Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Behold His Beauty

as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one;
(Romans 3:10 – ESV)

Man best sees the marvelous beauty of Christ when it is set against the backdrop of sinful humanity, in all its depravity. In Romans 3:10-18 Paul uses quotations from the Psalms (Psalms 14:1-3, 5:9, 140:3, 10:7 and 36:1) and from Isaiah 59:7-8 to support the statements of verses 9 and 10: both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, and none is righteous, no, not one.

This look at the human condition is depressing. What’s the point? The Apostle Paul wants us to understand our complete inability to save ourselves. This is actually a hopeful message, we are hurt to be healed, wounded to be made well, put to death to be made alive. If we see the depths of our sin we can appreciate the magnitude of our deliverance. We must believe that we have the sickness so that we will believe in and take the cure. We see the problem before the prescription.

In looking at each of these six Old Testament quotes Paul doesn't mean that every one has the whole indictment in it, but that taken all together they have the whole indictment. Psalm 14:1-3 (vs.10-12) refers to the Gentile world, while Isaiah 59:7-8 (vs.15-17) refers to the Jews. The point is that the Old Testament declares that Jewish people are sinners and Gentile people are sinners.

No one seeks for God – What about all the religion and rituals and practices from the beginning of time? What about them? If man initiates the search then he doesn’t seek the true God, the God of the Bible. Instead he seeks an idol that he makes himself, as Paul explained in Romans 1. Again, he has already said all of this, now he is using the OT scripture to back it up conclusively. He finishes off with “There is no fear of God before their eyes”.

In Romans 1:18-3:18 we see ourselves, and our whole race. We see our lack of power and our lack of purity. I am not God, and I do not deserve His kingdom. Neither do you. I realize that I deserve nothing from God but His anger, and that I am lost without hope if I do not receive grace from Him. I know this to be true. How about you?

Now having seen what we all are, what about Jesus? That is the whole point isn’t it? Just look at Him here in all His beauty. Yes, against the backdrop of sinful humanity, we see the surpassing glory of Christ! Look at the negative phrases in Romans 3:10-18 again and see Christ as opposed to them in magnificent splendor. Like a diamond set in a black box, His radiance shines all the more brighter.

10 – as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one;
Jesus was righteous; the Bible says yes, He is the only One.

11 – no one understands; no one seeks for God.
Jesus did understand God, the Bible says He is the only One to have seen the Father, and came from Him, and Jesus is His Son. The Bible says that Jesus did seek God. He only did what His Father wanted; He sought Him early in the morning and late at night in prayer, and followed the lead of the Holy Spirit His whole life, even if it meant death.

12 – All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."
The Bible describes Jesus as turning aside to do the work of the Father, turning aside to help others, not turning aside to His own, selfish way. Jesus started out in a manger, but became of more worth to the world than anyone else in history. The Bible says Jesus went about doing good, healing people, and setting them free from oppression.

13 – "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips."
His throat wasn’t an open grave; He called people out from the grave. When He died people sprung forth from their graves, and when He returns we will all come out of our graves. His tongue spoke no deceit and His lips had no poison, His words were Spirit and Life.

14 – "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness."
His mouth was full of praising His Father and His bitterness was sorrow for those that had caused curses upon themselves.

15 – "Their feet are swift to shed blood;
His gave His own feet to be shed blood for those who didn’t even love Him.

16 – in their paths are ruin and misery,
In His path are resurrection and joy.

17 – and the way of peace they have not known.”
Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

18 – "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
Jesus only had eyes for His Father’s will, and for your salvation He said to the Father, not my will but thine be done.

Jesus was like us in that He had human flesh, but He was not like us in that He had no sin. Against the backdrop of all we have seen here, we can surely see that Jesus is the most beautiful, wonderful, marvelous, awesome being in the universe, and He bids us to come to Him. If we receive Him, He will receive us into glory.

In this passage I see my own sin, and I see my only Savior. It is Jesus that I want, it is Jesus that I must have, it is Jesus that will truly fulfill me, it is Jesus that will pay the penalty for me, it is Jesus who will be righteousness for me, it is Jesus to whom I owe my love and my life, it is Jesus who will set me free, it is Jesus who will bring me back from the dead, it is Jesus who will give me eternal life. Jesus is what I need, how about you?


Brian said...

Even so,

Great post on the spiritual depravity of man and the incredible love of God for His fallen creation. I ask this question of my friends(they never like it), if you believe that as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one;" and Jesus grants us His righteousness, than how should that be seen in our walk?

Anyway, it's good to read a thought provoking blog from a friend that I haven't seen in years.

God Bless,

BA from Rockledge

Even So... said...

Good stuff BA...

Wonderful to "see" you again!

Hey, how did you find this blog, and wheere are you at these days?

What a blessing to have you comment here...I have actually had two old friends look me up at this blog this week...God is so good to me...

donsands said...

"Jesus is what I need, how about you?"


"Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all."

Anonymous said...

John Donne also speaks of God's love, expressed through Jesus the Christ:

"Twas much, that man was made like God before;
But, that God should be made like man, much more."

Even So... said...


jazzycat said...

This is a really good treatment of this text. As you know I am doing a devotional series that includes this very passage that I posted yesterday. Mine is just a brief overview where yours provides much meat. Man, you have a lot of energy.

Even So... said...

Wayne (Jazzy's slave), yeah, I did notice that, and good stuff, BTW...thanks for taking the time to comment, sorry I didn't...

donsands said...

Wayne & JD posting on the same passages has been a blessing. Must be one of those holy coincidences.