God.
They are all gone aside,
they are all together become filthy:
there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Vs. 13-17 is from Jeremiah 5:16
Their quiver is as an open sepulchre,
they are all mighty men.
. . . and from Psalms 5:9
For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;
their inward part is very wickedness;
their throat is an open sepulchre;
they flatter with their tongue.
And one of our greatest forefathers, David, and his bloodshed in 2 Samuel 11:14
And he wrote in the letter, saying,
Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle,
and retire ye from him,
that he may be smitten, and die.
. . . and Psalms 10:7
His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud:
under his tongue is mischief and vanity.
. . . and Psalm 115:7
They have hands, but they handle not:
feet have they, but they walk not:
neither speak they through their throat.
. . . and Psalms 140:3
They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent;
adders’ poison is under their lips. Selah.
. . . and Isaiah 59:7-8
Their feet run to evil,
and they make haste to shed innocent blood:
their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;
wasting and destruction are in their paths.
The way of peace they know not;
and there is no judgment in their goings:
they have made them crooked paths:
whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.
. . . and lastly for this purpose (for much more can be expounded here), Psalm 36:1-4
The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart,
that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
For he flattereth himself in his own eyes,
until his iniquity be found to be hateful.
The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit:
he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.
He deviseth mischief upon his bed;
he setteth himself in a way that is not good;
he abhorreth not evil.
Within the context of these verses are the histories and depths of iniquity for both the Israelites and the Gentiles.
Our sin goes deep, plunging beyond the knowledge of our souls. We have loved its dark ways and our position on it path. This evil is of our own making and yet is lined with stains of Satan’s fingerprints.
Romans 3:10-20 is an awful picture of our nature and enmity toward God because it is an accurate depiction of our predisposition to sin in all our manners and ways.
All that we do and all that we are in the natural man sits in direct opposition to the Holiness of God.
What a picture of how far we have fallen from the days spent walking with God in the Garden of Eden.
This narrative is further delineated by the written law given to us in the O.T. as noted in verses 19-20. With this law comes our knowledge of sin and our utter and hopeless resulting from it.
I am struck with amazement by this section of Romans. Not for many decades in my church or circle of Christians have I ever heard a sound discussion on the depths or nature of our sin.
Antinomianism has permeating the church so deeply today, it is like the lie I heard when I was a child;
‘Satan’s best trick is to get people to believe he doesn’t exist.’
Like ostriches, we stick our heads in the sand, listening to our teachers who, for fear of a shrinking audience, neglect to pronounce our wicked ways, condemn our actions, and lead us unto perfection.
So we go on ignoring, justified, as we increasingly tolerate, and eventually accept the sin in and around us as normal and expected.
We now drink from its fount calling the tepid and rancid waters of sin ‘God’s will’ for our lives.
Nothing can be further from the truth.
Sin leads all that continue willingly in it to the grave where Hell resides, waiting to be filled.
The voice of sin, calls to us. It creates a house for us to dwell, but it is really a prison cell, another lie from Satan.
It becomes comfortable like a home should be because we have chosen to make it so. The door is always open, inviting.
Satan will leave us alone if we are compromising in our faith and living in this house of sin. For he has us right where he wants us.
He just sits back and waits, watching.
Everyday, we go back our cell and bring home some selfishness (maybe a new car and with it, unnecessary debt); or a little greed so we can have that extra vacation or latest lifestyle desire; or maybe a little lie here or there, justifying something we covet.
And one day, we find that these compromises have completely reshapened our experience and have become the normal Christian life.
As some point, for most of us, it may become too late. When we are resting comfortably in our bed, the door will suddenly slam shut and our life will end. Hell will be waiting to take us home.
Why? Because we simply believed in justification by faith alone?
We failed to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
We saw the light in the day of our visitation and put our faith in Christ, and He imputed our faith as righteousness.
But did we go into the vineyard as His worker?
Or, did we continue in sin that grace may abound?
Did we abide in Him, and He in us?
Did we abandon all our ways and produce fruits meet for repentance leading unto perfection?
Did we ignore the cry from James, that faith without works is dead, being alone?
Did we refuse to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, that we may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God?
Were we steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord?
Did we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end?
Were we made free from sin, to become servants to God, having our fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life?
Were we hated of all men for His name’s sake: did we remember that everyone that endures unto the end, the same shall be saved?
Did we doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven?
Did we strive to not be overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good?
Did we fail to heed the scriptural warning that;
That every idle word that men shall speak,
they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
For by thy words thou shalt be justified,
and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Behold, I come quickly;
and my reward is with me,
to give every man according as his work shall be.
I will give unto every on of you according to your works.
For the Son of man
shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels;
and then he shall reward every man
according to his works.
We will all be judged by how we spend our time here on Earth. As James says, ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers, deceiving your own selves.’
And Jesus, ‘Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.’
For the time is come that judgment
must begin at the house of God:
and if it first begin at us,
what shall the end be of them
that obey not the gospel of God?
Everything we do and say now as a Christian is more important than it ever was. God will judge us first.
We are to live our life as a temple, separated, holy, and dedicated to God; not as in a house decorated comfortably and captivated by sin and the world.
This section of scripture showed us how utterly sinful and deserving of judgment we really are. I can’t wait to review the scriptures declaring God’s path to holiness leading to that final and glorious promise of salvation.
There is something valuable from every point of scripture especially in the discussion of our innate evil nature.
There are two common threads coming from this section of Romans.
1. Our complete innate wickedness and how we stand silent and guilty before God.
2. There is no justification or redemption by God’s law. All it does is bring us to a full knowledge of our sin.