In Romans chapter one, we find that all non-religious people are unrighteous before God.
In Romans chapter two, we discover that all religious people are unrighteous before God.
And in Romans chapter three, we see everyone, both non-religious and religious alike, are all unrighteous before God because all have sinned.
We are all unrighteous before God (Romans 3:9-10).
There is not even one person who has ever lived, other than Jesus himself, who is a righteous person...not even one!
All are guilty.
Romans 3:19-20 says that everyone is guilty of breaking God’s law.
The Jewish people had the law written on stone by God and given to them through Moses (Romans 2:12, 13, 17).
They had all sinned and broken the law.
All other people, referred to as Gentiles, had the requirements of the law written on their hearts (Romans 2:14-15).
They had sinned and broken the law.
So everyone in the world has broken God’s law and is accountable to God (Romans 3:19-20).
We are all guilty before God.
We are all silent before God.
We are all sinful before God (Romans 3:23).
God has seen every thought we have had and every deed we have done.
He knows our private thoughts and desires (Romans 2:16), and our public deeds.
There is nothing we can say.
Because we have all broken God’s law, no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by obeying the law (Romans 3:20).
The law is God’s spiritual and moral requirements given to the nation of Israel through Moses.
We know these as the Ten Commandments.
The law is also the spiritual and moral requirements given to everyone else in our hearts.
Both the nation of Israel and everyone else in the world knows right from wrong.
We know lying is wrong.
We know stealing is wrong.
We know adultery is wrong.
We know envy is wrong.
We know coveting is wrong.
We know putting something before God is wrong.
We read it in the Ten Commandments.
We feel it in our hearts.
And, if we are honest, all of us would agree with God by admitting we have all done wrong.
We have all broken God’s law.
We have all sinned.
The good news is that God never gave us a law so that, if we obeyed, he would declare us righteous before him.
He gave us the law to show us how sinful we are so we would receive his grace by placing our faith in Jesus (Romans 3:20; Galatians 3:21).
The law was God’s way of revealing to us our sin so he could release to us his grace.
The law shows us our need for grace.
Romans 5:20 says, “The law was added so that the trespass [sin] may increase.”
The purpose of the law was to increase the sins of people so the story of God’s grace would intersect with the stories of our lives.
The second part of Romans 5:20 says, “But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.”
It is when the story of God’s grace intersects with the stories of our lives that we can really begin to live.
Romans 5:17 and 21 says it is by receiving God’s abundant provision of grace for our sin that we become righteous, empowering us to reign in life, or really begin to live!
The law can never enable us to become righteous and to have and enjoy life (Galatians 3:21), only grace can.
Only God’s unconditional love, unearned blessings, unmerited kindness, and unlimited forgiveness freely, fully, and forever given to us by God in Christ will make us righteous and enable us to have and enjoy life.
This is taken from my book, The Story of Grace. Click below to purchase your own copy.