A List of Terrible Things about Us if We Need Them
What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”
“Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
That all sounds pretty awful, doesn’t it? Paul is taking quotes about all of mankind from all different parts of the scriptures to show that even the people that think they are righteous are part of a family of people that aren’t. For a huge part of church history, the message of a group of Christians is dead-set on telling people how awful they are. Yes, there were times where Jesus called people “white-washed tombs” and other terrible things, but that was in a specific context. They were people who had hardened their hearts with pride, self-righteousness, powerful religion-based arrogance, and condescension towards anyone that struggled with sin.
If we find ourselves in that spot, then we need to read this section of Romans over and over again until we fall to our knees in repentance. If we aren’t currently in any of these states, we can’t forget that we once had the potential to be. The point that Paul is making regarding the Jews is that none of us can ever think that we are Holy and Righteous just because of the family we’ve been born into.
A lot of us know we are all of the things on this list. If that’s you, don’t panic. Jesus came and makes you righteous. If you read through that list and don’t think it applies to you, don’t panic, Jesus came and died so that you could be holy and righteous too. Even if you are deluded into thinking you aren’t a dirtbag without Him. Whatever family we were born into, Jesus loves us and desires to know us.