– Unvarnished (3) – One Great Problem – September 18, 2016
lesson three (3) in our series entitled “Unvarnished Truth: Life’s Greatest
scripture is Romans 3:9-12, 19-20, 23.
CHRIST, we are condemned forever.
recall, the Apostle Paul wrote Romans. Paul had never visited Rome but he
planned to visit at some point. It is thought that his letter to the Christians
in Rome was his way of introducing himself to his fellow Christians in Rome and
making known to them his understanding of the gospel of CHRIST.
He made an
assertion that concerned the Christian Jews. Paul stated that no one is
righteous before GOD. All are condemned. The Christian Jews took issue with
that assertion because many Jews relied upon their ancestral heritage as GOD’S
chosen people to be in right standing with GOD.
I do not
hear as much today as I did years ago that many people consider themselves
Christians because their parents are Christian. Sorry, but every person has to
come to a saving knowledge of CHRIST individually.
to visit the Christians in Rome, which he did but as a prisoner. Consider the
hand of GOD in Paul’s life. Paul wrote this detailed treatise regarding the Christian
message of salvation. We study it today and are blessed and guided by it as we
ponder and probe the depths of the gospel. The one great problem that must be
dealt with all humans is sin. Original sin must be dealt with because all have
sinned and fallen short of GOD’S righteousness.
Romans 3:1-8: (Background)
Paul Answers an Objection:
were teaching that in order for a person to become a Christian he or she had to
first become a Jew and the males had to be circumcised according to Jewish law.
Those touting such a doctrine were referred to as Judaizers. The Apostle Paul
was setting the record straight that a person did not have to go through the
ritual of Judaism before becoming a Christian.
Being a Jew had no advantage over being a Gentile except the Jew was
conscience of the law and what the law required. Let’s explore!
1 So what advantage does the Jew have?
Or what is the benefit of circumcision?
2 Considerable in every way. First,
they were entrusted with the spoken words of God.
entrusted HIS spoken Word to the Israelite's and covenanted with them on Mount
Sinai – Old Testament. GOD chose them to be HIS people and in turn the Israelite's chose GOD, thus the covenant was made.
3 What then? If some did not believe,
will their unbelief cancel God's faithfulness?
GOD by some does not cancel GOD’S eternal covenant as Paul states in the next
4 Absolutely not! God must be true,
but everyone is a liar, as it is written: That You may be justified in Your
words and triumph when You judge.
justification is a lie and will not get a person to heaven or avoid the judgment
5 But if our unrighteousness
highlights God's righteousness, what are we to say? I use a human argument: Is
God unrighteous to inflict wrath?
6 Absolutely not! Otherwise, how will
God judge the world?
7 But if by my lie God's truth is
amplified to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner?
8 And why not say, just as some people
slanderously claim we say, "Let us do evil so that good may come"?
Their condemnation is deserved!
claim that the more evil we do, more grace will abound. This is total nonsense.
Those who state such nonsense deserve condemnation. GOD will judge those who
sin whether Jew or Gentile.
Let’s read Romans 3:9-12:
The Whole World Guilty before God
then? Are we any better?
Not at all! For we have previously charged that both Jews and Gentiles are all
more favored by GOD? NO! Why? Paul answers the question in verse 10.
it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one;
best in us as humans is not enough to make us righteous before GOD. That leaves
all humans in a helpless state. So what is the answer? Paul responds using the
authority of scripture “as it is written.”
resources on this are:
(1) Herschel Hobbs Commentary, fall 2016,
page 29, published by LifeWay, One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234-0175:
[As it is written emphasizes the
authority of the words. This was more than Paul’s opinion or even traditional
teaching. This was divine revelation. The full collection of passages, mostly
from Psalms and Isaiah, continues through verse 18. The quotations may have
come from the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament.
Therefore the wording may vary some from the Old Testament passage in our
English Bibles. Some interpreters think the verses had originally been collected
by Jewish rabbis to point out the unrighteousness of the Gentiles. If so, Paul
turned the tables by using them against the very people who considered themselves
(2) In the Advanced Bible Study, fall 2016,
page36, published by LifeWay, One LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234-0175. Dr.
John Dent wrote:
[Although Paul answered the questions What then? and Are we any
better? in verse 9, he supported his answer in verses 10-18 by stringing
together a series of seven Old Testament quotations. These come from the
Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament (in this order:
Pss.14:1-3; 53:1-3; 5:9; 140:3; 10:7; Isa. 59:7-8; Ps. 36:1) with the usual it is written as the introduction.]
11 there is no one who understands,
there is no one who seeks God.
general fail to see the need for GOD and as a result they do not make an effort
to seek GOD. Ignorance is bliss but eternity is a reality.
12 All have turned away, together they
have become useless; there is no one who does good, there is not even one.
13 Their throat is an open grave; they
deceive with their tongues. Vipers' venom is under their lips.
14 Their mouth is full of cursing and
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and wretchedness are in their
17 and the path of peace they have not
18 There is no fear of God before their
cruel and does not seek or honor GOD. That is human nature because of original
sin handed down from our human ancestors, Adam and Eve. Obeying the law or the
very best human effort is not good enough for any person to earn the righteousness
We read in
6 All of us have become like something
unclean, and all our righteous acts are like a polluted garment; all of us
wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away like the wind. (KJV)
best in us as humans is like filthy garments.
left helpless and hopeless without GOD’S provision of grace. GOD’S grace can
only be obtained by a person placing his or her faith in JESUS and HIS passion.
that JESUS is the only acceptable sinless sacrifice to conquer both sin and
eternal death by the shed blood of JESUS is GOD’S resurrection of JESUS from
the physically dead. At the resurrection of JESUS, JESUS received HIS New
Glorified body to demonstrate that all who place their faith in HIM will also
receive their New Glorified resurrected bodies after the second coming of
JESUS. Until then Christians will have a special body suitable for heaven and
will dwell in heaven until they follow CHRIST to earth at HIS second coming.
it best in John 14:6:
6 Jesus told him (Thomas), "I am
the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
read Romans 3:19-20:
19 Now we know that whatever the
law says speaks to those who are subject to the law, so that every mouth may be
shut and the whole world may become subject to God's judgment.
The law has
no power to save a person from sin and eternal death. There is no point in
trying to use the law to make you justified before GOD. All of the world will
be judged by GOD. Is there no hope? Let’s keep reading.
20 For no flesh will be justified in
His sight by the works of the law, for through the law [comes] the knowledge
will be justified in GOD’S sight by following the law. So of what value is the
law? The law makes us conscious of our sin. The Holy Spirit convicts us of how
far short we, as humans, fail to meet the law and the Spirit of the Law. There
is the letter of the law and then there is the Spirit of the law. All the law
does is to reveal the fact that we as humans break GOD’S laws. It is GOD Who pleads
with our spirit to draw us to HIM. We either accept and seek HIM or reject and suffer
addressed this in Matthew 5:28:
28 But I tell you, everyone who looks at a
woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
So what is Paul building toward? Let’s read on.
Let’s read Romans 3:23:
God's Righteousness through Faith
21 But now, apart from the law, God's righteousness
has been revealed-attested by the Law and the Prophets
If no human can be justified or made righteous by
obeying the law does that mean all humans are domed? The law reveals that no
human can do all that the law requires or measure up to what GOD has revealed
through the Prophets but GOD has revealed hope for those who place their faith
in HIS promised Messiah, JESUS The CHRIST.
22 -that is, God's righteousness through faith in
Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction.
All are sinners and in need of redemption from sin
and eternal death.
23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory
24 They are justified freely by His grace
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Through faith in JESUS, GOD’S grace comes into
effect. GOD declares that all who place their faith in JESUS are redeemed from
sin and eternal death. How does that work?
25 God presented Him as a propitiation through
faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint
God passed over the sins previously committed.
Paul used the word “propitiation.” Propitiation is a
powerful word which describes how GOD Who is Holy and Righteous can have an
intimate relationship with sinful humans. Sin has to be dealt with in order for
this to take place.
The shed blood of JESUS covers over the sins of all
who place their faith in JESUS. This redemption occurred when JESUS gave HIS sinless,
physical life on the cross. This covering of sin by HIS shed blood for those
who come to GOD through faith in JESUS allows GOD to maintain HIS Holiness and
righteousness without being made unholy by association with sin. That is the
blood of JESUS cleanses those who ask JESUS to forgive them of their sins and
for JESUS to come into their lives. When a person makes that decision a miracle
takes place and he or she experiences the miracle of rebirth in his or her
spirit. This rebirth changes the person’s spirit to Spirit because he or she is
born into GOD’S family as HIS Son or Daughter with all the rights and
privileges of being the Child of GOD. GOD’S divine Spirit/Sperm unites with the
human spirit and Spiritual conception takes place. Those born-again in their
spirit are made righteous, thus the human spirit becomes Spirit. Now that is
something to ponder! Let’s read on.
26 He presented Him to demonstrate His righteousness
at the present time, so that He would be righteous and declare righteous the
one who has faith in Jesus.
Paul puts a finer point on this in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21:
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the
new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
18 All this is from God, who reconciled us
to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
19 that God was reconciling the world to
himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has
committed to us the message of reconciliation.
20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors,
as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s
behalf: Be reconciled to God.
21 He (GOD) made the One (JESUS) who did
not know sin to be sin for us, so that we (All who place their faith in HIM)
might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Why don’t we, as Christians, live as children of
GOD? I think, it is because it sounds too good to be true. That is our problem.
Okay, if that is true I will test GOD. That is our
first mistake. We can test GOD but with the right attitude toward learning more
about HIM and in an effort to build our intimate, personal, loving relationship
with HIM. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to get to know GOD. Not just know
about GOD but to get to really know HIM personally. But step one is to
acknowledge that you are a sinner in need of salvation. Blessings!!!