Sunday, March 16, 2014

Paul's Epistles Part 10 – No One is Righteous

Paul's Epistles
Part 10 – No One is Righteous
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

INTRODUCTION
We are going to look at the Epistles of Paul in this series of sermons. We have already looked at who Paul was, our faith being reported around the world, not being ashamed of the Gospel, being Guilty of sin, Apostasy, the Results of Apostasy, You are Without Excuse, Jews and the Law.

Last week we discussed God's Faithfulness.

Today we will take a look at Romans 3:9-20, No One is Righteous.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE
Romans 3:9-20
What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 

10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;


11     there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.


12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." (Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Eccles. 7:20)


13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.”  (Psalm 5:9) “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” (Psalm 140:3)

14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” (Psalm 10:7)


15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;


16  ruin and misery mark their ways,


17 and the way of peace they do not know.” (Isaiah 59:7,8)


18  “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Psalm 36:1)

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
I.                   WHAT SHALL WE CONCLUDE THEN?
a.      Romans 1 & 2 show that man is without excuse.
                                                                                                 i.      God reveals Himself even in nature, that all may see and understand there is a God.

                                                                                              ii.      However, man is vain, and creates for themselves gods made from animals and things created, therefore worshipping the Creation, rather than the Creator.

                                                                                           iii.      Apostasy runs deep in sin.

                                                                                            iv.      Whether Jew or Gentile, you are a sinner.


b.     "Do we (Jews) have an advantage? Not at all!"
                                                                                                 i.      Paul makes it clear to the Jews that they are just as guilty of sin as the Gentiles.

                                                                                              ii.      Any time we begin to think we are better than someone else; we have just fallen to sin.

                                                                                           iii.      The Jews thought they were exempt from sin and judgment of God because they were Jews, and the children of Abraham. But Paul clears this up.


c.      Jews and Gentiles alike are under the power of sin.
                                                                                                 i.      The Jews believed, and some still do, that they are somehow better than Gentiles. When in fact, the very Word of God they studied, teaches otherwise.

                                                                                              ii.      After generations of perverting the Word of God, they believed things which were not only false, but not even taught in the scripture they held so dear.

                                                                                           iii.      Paul, a Pharisee and scholar who was taught by the great Gamaliel, was about to quote some scripture, and clear the air on the subject.



II.               AS IT IS WRITTEN
a.      "There is none righteous, no not one"
                                                                                                 i.      No, not one.

b.     "There is none who understands."
                                                                                                 i.      Proclaims total depravity outside of the wisdom and knowledge of God.

c.      "There is none who seek after God. There is no one who does good, no not one. Their throat an open grave, tongues of deceit, lips like the poison of asps, mouth full of cursing and bitterness, feet swift to shed blood, destruction and misery in their ways, they know not peace, there is no fear of God..."
                                                                                                 i.      Man left on his own free will, turning from God, in fact, cannot seek God; he is spiritually dead.

                                                                                              ii.      When we speak of man's depravity we mean man's natural condition apart from any grace exerted by God to restrain or transform man.
1.      Romans 14:23 "Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin."

2.      The terrible condition of man's heart will never be recognized by people who assess it only in relation to other men.

3.      Romans 14:23 makes plain that depravity is our condition in relation to God primarily and only secondarily in relation to man. Unless we start here we will never grasp the totality of our natural depravity.



III.            TOTAL DEPRAVITY OF MAN
a.      Totally depraved men can be very religious.
                                                                                                 i.      Of course totally depraved men can be very religious and very philanthropic. They can pray and give alms and fast, as Jesus said (Matthew 6:1-18). But their very religion is rebellion against the rights of their Creator, if it does not come from a childlike heart of trust in the free grace of God. Religion is one of the chief ways that man conceals his unwillingness to forsake self-reliance and bank all his hopes on the unmerited mercy of God (Luke 18:9-14; Colossians 2:20-23).

                                                                                              ii.      It is a myth that man in his natural state is genuinely seeking God. Men do seek God. But they do not seek him for who he is. They seek him in a pinch as one who might preserve them from death or enhance their worldly enjoyments. Apart from conversion, no one comes to the light of God.

                                                                                           iii.      Some do come to the light. But listen to what John 3:20-21 says about them. "Everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God."

                                                                                            iv.      Yes there are those who come to the light -- namely those whose deeds are the work of God. "Wrought in God" means worked by God. Apart from this gracious work of God all men hate the light of God and will not come to him lest their evil be exposed -- this is total rebellion. "No one seeks for God...There is no fear of God before their eyes!"


b.     In his total rebellion everything man does is sin.
                                                                                                 i.      In Romans 7:18 Paul says, "I know that no good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh." This is a radical confession of the truth that in our rebellion nothing we think or feel is good. It is all part of our rebellion. 

                                                                                              ii.      NOTE: We recognize that the word "good" has a broad range of meanings. We will have to use it in a restricted sense to refer to many actions of fallen people which in relation are in fact not good.

                                                                                           iii.      Just because society votes that something is good, does not make it so.


c.      Our rebellion is totally deserving of eternal punishment.
                                                                                                 i.      The reality of hell is God's clear indictment of the infiniteness of our guilt. If our corruption were not deserving of an eternal punishment God would be unjust to threaten us with a punishment so severe as eternal torment. But the Scriptures teach that God is just in condemning unbelievers to eternal hell (2 Thessalonians 1:6-9; Matthew 5:29f; 10:28; 13:49f; 18:8f; 25:46; Revelation 14:9-11; 20:10).
                                                                                              ii.      Therefore, to the extent that hell is a total sentence of condemnation, to that extent must we think of ourselves as totally blameworthy apart from the saving grace of God.


d.     THE LAW, COMMANDMENTS AND GUILT
                                                                                                 i.      "Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin."

                                                                                              ii.      Many men in scripture approached the Lord thinking they were righteous because they observed the Law or kept the commandments, and every time, they were corrected.

                                                                                           iii.      The Jews claimed exemption, and the Gentiles claimed ignorance. Paul let them all that NO ONE is exempt, and NO ONE can claim ignorance.


CONCLUSION
ALL ARE GUILTY OF SIN...and need a savior. No one is exempt, nor can they claim ignorance of God.

The Law was only meant to define sin, it in no way delivered from sin, nor was it designed to do so.

It was designed to reveal our sin, and show our need for a savior, Jesus Christ.

The only way any of us will ever be considered righteous, is through Christ and His righteousness, not our own. Not our works, but the works of God through us.



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