All Are Under Sin

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March 16, 2014

Romans 3:9-18

Brian Sayers

Sermon Title: All Are Under Sin

Sermon Text: Romans 3:9-18


MAIN IDEA: Paul presents FOURTEEN CHARGES in his thorough indictment of the human race.


Most people think they are good. As soon as you type guilt in a search engine, there will be advertisements telling us how to get rid of it. We feel guilt over things we say, want, think about it, etc. The fact of the matter is we feel guilty because we are guilty. It doesn’t matter what part of the world or segment of the society you look at, guilt is universal. Sacrifices to placate the Gods, or a spiritual elevation or enlightenment. People know they need to improve.

Paul has told us this people who don’t have the law have a conscience trying to get them to keep the moral code. This is part of Paul’s systematic teaching. All are sinful, now comes the conclusions about sin, guilt and consequences. Before he moves on, he has one more category of people to address (godless, moralist, religious), the people he is writing to in Rome, the Christian. Verse 9, “are we better than they.” Looking at 2:17, Paul consistently uses the pronoun “you” in that section, so the use of “we” in 3:9 means Christians.

There are no other categories, ALL men are born under sin and share the common nature of original sin. We are all guilty as charged.

Verse 9, uses the word, “charged.” The conviction must find its source from Scripture. He is saying it is from God’s Word, “as it is written.” He quotes or paraphrases from at least six passages.


  1. Mankind is universally UNRIGHTEOUS (3:10)

There is none righteous, not even one. Psalm 14. It is gloomy, uncomfortable truth. We are condemned before a holy God. Our innermost being cannot truly admit we are righteous. As Jesus confronted the rich young ruler, there is no one good but God (Luke 18:18-27).

Understanding the word righteous is key to understanding the book of Romans. Righteous means in keeping with God’s character. Some might be better than others, but God requires a standard that is unattainable. Some might do better than others, but no one will make it completely. This is the universal problem every person must come to grips with.

Even the righteousness that we have as believers, any good we might do, is because of the grace of God and His work in our hearts. Our human nature is to be vile.

  1. Mankind is spiritually IGNORANT (3:11a)

 There is none who understands. Man has no innate ability to understand righteousness. When the condition of our nature is untouched by God’s grace, “people walk in the futility of their mind because of the hardness of their heart” (Ephesians 4).

The reality of guilt gives us a series of questions and a point of contact with a lost and dying world. People are searching and groping for truth and a way to alleviate their guilt, but their nature is unable to find it.

The compassion and pity of knowing these things that compels us to tell others of the truth. In Christ, we are given the mind of Christ. For each of these indictments, the charges, will all be dropped for the Christian. Jesus Christ the righteous came to be our advocate and to free us from this.

  1. Mankind is willfully REBELLIOUS (3:11b)

 There is none who seeks for God. There is a diligent effort, seeking, that should be taking place. This is what makes us rebellious. Not seeking after that which we are made to obey and worship.

God overcomes this by His seeking and saving, Jesus came to seek and to save that which is lost. John 6:44. No one seeks God, so, no one can seek God unless God draws Him. Jesus says, all the Father gives me will come to me. Isaiah 55:6. When dealing with people who genuinely are seeking the truth, if they are inclined to seek after the Lord, it has to be because God is working in a person. People don’t normally seek after God.

When reading this, we need to remember we were once like this. It should give us an appreciation for grace.

  1. Mankind is naturally WAYWARD (3:12a)

 All have turned aside

  1. Mankind is spiritually USELESS (3:12b)


  1. Mankind is morally DISEASED (3:12c)

 There is none that does good

  1. Mankind is relationally ROTTEN (3:13a)

 Throat is an open grave

  1. Mankind is habitually DECEITFUL (3:13b)

 Tongues are deceiving

  1. Mankind is deceptively POISONOUS (3:13c)

 Asps are a small snake, poisonous. Like the fangs and venom sack of the snake, our words are often waiting to attack, we throw our head back and strike. It is so easy. Criticisms build. We even applaud “great comebacks” that put people in their place.

The difference between us and the unbelieving world is we as believers are to be repenters.

  1. Mankind is verbally MALICIOUS (3:14)

Mouth is filled with cursing and bitterness. A hurtful desire to see other people get what they deserve. For example, “go to hell.” The attitude to want to send people to hell is wrong. Deep-seated bitterness. Root of bitterness defiles.

  1. Mankind is routinely MURDEROUS (3:15)

Feet are swift to shed blood. There are many war-torn areas of the world. Abortion. Murderous intentions are easily stirred up in the best of us. The source is our desires that wage war in our members (James 4:1-2)

  1. Mankind is miserably DESTRUCTIVE (3:16)

 Destruction and misery our in our paths. Often, we are careless and do this without even knowing. We are so self-absorbed we don’t even know sometimes how we might do this.

  1. Mankind is consistently UNPEACEABLE (3:17)

 The path of peace they have not known. Not likely talking about inner peace, but relational peace. We may even fear the process of pursuing peace. Peace is not an easy thing to pursue, it is emotionally charged and intellectually challenging. Sometimes it is easier to just give up on the process.

  1. Mankind is Godwardly APATHETIC (3:18)

NO fear of God before their eyes. Paul is quoting Psalm 36. There is a sense that every sin we commit is a lack of fearing God. “Transgression speaks to the ungodly with his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes” (Ps 36:1).

It is possible for us to be lacking reverence perhaps in a moment, not as a lifestyle or a belief, but in a moment of sin. For the unbeliever it is a constant frame of mind. If we could constantly maintain a fear of God, we would sin much less.

----------- the above verses lead to this truth,

Romans 3:19 The Law shuts every mouth, every man is accountable to God. Every man is sinful and every man needs the Gospel. We need to understand the depths of our sin and cast that against the backdrop of God’s lovingkindness reaching to the heavens.

We need to see we share the same needy nature as every other human being. We are justified by the gift of God’s grace in Christ Jesus. He who has been given much, loves much. We need to see we have been forgiven much.