None is Righteous (Romans 3:9-20)
As was covered in the previous post, the Apostle Paul’s review of human sinfulness as the necessary prerequisite for understanding the Gospel is aligned with the Prophets, Angels, Apostles and Jesus Christ Himself. However, it is this Apostle’s calling to deliver the blow to our pride with a power and finality that infuriates the arrogant.
9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all; for I have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, 10 as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands, no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside, together they have gone wrong;
no one does good, not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open grave,
they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood,
16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
This is a description of our natural state apart from the grace of God. When people tell you that “being true to yourself” is the sure source of morality it is the above state of being to which they condemn you. The fact that even in communities calling themselves Christian this statement is common shows the extent of our disobedience. Make no mistake, this lie is extremely useful to those who wish to destroy Christianity and replace it with something called “Christianity” that is its utter negation.
19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For no human being will be justified in his sight by works of the law, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
The Apostle has destroyed all hope that we of our own works can be found to be righteous in God’s sight. We are rather found to be “dead in our sins” (Ephesians 2:1). That is, you are as unable to do anything about your state of sin as is a dead person about their state of being — nothing.
Of course, this is just a description of the darkness that has been shattered by the light of God’s amazing grace.