As we walk through the book of Romans in our discipleship series, being 500 years of Reformation and all, we have come to that point in Romans 3:1-20 where we see quite plainly that there are no exceptions. But that’s very much ok!
In every episode of season 1 in Romans, we have seen again and again that the gospel reveals something, and now we get to the climax of the conclusion on sin and righteousness in chapter 3: the gospel reveals that there are no exceptions. This is what we saw on Sunday, and it was a sight for sore eyes!
Because if we think that there’s no wrong in us, no sin, and that we are the exception to the rule that says there is “no one righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10-12), then we live for a lie. Worse than that, we are actually being bound up by this. For if we think we are the exception, that we aren’t totally depraved in every part of us (at least not like other people), then we are holding ourselves to a standard that binds us to will beat us down.
The truth is much more refreshing. I am not an exception, I am a sinner. You too. For real.
The law of God, the evidence of my life on show for others to see, all point out that I am not an exception. I am totally depraved in every part of my mind (Romans 3:10-12), my actions (Romans 3:12), my words that are the overflow of my heart (Romans 3:13-14) – every part of me, and all of us in society (Romans 3:15-18). And whilst you might think this is bad news (and we need to know the bad news to see how the good news is so good), then see this: it’s ok!
For if I can admit what the Bible says is true of me, that there is none righteous – including me, then I will find forgiveness of sin, and freedom from being bound to a standard I cannot keep.
It’s ok, there are no exceptions. Actually. Just a minute, there is one, and his name is Jesus.
For just when we see that the judgment of God means every mouth is stopped and the whole world is held accountable to God, including me (Romans 3:19), and then we see that Jesus Christ is the one who: ‘was oppressed, and afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth’ (Isaiah 53:7) – we see that Jesus was silent for me, for you.
Where I should have stood and faced judgement, Jesus stood instead and faced what I deserved and didn’t open his mouth to defend himself – so I could be in the clear. What Jesus does is exceptional.
We’re a church in Bendigo that gathers at 52 Hamlet Street on Sundays, 10.30am in the Quarry Hill Hall, all are welcome!