Sin vs Grace

The Hebrew people were given direct access to the truth of God. Yet, just as the Gentiles exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, so the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob turned form God, causing His name to be blasphemed amongst the Gentiles.
The Jew and the Gentile are the same, both having the same sin-sick heart. The Jews’ spiritual knowledge hadn’t let them to be obedient.
Could the same be said of you and me?

Jesus said in Luke 6:46, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do what I say?” It’s as if he’s saying that just because you sat in class, that doesn’t mean you know how to do something.
The problem is total depravity. Total depravity means to be as bad off as you can possibly be.
Regardless of how we look, our economic status, our color, background, etc. in the end we are all the same: created in the image of God and marred by sin.


1. There is none righteous, not even one
The standard by which our righteousness is measured is not merely the goodness of a very good person, but the unblemished, perfect character of God.
Grace does the work of making us right with God.

2. There is none who understand, there is none who seek God
To understand in this context means to bring together. It gives the idea of someone bringing together the piece of a puzzle to figure it out. Paul is saying no one has put the puzzle together correctly so no one can see the picture.
More than that, no one seeks God out by their own initiative; only when we have no other choice do we turn to Him.

3. All have turned aside and become useless
Peter calls believers to turn away from evil and do good yet we bend away from God. The Lord designed us with certain needs that only He can fulfill. Rather than coming to Him with these needs we pursue fleeting and destructive substitutes.

4. Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips
Paul draws on David’s psalms of lament when he asks God to judge his enemies. To say that one’s throat is an open grave is to accuse him or her of giving destructive advice.
Grace transforms from the inside out and produces the fruit of the Spirit.

5. Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness
Paul draws on another psalm, this time concerning the powerful and prosperous who live completely unaware of judgment.
Grace transforms out speech to blessing. We tend to only think of God when things stop going well. No one seeks God or searches for spiritual insight during prosperity.

6. Their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths, and the path of peace they have not known
I used to teach at a juvenile detention center and there were two groups in there: one who would get out and the other that was buying time to go on to adult confinement.
Those who abandoned hope saw no reason to keep their nature in check, their depravity found complete expression.
Grace produces love for mankind.

7. There is no fear of God before their eyes
At some point in our lives, everyone should experience the healthy fear of God that leads us to salvation.
Grace produces a healthy fear of God that leads to repentance.

Paul concludes the first major section of Romans with a clarification of the law in 3:19-20. It wasn’t that God expected us to live up to it, He knew the outcome from the beginning. The law shows us our problem and need, a need for a Savior that can fix our sin problem.
Pastor Chris Williams
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