All Have Sinned
All Have Sinned
All Have Sinned
All Have Sinned
9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.
10 As it is written:
“There is none righteous, no, not one;
11There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
12They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
13“Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
14“Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
15“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16Destruction and misery are in their ways;
17And the way of peace they have not known.”
18“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
No one is righteous
Paul concludes, using quotations from the Old Testament, that both Jews and Gentiles are in the same situation. All have sinned. For Jews, the law has merely shown them the full extent of their sin. If they think otherwise, they are adding pride and self-deception to their long list of failings.
The gospel answer
But now Paul comes to the good news. Forgiveness and peace with God are freely available through Jesus Christ.
Knowles, A. (2001). The Bible guide (1st Augsburg books ed., pp. 568–569). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg.
. That the Jew Is Shut Up under Like Condemnation with the Gentile Is Proved by His Own Scripture.
9. are we better than they?—“do we excel them?”
No, in no wise—Better off the Jews certainly were, for having the oracles of God to teach them better; but as they were no better, that only aggravated their guilt.
10. As it is written, &c.—(; ). These statements of the Psalmist were indeed suggested by particular manifestations of human depravity occurring under his own eye; but as this only showed what man, when unrestrained, is in his present condition, they were quite pertinent to the apostle’s purpose.
13. Their, &c.—From generals, the apostle here comes to particulars, culling from different parts of Scripture passages which speak of depravity as it affects the different members of the body; as if to show more affectingly how “from the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness” in us.
throat is an open sepulchre—(); that is, “What proceeds out of their heart, and finds vent in speech and action through the throat, is like the pestilential breath of an open grave.”
with their tongues they have used deceit—(); that is, “That tongue which is man’s glory (; ) is prostituted to the purposes of deception.”
the poison of asps is under their lips—(): that is, “Those lips which should ‘drop as an honeycomb,’ and ‘feed many,’ and ‘give thanks unto His name’ (; ; ), are employed to secrete and to dart deadly poison.”
14. Whose mouth, &c.—(): that is, “That mouth which should be ‘most sweet’ (), being ‘set on fire of hell’ (), is filled with burning wrath against those whom it should only bless.”
15. Their feet are swift to shed blood—(; ): that is, “Those feet, which should ‘run the way of God’s commandments’ (), are employed to conduct men to deeds of darkest crime.”
16, 17. Destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace have they not known—This is a supplementary statement about men’s ways, suggested by what had been said about the “feet,” and expresses the mischief and misery which men scatter in their path, instead of that peace which, as strangers to it themselves, they cannot diffuse.
18. There is no fear of God before their eyes—(): that is, “Did the eyes but ‘see Him who is invisible’ (), a reverential awe of Him with whom we have to do would chasten every joy and lift the soul out of its deepest depressions; but to all this the natural man is a stranger.” How graphic is this picture of human depravity, finding its way through each several organ of the body into the life ():but how small a part of the “desperate wickedness” that is within () “proceedeth out of the heart of man!” (; ).
19. Now we know that what … the law—that is, the Scriptures, considered as a law of duty.
saith, it saith to them that are under the law—of course, therefore, to the Jews.
that every mouth—opened in self-justification.
may be stopped, and all the world may become—that is, be seen to be, and own itself.
guilty—and so condemned
20. Therefore by the deeds of—obedience to
the law there shall no flesh be justified—that is, be held and treated as righteous; as is plain from the whole scope and strain of the argument.
in his sight—at His bar ().
for by the law is the knowledge of sin—(See on ; ; and ).
Note, How broad and deep does the apostle in this section lay the foundations of his great doctrine of Justification by free grace—in the disorder of man’s whole nature, the consequent universality of human guilt, the condemnation, by reason of the breach of divine law, of the whole world, and the impossibility of justification before God by obedience to that violated law! Only when these humiliating conclusions are accepted and felt, are we in a condition to appreciate and embrace the grace of the Gospel, next to be opened up.
. God’s Justifying Righteousness through Faith in Jesus Christ, Alike Adapted to Our Necessities and Worthy of Himself
Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, pp. 227–228). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.