June 7, 2012 – Devotion Sharing (Romans 3:1-20)

Submitted by James K. from Gracepoint Berkeley Church

Analysis of the Text

Think about what this chapter says about:

–        The universal need for salvation

As verse 9 states clearly, all people, no matter their background, their ethnicity or tradition, are under the power of sin.  Apostle Paul also goes through scripture to clearly show that no one person is righteous, not even one.  That all have turned away from God and that no one seeks to do good.  Ultimately in the end, there is no fear of God.

In addition, Apostle Paul has to deal with an argument that sinning brings out more of God’s goodness and truthfulness.  People were even asking if they could sin so that God’s righteousness could be advanced and shown in a greater light.  Looking at this kind of viewpoint by the audience that Apostle Paul was addressing shows the kind of heart that didn’t get the gravity of sin and the need for salvation.  All the more, the universal need for salvation becomes clearer when people were looking to exonerate their own sinfulness by seeking to sin more and think that this would actually improve their own standing with God.

–        The total inability of man to attain righteousness by obedience to God’s laws

Apostle Paul argues that the law is there remind people that no one can ever adhere to all the laws and is there to simply show that all are sinful before God.  Man tries to cover up their sins by somehow thinking they can be able to follow all the rules and laws that God decrees so that they can somehow attain righteousness.  People somehow try to win God’s favor by seeking to be a rule keeper, trying to find ways to work around a fact that never changes about them.  The law is something that has never changed and never will.  The fact that we are sinful beings is a clear identity before God that can never be changed.

Personal Application

Write out some points of personal application from today’s text.  

When I think about today’s passage, I think about how my default mode is to just see myself as an overall good person.  Objectively when I look at my life, it looks like I have lived as a model citizen and “good” person.  I have a stable job, I have a family with one child and do my best to serve both faithfully.  I go to church and serve, am able to teach from the bible, and seek to serve the needs of other people around me as faithfully as I can.  I look at how I view myself and see that I just want to paint myself into a good light.

However, digging just a little deeper into my own heart, I know that just beneath the thin surface of my exterior, there is a truly ugly and horrific sinner who is just able to show what is on the outside.  When push comes to shove, I can be dishonest to benefit myself.  My ego and pride can get so out of control that I can so easily just hurt the people around me with just my attitude and demeanor around them.  I am selfish in how I interact with people, how I want to spend my time, and who I want to spend my time with.  I am just naturally a lazy person both mentally, spiritually, and physically.

I know that the place of true peace and joy I have attained in my life is knowing that I am this kind of sinner not only occasionally but on a daily basis.  I know that the times I have felt the closest to God is when I just admit these things about myself reflecting on real life events, confession of what motivates me, and daily just spending time in God’s word and seeking to dig deep into my heart to uncover more about myself.  No amount of serving more, doing “better” with my behavior or actions can ever cover up the fact that in the end, I am a sinner, condemned by the law and destined for death and eternal separation from God.  But all the more I am able to see the incredible nature of the Gospel and the fact that God makes it possible that my sin is not the final story to tell about my life.  That even when I am this kind of a sinful person not only to people but especially before God, I am still able to have a personal relationship with God and that I can be able to serve Him in some way.

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