(Article for publication week of 4-25-2012 AD)
“…. There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). We have seen in our previous articles that God requires a perfect righteousness to dwell in His presence. He is too holy and righteous and just to allow anything, or anyone defiled into His heaven. God also is determined to punish sinners. His law is inflexible, and God will not quit being God, so He must of a holy necessity execute his divine Justice.
Our text this week puts us all in a terrible plight. God requires us to be righteous, but we are unrighteous. There is not one of Adam’s race that is righteous. We are all condemned by God’s law. “There is NONE righteous, no, not one.”
Our condemnation is threefold. In the first place, we are all condemned by the Fall of Adam. In Romans 5:12 we read, “wherefore as by one man, sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned.” Then in the 19th verse we read, “by one man’s disobedience, many were made sinners.” Then in I Corinthians 15:22 we read, “in Adam all die.” God created Adam and appointed him as the federal head of the whole human race. When Adam sinned, he plunged himself and his whole race (which was in him seminally) into sin and degradation. The whole human race stands condemned and totally depraved as a result of Adam’s sin. And so our text says there is none righteous, for we lost our righteous standing before God when Adam sinned.
Secondly, we are condemned because we are sinners by nature. The Psalmist mourned in Psalm 51:5, “I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” David confesses that he had a sin nature the moment he was conceived. (By the way, this verse is solid proof that life begins at conception since David acknowledges a sinful human nature as soon as he was conceived.) When Adam sinned, he became a sinner by nature, and passed his nature on to all his descendents. You have a sin nature, because you have sinful parents, who had sinful parents all the way back to the human father of us all, Adam.
Thirdly, we are condemned because we are sinners by practice. We come forth from the womb speaking lies (Psalm 58:3). A child does not have to be taught to do wrong- he inherently knows that, but has to be taught to do right. We are natural born sinners, so we start sinning as soon as we are born.
This is the sad plight of all mankind, under the just condemnation of a thrice-holy God Who is determined to execute His vengeance upon cosmic criminals. Man is not basically good, he is totally depraved and lost world without end. Dear reader, you have a terrible sin problem that condemns you eternally before God unless some Way be found to justify you before God. The Way is in the Second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Federal head of a redeemed humanity. There is none righteous among men, but there is One Who is all righteous, the eternal and coequal Son of God Who recovers us from the ruin of Adam. May the Lord grant you faith to believe in Him for justifying righteousness.