Study of Romans 3:9-20

No One is Righteous

Rom 3:9  What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; 
Rom 3:10  as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; 
Rom 3:11  THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; 
Rom 3:12  ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.” 
Rom 3:13  “THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING,” “THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS”; 
Rom 3:14  “WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS”; 
Rom 3:15  “THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD, 
Rom 3:16  DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS, 
Rom 3:17  AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN.” 
Rom 3:18  “THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.” 
Rom 3:19  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; 
Rom 3:20  because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. 

v9-12 – Paul here is equating the Jews and the Gentiles regarding their position with God. He states, and rightfully so, that both Jews and Gentiles are under sin. He then quotes David from the Old Testament, “For the choir director. A Psalm of David. The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good.  The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God. Psa 14:3  They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.” Psa 14:1-3. And “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God,” They are corrupt, and have committed abominable injustice; There is no one who does good.  God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there is anyone who understands, Who seeks after God.  Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.” This is not simply His opinion. This is what God’s Word says. This is what the Old Testament, the Bible and Holy Book of the Jews said.

v13-18 – He continues quoting from the Old Testament, pointing to both the Jews and Gentiles. “There is nothing reliable in what they say; Their inward part is destruction itself. Their throat is an open grave; They flatter with their tongue.”  Psa 5:9. “They sharpen their tongues as a serpent; Poison of a viper is under their lips.” Psa 140:3. “His mouth is full of curses and deceit and oppression; Under his tongue is mischief and wickedness.” Psa 10:7 “For their feet run to evil And they hasten to shed blood.” Pro 1:16. “Their feet run to evil, And they hasten to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, Devastation and destruction are in their highways.  They do not know the way of peace, And there is no justice in their tracks; They have made their paths crooked, Whoever treads on them does not know peace.” Isa 59:7-9. And finally, “Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart; There is no fear of God before his eyes.” Psa 36:1. This is a horrible picture of mankind, but unfortunately accurate. We should not attempt to water down this image. We all think and act this way at times.

v19-20 – Paul here is summing up his argument and his case against the Jewish people. However, he has broadened his discussion to include all people because neither are keeping the law, whether it be the Mosaic law or the law written on the heart, that being the Gentiles. “For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.” Rom 2:14-16. He then ends this section by declaring that no one is justified by the law. The Law cannot justify you or save you, it can only show you your need for justification and salvation.

Go Forward to Chapter 3 Part 3

Go Back to Chapter 3 Part 1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *