What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE. THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING, THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS; WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS”; THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD, DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS, AND THE PATH OF PEACE HAVE THEY NOT KNOWN. THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES.” Romans 3:9-18 (NAS)
Well, we’ve bit off a pretty good sized quote of Old Testament Scriptures directed by the apostle Paul to the Romans. His inspired citation of various passages is culled from the book of Psalms (six passages) and Isaiah (one).
From Psalms, the passages cited are found in chapters 14:1b-3 and 53:1b-3 (a repeating of Psalm 14 with minor differences), these verses are quoted in Romans 3:10-12; parts of Ps.5:9 and 140:3 cited by the apostle are combined together forming Romans 3:13; Ps.10:7a is quoted in verse 14; and Ps. 36:1b is referenced in verse 18. The quote lifted from Isaiah 59:7-8 is found in Rom. 3:15-17.
Most of the Psalms from which the apostle Paul quotes were penned by David, a man of faith who looked around himself and saw a paucity of righteousness not just among the pagans, but among his own countryman in Israel! The same was true for the prophet Isaiah in his time, sent to call the rebellious, idolatrous, and self-deceived house of Judah back to God.
Most of the passages noted by Paul are quoted in part, but together they reflect the tarnished and corrupted image of man victimized by the deceitfulness of sin. The apostle Paul used these passages to point out the universality of sin, be one a Jew, or a Greek. Indeed there is none, not even one, save the Lord Jesus Christ, that sin has not deceived and blinded.
Sin veils the mind and begets the big lie
The ravages of sin are many, as evidenced by the apostle Paul’s litany of its effects as spotlighted through Old Testament inspired writers. The deceptiveness of sin produces fools, and corresponding foolish thoughts and actions. This principle is communicated clearly in the book of Proverbs, written and preserved initially for the benefit of the people of God, the physical nation of Israel.
In the context of the quotes lifted by Paul from Psalm 14 and Psalm 53, is this statement that conveys the big lie. “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ ” (Ps. 14:1a, 53:1a) This in spite of overwhelming evidence of a Designer and Creator of everything about them. Having bought into the big con of Satan, they are now darkened in their understanding (Rom. 1:21; Eph. 4:18)and held captive to do his will (2 Tim. 2:26).
Once sin has wormed its way into the heart (either the mindset of an individual or a nation), it isn’t long before they’re denying there’s any authority above themselves. Why? Because more often than not there doesn’t seem to be any immediate repercussions for their actions. This then begets the next big lie, that they’ll never have to answer for their actions. “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” This condition, according to the Proverbs, is a condition they’ve chosen because “they hated knowledge”, fell for the lie, and “did not choose the fear of the LORD.” (Prov. 1:29) Read through the Psalms and you’ll see that idea communicated consistently. Psalm 2 gives a view of the nations raging against the idea of a God that confines their behavior under a moral code holding them accountable to the eternal King. Psalm 73 addresses the issue of the “good life” lived by the wicked while the righteous look on asking when the payment for their wickedness will be recompensed.
Ok, lets suppose that’s just the “Gentiles”. What about those that claim to be God’s people? Well, didn’t the Jews do the same thing as the Gentiles? Sure. When they rebelled often there wasn’t immediate reprisal so they fell victim to the same deception and before long there was “no fear of God before their eyes.” What about those who claim to be “Christian” yet deny the authority of the word of God. Aren’t they declaring there is no God? Yeppers. Why are they doing it? Same reason. Instead of putting the Bible to the test and allowing it to be proven true, they chose to be self-deceived, not seeking for that knowledge, believing they won’t have to answer for their actions. “There is no fear of God before their eyes” either. These lies fit securely within Satan’s original deception— “You surely shall not die” (Gen. 3:4)
No God and no reprisal for one’s actions is then reinforced through the deceitful spirit of the teaching of uniformitarianism. The result is “mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.’ ” (2 Peter 3:3-4) This clever deception by Satan, coupled with evolutionary teaching that denies the Creator for an unexplained “creation” via a ridiculous, chaotic big bang theory that somehow produces order (another successful doctrine of demons), veils the mind so that simple truths aren’t able to be appraised and understood. The result is a stunting of peoples’ desire to seek for God, turning aside to myths and other sundry devilish distractions. Next week part 2.