Romans 2:17- 3:20 - †None Righteous
Intro:† Most of us here are Familiar w/ H.C.Andersen's story the Emperors new Clothes
A) The story about the Merchants who came to the Kingdom offered to make special clothes for the King ! / Agreed - Process started
B) King grew impatient sent one of his aids / only the wise can see the material / †sent another - same / finally king went himself / spread through out the Kingdom
1) †The day for the big parade came when the King was going to model & show off one of his new garments
C) Little boy says Mommy why is the King naked -
1) †With that one innocent yet honest remark that little boy stripped away the hypocritical pretense of whole nation
D) Like the Kings imaginary clothes† the Jews considered themselves clothed in a garment of righteousness that didnít exist
1) And here in the v. 17-29 Paul, like the little boy strips away each† layer
††††††††† of that garment !
E) There were 8 layers to this imaginary garment or† 8 things that the Jew took pride in and considered as being the basis for their rightness w/ God
1) †Paul described the layers in the passage we just read / breakdown
1) †Their name - called a Jew = Praise to Jehovah
2) †V.17†† They possessed the Law
3) †V.17†† They made their boast in God - ( Didnít know Him- but boasted of Him)
4) †V. 18† Prided themselves in knowing His revealed will of God
5) †V.18†† they could approve or discern the things that were excellent
6) †V. 18† They received their instruction from the law
7) †V. 19 Teachers to the Blind & instructors to the foolish
8) †V. 25 They bore the special mark of circumcision
Today people feel the same way because they have been baptized or belong to a certain Church / went through confirmation !
The Jews† had all the right tools/ many blessings† but they didnít use them !
A) Name that meant Praise to Jehovah / but their lives reflected everything but living worship to Him
B) They possessed the Law but they didnít keep it !† / They made their boast in God ( Our God is Jehovah - But they didnít know Him)
1) †Knew about Him ! exploits & Power - but they didnít know Him /† KIDS TODAY
C) Prided themselves in knowing his revealed will - yet they didnít follow it / ADULTS TODAY
1) †They were instructors for others but they didnít teach themselves
D) The same thing can happen today w/ People in Ministry
1) †Danger in ministry of falling into a trap where you begin to think that you are ok because God has placed you in a position
E) You Know the word / teaching the word / you can boast in the things God is doing & has done but the problem is you donít practice what you know
1) †And you are out of fellowship w/ the Lord ! BE CAREFUL
††††††††††††††††††††† Him who thinks He stands take Heed lest He fall
F) One thing I ask People who considering bringing into ministry is what is their devotional life like ?†† Prayer life / What is God showing in word
So Paul says to them in v. 21
You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?
22† You who say, "Do not commit adultery," do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?†† 23† You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law?
A) Now they might respond when did we steal - covet ? Same similar thing in Your hearts / Adultery ?† Lust
1) †Rob temples ?†† Malachi. 3:8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings.
B) Paul says because of your poor witness / your sin & your hypocrisy the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles
1) †That is probably the saddest thing about Hypocrisy is that it turns people off to the Lord
C) I donít know how many people I have met who have a bad taste in their mouth of what it means to be a Christian because of† hypocrisy / church / Business
1) †On Logo or sign /† Fish - or scripture / lousy work & unreliable /
D) Donít even identify your Business w/ the Lord unless you can back it up / quality of work / ethics / your Professional manner†
1) †All examples & testimonies of the Lord ! /
E) Cafť - people better be able to distinguish us from Vista Ice box or Sub way - want to come back !
Well after being stripped of all those things the Jew would fire back - what about circumcision ? We have a special mark that we are the people of God
A) We talked about this in detail 2 Sundays ago† -† Circumcision was for Identification††††† Marked Abraham & Descendents As the people of God
B) Spoke of Trusting God to keep His promise / But the Mark was of no value unless they were living like the People of God ! & keeping the Law !
C) Then he gives a Hypothetical example in v. 26 ††Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law,
D) this is a Hypothetical question because Paul knows that no man could keep the 10 commandments to the Letter - if means speaking Hypothetically
1) †It is like he is saying lets just suppose a non Jew an uncircumcised person kept the Law will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision?
27† And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law?† 28† For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;
29† but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
Paul is† pointing out that the Lord is more concerned about a persons Heart &† actions than He is their Knowledge or symbol / their affiliation
A)† True Circumcision is of the Heart - Person who has been born again has the mark of the H.S. in His life/ a† testimony that he knows the Lord
B) So after having everything that they put their confidence in stripped away the Jew might be led to ask† What is the advantage then of being a Jew !
1) †That is the question Paul begins to answer in Ch. 3 / Read v. 1-20
What advantage did the Jew Have / Much in every way -
A) 1st they were given the oracles of God ! They Possessed the written Word
B) Having the written self-revelation of God w as an immense advantage to the Jew, and it remains so for us today.
1) †because it gives us a written description of God's eternal nature.
C) God's Word teaches us that God is the all-powerful Creator and completely sustains the universe.
††† 1) It reveals that he is perfect in holiness, in righteousness, in love, in justice.
D)† The God of the Scriptures is majestic, transcendent, beyond total human comprehension.
1) Having the Bible also reveals Godís plan of Salvation/† huge advantage
Having the Word also reveals to us the nature & purpose of man !
A) This is closely tied in with the revelation of God because if we see the majesty of God, We are able to see ourselves as we truly are.
B) And the Word of God also reveals the written directions as to what is required of mankind
1) †that we are to† love God with all that is w/ in us !
C) So the advantage is great in being a Jew and today in being a† churchgoer is Because† We have God's Word.
1) †We know what God is like. We know what man is† like. Needs are
†† And We know† What God requires for salvation.
What is also interesting is this throughout history although the Jews missed the reason for the Law, they benefited from the results of keeping the Law. A) Example When the Bubonic Plague swept across Europe, killing one out of
††† ††every three people, the Jewish population was left virtually untouched.
B) Why? Because in keeping the Law, the Jews were protected from the plague
††††† due to the hygienic and dietary regulations contained within the Law.
C) Another Example Throughout history, the Jews have always done well
†††††† monetarily. Why?
1) †Because the financial principles contained within the Law workóregardless of whether those who practice them walk close to the Lord.
Same is true concerning our own country, there are certain principles which will be of benefit to us, whether or not we as a nation are born again.
A) One such principle(Gen 12:3).† is that any country who takes a stand to be a blessing to the people of Israel will be blessed by God whether or not they're a Christian nation
B) (Proverbs 14:34). Reveals† that God will honor any country taking a stand against immorality C) So if you are† one who desires to see our nation blessed, I believe we have the privilege and responsibility to search the Scriptures
1) †and remind our legislators, our leaders, our President that if the principles contained in the Word are incorporated, our country will be blessed
D)and if† those Principles are violated, our country will be cursed.
E) But Having said that, I believe our country's greatest need is not political activity but spiritual renewal.†† †Praying God would† Pour out His spirit
1) †Not in some weird holy Laughter kind of a thing but in Genuine touching of the Heart / convicting of sin / true repentance imparting life
F) †That is why Our primary goal & Purpose† is to be fishers of men.
1) †The problem with the political activism in so many Christian circles is itís an attempt to clean fish before catching them.
G) Clean them up - make look good appear Christian / stand for Christian things - but it is not a work of the Heart
1) †Need to be fervently praying that the H.S. would just poor Himself out upon our lives / this Church / our community / our nation !
H) In a time when the Church nation wide is forsaking sound teaching in so many ways / renewal of men's hearts turned back to the Lord / hunger for His word
Now Paul knew well how the Jewish mind thought / So In V. 3-8 Paul responds to what would be the Jewish argument to this idea of† their advantage
A) Paul gives 3 objections the Jew would have† / 1st†† v.3 ††For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect?
B) This is a strange objection which essentially argues:† Paul, how can you possibly say we Jews have so completely failed in our privileged position and still insist that we are an advantaged people? †If we have failed as you insist, God's Word is powerless and He is unfaithful."
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Paul's answer is found in verse 4:
C) V. 4 ††Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: "That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged."
D) Paul† is basically saying : God is always true, no matter how much man falls short.† God is never unfaithful / never goes back on His Word !
1) †In the 2nd part of the verse Paul† quoted from Psa 51in using† David as an example /† after his sin with Bathsheba,
E) David declared Against You & You only have I sinned and done this evil in your sight ! "That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged."
F) †The Psalm shows that David was willing to condemn himself completely so that God might be seen as being faithful & righteous in His judgment of Him!
Paulís Point was this: although God had given promises to Israel those promises did not mean that the unrepentant Jew could escape doom.
A) Unbelief & rebellion do not make the faithfulness of God ineffective / but actually it magnifies it !
B) God was faithful to Judge the sin / to forgive the sin when repented of !
1) †Clearly seen in the example of David - the baby from the adulterous union Died - seen as punishment† / just as Nathan said -†
C)† Yet David was forgiven - Union was Blessed !† Read in 2 Sam.12:24 after the Child died† Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her and lay with her. So she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. Now the LORD loved him,
2nd Objection 5† But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.)
A) Now, the reasoning of this argument was if my unrighteousness reveals the marvelous, and wonderfully infinite faithfulness of God /
1) Does God have a right to judge me? /† That's what Paul is asking here.
B) Paul gives answer in v6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?
C) If God didnít† have a† right to judge us because our sin merely reveals the righteousness† of God, then God would have no right to judge any person,
1) †Therefore, God would not be able to judge the world. He would have to Deny His position as Judge of all the earth.
3rd Objection is similar V. 7,8† For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner?. 8† And why not say, "Let us do evil that good may come"?; as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say.
A) The argument here is similar / if my sin only magnifies the grace & goodness of God then lets sin abundantly so grace can be revealed !
B) Paul doesnít even answer this reasoning He simply says to those who would think that way Their condemnation is just.
1) †That excuse wonít fly & you will get exactly what you deserve !
So the Jew has an advantage in that he has the word / & it has been revealed to him what God is like & who he is ! But the Jew is still a sinner / Paulís Pt. V9
A) What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.
B) Now Paul is like a master Prosecuting attorney driving home his closing arguments !† RECALL Ch. 1 Heathen is indicted by creation !
1) †First part of†† Ch. 2†† Hypocrite is indicted by his conscience / End of Ch. 2 & Ch. 3 Hebrew is indicted by the commandments
C) So all of Humanity is guilty / all is indicted / and to drive the point home even further Paul quotes from 6 O.T. passages / 14 statements
1) †That magnify the guilt of man seen in his character / his conduct & the cause of both.††
D) In doing so Paul seals his case against man & leaving no doubt that man is lost in sin!
1st Character v.10- 12
"There is none righteous, no, not one;11† There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.12† They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one."
As to our character, the apostle says in† v 10, "'There is no one righteous, not even one."'
A) In case anyone was thinking there 'might be an exception, he does away with that idea once and for alló"'not even one." ~
B) "'There is no one who understands. . . "' (v. I I ). Understands what?
1) †The depth of the attributes of God. Sin makes this impossible.
C) No matter what level of spiritual life and understanding we reach, there will always, be a deficiency in our understanding.
1) †Moreover, the more we sin, the lesson capable of understanding we become.
D) NEXT †"'. . . no one who seeks God"' †That MEANS that† no one by nature wants to know God.
1) †The word translated "seek" means "to seek out," implying a determined search. Mankind does not search for God or the truth.
E) Man is definitely searching for something / but it is not God / yet when a person gets saved they find that what they were searching for was always there
†Verse 12 goes on, They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.
A) 'This describes the logical outcome of the preceding statements. Because no one has stayed on the path to God, they have become useless.
B) They cannot fulfill their purpose as creatures made in the image of God. They are like fish that cannot swim or birds that cannot fly),
C) 'There is no one who does good, not even one"' (v. 12b). Obviously men do good things, but they do not do them consistently.
1) Motives betray them !† Next Paul turns to man's conduct.
A) His emphasis is first on human speech, and he paints a disgusting picture, v13"Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit"; "The poison of asps is under their lips";14† "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness
B) The speech of those without God is like the odor from an open grave††
1) †Sometimes it is filthy, sometimes it is deceiving, sometimes it is as deadly as a cobra's bite.
C) Paul continues in describing the depravity of mans conduct in v. 15-17 which sounds like a condensed history of the world.
1) †As we read these verses we must remember that the activity of the feet is
††† a frequent Scriptural metaphor for one's approach to life.
D) Man's depravity is seen in his rush to violence.
15† "Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16† Destruction and misery are in their ways;
17† And the way of peace they have not known."
In V.18: Paul reveals the cause for their depraved character & conduct† 'There is no fear of God before their eyes. "'† Left out of their thinking ! A) Paul's charge still stands today. The entire human raceóJews or Gentiles, religious or irreligious, pious or pagansóis utterly depraved.
B) In v.19-20 Paul's conclusion: 19† Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.†††† 20† Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
In a Jewelry store to magnify the brightness of a diamond the jeweler places the Diamond on a black piece of Velvet
A) That is what Paul is doing here / †The black cloth is mans sin & depravity
B) The Diamond is God grace & way of salvation through Jesus !
Further magnifies / Christ Came to save the ungodly ! †