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All the World is Guilty Before God

  The theme of the book of Romans is that the gospel is the power of 
God to salvation to everyone who believes it. (Rom. 1:16). Paul having 
set forth the theme then shows that all need the gospel because all
have sinned. In Romans one he shows the terrible sins of the Gentiles
makes them worthy of death. In chapter two he shows that the Jews, 
even though they had the law, yet they broke it and thus sinned. By
inspiration he then states,  "What then? are we better than they? No,
in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they
are all under sin" (Rom. 3:9). In Rom. 3:19 he states that every mouth
is stopped and all the world is guilty before God.  We are all guilty
because we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. 
  1. What is sin? might well be asked. Sin is Transgressing the law of
God. "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is
the transgression of the law." (I John 3:4). This means law in its 
fullest sense, not the law of Moses, but the Will of God and 
particularly to us the law of Christ. Also "Therefore to him that 
knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin." (James 4:17). 
So going beyond the commands of God or coming short of doing the 
positive commands of God are ways men sin. The word, "sin" in the 
Greek is "Hamartia" which is defined as missing the mark, to err, to
trespass, to sin, to offend. The last part of Rom. 3:23 is that men
"come short of the glory of God." We might try in ourselves to be
righteous but we come short of the mark of God for us.
  2. What is sin doing to us? Because of our sins we are separated
from God. "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God,
and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." 
(Isa. 59:2). The last part of I Pet. 3:12 states, "but the face of the
Lord is against them that do evil." So sin causes men to be out of 
fellowship with God so much that their prayers are not answered and
they are in a lost condition. Gentile people were told that they had
no hope and were without God in the world (Eph. 2:12). In Romans 2 
the Jews were told the same things. 
  3. There is no way for man to save himself. It is not in man that 
walketh to direct his steps (Jer. 10:23). The way that seems right to
us ends in death (Prov. 14:12). Paul is a good example of a man who 
tried really hard to save himself by following as closely to the law
as he could. His struggles are pointed out in Romans 7. He came to the
conclusion, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the
body of this death?" (Rom. 7:24). The answer was not in himself but 
in Christ. 
  4. God has in love stepped in and provided our salvation through 
Christ.  He speaks of us as being made righteous or being justified 
without the law of Moses being manifested (Rom. 3:21). This 
righteousness is bestowed by "faith of Christ Jesus unto all and upon
all them that believe" (Rom. 3:22). Also, "Being justified freely by
his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:24).
Some have concluded from these verses that salvation is by faith alone,
but they are mistaken. Faith means trust, conviction, and is coupled 
with obedience. We are justified by faith when that faith leads us to 
repent, confess Christ and be baptized (Acts 2:38; 8:37,38; Mk. 16:16).
Notice in Romans 3:24 that redemption is in Christ Jesus. How do we 
get into Christ Jesus? "For ye are all the children of God by faith 
in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ
have put on Christ." (Gal. 3:26, 27).  Also in Romans 6:3 it is stated
that we are baptized into Jesus Christ and into the death of Christ.
Man is by no means doing it for himself when he by faith repents and
is baptized for the remission of sins. He is trusting God for the 
promises and acting upon that trust. Christ is set forth as 
Propitiation and we must believe that his blood is the sufficient 
price for our sins. It is by this faith that we arise and are baptized 
to wash away our sins in the cleansing blood of Jesus (Acts 22:16).
We must trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus
but to trust and obey. This is justification by faith. "Therefore
being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord 
Jesus Christ" (Rom. 5:1). Guilty man is thus made righteous.  


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