THE STRASBURG CHURCH OF CHRIST
Strasburg, VA

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Minister - Pete Stone
(540-481-0317)

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PO Box 321
467 Aileen Avenue
Strasburg, VA 22657

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WHY WAS A PLAN OF SALVATION NEEDED?

(Continued)

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In Romans 3:9-20, Paul quotes a passage from Psalms 14:1-3 and Isaiah 53:1-3, to show the Jews that they were not better than the Gentiles. They were sinners just like the Gentiles were:
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one...
Paul does not mention the statements found in the second verse of both Old Testament passages, but they are important:
The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
But He found none! Such was the depth of spiritual degradation into which God's chosen nation had fallen!
But, why did Paul bring that up in the First Century A.D.? Because the situation wasn't much better then than it had been centuries earlier! Paul doesn't mean that literally "no one had chosen to seek God and serve Him. He meant that most had not. Therefore, He says to Israel, "Do not think you are any better than the Gentiles whom you have long despised, for you are not!"
The clause, "there is none that doeth good" is found five times in scripture (Ps. 14:1, 3; Is. 54:1, 3: Rom. 3:12). This would have been enough to prove Paul's point in Romans 3, but he went. However, the Apostle continues to list of twelve specific sins that Israel had committed and confirmed each with Old Testament references (Coffman). These sins are grouped into two sections. The first section contains sins against their relationships with God (Rom. 3:10-12):
  1. None that understands.
  2. None that seeks after God.
  3. All gone out of the way.
  4. Together become unprofitable.
The second section contains sins against fellow man (Rom. 3:12-18):
  1. Their throat is an open tomb.
  2. With their tongues they have used deceit.
  3. The poison of asps is under their lips.
  4. Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
  5. Their feet are swift to shed blood.
  6. Destruction and misery are in their ways.
  7. The way of peace have they not known
  8. There is no fear of God before their eyes.
The first class of sins is headed by the words, "There is none righteousness, no, not one," from Psalms 14:1 and 53:1, the second by the words, "There is none that does good, no, not one," from Psalms 14:3 and 53:3.
Thought question: Do these sins exist today?
Just a few verses later (Rom 3:23), Paul writes, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God..."
Now, contemplate Paul's dire definition of "the wages of sin: "For the wages of sin is death..." (Rom 6:23).
(Continued on Page 3).

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Sunday Bible Study: 9:30
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5:00
(Singing at Greenfield Senior Living, 14 Maynard Ln., (540) 298-6835, even-number months, 6:30 pm.)
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