Our passage was Romans 3:5-20, which is probably the most stinging indictment of human nature in all of Scripture. We. are. depraved. and we don't like to hear the truth about how sinful we are. We will fight it to the core but we must understand this first step of the gospel before we can truly be saved. Paul is answering the human-nature driven questions his readers may have from the previous passage about every man's falleness, Jew or Gentile.
Verses 5-6: "But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.)" In struggling against God's righteous judgment we ask how can God judge me if my life is being used to glorify Him? If I'm helping God out by furthering His purposes, albeit while sinning, how can he inflict His wrath on me, the instrument? Vs 7-8: "For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?" Paul says, "Your logic is so skewed! You are always twisting and turning the guilt of the sin away from yourself and putting it on someone else!" He takes this argument to it's logical end and answers the fool according to his folly by saying(vs 6), "For then how will God judge the world?" If we apply this standard of "Someone else made me do it, I had to because of such and such, it's my parents fault they didn't raise me right, if my environment had just been different (for philosophy students, Freudian thinking), etc" then we have to apply it to everyone in the world. But we all know someone (obviously ourselves, but we're thinking we're an exception to this right now) who is obviously very guilty and we know it was their fault they sinned. We aren't willing to say that person shouldn't be blamed and punished and that helps us understand we aren't any different from them.
Deception is making ourselves out to be an exception. The "yes, buts" and whitewashing of our sins is our whole problem. We are always thinking ourselves better than others (especially true for us good homeschooled kids). Paul goes on to demonstrate from the Old Testament (so this ain't new stuff he's preachin') that sin reigns (Romans 6:12), has dominion (6:14), and that we are slaves to it (6:20) before we are saved.
(I'm not going to paste the passage in here, but grab your Bible to follow along if you wish)
- Verses 10-12 of chapter 3 reveal man's general character and conduct - there is none righteous, no not one. Human nature is so depraved we don't even seek God without Him first doing a work in us. No onetries to reach God in his fallen state. Sin reigns in our lives and we do nothing truely good.
- Verse 13-14 addresses our speech. "Out of the heart the mouth speaks". Unregenerate, we are all influencing each other to not seek God. "Their throat is an open tomb"- a pit of death to fall into. 13b says the speech of the unbelieving is like venom, slowly poisoning it's listeners. We must be aware of how much the world is speaking to us and not allow it to influence us away from seeking God.
- Verses 15-17 discusses the philosophies of depraved man. There are thousands of false theologies and wrong thinkings, all bent against God. Until you beat. your. chest. and realize it is you in your very core who is guilty for your sins, not your environment, or someone else, you have not been to the foot of the Cross. We must know our guilt.
There are basically three views to the problems humanity has- 1) Palaginism, nothing is really wrong because man is basically good- 2) Man is basically sick and can be cured from within. Whatever is wrong with him the right in him can cure- and 3) Man is dead. Not flopping in the ocean waiting to be saved, able to be thrown a life-preserver that he just has to grab, but sunk to the bottom of the ocean, lungs filled with water, all life gone and completely dead. This last one is total depravity.
Yesterday after church we attended a beautiful Choral concert in town. Such a pleasant afternoon and these pictures were taken at nearly 6pm- gotta love day light savings time! I love this skirt and have worn it many times here on the blog before. Today I chose to pair it with light blue since that was the only tank I had clean. :P I wore super sparkly light blue and gold earrings to tie the light yellow of my skirt and blue together.
Shirt: Gift from grandma (gotta love that!)
Tank: JCP ($3)
Skirt: Thrift store ($3?)
Earrings: Forever21 (1.80)
Unseen silver sandles: Payless ($10)
Well, I have a huge computer work project to help my dad with this week, so I'll see y'all sometime! Praying the power doesn't go out in this thunderstorm...