Agonizomai: Romans Chapter 3 - Universal Corruption<br>Man's Corrupt Deeds - Part 1

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Romans Chapter 3 - Universal Corruption
Man's Corrupt Deeds - Part 1
Feet - swift to shed blood

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Romans 3:15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood..."

I won’t repeat the scripture that calls murderers those who get angry with their brother without a cause. This is as good as shedding blood. But there is no shortage of evidence from history and from contemporary times of mankind’s bent for murder.

As I write this (2004), there is in the Sudan, an ethnic cleansing of “Christians” by the Muslim Arab government. Thousands are dying through village bombings and even more are being forced into starvation. A few years ago the Serbs and Croats, and then the Serbs and Kosovites went at it with unspeakable horrors being committed. Murder, genocide, rape and torture were rampant. Serbian leaders encouraged it. It was actual policy.

In the 1970’s there arose in Cambodia a man named Pol Pot who caused the killing of millions of non-conformers to his particular ideal of a communist state. Children were put in charge of deciding who should be summarily executed and who should live. Little babes who should have been in school or in the playground became a terror to the adult population, wielding guns and murdering a whole generation.

Seventy years or so ago, a man arose in Germany who led a whole nation into war and the genocide of the Jews, ending in 6 million of them being exterminated like insects. Dreadful and inhumane experiments were done on little Jewish children. Another 20-30 million people died in the war that finally stopped him and his followers.

Stalin is thought to have “eliminated” as many as 20 or 30 million people. Communist China and Burma (now Myanmar) have persecuted, imprisoned and executed countless people for nothing more than contrary opinions. Genocide in central Africa was all over the headlines throughout the 1980’s and 90’s.

In every large city in America and throughout the world thousands die every year from murders of all types – whether robbery related, so-called crimes of passion or even just the homicidal mania of psychopaths and sociopaths.

In our nice, civilized, comfortable homes, where we can be desensitized by watching “pretend” murders on live TV and on video, we are insulated from, and numbed to, the full horror of murder. We can watch the news and see the annual murder count for our city rise one at a time with a sort of hypnotic indifference, tinged with a bit of moral outrage to make us feel superior.

Do we think it is only that some are guilty and not others? Yes, some do the crime and they must do the time (or pay the ultimate price) – but are the rest of us better than they? The Bible says we are not. Whatever it is that kept you and me from being exactly like them is only the grace of God. Do you really believe this? Or do you still justify yourself by thinking you have made better choices?

Don’t you see that in a world where all choices are fashioned and presented by the sovereign hand of God, where all restraint upon human depravity is through the operation of His Spirit – that there is no cause for boasting in yourself? Almost forgotten today is the old saying, “There but for the grace of God go I!” The truth is that the veneer of our civility is brittle and thin. Thank God you have not done murder, but never think that you owe your restraint to yourself.

If you can accept this, then you can truly have compassion on a murderer and still know why he must suffer punishment. You can pray for his soul and condemn his deeds, because you know that you would be just as guilty as he is if God had not intervened.

Was mankind not swift to shed the blood of the Son of God? Was it just the Romans and the Jews who were there at the time that killed Him? Didn’t you want Him dead, too, when he was preached to you? Didn’t you want to shut Him up so that you could continue in sin? Not you, eh? Too good? Then aren’t you glad now, that He died? If He didn’t die there is no salvation for you or anyone, so aren’t you glad He died? And isn’t wanting someone dead the same as killing them?

It’s a dilemma. Who wants to admit that they want the Son of God killed? Yet this is what we must come to if we are to be saved by Him. If we do not lay our hands upon the head of the sacrifice for sin {Leviticus 4:29} then there is no atonement. We must accept the responsibility for our sin, including the death of Christ, before atonement is made, and His righteousness can be attributed to us. And the reason it can be attributed is that, in the moment we admit what we wanted and what we are, then He assures us that He laid down the very life we murdered. He gave it freely, thus making our murder of Him an atoning sacrifice through faith.


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