Day 5

Guilty as Charged

from the Romans reading plan


Romans 3:1-20, Psalm 14:1-7, Ecclesiastes 7:20

When I was 18 years old, I was accused of a crime that I didn’t commit. In the course of affairs, I had to take a lie detector test—which I apparently failed. I was devastated. I felt guilty, even though I wasn’t. It was one of the worst experiences of my youth.  

The great irony is that I was guilty of many worse things than that for which I was falsely accused and subsequently penalized. I have revisited that experience from time to time when I consider all that the Scriptures have to say about our sinfulness before God. God’s Word is universal in the scope of its testimony about the sinfulness of humanity when it says, “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10).

The Apostle Paul went to great lengths in Romans 1 to set out the catalog of sins that mark the Gentile world, which includes our own. Whether it is the sexual sin and idolatry that is widespread among the nations (1:18-27), or the more general sins that mark the day-in and day-out lives of unbelievers (1:28-32), there is manifold evidence of the absolute pervasiveness of the depravity of all humankind.

Of course, when we hear such an indictment, there will always those who will say, “I’m not like that. I don’t do those sorts of things. I’m not that bad.” The Apostle anticipated such objections from those he knew so well—his own countrymen! When he brings the entire Jewish nation before the divine tribunal in chapter 2, he explains that when they condemn others for sin, they must remember that they, too, are guilty of functionally practicing the same things (2:21-24).

In chapter 3, the Apostle goes on to set the entire world before the all-searching eye of God, thus leveling the the playing field. Paul explains that God gave the Law so that “every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (3:19). Weaving together a number of statements from the Psalms (Psalms 14:1-3; 5:9; 140:3; 10:7; 36:1), Paul explains that every part of man has been affected by sin. References to the throats, tongues, lips, mouths, feet, and eyes of men are illustrative of the fact that every part of man has been corrupted. “There is no one who seeks God” (Romans 3:11).

Coming to terms with the extent of our guilt before God is part of coming to see our need for Christ. Apart from the grace of God in Christ, we are spiritually hopeless, helpless, and powerless.

Thanks be to God that He seeks and saves sinners.

Written by Nick Batzig

Post Comments (9)

9 thoughts on "Guilty as Charged"

  1. Michael Paul says:

    Lord, we need You. Every hour we need you. Please change our hearts. Make us righteous because we are not righteous apart from Your work of transforming us. Teach us to seek You. We must see and acknowledge our sin in order to know our deep need for You. We must be intentional in seeking You from a place of deep need for You that we may discover all the more just how sinful we are apart from You. In this inconsistent and messy tug-of-war state; we are daily, hourly, and by each moment transformed into the likeness of Christ. May we renounce sin and proclaim Christ, the righteous one! -AMEN

  2. Michael Lansdowne says:

    Romans 3:10-12
    10 as it is written:
    “None is righteous, no, not one;
    11 no one understands;
    no one seeks for God.
    12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
    no one does good,
    not even one.”

    These are tough verses to read. But when you think about the truth behind them what can you say. We live in a world full of sin. Everyday is a battle or a fight to stay in the light. The worst part is that our own ability and strength won’t get it done. We must rely on God which can be so challenging at times. The harder we try to “do it ourselves” without God the more mess we find ourselves in. I just pray for a heart that is open to God. That I may always look to Him first even when I think I can handle the situation. Everyday I grow more and more grateful for the opportunities to be a better person. Thank you for your protection, patience, guidance, and love for my family and myself. In Jesus name, Amen.

  3. George Paz says:

    Lord, help me to understand the depths of my sin. Shed the light on those sins of mine of which I am unaware and cleanse me. Sanctify me. Humble me. May I never brush away “little sins” as if they were insignificant to you.

  4. Chris Greenwood says:

    15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
    16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
    17 and the way of peace they have not known.”
    18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

    My heart is so grieved by the plight of the parents of the 10 month old baby in England on this day. We truly live in a world that lives out the very words of Scripture.

    God, you are the one who makes a way where there is no way. I would ask that you do so once again. May your grace be shown when we so clearly deserve judgment. In Jesus Name. Amen.

  5. Adam Jones says:

    I pray that my heart will not be prideful to not think of myself as a sinner. I sometimes get caught up thinking about how good I have done and how my marriage, job, and life are going better than the other sinners right now. I pray that I realize that I’m a sinner. Not one man in righteous. I am depraved and cannot save myself and have to rely on Christ.

  6. DES says:

    I struggle with this passage as it is one that was a great focus for a significant portion of my life. A skewed focus. For too long I focused on my depravity and my unworthiness and did not recognize Gods redeeming work. Did not speak the truth that God spoke. Did not willingly confess the beautiful truths that God speaks. Truths I can’t contradict about my value and worth. And yet, it is an important thought. One I cannot completely disregard. It is so important to reflect and remember where God has brought us from. What our worth is without the one who has called us worthy.

    Lord, thank you for adopting us. Thank you for choosing us. Thank you for loving us.

  7. Drew Patrick says:

    Amazing that he made the law to show us how wicked we all are

  8. Trevor Gartner says:

    I learned that God is independent of humans, even His own people the Jews.

    I learned that I am a sinner and that it is not a unique quality. That I by my out power are completely helpless. I cannot find God on my own or even with help. It is Him alone that saves.

    The law comes to quiet our mouths, that we might not try in vain to explain away our sin. To make us stare deeply and sordidly at the law seeing our innate transgressive heart.

    And in that, Gods abundant Grace and love. Still quiet, but a deeply and fully different feeling.

  9. David says:

    It has been all too real to me lately the effects of the pervasiveness of sin. My words have been all over the place (in a very bad way) my eyes have been far from the “lamp” of my body. I have been unfaithful to the eternally faithful God. I deserve nothing good from His hand and yet He gives. These passages bring a timely and healthy reminder of my deep brokenness and wickedness and my need for the grace of God made available in the Lord Christ Jesus.

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