Today’s Reading: Romans 2:25-3:8 (additional reading: Psalm 11:1-7 & Proverbs 19:10-12)
I am sure you have cause some time to go to the doctor. I want you to imagine that you have gone to the doctor and he does a thorough examination and he says ‘you are in poor health.’ He diagnosis a long list of ailments and says to you ‘thank you for calling, good morning and have a nice day.’ What would be your reaction? You would say ‘have you not forgotten something doctor?’ ‘Are you not going to do something for me?’ It would not take us long to change our doctor. When we go to the doctor we want not only the diagnosis but also the cure. That is why we go in the first place.
No one goes to the doctor just for the sake of going. We usually go because we have discovered there is something wrong with us. We do not feel well or something like that. In verses 19-20 Paul points out to us the means by which our problem has been discovered or revealed. Our problem – SIN. From 1.1-3.20 Paul has been consistently pointing out to the church at Rome that man is dead in his sin. Not only is man dead in his sin, he is powerless to do anything about it. It is a truly hopeless situation. It is like a flower – we cut it and it looks beautiful in the vase, but eventually cut from the source of its life it withers and dies. The problem for us all, Paul says, is that from the moment of birth we are withering and dying due to sin. We are like the flower – sin has cut us off from the source of life and as a result we are dead men walking.
Look at what Paul says in verses 19-20. The Law of God stops us from speaking in our defence and it holds us all to account before God. There are 613 laws in the OT. 613 that we are expected to keep perfectly. Let us reduce it to the 10 commandments – kept them perfectly? Okay let us reduce it to the two which Jesus gave in answer to the teacher’s question: Which is the most important? To love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and to love your neighbour as yourself. Kept them?
God says to us through the Apostle Paul and this letter to the Romans – you are helpless in your sin. You are powerless in your sin. Your sin has the stink of death and the pallor of death.
Paul says in verse 21 ‘But now…’ Did you catch that? ‘But now…’ Something has been done to change the situation. From 1.1-3.19 the picture is black and bleak ‘but now’ light breaks into this darkness. Hope springs forth into this helpless and hopeless situation. The doctor says there is a cure – and what fool would not want the cure. Paul says God intervened. When we were dead in our sins God intervened.