All Under Sin Rom. 3:1-18 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In the first ten verses of this passage of scripture, Paul answers a series of five questions that had been raised or could have been raised to challenge his statements in the first two chapters of this letter to the Romans. And then after answering the critics, he describes the depth of the sin of all men.
What advantage then hath the Jews? Rom 3:1 – unto them were committed the oracles of God. Oracles are what God said [2 Pet 1:21]. In Prov 22:21 they are the words of truth. The Jews had a tremendous advantage in having these words over just having their conscience to follow [Rom 2:14-15].
Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? Rom 5:3 – God forbid. Let God be true, but every man a liar. The words of God are true whether or not anyone believes them. God said it that settles it. When you answer as God spoke, your words are true [1 Pet 4:11]. Otherwise, your words are a lie because his are still true. The quotation is from Ps 51:4. God is clear when he judges us by his words and he overcomes our judgment of him by the same words [Jn 12:48-50].
Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? Rom 3:5 – our unrighteousness commends the righteousness of God because it shows him to be just when we are unjust. The contrast magnifies his righteousness. But God is not unrighteous when he takes vengeance because he never causes men to sin [Jas 1:13-15]. A sinner who asks, “How can a loving God send anyone to hell?” is simply a sinner trying to justify his sin by accusing God of unrighteousness. But he is not unrighteous. Men sin on their own and therefore God will judge them.
Why yet am I also judged a sinner? Rom 3:7 – with this question, Paul is voicing his opponents’ [slanderously reported] line of reasoning that God gets more glory by contrasting his righteousness with our unrighteousness. Therefore we shouldn’t be judged for our unrighteousness because God is glorified. That line of reasoning is faulty because God is always glorified more by righteousness than he is by sin. God is just when he condemns a man for justifying his sin when he says he is doing it for God’s glory [compare Jn 16:2].
Are we better than they? Rom 3:9 – “we” are Jews and “they” are Gentiles. The answer is no; we are all under sin. There is none righteous, no, not one [Is 64:6; Ps 39:5, Rom 3:23].
The Depth of Our Sin
None seek after God – Rom 3:11 – not after the God of the Bible. They seek after a god of their own desire and liking. They don’t understand until God is revealed [1 Cor 2:11-15].
None doeth good – Rom 3:12 – that is toward God. They may do good toward their fellow man, and that makes them better citizens. But what they do isn’t good until it is something that is done for the glory of God and for his pleasure. Compare what Jesus did in Jn 11:4-6. We would have all jumped at the opportunity to help Lazarus. Jesus waited to help until his help could be done for the glory of God. The motive determines the quality.
Their throat is an open sepulcher – Rom 3:13 – a sepulcher is where you “bury” dead things like cows, deer, fish, chickens and so forth.
Their tongues deceive – Rom 3:13 – they deceive with flattery, iniquity, double speak and the like. They never tell the truth when asked a direct question that would be the least bit incriminating.
Poison is under their lips – Rom 3:13 – poison is deadly like the poison of a venomous snake. Hitler’s lips were deadly.
Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness – Rom 3:14 – Jas 3:10, everywhere God’s name is taken in vain. Cussing in God’s name is as common as breathing.
Their feet are swift to shed blood – Rom 3:15 – see Prov 6:18 and Prov 1:16.
Destruction and misery are in their ways – Rom 3:16 – Prov 14:12.
The way of peace have they not known – Rom 3:17 – Jn 14:6.
There’s no fear of God before their eyes – Rom 3:18 – Prov 9:10, 1:7 therefore, they forsake wisdom and knowledge.
Conclusion: In 6,000 years of history, human nature hasn’t changed one bit. We are all under sin. Men want to do good but not on God’s terms. The closer we get to the Lord’s return the worse it gets and the problems with sin and men don’t go away even in the millennium. Things will finally improve when sin, death, the devil and hell are destroyed along with all those who reject Jesus Christ.