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Bible Study Notes

Romans 3:9-20

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
We are all alike under sin
We are all alike under sin, there are no excuses
 
General Idea:We humans have the natural tendency to play the blame game and refuse to accept responsibility for our actions, beliefs and even our life. We want to do as we please, so we do not see, nor want to see the long-term consequences for our actions. We live for the here and now with our nose firmly planted in our desires and expectations. Then we become unable or unwilling to see the big picture of what life is all about. Thus, when we experience life's traumas from our own misdirected decisions, we go to God and blame Him. We have to learn responsibility; we cannot hide behind the church or the law for the Jew. We have to come to the realization it is all about what Christ has done for us; therefore we need to live our life in response to what He has done for us.
 
This passage is telling us that everyone is condemned because of sin; no one can ever escape it. No one since Adam and Eve was ever born right, that is why we have to be born again (John 3). We also have to see God as pure and just and we are not even close. If you live as you please, be aware that one day there will be an accounting and all of your excuses that may have worked in the past will be withered up, before His presence.
 
1. God is just in His wrath. We cannot go to Him and say, I am a good person and do not deserve this... We all deserve death and Hell, but by God's grace through our faith we can be with Him, saved for eternity!
 
a. We are all guilty before Him. There are no favorites with God unless you accept His free gift. No one person is better than another, by religion, race, creed or what you have contributed to society. No works can help you excel in His acceptance only by what Christ has done!
 
b. We cannot stand before God and bargain our way to heaven, we have no righteousness.
 
c. When we do accept Christ, we should have to desire to please Him and excel to benefit society and His glory.
 
d. We have no reason or basis to complain.
I. We tend to always focus on the "why"; why did God allow this or that to happen. However, God desires us not to focus on the why, for He is sovereign.
II. He wants us to focus on the "who" and the "what". That is who Christ is, and what His will is the "what". When we focus our lives, beliefs, and will upon Him, then the "whys" fall away.
III. Because it is not a question of why bad things happen to us, but what we have to learn from them, and to grow to be better in character and strength for His purpose.
 
2. There is no value in relying on our heritage and rejecting the truth and practice of the faith.
 
a. The law is to point us in the direction that we are all sinners and need a Savior.
I. Our faith is not a cover over our sin and unrighteousness, Christ is!
II. Do you argue about your heritage and take pride in what you have done? Your focus needs t be on Christ! If it is on who you are, then you have proven Paul's point. We need to learn to keep our mouth shut and open your heart to Him!
 
b. We are totally lost and helpless without Christ!
 
c. God cannot or will not save you unless you admit your sin and your guilt. If you do not realize the impact of sin then you have not realized the impact of Christ!
 
d. God cannot save us until we yell 'uncle', or actually I'm guilty, I'm a sinner please forgive me! That is why we must confess and realize our guilt before His holy presence.
 
3. Paul uses classic "Pearl Stringing" a literary devise that was common for a Rabbi's sermon and is heavily in the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is stringing a bunch of various Scriptures to make your point.
 
a. The ends do not justify the means.
 
b. We must not live one lifestyle and believe we are in another.
 
c. We must not rationalize our behaviors and form excuses to cover our tracks. Because God will uncover them, since He sees all.
 
d. Paul uses the OT passages to prove his point that this is not coming from him but God, so take head (I Kings 8:46; Psalm 5:9; 10:7;14:1-3; 53:1-3; 130:3; 143:2; Proverbs 20:9; Eccles. 7:20)!
I. These passages all use body parts as illustrations, as Paul does with most of his main illustrious. The Greeks and Romans were very physically centered and this would have grabbed their attention very well.
II. The Jews counted 248 body parts and believed that the body ruled the evil impulses of their will and others believed our evil will ruled our body, so they can claim "my body made me sin" and not take personal responsibility for sin. Thus, Paul is grabbing their attention too.
III. When you see the phrase, "as it is written" in the Bible it is usually a quote from the OT in the case of the NT. Or in the OT a quote from another book, prophet or saying. Some of the OT books that the Bible refers to, such as "The Anneals of the Kings in I & II Kings and I & II Chronicles is a book no longer in existence. However this quote is alive and well in Psalm 10:7; 14:1-3; 36:1; Prov. 1:16;Isa. 59: 7-8; Ecc. 7:20.
IV. This phrase also refers to the authority and importance of Scripture.
 
4. We cannot be justified by the law, because it is designed to reveal and show us our sin, and not to justify it!
 
a. This means there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, no pious approach or works to earn merit, no heritage to rely on, and no church to embrace. Nothing can replace your need for the Gospel of Christ!
 
b. One of the Law's purposes is to show our need for a Savior, as we can never live up to God's standards!
 
c. God will reveal your Sin and He will wash it away. The question is, will you allow Him to proceed?
 
d. Many Jewish teachers taught even with the law we still needed God grace.
 
e. By Paul pointing out that Jews needed grace like Gentiles he was also dispelling the main arguments between the Judaizers and the converted Roman Christians.
 
f. It is good to do all we can do to benefit each other, but remember these woks do not save or help your cause for God's love and acceptance. He already loves you, but you have to be willing to claim your guilt of sin so He can wash you clean. If you do not see that the clothes are dirty, you will not wash them. We all are dirty and we all need to be washed in His Blood (Eph. 2:8-9!
 
We must realize the impact of sin in all aspects of society and all aspects of our lives. If we do not see sin we will not see Christ. Because we will fail to realize our need for His cleansing. We have to be cleansed before we can help others understand and undertake Christ cleansing (Matthew 7:1-5). With this mindset we will realize that we are all under the same tent of offence, all in the same boat named peccadillo, we are all the same in Christ or outside of Christ. There are no favorites. We will realize our hypocrisy and pride and how we come across to others. We have no basis for pride. We will see Christ as who He is and be so overruled He affects all of us all of the time!
 
Questions:
 
 
1. What is the best excuse you ever came up with?
 
2. What kind of things have you blamed others for?
 
3. How do you feel when someone refuses to accept responsibility for their actions?
 
4. How do beliefs rule our life?
 
5. What happens ultimately when we do as we please?
 
6. What do you see as the long-term consequences for your actions? (both good or bad)
 
7. Do you or do you know people who live for the here and now with their nose firmly planted in their desires and expectations? If so what will be the result of their life 5, 10 and 20 years from know?
 
8. What can we do to see the big picture of what life is all about?
 
9. Why do people blame God when bad things happen because of the result of their miss directed decisions?
 
10. How do we learn responsibility?
 
11. How and why do some Christians hide behind the church and refuse to grow close to Him?
 
12. What is the realization that Christ has done for us?
 
13. How do we live our life in response to what He did for us?
 
14. Do you see God as pure and just and you are not even close?
 
15. How is God just in His wrath?
 
16. Why can we not go to Him and say, I am a good person and do not deserve this...?
 
17. How are we are all guilty before Him?
 
18. What can you say to a person who thinks they live a good life and will be able to bargain their way to heaven?
 
19. Why do we have no righteousness?
 
20. Why do some Christians complain a lot?
 
21. What can we do to focus ourselves with the correct attitude?
 
22. When bad things happen we tend to always focus on the "why"; why did God allow this or that to happen and so forth. Why do we do that?
 
23. How can we get over our distress by only focusing on the way?
 
24. What does God want us to focus on?
 
25. What is the "who" and the "what" we are to focus on?
 
26. How do we learn when bad things happen to us?
 
27. How do we grow to be better in character and strength for His purpose?
 
28. Can this happen by just reading it out of a book? Or does it require experience too? Why or why not?
 
29. Why do we have to confess and realize our guilt before His holy presence before He can save us?
 
30. What do we keep our mouth shut from?
 
31. Why is there no value in relying just on our heritage?
 
32. Why do some Christians place their confidence in their denomination or church and reject the truth and practice of the faith?
 
33. What does the law point us too?
 
34. How and why do some people and even Christians live one lifestyle and believe they are living another? Can you think of an example?
 
35. Why must we not rationalize our behaviors and form excuses to cover our tracks?
 
36. What can you do to make sure your attitude is Christ centered in regards to blame and responsibility?
 
37. Draw up an argument to defend the Biblical position of 'original sin'.
 
38. What can you do to prepare yourself for being a person who takes responsibility for your actions? Especially when bad decisions come back to bite you?
 
39. How does grace come into play with our bad decisions?
 
40. What can you do to be committed that there is nothing you can do to earn God's favor outside of Christ? How would that affect your witnessing and personal attitude towards life?
 
 
Theological thoughts:
 
"Total depravity" the T in T.U. L I. P. This is a doctrine of grace. It means all people have been 'effected' by sin. It does not mean we are as bad as we could be, because the Holy Spirit is the great restrainer. Thus nothing good can come from us to please God. This is also called 'original sin'. (1 Cor. 15:42-49; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:24; Phil.. 3:20; Col. 3:10) Growing in faith, education and commitment will prevent sin's practice, but it is still there. When we reject this essential doctrine what we are doing is in fact saying we have no need for a Savior. This is what the Universalist and Unitarian Churches believe.
Calvin speaks a lot on the 'civil good', that is our good deeds; however, this cannot please God, it is by what Christ has done through faith that pleases Him. We cannot seek God either, thus "seekers" is not a Biblical term, God seeks us.
 
"Hyper-Calvinism", is a false doctrine that emphasizes divine sovereignty "to the exclusion" of human responsibility (Calvin taught more on our responsibility than any other subject!). To call it "hyper-Calvinism" is something of a misnomer. It is actually a rejection of historic Calvinism. Hyper-Calvinism entails a denial of what is taught in both Scripture and the landmark Calvinistic creeds. This is minimizing the moral and spiritual responsibility of sinners. It emphasizes irresistible grace to such an extent that there appears to be no real need to evangelize; that Christ may be offered only to the elect. It has 5 aspects associated with it: 1. Denies that the call of the gospel "applies" to all who hear, OR 2. Denies that faith is the duty of every sinner, OR 3. Denies that the gospel makes any "offer" of Christ, salvation, or mercy to the non-elect, "denies that the offer of divine mercy is free and universal", OR 4. Denies that there is such a thing as "common grace," OR 5. Denies that God has any sort of love for the non-elect.
 
 
(Condensed from "Walking by Faith: Impressions from the book of Romans," by Richard J. Krejcir ã 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003)
 
 
 
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