We are all Sinners without exception Rom 3:9-20 – Part 1

Romans 3:9-20 (ESV Strong’s)
9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin,
Word Study: The greek word translated here as “charged” means “previously proved”
Comment: Paul starts here in this verse by saying that they have already proven that all, both Jews and Greek, are under sin. This is indeed true because from Chapter 1:18 to the end of chapter 1, Paul
shows the sinfulness of the gentiles or non jews, represented here by the Greeks. Then from Chapter 2:1 to Chapter 3:8, Paul shows the sinfulness of the Jews. After proving this, he then says that the Jews are no better off since everyone has sinned. Paul has now come to a point where he has now successfully proven that it does not matter who you are, we are all sinners.
Message: This is in line with what John said in his epistle that whoever says he has no sin is a liar and whoever says that he has not sinned, he makes God a liar. 
Comment: Now in the following verses, Paul describes the character of a sinner and more specifically an unrepented sinner. I divided the passage into two: 1) the character and 2) the fruits of such a character. Verse 10-12 contains the characters and 13 -18, is the fruits .
  1. The Character of a Sinner
10 as it is written:  “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
Word Study: The greek word translated as “righteous” also means holy, just, being made right. The greek word translated as “understands” means literally “put together”. It means to comprehend, the ability to bring information together and make sense of it. A point to note is that all the verbs in verses 10-12 are all “present active participle” but one, which is the Greek word translated as “they have become” which is in a “passive indicative aorist”. Passive aorist means that the action being described has taken place in the past but once off. Its not continuous. Most importantly it also means that the action is on the subject rather than the subject doing the action. Present active participle means a continuous or repeated action. 
Comment:  Paul having made such a huge statement to the Jews in Rome and the Greeks, turns to scripture to prove that his theology is correct. Paul quotes Ps 14:1-3; Ps 53:1-3 to prove his point. He first starts out by outlining the character of a sinner. There are six characters outlined by Paul.
Firstly, Paul says none is righteous, not even one. Not a single person in this world is righteous, holy or just before God, not even one. This is the first thing that a sinner has to acknowledge that he/she is a sinner. He/she does not meet the standard of righteousness as required by God. Despite hearing all the time that people are born good, people are basically good, people do bad things because of some psychological problem, he could not have been in his right mind when he did that, etc, all these things are not true. People do bad things because not one of us is righteous or holy. We are all evil. Some are more evil than others but we are all evil. So the first character of a sinner is that a sinner is an unrighteous person.
Secondly, a sinner does not understand. Not a single sinner understands, not even one. Meaning, not even one sinner on his own, has the ability to put together the word of God and make sense of it.  This is inline with 2 Cor 2:14 which indicates that the natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolish to him and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. This is why I always find it difficult to understand why anyone would think that on their own, they can choose to reject the devil and follow Jesus. It is not possible, we as human being, do not have the ability to understand things of God on our own. So, the sinner does not have the ability to put together things of God and make sense of them.
Thirdly, a sinner does not seek God, no one. Meaning, no sinner looks for or searches for or enquire of God. Sinners don’t even bother to find out about God. How can a sinner who is unrighteous and who does not understand things of God, seek for God. It makes sense that this sinner will not even want to look for God.
Fourthly, all sinners have turned aside. Meaning that they have rejected all there is to do with and about God. They don’t want to hear anything about God. Some question His existence, some His word, etc and all have concluded that they want nothing to do with it.
Fifthly, sinners have become worthless or unprofitable. The point to note here is that the greek verb used here is in passive aorist indicative and as I have already explained, this means that they did not decide themselves to be worthless. They were made or declared worthless. The greek word is “achreoo” which also means to render useless, render unserviceable. This in my opinion is a judgment of God on these sinners. They are unrighteous, they don’t understand, they don’t seek for God and they have rejected all that there is to do with God and therefore God has declared them useless for His purposes. They cannot serve God in anyway.
Lastly, not one of them does good not even one. All that they do and can do is evil.
Message: This is the character of an unrepented or unregenerate sinner.  This describes all of us before we were regenerated or saved by God by His grace through faith in Jesus which was provided to us as a gift. Remember that all of these characteristics are in the context that Paul is using this part of scripture to show that indeed we are all sinners. By these characteristics as quoted from Ps 14:1-3, 53:1-3, Paul shows how all of us, Jews and Gentiles, how all of us are sinners without exception. 

Posted in Exposing Sin, Romans, Romans 3, Sin.

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