Romans 3: 20- “Now do you see it? No one can ever be made right in God’s sight by doing what the law commands. For the more we know of God’s laws, the clearer it becomes that we aren’t obeying them; his laws serve only to make us see that we are sinners.” TLB
Adam and Eve had a beautiful life! It was perfect and without sin. They fellowshipped with God in the evenings and had the benefit of having actual conversations where they were able to hear His voice and express themselves. Living in the Garden of Eden came with one stipulation, however:
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”Genesis 2:16-17 NKJV
We all know the account of what happened. Satan convinced Eve to eat the fruit of the tree that was forbidden to them, she passed the fruit to Adam, who also ate, and the rest, is history! A whole lot of stuff happened in the Garden that day, but what I want to bring out is that sin entered the world. Long before the law was ever written on tablets of stone, or papyrus rolls, sin took up residence in the nature of man.
No one told Adam and Eve that they had sinned, but immediately they knew what sin was, for they knew that they were naked, that they were in trouble with God, and that they couldn’t be in His presence, so they hid! Typical of sin, they got what they wanted and more than what they wanted!
Paul told the expected readers of his epistle that they could never be made right in the eyes of God by keeping the law, for works would never free them from the power of sin. Therefore, being Jewish, following the law, having an advantage over the Gentiles as God’s special people, would not result in freedom from sin!
In verse 9, we note that Paul is now including himself in the conversation, when before he spoke about “the Jews” as “them”. He again asks the question about the advantages of being Jewish, placing himself in the equation. Yet, he emphatically states what he has already shared, that when it comes to sin, God’s not impressed with or heritage or our works!
Paul gives us a list of sayings from the law that confirms our inability to be righteous before God:
- There is none righteous, no not one!
- There is none who understands, who seeks after God!
- They have all turned aside and have become unprofitable!
- There is none who does good!
- Their throat is an open tomb!
- With their tongues they practice deceit!
And the list continues. These are sayings from the psalmists that speaks to the unrighteousness of man before a righteous God! Paul takes this time to remind his audience that according the the Law, that many of them are banking on, they are already guilty! But the Gentiles aren’t free because they didn’t have the law!
Remember, we started this conversation with the truth that we are without excuse. Creation itself is a testament to the truth that there is a God. But included in the equation, is the conscious that God placed on the inside of all us that makes us aware of when we are wrong, or when we do wrong. The Gentiles laws, were morally based on what felt right and as such, was a law to them. Therefore, they had no excuse before God.
In our society, we make all kinds of excuses for our sins, and the sins of others. And even though none of us could live up to the laws of the Old Testament, they were there to let us know exactly what sin is.
- Lying is a sin. We know it by the law. In the Ten Commandments, God revealed that we should not lie!
- Adultery is a sin. It’s in the law. It is written that we are not to commit adultery with another person’s spouse!
- Stealing is a sin. It’s also in the law. It is written that we are not to steal!
- The Law teaches us that murder is a sin, and so is coveting!
- Disrespecting our parents is a sin! It’s in the Law!
But there are sins that have nothing to do with each other. These are sins against God, and we know of them because it is written:
- We are to have no other gods before Him, for He is the Lord!
- We are not to make graven images of Him.
- We are to honor Him and keep the Sabbath!
- We are not to use His name in vain!
I know there are some hardened sinners who appear to not be affected by their sins. They justify them and live as if they are guilt free. But there is a burden to sin, and its a load to bear! Many who refuse to confess their sin end up broken by their sin. Some live years with no apparent repercussions to sin! But make not mistake, there’s a price for sin! It’s in His word!
That’s the purpose of the Law, Paul wrote! To help us to see that we are sinners. No matter how good we are, we are not good enough! No matter how much we do, we can’t do enough! No matter how much we give, we can’t give enough! Because if we sin in any point of the law, we are guilty of the whole Law! That’s the point!
There are over 1,000 verses in the Bible regarding sin! God wanted us to know His displeasure for sin, for He had it addressed repeatedly in the Law. But it is also addressed in the New Testament. Jesus’ blood didn’t give us a clean slate from sin’s consequences. He didn’t give us blanket grace that we might sin until we have had our full! No! God was righteous in the Old Testament, and He was righteous in the New Testament, and He remains righteous today!
God has revealed sin to us and its penalty. As we continue in this study, we will discuss the penalty of sin! I know all of my followers are probably people who love God, or they wouldn’t be reading my blogs. However, as believers, it is good to understand what the word tells us about what we believe! Thank you for your faithfulness in reading my blogs! Wonderful Jesus!