Term 2 – Week 04
Big Idea – All people (both Jew & Gentile) are guilty before God because of their sin.
- To know all people are sinners, both Jew and Gentile
- To understand all people stand under God’s judgement because of their sin
- To appreciate no one will be saved by doing good works (v20)
- Belief (Head / Heart) – There is nothing we can ‘do’ to save ourselves. Often, deep down, people think that their sin isn’t that bad, and surely there are ‘good works’ we can do that will contribute to our salvation.
- Behaviour (Hands) – Confess our sins to God and give thanks God for Jesus who is the source of our salvation
What shall we conclude then? (v.9), demonstrates that the long argument Paul began at 1:18 is now drawing to a close, and he asks a question of comparison between Jews and Gentiles, Do we (Jews) have any advantage? Not at all! Yes, the Jews have been entrusted with the words of God (3:1-2), and that is an advantage, but in terms of guilt due to sin and standing under the judgment of God, there is no difference between Gentile and Jew. This is a charge that Paul has already made. There is nothing new in this conclusion.
Significantly, Paul’s conclusion consists largely of quotations from Scripture.
- Verses 10-12 are from Psalm 14:1-3 and 53:1-3, although inexactly, particularly in v.10. The dominant note of these verses is their exhaustive categories – no one and all. Whether Jew or Greek, no one is righteous or has understanding or seeks God or does good. All have turned aside and become worthless. It is a sweeping condemnation of the human race.
- Verses 13-14 consists of three quotes, from Psalms 5:9; 140:3; 10:7. The emphasis here turns towards the characteristics of the no one is good and all who have become worthless. All three quotations emphasise sins of speech that have murderous and harmful intent.
- Verses 15-17 appear to be taken from Isaiah 59:7-8, though in a shortened form. If vv.10-12 emphasised murderous speech, these verses emphasise murderous and destructive behaviour.
- Verse 18 concludes the citation of Scriptures with a quote from Psalm 36:1, and is a much more general comment on the all being described in this passage. It could be understood as the explanatory key to the other verses – there is no fear of God in them.
Paul applies this list of quotations to both Jew and Gentile.
Now we know that whatever the law (OT canon) says, it says to those who are under (literally ‘in’) the law, i.e. all people! So that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. All people are accountable to God for their sin!
Verse 20 gives Paul’s conclusion (Therefore) to the whole unit (1:18-3:20), that no one will be declared righteous before God by ‘works of the law’; rather the law is how we become conscious of sin.
 ‘Works of the law’ is anything done in obedience to the law, particularly those good works that might be put forward as a basis to receive God’s acceptance.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’
This is the Gospel (Colin Buchanan) – YouTube
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