The Bad News of Sin and the Good News of God’s Righteousness

1. All of humanity is sinful and accountable to God (Romans 3:9-19)
9 What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who understands,
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.”
13 “Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
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.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
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.
• The Pagan, the moral person and the religious person are all sinful and guilty before God
• Paul includes himself and his skeptics in the same sinful condition
• Sin is universal and it is pervasive in its affects
• Paul has argued that creation convicts the pagan, conscience convicts the moral person and religious ritual and symbols convict the religious. Now he says that God’s Word convicts everyone!
• This is the doctrine of Total Depravity or Total Inability
2. No one can be righteous by their own efforts (Romans 3:20)
20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
• Righteousness is the key idea in the book of Romans
• The word implies God standard of righteousness; righteousness that is complete conformity to His character, will, purpose and action
• This is a legal declaration of a Judge that changes our position; it implants something within us that changes our behavior from the inside-out, but the emphasis is on the legal standing
• God’s conclusion is that the affect of sin has left us unable to attain to this righteousness on our own
• “observing the law” has an immediate and an inferred meaning; the immediate meaning is through trying to keep God’s law; the inferred meaning is through any kind of self-effort or personal works
• Instead of imparting righteousness the law convicts us of sin
3. God declares us righteous through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21-22)
21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference
• God’s righteousness is imparted apart from the law
• God’s righteousness is confirmed and attested by the Law and the prophets
• God’s righteousness is imparted and imputed through faith in Jesus Christ
Romans 3:25
God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—
Romans 3:26
he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
Romans 4:24
but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.
Romans 5:1
1 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Romans 5:17
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
Romans 5:20-21
20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
• God’s righteousness is given to all who believe without distinction
• Jew or Gentile, old or young, male or female, educated or uneducated; God gives the gift of His righteousness and saves anyone who believes and puts their faith in Jesus Christ to save them
• When we understand the bad news we can really appreciate the good news. Only when we realize our sin and guilt will we truly embrace God’s salvation which is received by grace through faith.
• We need to agree with God about our sin; accept Christ’s sacrifice as the only payment for our sin and receive Christ into our lives as our Lord and Savior
• Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone!

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