All Are Under Sin

Key Verse: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
—Romans 3:20

Selected Scripture:
Romans 3:9-20

PAUL STRESSES THE FACT that all members of the human family are guilty of being sinners. However, during Old Testament times the Heavenly Father recognized Israel in a special manner, by means of a covenant he made with that nation. Gentiles, on the other hand, were considered as aliens and strangers, apart from God. “Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”—Amos 3:1,2

Those individuals born of Jewish parentage received the “oracles of God” through prophecies, symbols, types and admonitions contained in the Hebrew Scriptures. They were greatly advantaged, even though their lives were not in conformity to the intent of those inspired writings. God is faithful, infallible, and righteous. Thus, any reasoning employed in an attempt to justify sinful human conduct falls far short of God’s absolute standards of holiness.—Rom. 3:1-8

Paul also refutes the concept of innate Jewish superiority above Gentiles. “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. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips.”—vss. 9-13

A major thrust of Paul’s argument is the need for acceptance of Christ’s ransom sacrifice as it pertains to both the Jews as well as the Gentiles. Israel was especially favored by God from the time its national existence commenced at the death of Jacob. Yet, being imperfect, they were unable to meet the demands of the Mosaic Law. Conversely, the Gentiles failed to live in accordance with the law of their conscience. Thus, neither group could be justified by their deeds, but all were guilty before the standard set forth by the righteous Heavenly Father.—vs. 19

Our Key Verse thus silences the mouths of every individual. Without the provision of divine mercy being applied to remove past disobedience and present guilt, God’s righteousness would forever condemn Adam and all of his descendants. The Heavenly Father lovingly provided his Son to be “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”—John 1:29

May we whose eyes have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit proclaim the great truth to all who may have a hearing ear that the sacrificial death of Christ has opened a new and living way. With the completion of his church, blessings will flow to all people so that ultimately sin may be eradicated. Thus, the earth “shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord,” They shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord.”—Isa. 11:9; Jer. 31:34