Are We Better Than They
- What is man’s greatest problem?
- Does God see anyone as good?
- Can someone receive eternal life by keeping the law?
Mr. Binney: Are we better than people who make excuses to God?
3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
Victor: What does it mean to be under sin?
3:9 they are all under sin…
- It means we are under sin’s dominion or rule.
- Sin is our master and judge. We obey it like a slave obeys his master. We are indebted to it and can only get out of its dominion if we are delivered by someone stronger than us and sin itself.
Pastor Eric: Can you explain verses 10-18?
- All men are unrighteous 3:1-10 There is none righteous, no, not one…
- All men are without understanding 3:11 There is none that understandeth…
- No man naturally seeks God 3:11 there is none that seeketh after God…
- All men have a life that is twisted away from its original purpose 3:12 They are all gone out of the way…
- All men live empty lives without God 3:12 they are together become unprofitable…
- No man does good in God’s eyes 3:12 There is none that doeth good, no, not one.
- What comes out of men in as offensive and disgusting as the rotting body of a dead man 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulcher…
- Men are liars: 3:13 With their tongues they have used deceit…
- Men’s speech is like snake poison 3:13 The poison of asps is under their lips…
- Men’s speech is full of profanity and bitterness 3:14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness…
- Men love to hate leading to murder 3:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood…
- Men are walking down the path of destruction 3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways…
- Men are at war with one another, themselves, and God 3:17 The way of peace have they not known…
- Men do not fear God at all 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes…
Pastor Joel: Can you summarize my greatest problem according to these verses?
- Man thinks his greatest problems are physical issues like: good health, money, education, a better job, nicer house, or different family situation.
- But: Man needs to be rescued in two ways
- From God: He needs to be rescued from God’s legal wrath. (Romans 1:18; 2:5_
- From himself: He needs to be rescued from the corruption and dominion of sin.
Mr. Binney: Can I overcome these problems by striving very hard to do good?
3:19 We know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
- No, we have just heard that no man is seeking God, doing good, or even fearing God on his own.
- What we think is good is not good, and what we know is bad, we do not see as bad enough.
- We are not compared to other sinners, but to God’s perfect righteousness, and we fall short. We do not even begin to approach God’s perfection.
- No striving can even come close to what God demands.
Victor: What does it mean to be justified?
- Justification is a legal declaration by a judge that someone’s claim to innocence is just and right when the evidence is weighed and compared to the law.
- The law is the standard.
- The judge has the final say and is required to be completely objective and truthful.
- The evidence will be compared to the law, and the accused person’s claim of innocence.
- The ruling of the court is final.
- If God justifies someone, He is saying as their Judge, that he is innocent and righteous before His court. He is free and not under the punishment legally demanded by the law for law breakers.
Pastor Eric: Can I be justified by keeping the law?
3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
- No, his point is very clear. No man: Jew, Gentile, religious, irreligious, is innocent before God.
- We do not even come close to His righteous standard the law.
- The law does not reveal our innocence, rather it reveals our guilt.
- It stops our mouths from any claim to innocence and removes all excuses.
Pastor Joel: How should I apply this scripture?
- Do I see myself the way that God sees me?
- Why do I go to church, strive to do good deeds, read the Bible, and pray?
- Do I think that these good deeds will help my cause on the final judgment?
- Do I hope that my good deeds outweigh my bad, and that God will accept me?
- God will never save a person who claims to trust Him for salvation yet is still full of self-righteous pride.
- Saving faith is humble and brings no excuses or substitutes, because it begins with a genuine repentance before God.
- I plead with all our listeners to be honest and objective about what the Bible is saying.
- Come to Christ, trust in His work and His righteousness alone, not in your own works and goodness!