The Verdict is In
The Verdict Is In
The Verdict Is In
What then? Are we any better? Not at all! For we have previously charged that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin,
The Scene — Court of Law
What a dramatic conclusion! Let me set the scene.
The Scene — Court of Law — Heaven
The Event — The Verdict Is In
God is the Prosecutor, Judge and Jury.
The Voice — Paul, Court Reporter as he reads the verdict
And this is God’s verdict on the entire human race.
The Prosecutor — God
The Jury — God
The Judge — God
The Verdict — Guilty
The Guilty Party — The entire Human Race
Appeals — Irrevocable and fixed — No Appeals, this is the highest court.
That’s where we’re at in Roman 3.
This is Paul’s summarization of this section on Condemnation that began in 1:18.
The Charge — verse 9
The Case — verses 10-18
The Charge — verses 19-20
9 What then? Are we any better? Not at all! For we have previously charged that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin,
Are we any better?
We — Who is the We?
Look at the context. Verse 5 and verse 8. Some argue for the Jews, but the context helps us to see that this is Paul and his audience.
Who’s Paul’s audience?
7 To all who are in Rome, loved by God, called as saints. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, what is the question: Are we any better? Not at all! For we have previously charge that both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin.
Answer: All are under sin.
What does it mean to be “under sin?”
It means to be under the penalty, under the power, under the pollution of sin, to be enslaved, dominated by, under the tyranny of sin.
It’s repeated in verse 23.
23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
This is the charge.
And lest anyone disagree or attempt to object, Paul immediately launches into the Case.
And the case is not his case. He’s just the Court Reporter reading the verdict. This is God’s Case. Proof of that is that what Paul reads is a litany of Old Testament citations. In other words, Paul reads God’s Word on the matter. So, this is not Public Opinion. This is not Paul’s opinion. There is no opportunity for rebuttal. This is God’s case against All the human race.
The reason Paul uses these Old Testament quotes is to prove that this case and prosecution is nothing new. This has been the Case all along.
17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”
So, Paul begins to quote Scripture — God’s verdict on the entire human race. And if you have cross references in the margin of your Bible, you will see the verses Paul quotes. , ; ; , ; ; ; & .
God is bringing witness after witness after witness to the stand.
This is the Supreme Signature Passage for the human condition — called Total Depravity.
Sometimes known as Radical Corruption.
This is the human condition from head to toe and every inch and ounce between. Hitler gets all the blame, but there is a far greater expression of evil and includes babies to great grandma.
Total Depravity means that Adam’s sin nature has been passed down to the entire human race and has radically corrupted the mind, heart, and will. We think wrong, feel wrong, understand wrong, and apart from divine intervention — all of that remains.
Some think it’s only the mind and heart that are affected and man’s will is still free. This is a gross erroneous understanding of the Bible. The will is the handmaiden to the mind and heart. Wherever the mind and heart are, the will follows. The will never operates independent of the mind and heart. The will is the tail and the tail is not wagging the dog. Wherever the mind and the heart, the affections, the desires go, then the will always makes the choices to follow the thinking, feelings, and desires.
God’s verdict masterfully uses the Scripture to build His case to an insurmountable verdict.
Verse 10 is the Thematic Statement
Verse 11 speaks of the mind and heart
Verse 12 — the will
Verse 13, the throat, tongue, and lips and Verse 14 the mouth — All what we say.
Verse 15-17 — our feet — what we do
Verse 18 — our eyes — what we see.
Each body part represents human faculty that tells us about the human condition, character, conversation, and choices.
The human Character flows from the human condition, the conversation flows out of the human character, and the human choices that are the result of the human character.
It’s a comprehensive autopsy of the Spiritually Dead Sinner.
Imagine this human corpse, representative of the entire human race, laid out on the coroner’s table in the morgue. And we’re just given a view of this corpse — Don’t be frightened, the corpse is dead and won’t talk or move. The coroner is just looking at these body parts and saying, “Look! He’s dead. Look at this. Look at brain. There is no activity. Look at his throat, his tongue — See that? That’s venom! And look inside his mouth. See all that? That’s cursing and bitterness. Look at his feet — See all that blood? His feet are just covered in blood.
The Coroner sums it up with an illustration of a glass of water. One drop of cyanide is dropped into the water and the cyanide has permeated the whole glass of water. There is not any part of the water that is not poisoned by the cyanide.
When you and I were born, when we were conceived in the womb, Adam’s sin nature was injected into you and me. The snakes venom poisoned us and we came into this world with every faculty of our innermost being poisoned by sin. It’s a devastating case against us.
There are 7 negatives (6 negatives and 1 positive, that is a negative — All.
10 as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one.
This is the topic sentence.
None understand — not themselves or God, not their condition before God. There is no understanding of what is needed to escape this condition — Grace.
14 But the unbeliever does not welcome what comes from God’s Spirit, because it is foolishness to him; he is not able to understand it since it is evaluated spiritually.
This is ability — not able to understand.
Paul begins with the mind, then moves to the heart.
None seek God. This is representative of desiring God, loving God, having a passion for God. This is every philosophy, religion, system, people, government. Not only not seeking, but running away.
All have turned away.
They are going in the opposite direction, in the wrong direction. This is totally the wrong decision, the worst decision.
All Alike have become.
Or Together — again the entire human race together.
Intentionally demeaning — totally, completely useless. It’s a sum of Zero. Completely of utter worthlessness and use. This is a word used to describe a dung pile, a word for sour milk. You can drink it. Value = Zero. This is like Coke Zero.
No one who does what is good.
We always want to give a caveat of something redeemable. He made the interception that got them back in the game, but he ducked his head - an incredibly elementary skill — that lost the game. What did the score board say? We always try to dress it up. Well, there’s always next year.
Then Paul emphasizes the condition.
NOT EVEN ONE.
13 Their throat is an open grave; they deceive with their tongues. Vipers’ venom is under their lips. 14 Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
13 Their throat is an open grave; they deceive with their tongues. Vipers’ venom is under their lips.
What is down in the well always comes up in the bucket. “I can’t believe I said that.”
What’s strange about this metaphor Paul uses:
“Their throat is an open grave.”
Graves aren’t left up. They are sealed. Can you imagine walking through a cemetery and all the graves were opened? We don’t want to see all the decay and odious foul smell. But this is what mankind is like — an open grave!
44 You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of liars.
Verse 14 — “Their mouth is full of curing and bitterness.”
Speaking judgment and hostility against everyone.
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and wretchedness are in their paths, 17 and the path of peace they have not known.
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood;
Swift — they are sprinting, no hesitation. And there is one goal — to bring death.
They bring destruction to everyone. No life is untouched. Our sin affects everyone around us.
They have no peace within. They don’t live peaceful lives.
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
This is categorically true. There is no taking God seriously, no humility before God, no reverence, no dread of judgment, no sorrow, no dread of hell, no loss of sleep, they are not traumatized.
Before their eyes.
The whole world view. No matter where they live, breathe, walk, think, participate. No matter whether they are at home, at work, on vacation.
Totally Total Depravity
It’s a open and shut case. That’s the verdict.
The gavel comes down — Now we know.
19 Now we know that whatever the law says speaks to those who are subject to the law, so that every mouth may be shut and the whole world may become subject to God’s judgment.
19 Now we know that whatever the law says speaks to those who are subject to the law, so that every mouth may be shut and the whole world may become subject to God’s judgment. 20 For no one will be justified in His sight by the works of the law, because the knowledge of sin comes through the law.
Absolute Certainty here. Whatever the Law says.
The Law reveals the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man.
Every mouth closed.
Irrefutable evidence and Indictment.
20 For no one will be justified in His sight by the works of the law, because the knowledge of sin comes through the law.
This is absolutely conclusive. All are condemned. And you cannot justify yourself by the law.
But it also leads us to the revelation of the remedy.