Description: There is a common misunderstanding that professing Christians have where they believe that the Christian is not righteous. They quote Romans 3:10 as "proof" that they are to just be filthy sinners still and cannot live holy until death (they believe death is their savior). What does the Scripture actually teach in Romans 3 and especially in verse 10?
Brother Hicks Speaking: Hello brothers and sisters, today I want to talk to you about this issue of there is none righteous, no, not one. This is a verse people twist and pervert to live in sin, to live sinful lives because so many people approach the Scripture just looking for excuses for sin, they don’t look for ways for God to give them freedom over sin, through Jesus Christ by His glorious grace.
Romans chapter 3 verse 9 and we’ll go through verse 18. Now people apply this to themselves as Christians, they say this applied to them as a believer, I’m not talking about just sinners but as a believer they say this applied to them. I want to you to see the utter folly and foolishness in such an idea; “What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;” So the context starts off, he is making the point that Jews and Gentiles all are under sin, nothing is being said about a person after they’ve repented and believed the gospel, after coming to Christ. These are people before; he’s laying the foundation; before coming to Christ this is everybody’s state, Jews and Gentiles. Not just the Gentiles, like some Jews thought, “Well it’s just those filthy Gentiles.” No, no, no; Jews and Gentiles both alike are under sin, “as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” Now can a believer actually claim this for themselves, after salvation, “There is none that seeketh after God,” you don’t seek after God anymore? “There is none righteous,” you’re not righteous through Jesus Christ, His blood did not cleanse you from all unrighteousness? His blood left unrighteousness with you, and so you’re not righteous? That’s not what the verse is saying, it’s not applying to believers, it’s applying to people before they come to Christ, that are under sin.
Verse 12; “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
That’s another thing people like to say, “Oh, none of us do good, not one does good,” this is talking about unbelievers, it isn’t talking about believers, unless you want to apply the rest of that stuff to yourself, you can’t apply one little part and say “Oh, the rest doesn’t apply.” Either it all applies to you as a believer or it doesn’t, and the reality is that this passage doesn’t apply to believers at all. This is talking about people before salvation; everyone Jew and Gentile alike is in this state.
[Verse 13-15] “Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:”
Is that you as a believer? Is your mouth full of cursing and bitterness? I seriously doubt it, if you are [then] you’ve fallen from the faith; but a true believer, their mouth isn’t full of cursing and bitterness, “their feet are swift to shed blood.” Is that you? Are your feet swift to shed blood? of course not!
Verse 16 “destruction and misery are in their ways.”
Is that your ways, the Lord hasn’t changed your ways? He hasn’t made you a new creature? Your ways are destruction and misery? Of course not!
Verse 17; “and the way of peace have they not known.”
So a believer does not know the way of peace? Of course not my friends, this is talking about people before salvation, before the work of the glorious Holy Spirit in one’s life, before the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ, not after, it is ridiculous [to suggest otherwise].
Verse 18; “there is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Is there no fear of God before your eyes? My brothers and sisters, so many errors that people walk in today is when they just take one verse, rip it out of context and ignore what it’s actually saying. This passage is just concluding that all men are guilty, all have sinned, all have had these things, they’re all under sin, Jew and Gentile alike; but after salvation it is a completely different issue, and Paul is not dealing with that here, he deals with after salvation, if you want to deal with it, in chapter 6.
Let’s read some stuff about after salvation, after one comes to Christ. We’ll start with chapter 6 verse 7; “For he that is dead is freed from sin.” Does that sound like the person described in chapter 3? Of course not!
[Chapter 6,] Verse 14, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
That doesn’t sound like the person of chapter 3.
[Chapter 6,] Verse 17-18; “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart hat form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”
Remember in chapter 3, it is talking about there is none that do good, they’re all unrighteous, but the believer is a servant of righteousness now.
[Chapter 6,] Verse 22; “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”
That is the bible definition of a believer; a believer is freed from sin, a believer is holy, a believer lives a righteous life. So don’t be deluded and think that you can say “Oh, I am not holy, there’s no one holy, there’s no one good,” and apply these things to a Christian. A Christian has been washed in the blood of the Lamb [1 Corinthians 6:11], a Christian has had the Holy Spirit renew them and make them a new creature in Christ [2 Corinthians 5:17]. A Christian is new, they were those things, but when they came to Christ they became new. Let’s look at 1 John chapter 2 verse 29 real quick.
1 John chapter 2 verse 29 says this, “If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.”
That is the testimony of a believer, they do righteousness, you want to run to Romans chapter 3 and find excuses for not doing righteousness and for saying, “Well we can’t be righteous, there’s none righteous, there’s none good, we’re all evil sinners,” if that describes you in Romans chapter 3, you are not a believer. It that even remotely describes you, you are not a believer, you’ve rejected Jesus Christ, you’ve never come to full salvation, you’ve never experienced His grace if that describes you. That does not describe a believer, a believer does righteousness, because they are born of Him.
1 John chapter 3 verse 3; “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
Are you as pure as Jesus is pure? If you’re not it is because you are not in Him, you don’t know Him.
3 John 11 says this; “Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.”
He that doeth good is of God! See we can do good. When you’re quoting and saying there’s none that doeth good, none is righteous, you are blaspheming the Lord Jesus Christ, when you apply that to a believer. Now, if you were applying that to sinners [then] that is a true statement because that is what Paul is talking about, he is deeming all people under sin, and he’s making that point in quoting that Scripture to make that very point, but that does not apply to Christians. Christians do not fall into that, if you fall into that, like I said, you’re not a believer. You need to repent and believe the gospel. The gospel is not this low standard of living, sin and do all that you want, and “do what thou wilt” which is most people’s belief. That is not a Christian life. Sin is rebelling against God. Sin is hatred toward God. Please repent and believe the gospel. Stop living a false delusional Christian life, a fake professing Christian life and start living a true Christian life, truly Christ-like, truly doing good, truly obeying the Lord Jesus Christ, truly loving him, and loving your neighbour as yourself. May the Lord Jesus bless you.