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CMF eZine


The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship.


Author: Bob Flynn

Bob Flynn was born and raised in Los Angeles County, California.  He is the son of a watchmaker and jeweler.  He spent 23 years in the Navy where he enjoyed flying on the P-3 Orion as a flight engineer and serving as a manager in aircraft maintenance.  He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Nancy, for 49 years and they have two grown sons.  Bob came to the day of salvation as an adult while caring for his mother as she was dying of cancer.  Bob joined the Christian Military Fellowship in 1981 and served as Local Representative and then later as President of the governing Counsel.  Upon retirement from the Navy, Bob was called to serve on the staff of CMF as the Coordinator of Ministries, later Chief Operating Officer, and now President and Chief Executive Officer.  His undergraduate and graduate university studies include business management, human resource management, church ministries, Biblical studies, and information technology management.


Romans 3:23 - Everyone is Short of the Mark

Rom 3:21-26

Must guilty man remain under wrath? Is the wound for ever incurable? No; blessed be God, there is another way laid open for us. This is the righteousness of God; righteousness of his ordaining, and providing, and accepting. It is by that faith which has Jesus Christ for its object; an anointed Savior, so Jesus Christ signifies. Justifying faith respects Christ as a Savior, in all his three anointed offices, as Prophet, Priest, and King; trusting in him, accepting him, and cleaving to him: in all these, Jews and Gentiles are alike welcome to God through Christ. There is no difference, his righteousness is upon all that believe; not only offered to them, but put upon them as a crown, as a robe. It is free grace, mere mercy; there is nothing in us to deserve such favors. It comes freely unto us, but Christ bought it, and paid the price. And faith has special regard to the blood of Christ, as that which made the atonement. God, in all this, declares his righteousness. It is plain that he hates sin, when nothing less than the blood of Christ would satisfy for it. And it would not agree with his justice to demand the debt, when the Surety has paid it, and he has accepted that payment in full satisfaction. (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

 

"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," (NASB)

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (KJV)

"For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard." (NLT)

"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (NET)

"For all have sinned: - And consequently are equally helpless and guilty; and, as God is no respecter of persons, all human creatures being equally his offspring, and there being no reason why one should be preferred before another, therefore his endless mercy has embraced All."  (Dr. Adam Clarke)

The bad news is that we have ALL sinned!  We have ALL missed the mark! We cannot meet God's holy standard of absolute perfection!  The Good News is that ALL are offered Salvation in Christ Jesus and ALL who believe will be saved!

"In a word, the eternal truth as to sin and as to the responsibility of man, the effect of the law, the connection of the Old Testament with Christianity, the true character of the latter in that which relates to righteousness (namely, that it is a thing entirely new and independent), the righteousness of God Himself-the whole question between man and God, with regard to sin and righteousness, is settled, as to its foundation, in these few words." (John Nelson Darby)

"This is the general character of all mankind; all have sinned in Adam, are guilty by his sin, polluted with it, and condemned for it; all are sinners in themselves, and by their own actual transgressions; this is the case of the whole world, and of all the men in it; not only of the Gentiles, but of the Jews, and the more righteous among them: hence there is no difference in the state and condition of men by nature; nor is there any reason from and in themselves, why God saves one and not another; nor any room to despair of the grace and righteousness of Christ, on account of persons being, in their own view, the worst of sinners." (Dr. John Gill)

Whether we are the best of the best or the worst of the worst, we all need a Savior because we are "helpless" to save ourselves and there is no righteousness for us under the law because we have demonstrated that we cannot keep it.

"The literal meanings of the Hebrew, and (Greek, "hamartano?", "sin," "sinner", etc), disclose the true nature of sin in its manifold manifestations.

Sin is transgression, an overstepping of the law, the divine boundary between good and evil (Psalm 51:1); (Luke 15:29); iniquity, an act inherently wrong, whether expressly forbidden or not; error, a departure from right; (Psalm 51:9); (Romans 3:23); missing the mark, a failure to meet the divine standard; trespass, the intrusion of self-will into the sphere of divine authority (Ephesians 2:1); lawlessness, or spiritual anarchy (1Timothy 1:9); unbelief, or an insult to the divine veracity (John 16:9).

Sin originated with Satan (Isaiah 14:12-14); entered the world through Adam (Romans 5:12); was, and is, universal, Christ alone excepted; (Romans 3:23); (1Peter 2:22); incurs the penalties of spiritual and physical death; (Genesis 2:17); (Genesis 3:19); (Ezekiel 18:4); (Ezekiel 18:20); (Romans 6:23) and has no remedy but in the sacrificial death of Christ; (Hebrews 9:26); (Acts 4:12) availed of by faith (Acts 13:38); (Acts 13:39).

Sin may be summarized as threefold:

An act, the violation of, or want of obedience to the revealed will of God;

A state, absence of righteousness;

A nature, enmity toward God." (Cyrus Ingerson Scofield)

"For my salvation comes from the LORD alone." (Jonah 2:9 NLT)

Salvation is the work of God.  It is he alone who quickens the soul “dead in trespasses and sins,” and it is he also who maintains the soul in its spiritual life.  He is both “Alpha and Omega.”  “Salvation is of the Lord.”  If I am prayerful, God makes me prayerful; if I have graces, they are God’s gifts to me; if I hold on in a consistent life, it is because he upholds me with his hand.  I do nothing whatever towards my own preservation, except what God himself first does in me.  Whatever I have, all my goodness is of the Lord alone.  Wherein I sin, that is my own; but wherein I act rightly, that is of God, wholly and completely.  If I have repulsed a spiritual enemy, the Lord’s strength nerved my arm.  Do I live before men a consecrated life?  It is not I, but Christ who liveth in me.  Am I sanctified? I did not cleanse myself: God’s Holy Spirit sanctifies me.  Am I weaned from the world? I am weaned by God’s chastisements sanctified to my good.  Do I grow in knowledge?  The great Instructor teaches me.  All my jewels were fashioned by heavenly art.  I find in God all that I want; but I find in myself nothing but sin and misery.  “He only is my rock and my salvation.”  Do I feed on the Word?  That Word would be no food for me unless the Lord made it food for my soul, and helped me to feed upon it.  Do I live on the manna which comes down from heaven?  What is that manna but Jesus Christ himself incarnate, whose body and whose blood I eat and drink?  Am I continually receiving fresh increase of strength?  Where do I gather my might?  My help cometh from heaven’s hills: without Jesus I can do nothing.  As a branch cannot bring forth fruit except it abide in the vine, no more can I, except I abide in him.  What Jonah learned in the great deep, let me learn this morning in my closet: “Salvation is of the Lord.” (Charles Haddon Spurgeon)

Romans 3:22 - By Faith

Rom 3:21-26

Must guilty man remain under wrath? Is the wound for ever incurable? No; blessed be God, there is another way laid open for us. This is the righteousness of God; righteousness of his ordaining, and providing, and accepting. It is by that faith which has Jesus Christ for its object; an anointed Savior, so Jesus Christ signifies. Justifying faith respects Christ as a Savior, in all his three anointed offices, as Prophet, Priest, and King; trusting in him, accepting him, and cleaving to him: in all these, Jews and Gentiles are alike welcome to God through Christ. There is no difference, his righteousness is upon all that believe; not only offered to them, but put upon them as a crown, as a robe. It is free grace, mere mercy; there is nothing in us to deserve such favors. It comes freely unto us, but Christ bought it, and paid the price. And faith has special regard to the blood of Christ, as that which made the atonement. God, in all this, declares his righteousness. It is plain that he hates sin, when nothing less than the blood of Christ would satisfy for it. And it would not agree with his justice to demand the debt, when the Surety has paid it, and he has accepted that payment in full satisfaction. (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

 

"even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;" (NASB)

"Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:" (KJV)

"We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.  And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are." (NLT)

"namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe.  For there is no distinction," (NET)

Paul now goes into an indepth explanation of God's plan to make us just in His eyes by faith alone, in Christ alone.  A good place for us to remember that we live by faith!  We walk by faith not by works, not by the law, or not by rules.  We become a fulfillment of the law in Christ!  It doesn't matter who you are.  There is one way and only one!

"Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6 NLT)

Leave your burdens at the Cross and do not pick them up again! We live by faith! That is the wonderful story!

Even the righteousness of God - That method of saving sinners which is not of works, but by faith in Christ Jesus; and it is not restrained to any particular people, as the law and its privileges were, but is unto all mankind in its intention and offer, and becomes effectual to them that believe; for God hath now made no difference between the Jews and the Gentiles.  (Dr. Adam Clarke)

Romans 3:21 - BUT NOW - A Promise Fulfilled!

Rom 3:21-26  Must guilty man remain under wrath?  Is the wound for ever incurable?  No; blessed be God, there is another way laid open for us.  This is the righteousness of God; righteousness of his ordaining, and providing, and accepting.  It is by that faith which has Jesus Christ for its object; an anointed Savior, so Jesus Christ signifies.  Justifying faith respects Christ as a Savior, in all his three anointed offices, as Prophet, Priest, and King; trusting in him, accepting him, and cleaving to him: in all these, Jews and Gentiles are alike welcome to God through Christ.  There is no difference, his righteousness is upon all that believe; not only offered to them, but put upon them as a crown, as a robe.  It is free grace, mere mercy; there is nothing in us to deserve such favors.  It comes freely unto us, but Christ bought it, and paid the price.  And faith has special regard to the blood of Christ, as that which made the atonement. God, in all this, declares his righteousness.  It is plain that he hates sin, when nothing less than the blood of Christ would satisfy for it.  And it would not agree with his justice to demand the debt, when the Surety has paid it, and he has accepted that payment in full satisfaction.  (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

Νυν? δ? (Nuni de, "But now") could be understood as either (1) logical or (2) temporal in force, but most recent interpreters take it as temporal, referring to a new phase in salvation history. (NET Bible Notes)

But now there is a new way that is apart from (totally separate) the law that is not new, rather it is the fulfillment of an ancient promise recorded in the law and the prophets.  What is this new way?  Salvation in Christ Jesus!

"But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets," (NASB)

"But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;" (KJV)

"But now God has shown us a way to be made right with Him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago." (NLT)

"But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed —" (NET)

"Because He is righteous, the LORD has exalted His glorious law." (Isaiah 42:21)

The page is now turned into a new era where the law is no longer a burden that displays our shortcomings.  Rather God will bring salvation in Christ Jesus that will empower those who "live by faith" to be a fulfillment and thus "exalt His glorious law!"  This new way is NOT another religion or system of rules but rather "liberty" (a deliverance) from the burden of sin!

The word "without" or "apart" in the Greek is a very strong word (choris) that means totally separate from.  We can see this concept in the verse from Hebrews 4:15 where the Scripture speaks of Jesus being tempted (or tested) in the same way we are yet was "without" or "apart" (same Greek word) absolutely separate from sin.

Thus we have the beginning of the Divine Providence that has blessed us in the midst of our affliction (terminal sin) and instead has bestowed upon us a timeless blessing that cannot in mere words be described.  It should however, be shared with those around us who are likewise in peril.

"And now I speak of thanking God, I desire with all humility to acknowledge that I owe the mentioned happiness of my past life to His kind providence, which lead me to the means I used and gave them success.  My belief of this induces me to hope, though I must not presume, that the same goodness will still be exercised toward me, in continuing that happiness, or enabling me to bear a fatal reverse, which I may experience as others have done:  the complexion of my future fortune being known to Him only in whose power it is to bless to us even our afflictions." (Dr. Benjamin Franklin, written to his son)

Romans 3:20 - NO Flesh Shall Be Justified

"It is in vain to seek for justification by the works of the law. All must plead guilty. Guilty before God, is a dreadful word; but no man can be justified by a law which condemns him for breaking it. The corruption in our nature, will for ever stop any justification by our own works."  (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
By the deeds of the law — By works; or by such deeds as the Law requires. The word “Law” has, in the Scriptures, a great variety of significations. Its strict and proper meaning is, a rule of conduct prescribed by superior authority. The course of reasoning in these chapters shows the sense in which the apostle uses it here. He intends evidently to apply it to those rules or laws by which the Jews and Gentiles pretended to frame their lives; and to affirm that people could be justified by no conformity to those laws. He had shown Romans 1 that “the pagan, the entire Gentile world,” had violated the laws of nature; the rules of virtue made known to them by reason, tradition, and conscience. He had shown the same Romans 2–3 in respect to the Jews. They had equally failed in rendering obedience to their Law. In both these cases the reference was, not to “ceremonial” or ritual laws, but to the moral law; whether that law was made known by reason or by revelation. The apostle had not been discussing the question whether they had yielded obedience to their ceremonial law, but whether they had been found holy, that is, whether they had obeyed the moral law. The conclusion was, that in all this they had failed, and that therefore they could not be justified by that Law. That the apostle did not intend to speak of external works only is apparent; for he all along charges them with a lack of conformity of the heart no less than with a lack of conformity of the life; see Romans 1:26, Romans 1:29-31; Romans 2:28-29. The conclusion is therefore a general one, that by no law, made known either by reason, conscience, tradition, or revelation, could man be justified; that there was no form of obedience which could be rendered, that would justify people in the sight of a holy God. (Dr. Albert Barnes)

"because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin." (NASB)

"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (KJV)

"For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are." (NLT)

"For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin." (NET)

Because (dioti, again, dia, hoti).

By the works of the law (ex ergo?n nomou).  “Out of works of law.” Mosaic law and any law as the source of being set right with God. Paul quotes Psalm 43:2 as he did in Galatians 2:16 to prove his point.

The knowledge of sin (epigno?sis hamartias).  The effect of law universally is rebellion to it (1Corinthians 15:56).  Paul has shown this carefully in Galatians 3:19-22.  Cf. Hebrews 10:3. He has now proven the guilt of both Gentile and Jew. (Robertson's Word Studies)

"For You are God, my only safe haven.  Why have You tossed me aside? Why must I wander around in grief, oppressed by my enemies?" (Psalm 43:2 NLT)

"Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law.  And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law.  For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law." (Galatians 2:16)

"For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power." (1 Corinthians 15:56)

"Why, then, was the law given?  It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised.  God gave His law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people.  Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when He gave His promise to Abraham. Is there a conflict, then, between God's law and God's promises?  Absolutely not!  If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God's promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ." (Galatians 3:19-22 NLT)

"But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year." (Hebrews 10:3)

We have a debt we owe that we cannot pay!  We are locked in a downward spiraling death dance that leads us to only one place!  There is only one cure for the disease, death!  After this comes the judgment.  This indictment is so complete and so well written that they used to teach it in law school.  There was a time in the past when a degree in theology was a prerequisite for law school.  The prevailing thought was that if you were not steeped in God's law, you lacked the wisdom to govern men.  Where does this leave us sinners?  Condemned by a perfect and holy God! The law has done its job!  But wait!  We have God's promise of deliverance by faith in Jesus Christ!  This faith brings new life!  This is the life that inspires a former slave trader to write "Amazing Grace."  This is the life that empowers mere flesh to write "It Is Well With My Soul," in the midst of a great personal tragedy.  This is the life that illuminated Martin Luther with the words, "The Just Shall live by Faith."  We today are no different.  We have a sin and death problem that has only one solution.  The solution has a name, Jesus Christ and "no one comes to the Father" but by Him!

Romans 3:19 - Guilty Without Excuse

Romans 3:19 Whatsoever the law - The Old Testament.  Saith, it saith to them that are under the law - That is, to those who own its authority; to the Jews, and not the gentiles.  St. Paul quoted no scripture against them, but pleaded with them only from the light of nature.  Every mouth - Full of bitterness, Romans 3:14, and yet of boasting, Romans 3:27.  May become guilty - May be fully convicted, and apparently liable to most just condemnation.  These things were written of old, and were quoted by St. Paul, not to make men criminal, but to prove them so. (John Wesley)
"Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;" (NASB)

"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." (KJV)

"Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God." (NLT)

"Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world may be held accountable to God." (NET)

THE SINNER IS UNQUESTIONABLY GUILTY. It is not merely that he has infirmities or that he is not as good as he ought to be: he has set at nought God’s authority, violated His commandments, trodden His Laws under foot.  And this is true not only of a certain class of offenders, but “all the world” is “guilty before God” (Arthur W. Pink, Doctrine of Justification)

Let us consider that God wants us to know that He knows of what He pardoning us!  This is in order that we may acknowledge what we truly deserve (cease from "excuses" and become "guilty").  For us to become wise, we must first become fools (1 Corinthians 3:18) and then become our own enemy and judge ourselves to be worthy of eternal damnation so that we may become God's friend! Where there is no true penitence there is no forgiveness.

Penitence: sorrow or grief of heart for sins or offenses; contrition.  Real penitence springs from a conviction of guilt and ingratitude to God, and is followed by amendment of life. (Noah Webster)

Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world's standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. (1 Corinthians 3:18)

"Then you will remember your past sins and despise yourselves for all the detestable things you did." (Ezekiel 36:31 NLT)

Romans 3:18 - Dissing the Almighty

Romans 3:9-18  Here again is shown that all mankind are under the guilt of sin, as a burden; and under the government and dominion of sin, as enslaved to it, to work wickedness.  This is made plain by several passages of Scripture from the Old Testament, which describe the corrupt and depraved state of all men, till grace restrain or change them.  Great as our advantages are, these texts describe multitudes who call themselves Christians.  Their principles and conduct prove that there is no fear of God before their eyes.  And where no fear of God is, no good is to be looked for.  Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

"THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES." (NASB)

"There is no fear of God before their eyes." (KJV)

"They have no fear of God at all." (NLT)

"There is no fear of God before their eyes." (NET)

"For the choir director: A psalm of David, the servant of the LORD. Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God at all." (Psalm 36:1 NLT)

G5401
φο?βος
phóbos; gen. phóbou, masc. noun from phébomai (n.f.), to flee from. Fear, terror, reverence, respect, honor. The fear "of God" or the Lord meaning a deep and reverential sense of accountability to God or Christ (Romans 3:18) (Word Study)

"There is no fear of God before their eyes - This completes their bad character; they are downright atheists, at least practically such.  They fear not God’s judgments, although his eye is upon them in their evil ways.  There is not one article of what is charged against the Jews and Gentiles here that may not be found justified by the histories of both, in the most ample manner.  And what was true of them in those primitive times is true of them still.  With very little variation, these are the evils in which the vast mass of mankind delight and live.  Look especially at men in a state of warfare; look at the nations of Europe, who enjoy most of the light of God; see what has taken place among them from 1792 to 1814; see what destruction of millions, and what misery of hundreds of millions, have been the consequence of Satanic excitement in fallen, ferocious passions!  O Sin, what hast thou done! How many myriads of souls hast thou hurried, unprepared, into the eternal world!  Who, among men or angels, can estimate the greatness of this calamity!  This butchery of souls! What widows, what orphans, are left to deplore their sacrificed husbands and parents, and their own consequent wretchedness!  And whence sprang all this?  From that, whence come all wars and fightings; the evil desires of men; the lust of dominion; the insatiable thirst for money; and the desire to be sole and independent.  This is the sin that ruined our first parents, expelled them from paradise, and which has descended to all their posterity; and proves fully, incontestably proves, that we are their legitimate offspring; the fallen progeny of fallen parents; children in whose ways are destruction and misery; in whose heart there is no faith; and before whose eyes there is nothing of the fear of God." Dr Adam Clarke

Today we see the ever increasing "dissing" of the things of God and the attitude of utter contempt toward the person of God. Referring back to Romans 1 and the words of Dr. Alva J. McClain:

"The Word of God continues to stand in the World.  The cross of Christ, although it occurred nineteen hundred years ago, continues to stand as the great witness to the wrath of God.  Similarly, the wrath of God is being revealed continuously upon those who break the laws of God in nature.  It is a standing revelation" Dr. Alva J. McClain, Romans: The Gospel of God's Grace.

Where there is no respect there can be no hope! This contempt exists in the midst of the revelation of God in nature where His attributes can be plainly seen. We instead create theories that deny the existence of the Almighty and replace Him with primordial soup and spontaneous creation of the universe and all life from nothing! Bang! The stuff that shouldn't even pass the laugh test is elevated by reprobate minds to the level of fact without evidence. Those who would believe anything contrary are vilified. How low have we fallen! Yet still Grace abounds to sinners who will on Christ believe!

Romans 3:17 - Peace NOT

Romans 3:9-18  Here again is shown that all mankind are under the guilt of sin, as a burden; and under the government and dominion of sin, as enslaved to it, to work wickedness.  This is made plain by several passages of Scripture from the Old Testament, which describe the corrupt and depraved state of all men, till grace restrain or change them.  Great as our advantages are, these texts describe multitudes who call themselves Christians.  Their principles and conduct prove that there is no fear of God before their eyes.  And where no fear of God is, no good is to be looked for.  Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

"AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN." (NASB)

"And the way of peace have they not known:" (KJV)

"They don't know where to find peace." (NLT)

"and the way of peace they have not known." (NET)

Their feet run to do evil, and they rush to commit murder.  They think only about sinning. Misery and destruction always follow them. They don't know where to find peace or what it means to be just and good. They have mapped out crooked roads, and no one who follows them knows a moment's peace. (Isaiah 59:7-8 NLT)

"There is no peace for the wicked," says my God." (Isaiah 57:21 NLT)

"Because of God's tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace." (Luke 1:78-79 NLT)

"Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us." (Romans 5:1 NLT)

And the way of peace ... - What tends to promote their own happiness, or that of others, they do not regard.  Intent on their plans of evil, they do not know or regard what is suited to promote the welfare of themselves or others.  This is the case with all who are selfish, and who seek to gain their own purposes of crime and ambition.  Dr. Albert Barnes

What an amazing contrast between the words of Isaiah (here quoted by Paul) and the prophecy of Zechariah about the coming Messiah and the fruit of our position in Christ. Those who did not and could not know peace can be transformed by the Prince of Peace and gain an everlasting peace! Our destiny clear either way, only the Lord Jesus can guide us to the path which is Himself (the way, the truth and the life). How wondrous is Thy Grace, Lord!

And the way of peace have they not known.  This is a citation front Isaiah 59:8, and expresses the ignorance of mankind, with regard to true peace, and the way unto it: men are naturally ignorant of the way of peace with God; of the first step which God took towards it; of the council and covenant of peace, in which the scheme of it was drawn, and the method fixed; of Christ the peacemaker, and of the way in which he has made it; and of the Gospel, which reveals and publishes it.  They are ignorant of the true way of enjoying peace of conscience; they have no true peace of mind, their consciences are often tortured; and though they may have a stupid and secure peace, yet nothing that is true, real, and solid; for they are without the Spirit, whose fruit is peace; and without faith in Christ, by which true peace only is enjoyed; nor are they spiritually minded, which is life and peace; nor have they any knowledge of the way to have it; they are ready to think it must be had by doing something of their own, and not that it is to be had only in Christ, in his blood and righteousness.  They are ignorant of the paths of wisdom, which are peace; peace is enjoyed in them, they lead unto it, and issue in it: they know not the way to eternal peace; they imagine something done by the creature is the way; and are ignorant that Christ is the only way of salvation, the true way to eternal life, everlasting peace and happiness: yea, they know not the way of peace among men, and one another; nor will they do that which is just and right, in order to support and maintain it, but are unjust, deceitful, and quarrelsome; they do not study peace, but rather contention, which they like and approve of.  Dr. John Gill

Romans 3:16 - A Crushing Path

Romans 3:9-18  Here again is shown that all mankind are under the guilt of sin, as a burden; and under the government and dominion of sin, as enslaved to it, to work wickedness.  This is made plain by several passages of Scripture from the Old Testament, which describe the corrupt and depraved state of all men, till grace restrain or change them.  Great as our advantages are, these texts describe multitudes who call themselves Christians.  Their principles and conduct prove that there is no fear of God before their eyes.  And where no fear of God is, no good is to be looked for.  Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

"DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS," (NASB)

"Destruction and misery are in their ways:" (KJV)

"Destruction and misery always follow them." (NLT)

"Ruin and misery are in their paths," (NET)

"You will be smashed like a piece of pottery—shattered so completely that there won't be a piece big enough to carry coals from a fireplace or a little water from the well." (Isaiah 30:14 NLT)

"Their feet run to do evil, and they rush to commit murder.  They think only about sinning.  Misery and destruction always follow them." (Isaiah 59:7 NLT)

G4938

συ?ντριμμα
súntrimma; gen. suntrímmatos, neut. noun from suntríbo? (G4937), to break into pieces, crush.  A crushing, fracture, breaking to pieces, destruction

Misery
MIS'ERY, n. s as z. [L. miseria.]

  1. Great unhappiness; extreme pain of body or mind. A man suffers misery from the gout, or from great afflictions, distress, calamity,and other evils. Misery expresses somewhat less than wretchedness.  Misery is as really the fruit of vice reigning in the heart, as tares are the produce of tares sown in the field.
  2. Calamity; misfortune; natural evils which are the cause of misery.  And mourn the miseries of human life.

No matter how you slice it, destruction and misery are the the Wrath of God inflicted by the weight of our very own sin!  We often think in terms of the clouds parting and fire raining down from above!  Yet the reality is that the Law of God (like the gravity of His creation) bring about the judgement at our own hand!  We are literally undone!  However, our reprobation holds us in this pit of destruction, we are helpless to act and unwilling to act.  What part of this life crushed by sin do we wish to cling?  Where is the visage not marred that we would want to keep it?  Yet the very hand that righteously condemns us, holds us safe against that day when we would believe (Jonathan Edwards, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God - paraphrase mine).

Romans 3:15 - Feet that Shed Blood

Romans 3:15

Rom 3:9-18
Here again is shown that all mankind are under the guilt of sin, as a burden; and under the government and dominion of sin, as enslaved to it, to work wickedness. This is made plain by several passages of Scripture from the Old Testament, which describe the corrupt and depraved state of all men, till grace restrain or change them. Great as our advantages are, these texts describe multitudes who call themselves Christians. Their principles and conduct prove that there is no fear of God before their eyes. And where no fear of God is, no good is to be looked for.
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

"'THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD,"" (NASB)

"Their feet are swift to shed blood:" (KJV)

"'They rush to commit murder.'" (NLT)

"'Their feet are swift to shed blood,'" (NET)

Their feet run to do evil, and they rush to commit murder. They think only about sinning. Misery and destruction always follow them. They don't know where to find peace or what it means to be just and good. They have mapped out crooked roads, and no one who follows them knows a moment's peace.
(Isaiah 59:7-8 NLT)

One does not spend much time in the world before this truth is seen in full measure.  Nations have been quick to shed blood since the beginning.  Paul refers to Isaiah in part to bring forth this truth.  This is the sin of action.  Isaiah is perhaps referring to the times of Manasseh, who shed so much innocent blood, as to fill Jerusalem with it from one end to the other (Dr. John Gill).  Is not this the hidden monsters from the "id" idiosyncrasy that are alive and well within us?  Is not our nation the reflection of the sum of its people?

Romans 3:14 - Bitter Potty Mouth

Romans 3:14

Rom 3:9-18
Here again is shown that all mankind are under the guilt of sin, as a burden; and under the government and dominion of sin, as enslaved to it, to work wickedness. This is made plain by several passages of Scripture from the Old Testament, which describe the corrupt and depraved state of all men, till grace restrain or change them. Great as our advantages are, these texts describe multitudes who call themselves Christians. Their principles and conduct prove that there is no fear of God before their eyes. And where no fear of God is, no good is to be looked for.
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

"'WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS'" (NASB)

"Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:" (KJV)

"'Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.'" (NLT)

"'Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.'" (NET)

Cursing - Reproachful and opprobrious language, such as Shimei used in relation to David; 2Sa 16:5, 2Sa 16:7-8. Dr. Albert Barnes

Opprobrious
OPPRO'BRIOUS, a. [See Opprobrium.]

1. Reproachful and contemptuous; scurrilous; as opprobrious language; opprobrious words or terms.

2. Blasted with infamy; despised; rendered hateful; as an opprobrious name.

Psalms 10:7 "Their mouths are full of cursing, lies, and threats. Trouble and evil are on the tips of their tongues." (NLT)

Jeremiah 2:19 "Your wickedness will bring its own punishment.  Your turning from Me will shame you. You will see what an evil, bitter thing it is to abandon the LORD your God and not to fear Him.  I, the Lord, the LORD of Heaven's Armies, have spoken!"

Psalm 59:12 "Because of the sinful things they say, because of the evil that is on their lips, let them be captured by their pride, their curses, and their lies."

Psalm 109:17 "He loved to curse others; now you curse him. He never blessed others; now don't you bless him."

Those whose mouths should be full of sweetness are instead the most bitter.


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