In Romans Chapter 3, Paul, as a prosecuting attorney, has brought the charge that all the world stands guilty before God. He methodically lays out his case and lists the crimes of which mankind stands accused. He then asks for the conviction,
“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (v.19-20).
When the French infidel Rousseau was questioned about how he would face the judgment at the end of his debauched life boasted, “I will stand before God and defend my conduct.” No, he won’t and neither will any sinner for, “every mouth will be stopped" (v.19).
There are those who think, “Well, I’m not infidel! I believe in God and Jesus. I try to live a good life, so I’m sure, I’ll be fine. I can make my case at the judgment seat.” Really? I think I can shut us all up. Suppose we had a device to record your every thought this past week and invited you to church on Sunday where it would be shown on our video screen. How many of us would show up? How many could explain what rattled around in our heads? Now, extend that to an entire lifetime and include every wrong word we say and every wicked deed we do. God has noted them all and documented them. The evidence against us is irrefutable and damning.
No matter how hard we try to keep God’s laws, we will never meet God’s perfect standard. The Apostle dogmatically states, “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Rom.3:20). The law is like a mirror. It shows us how dirty we are, but has no power to clean us up. The blood of Christ alone can do that.
Paul says we are “under sin” (Rom.3:9), but in Romans 6:14-15, he will speak of those “under grace.” We are in one state or the other. Which describes you?