First the bad news …

It doesn’t matter who the person is, Jew or Gentile or whatever status of identity they are and wherever they live in the world, class, race or religion, everyone is in the same situation, under the power of sin and unable to fix that position. There is no good news if we haven’t exposed the bad. Remove sin and there is no need for a Saviour.

So let’s remind ourselves of the truth. As we do look around you and see the many examples of sinners needing a Saviour. More importantly, look within your own heart.

  • Sin the overall problem.

“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Romans 3 v10-12)

It is likely Paul is taking from Psalm 14 as it sounds so similar:

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
(v1-3)

Paul turns his attention to how sin is seen. He looks at how people speak to one another. It looks like he is using every description possible for their voice.

  • The sins of the mouth.

“Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” (Romans 3 v 13-14)    

It could be that he is using a number of Psalms:

Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with malice. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they tell lies. (Psalm 5:9)

They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s; the poison of vipers is on their lips. (Psalm 140:3)

His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue. (Psalm 10:7)

Paul then moves from the sins of the mouth to the way people treat each other and the violent actions that are seen.

  • The sins of action.

“Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.” (Romans 3 v 15-16)

It seems he is using Isaiah 59:

Their feet rush into sin; they are swift to shed innocent blood. They pursue evil schemes; acts of violence mark their ways. The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. (v7-8)

  • The conclusion.

Paul brings the reader back to where he started in stating the overall problem of sin:

“There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3 v 18)

Here it seems he is using Psalm 36.

I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before their eyes. (v1)

It looks hopeless but set against the backdrop of Saviour Jesus then there is only thing that can be done and that is to give our lives every day to Him. Paul is leading in this way in this letter.

When you witness the bad today acknowledge the need of the Saviour. Whether that is what you hear coming from someone’s mouth or what is happening in the war in Ukraine and elsewhere in the world. This world needs Jesus more than ever.

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