An exposition of Romans 3:9-18. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, September 6, 2009.
Sermon Outline »
Jim and Bob were avid basketball fans. Basketball was their passion. They played year around and if they weren’t playing they were attending a game. Often they wondered if there was basketball in heaven. They concluded that there must be – how could heaven be heaven without basketball? One day Jim dropped dead of a heart attack. Three months after the funeral, Bob was in the stands watching the local college team play. Something happened that reminded him of his friend Jim. As Bob remembered fondly the good times they shared, he noticed someone had taken the empty seat next to him. As he turns – he couldn’t believe his eyes – it was Jim! “Jim – you’re back. I can’t believe it. How is it? Of course it’s great – but I gotta know. Jim is there basketball in heaven?” Jim answered, “Well Bob there’s good news and bad news. The good news is yes there is basketball in heaven! The bad news is your starting at guard on Thursday!
Life is often a good news / bad news proposition. Good news can only be fully appreciated in light of the bad news. We are living in a time when people just do not seem to appreciate the good news of the Gospel. There seems to be a number of people who do not understand that the good news is good news! An alarming number of folks do not seem to understand the need of good news. Oh, its true enough that people are not perfect – but then none of us are. And of course you don’t want to see anybody die an atheist but if they “believed in God” well that’s good right? Oh – they rejected Christ, they never saw the need to commit their life to Christ or to God for that matter – but they believed he was there. As long as you believe in a general god – and live a good life – it’ll be okay? Won’t it? Well let’s let the Word of God answer that question. Let’s see what God had to say on the subject.
Text: Romans 3:9-18
The apostle Paul was writing to the church at Rome. He had never been there but was hoping to come and preach the Gospel there. He was writing to the church a letter of introduction. This is the message I’m preaching. This is the Gospel I’m declaring. In the book of Romans we have the most detailed outline of salvation found in scripture. Paul spends the better part of the first 3 chapters detailing man’s need of salvation. It was needed in the first century, it is desperately needed here at the end of the 21th century.
Society has come to believe in the inherent goodness in man. That is not exactly the biblical picture. Instead the biblical picture is that of a helpless, hopeless rebel.
The scene of Romans 3 is a courtroom. Man, as the defendant, is called before the judgment bar of God. God himself is the prosecuting attorney. We have before us God’s indictment of the human race. This is God’s case against us. You can put your name here in Romans chapter 3. If you were to stand before God on the basis of your character, your lifestyle, your “goodness” this is how it would go.
The message comes through loud and clear:
Thesis: Man, apart from Christ, stands condemned.
Three charges are leveled against us. There are three reasons for our condemnation.
- Man stands condemned because of his evil nature. (3:10-12)
Verses 10-12 list 3 character flaws within each of us, left to ourselves.
- Man is unrighteous. “There is none righteous, no not one.”
- Man is unresponsive. “No one seeks God.”
- Man is unrepentant. “All have turned aside.”
- Man stands condemned by his wicked ways. (3:13-17)
Paul lays out 2 categories. Our words and our deeds.
- Our words – 13-14.
- Our deeds – 15-17
- Man stands condemned because of his total disregard for God. (3:18)
This is the root of the problem. That’s the bad news.
Here’s the good news – Romans 3:23-24.