Crazy Grace: Bad News for “Good” People (Romans 3:1–20)

2 Doctors – 1). mask consequences 2). make changes

I got defensive, made excuses, raised objections, & he educated me

=God Great Physician – Rom. 1-2 spiritual checkup sinner; Rom. 3. answers us


Objection #1: There is no benefit to church involvement.  

Romans 3:1-2 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.

  • Jew/Gentile – racial/cultural tensions & their version of Jim Crow laws
  • God blesses His Word (not people groups)
  • For:                  A. Life                          B. Eternal Life
  • Back to the Bible survey (400k people) = The Power of 4 Effect

? Bible:1). Perfect from God 2). Imperfect from people 3). Mix 1-2 you/scholars choose

Objection #2: I know lots of hypocritical believers. 

Romans 3:What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”

  • Some people are faithful to God, others are unfaithful to God
  • God is faithful to His word – believers saved, unbelievers judged

Objection #3: It is unloving and unrighteous for God to punish people.

Romans 3:But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) By no means! For then how could God judge the world?

  • I want God to deal with them, but not me
  • God judges 1). Cross (Jesus pays) 2). Hell (you pay)

= Accept Jesus who trades wrath for righteousness

Objection #4: If God works it all out, he should not be angry with me.

Romans 3:But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.

  • The ends justify the means
  • We do bad, God does good, we excuse our behavior as part of God’s plan.


Total Depravity

Romans 3:[nature] What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11  [mind] no one understands; [motive] no one seeks for God. 12  [will] All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; [deed] no one does good, not even one.” 13  [word] “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” 14  “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” 15  [body] “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16  [emotion] in their paths are ruin and misery, 17  [soul] and the way of peace they have not known.”

1.    Nature – evil/sin is not just what you do, but who you are

2.    Mind – intelligence used to war against God not worship God

3.    Motive – seek gifts not Giver; God is the seeker (Adam Garden, Jesus came to seek lost)

4.    Will – Jesus is “the way”, first believers called “The Way”,

5.    Deed – God’s good deeds are 1. internal & 2. external

6.    Word – heart a grave stench, asp – deadly (like rattler & killed Cleopatra by suicide)

7.    Body – Will Durant 3421 yrs recorded history 268 w/o war, abortion #1 cause death (essent)

8.    Emotion – unhealthy & burden/harm others

9.    Soul – Peace – don’t know Prince peace, have peace w/God, bring peace of God

Total Depravity

·         7 OT quotes – string of pearls

·         All People – “all”, “none”, “no one”, “every one”, “no human being”

·         All of A Person – infected/affected by sin (pollution in water)

·         VS Utter Depravity

1. Conscience (Rom. 2)

2. Death (Rom. 5)

3. Law (Rom. 13)

-Imagine you with unlimited resources, no restraints, no consequences (shadow side)

The Fall & Sin

1. The fall & sin alone explains life on our planet.

2. The fall & sin alone gives us our dignity back.

3. The fall & sin alone give us the basis for human equality.

Sin in Bible – rebellion, folly, self-abuse, madness, treason, death, hatred, spiritual adultery, missing the mark, wandering from the path, idolatry, insanity, irrationality, pride, selfishness, blindness, deafness, a hard heart, a stiff neck, delusion, unreasonable, and self-worship.

  • Sin includes omission and commission
  • Sin includes thoughts, words, deeds, and motives
  • Sins are deeper than Cosmic crimes

4. The fall and sin teach us about evil people to protect women & children.

The World                   vs                    The Word

I am good                                             God alone is perfect

I decide right/wrong                               God defines right/wrong

I blame external systems                       God blames internal sin

I rebel against authority                          God rules with all authority

I deserve tolerance                                God deserves repentance

I am a victim                                         God and others are my victims

I accept myself                                      God forgives me

I love myself                                          God loves for me

I make myself better                              God makes me new

Bad News for “Good” People

Romans 3:18  “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.


For God, look from His view, empathy for Him

  • Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom – start there – 1. Who is God? 2. Who am I?
  • Good people don’t think they need God
  • Judgment day = silence w/o excuse, blame, or defense
  • Systemic blame, cultural blame, genetic blame, parental blame,

Our Sinful Rebellion is Catastrophic

Haiti – normal was hellish

1. Demons damned 2. Humans dead 3. Earth cursed 4. God dead 5. Hell filled

Good News for Bad People

Romans 3:21-22 But…Jesus Christ!

  1. I am all wrong, but Jesus Christ makes it all right!
  2. I am unrighteous, but Jesus Christ is my righteousness!
  3. I am worse than I can imagine, but Jesus Christ is better than I can fathom!
  4. I am my problem, but Jesus Christ is my solution!
  5. I am God’s enemy, but Jesus Christ calls me friend!
  6. I am a child of the Devil, but Jesus Christ made me a child of God!
  7. I am under the wrath of God, but Jesus Christ put me under the love of God!
  8. I am a sinner, but Jesus Christ is my Savior!
  9. I am dead, but Jesus Christ makes me alive!
  10. I am headed to hell, but Jesus Christ is taking me to Heaven!

This sermon from Romans 3 tells how even those who believe they're good are actually bad without God's intervention in their lives.
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