Are You Better Than Other Sinners?

In Romans chapter 3, Paul gives a vivid picture of the lostness, blindness, and inability of humans in their natural state to respond in faith to the opportunity for salvation.

All of us sin.  No one is righteous enough before a Holy God to earn his own salvation. So, all of us are not righteous. You and I are no better than the rest of the sinners.

God Uses the Unrighteous

God uses even the unrighteousness of man to accomplish His work and bring praise to His name. Judas’s betrayal of Jesus is a perfect example. Part of the way God glorifies Himself in man’s sin is by righteously judging that unrighteousness.  Paul understood that God would judge the world, both Jew and Gentile. The Jews of Paul’s day figured that God would condemn the Gentile for his sin, but save the Jew despite his sin.

But God rightly condemns anyone who twists the glorious free gift of God in Jesus into a supposed license to sin.

But God rightly condemns anyone who twists the glorious free gift of God in Jesus into a supposed license to sin.

Romans 3:9 says the Jewish person is no more right with God than the pagan or the moralist. Our being under sin speaks of our slavery to sin, literally meaning “sold under sin.”  Paul is regarding sin as a tyrant ruler so that sinners are “under sin’s dominion” and cannot break free.

Everyone is under sin. The application of Romans 3:9 means that you are no better, under God than the rest of us sinners.

Romans 3:9

Romans 3:9-23 makes it clear to everyone that no one is righteous enough before a Holy God to earn his own salvation. If anyone wishes ever to be saved and to receive eternal life, he must, first of all, recognize himself as a guilty sinner before God and, in fact, dead spiritually, in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). Some modern pastors, counselors, and evangelists seem inclined to bypass this essential point in trying to enlist converts, and this a dangerous, soul-destroying error.” 1

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In conclusion, consider what the Daily Bread email message sent on 1/24/2005, 8/29/2008, and 5/31/2023 says,

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Romans 3:9 – What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; (NASB)

All of us sin.  In Paul’s letter to the Roman believers, he notes, in Romans 5:20-21 and throughout chapters 5 and 6 of Romans, that sin seems to have human characteristics and a personality of its own.  And sin is a controlling force in human lives – a force that is irresistible until co-resurrection with Christ dethrones it.  Fallen humans have a natural inability to achieve the righteousness that God calls for, whether called through His written law or our natural conscience (Romans 2:12-15).  Christ secured, through obedience, the gift of righteousness for us (Romans 5:12-21), which is: received through faith (Romans chapter 4); judicially based on Christ’s substitutionary atonement (Romans 3:21-26); and the fruit of assured hope (Romans 5:1-11).

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  1. Morris, Henry, The New Defender’s Study Bible (Nashville, TN: World Publishing Inc, 1995 and 2006) pg. 1705.

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