Romans 3:9-26 – Pastor Kody Alvarez
The Bible tells us we’re not perfect. We don’t have to pretend, but we are to to live in truth. We are not saved by good works but by the grace of Jesus Christ. Through Him, we can live a righteous life.
In Romans 3:9-26, we see that righteousness is not found in man. This passage quotes laws and scripture in the Old Testament, the most comprehensive collection you’ll find in the New Testament. Paul uses the Law to explain that no one can do enough good.
“What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written:
‘There is no righteous person, not even one;
There is no one who understands,
There is no one who seeks out God;
They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good,
There is not even one.’
‘Their throat is an open grave,
With their tongues they keep deceiving,’
‘The venom of asps is under their lips’;
Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness’;
‘Their feet are swift to shed blood,
Destruction and misery are in their paths,
And they have not known the way of peace.’
‘There is no fear of God before their eyes.’
Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law none of mankind will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes knowledge of sin.
But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, but it is the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith.
This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in God’s merciful restraint He let the sins previously committed go unpunished; for the demonstration, that is, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
Everyone is under sin. Sin before God requires one thing and one thing alone, and that’s the wrath of God being poured out on us. The free gift that has saved us is Jesus Christ. It’s up to us to receive Him and live for Christ. Therefore, there are two types of people in this world: the righteous and the unrighteous.
Today, we try to solidify our salvation and walk with Christ with other things. It might be good works. Or you think taking the Lord’s Supper or going to church will do it. If you follow all the laws in the Bible or do good works, you’re righteous. But we are imperfect, and it is impossible. If it were up to that, we would be doomed to hell.
Righteousness is Only Possible Through Christ.
The Bible tells us all who put their faith and trust in Him will be saved. You will be saved if you call out with your mouth and believe in your heart. Today is the day of salvation.
We read in Romans that we are justified. That’s incredible. Even though we sinned, Jesus has cleansed us like it was never done before. Imagine being pardoned: you would be forgiven and receive grace, but still guilty. Jesus absorbs that guilt and sets you free. Christ has paid our debts.
Christ gives us the gift of redemption. He redeems us from our sins. It means to pay in full. We have been paid in full by the blood of Christ.
Jesus Changed Everything.
What’s different about the New Testament is propagation: removing sin. It’s the removal of wrath. In the Old Testament and on the Day of Atonement, they would come and pour the blood of a sacrifice on the Ark of the Covenant. The Ten Commandments is the lens through which God is judging His people. So when He puts the lens on, He sees sinners who deserve His wrath. Jesus changed it all, and now His sacrifice is what has saved us for eternity.
The Bible tells us that there is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood, and the blood of the divine was shed. Jesus is the great high priest in the Book of Hebrews, and He went into the Holy of Holies— He was the sacrifice.
With Christ, there is no wrath for your sin. It has been paid for. So let’s stop pretending like we’re not sinners. We are far from perfect and sinless.
Recognizing Our True Source of Righteousness
Let’s say I’m a brand new believer, and I walk into a room where everybody is dressed nice and smiling. Nobody deals with anything. Nobody has any issues. What is celebrated is replicated, right?
So what am I going to do? It is time that we start being honest about who we are. We’re people that don’t have wrath, but we still sin.
Imagine Paul, in prison, reviews his life and calls himself the biggest sinner of them all. One of our church fathers who advanced God’s Kingdom felt this. I feel like I did worse!
Paul’s point is that we are very far from righteousness and only Christ who gives it to us.
I want you to love God more. I want you to love Jesus more. But to get there, we need to realize that our lives belong to Him. We are not sinless. We are entirely dependent on the salvation of Christ. In Him, we are clean.