Paul, as a prosecuting attorney brings the charge against all humanity in Romans 3:9, “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.” The word “charged” is a judicial term meaning to “press formal charges.” The charge is made that all the human race—“all are under sin.” This is the universal condition of every person. They are under the power and penalty of sin. Sin dominates us on earth and dooms us in eternity.
R.C. Sproul, in his commentary on Romans, makes this observation:
“When we are succeeding, we say that we are ‘on top’ of things. With respect to our performance of obedience before God, we are not on top; we are underneath it, and the law hangs like the Sword of Damocles over our necks.”
To make a statement like this is to meet with shock and even hostility in our culture! We are told that people are basically good and that with the right environment, economics and education that the human race can evolve toward utopia. So, you want proof that people are inherently evil? Just affirm these truths to self-deceived sinners and their angry reaction will demonstrate what lies beneath. It is often like kicking a hornets’ nest.
In the next verses of Romans three—which we will examine over the next few days—Paul brings the series of indictments of our heinous crimes against heaven and humanity. He will make his case with clear and compelling evidence. The world will stand guilty at the judgment bar of God.
What I need is a good defense attorney! I too am a sinner and apart from Christ hopelessly lost. Thankfully, I have One who has never lost a case: “And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1b).