Agonizomai: Romans Chapter 3 - Universal Corruption<br>Man's Corrupt Heart

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Romans Chapter 3 - Universal Corruption
Man's Corrupt Heart
No fear of God before their eyes

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Romans 3:18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

The litany of sins in Chapter 1, we may recall, started with a refusal to acknowledge or to thank God. (Romans 1:18-23). This is simply a repetition of that assertion in different words. Just as the refusals in Chapter 1 led ultimately to “utter lostness” in the “proliferation of every imaginable evil” – so we see that the refusal to fear (honour, respect, worship) God is at the base of man’s corrupt deeds, words and character. The fundamental flaw is man’s heart, and all else bubbles up like so much hot and smelly black pitch from this core.

End Note

Paul has said it many ways. Can there be any doubt that all of mankind is given to the imagination and the commission of every kind of evil, upon which the wrath of God rightly and justly abides. No one is exempt – not Jew, not Greek, not other Gentiles; not the poor, the rich, the smart, the dense; not the “good” the bad the “responsible” or the reckless. All men are corrupt to and at the core. Paul has preached it and proved it. Will we believe it? And will we, in turn preach it?

This brings us to the end of Paul’s treatise on man’s depravity. It is long, heavy and depressing – but it is necessary. We need to know the depth and the horror of sin – of our sin – or we shall never understand the glories of God’s grace. It has been pointed out that if we truly knew the blackness and the depravity of our own carnal hearts it would fill us with a terror so intense that it would be unbearable. If you are praying for revival, bear this in mind – that conviction of sin as powerful as that hinted at here usually accompanies any genuine move of God. It is then that you will begin to know holy fear, and through it catch a real glimpse of holy wisdom.

Praise the Lord that we are now coming to the good news. The bad news we now know, and the good news is about to be revealed. Perhaps we will see a little of John Newton’s relief as he penned this…

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.


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