ROMANS:ROAD TO RIGHTEOUSNESS
No Deals on Judgment Day
Jerry A Collins
Can we expect to sin and get away with it?
Is anyone good enough to escape God’s judgment?
Is everyone as sinful as they can be?
A natural tendency of sinful human beings is the common belief that God will give me a break. That He even has to give me a break. After considering how good I have been or how loving God is as I interpret that, it is feasible to conclude that everyone can expect leniency from God. In our own culture, religionist like Mormons, Christian Scientists, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Baptists, Presbyterians, Catholics, anyone who counts on religion as a means of securing the favor of God will naturally object to and resist the message of Romans that all have sinned, all are condemned and all will be judged by God. We have four objections raised about this in the first 8 verses of Romans 3. The natural response to preceding material -29 is vs 1 What advantage then is there in being a Jew? This refers to -24. Or what benefit of circumcision? This refers to -29. There may have been a real objector that he is addressing or possibly using this format to further his argument. If this does not count for anything, then what advantage is there in being a Jew?
1. SELF-RIGHTEOUS ASSUME BECAUSE GOD FAVORS THEM HE WILL NOT CONDEMN THEM 1-2
You are taking the rug out from beneath us. We will not have a leg to stand on before God otherwise. In one way the Jews did have an advantage. They were entrusted with the very words of God vs 2. Not only to possess them but also to hand them down to later generations. It was a treasure they were to guard and to share. But there should be no assumption that this gives you a special status and privilege with God. It just makes you more responsible. We have already learned that everyone is under law. Even those who have no knowledge of the Bible still have a law written in their hearts. The conscience lays hold of that law written in the heart to tell people whether they are doing right or wrong. So light is given to everyone (Jn 1:9). But even so, Jews had an additional degree of lite. The Word written on stone. A knowledge of the mind, will and character of God others not possessed. Greater opportunity to know and obey God. Today, we have millions raised in Sunday schools, church meetings, own Bibles where mind of God more available than ever but still lost because the lite they have never put to use. Like the Jew, tremendous advantage has done no good. Yet this advantage is not a promise of deliverance from judgment.
2. SELF-RIGHTEOUS BELIEVE CHARACTER OF GOD PROHIBITS HIS CONDEMNING THEM 3-4
Are you saying that God is upset
by the disbelief of a few Jews and so canceled all
3. SELF-RIGHTEOUS THINK EVEN THO THEY SINNED GOD IS MERCIFUL & NOT CONDEMNED
The idea is that if what I’m doing makes God look good because it gives Him chance to show off His love for me and forgiveness how can He then condemn me? God would not be unrighteous in taking this into consideration would He vs 5? This, he says, was only for the sake of argument I am speaking in human terms. He did not want readers to conclude he really thot God was unfaithful. If this was the case God could not act as judge of anyone. God will not show favoritism by arranging things so that sin in our lives will glorify God. Sin always has evil results. It is always a downward spiral. You can never sow of the flesh and reap of the Spirit. The flesh reaps corruption. It is never better to have sinned. The Bible teaches us to avoid it at all costs. Pray, repent, flee, turn away, stop it, don’t start it, confess it, reckon self dead to it, guard against it but never indulge! 4. SELF-RIGHTEOUS HOPE ALL WE DO GLORIFIES GOD SO UNJUST TO CONDEMN 7-8
If my lying, for instance, glorifies God showing Him to be the only perfectly truthful person, then why does God punish me for lying? In spite of accusations to the contrary, vs 8, he had not taught that the end justifies the means. God may overlook something like circumcision to determine who is truly His, but circumcision is secondary not sinful. God will not overlook sin. If anyone thinks that God should overlook his sinning because it may in a sense bring God glory, that person deserves condemnation vs 8. The point is that there is no squirming out from under the guilty verdict pronounced in chp 2.
5. SELF-RIGHTEOUS AND EVERYONE ELSE GUILTY 9-20
A. The charge: all are under sin vs 9. Noone is preferred and noone has preferential treatment. It is what it is. The way they think in heaven.
B. The proof: Scripture 10-18. First, the extent of sin—it is universal 10-12. Notice repetition of ‘none’ ‘all’ and ‘not even one’ all universal terms. Just think of all of the nice people you know. Good neighbors, kind and gracious people who even speak lovingly. God says all are condemned and there will always be one who says ‘except me’! Noone searching for God but only the God of their liking (Idolatry). Now this is no license to browbeat people with their sinfulness but to understand the state they are in before God. It compels us to bring them this news. Second, is the nature of sin—total depravity 13-17. Seen in their speech 13-14 cursing, complaints, bitterness, vindictive, vulgar, deceitful, sarcasm, slander. Seen in their acts 15-17. From talking of sin they commit sins that destroy, murder, ruin, bring misery and heartbreak no peace perpetual chaos. Third, the source of sin—no fear of God 18. When men reject God they lose everything. Not fearful of God, they have nothing to fear. Fear inspire obedience but when no fear of Lord we envy sinners (Prov ).
C. The application: all are accountable 19-20. No one will be able to open his mouth in his own defense 19. If Jews, the privileged receivers of this law, cannot escape judgment neither can those who claim no favor with God. Law similar to a chain vs 20. If someone breaks just one link the chain cannot save. The purpose of Law to expose inability to earn heaven. Law given to keep from taking a false path. It condemns us but then that very condemnation is what makes us willing to listen so we can find the right path! However, ‘But Now” vs 21!!!
(1) You cannot expect God to overlook your sin. It is what has condemned you.
(2) You cannot make deals with God about your sin. It will be basis of your judgment.
(3) Your sin will show up in every dimension of your life. Tho not as sinful as could be you are completely sinful.
(4) God condemned everyone to have mercy on everyone.
(5) Fashioning God into an image of your liking is idolatry and cannot erase the guilt you have in His presence or the judgment you will face because of it.
(6) Admit your sinfulness and believe!