Thursday, February 11, 2021

The Depth of Sin

"Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips" (Romans 3:13).

Modern people believe that humanity is basically good, with a few flaws here and there. This is not the teaching of the Bible. The Bible teaches that we are pervaded by sin because sin is found at the root of our personal existence. This root of sin is called original sin.

Original sin is not the actual sin of Adam but the consequence of that sin. Adam’s first sin was rebellion against God. The punishment for that sin is death, which is alienation from God and God’s life. All men are born in this estate of death or alienation. Thus, every person is born with a “death nature,” or as we usually call it, a “sin nature.” This condition of death or alienation is the wellspring of all the actual sins we commit in life. For us to be saved, God has to take us from death to life, down deep at the root core of our lives. This is something we cannot do for ourselves; God has to do it to us.

Romans 3:10–18 pictures our heart as a rotting corpse inside a tomb. Our throat is an open grave, leading to the corpse within (v. 13). Everything we are and do stems from our dead hearts. Romans 3:10 says that no one is righteous; that is, no one conforms to God’s standards for His image-bearers. Romans 3:11 says that no one understands God’s holy character because no one wants to. No one seeks to know God; instead we run from Him. We seek peace, comfort, freedom from guilt, meaning, and purpose—but not from God. We refuse to take them from Him.

Romans 3:12 says that no one does good. That is, according to God’s standard, no one ever does anything good. A good deed is not simply a deed that conforms to the law. A good deed must also flow from faith and love for God. Good deeds done in defiance of God, while they may help society in history, do not count in eternity.

Romans 3:13–17 describes the life of man, focusing on his words and his deeds. Finally, Romans 3:18 says that no one fears God. By making us His image, God has built into us the need to be in awe of Him. That people can go through life ignoring God shows the depth of our depravity.

Read Romans 3:10–18 and use it as a prayer of confession. Meditate on each line and consider your own waywardness. Pray through this passage and thereby internalize the meaning of today’s lesson. Pray also that you will not forget what you have learned.