Think about the different ways you’ve heard the term liberation used. What does it mean to be a liberator? What comes to mind? Now think about it in the context of Christ, how has the gospel been liberating for you personally?
Our objective is to understand why Paul’s opening indictment of humanity…his grim description of our universal situation… that “all are under sin…there is no one righteous, not even one” and to understand that our only hope is found in Christ alone. Are only Hope/answer to this indictment is the good news of the gospel. Understanding our human condition starts with understanding our sin problem and how it moves to liberty found in Christ. Our freedom in Christ gives us all the reason in the world to rejoice in our liberty.
9 What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways, 17 and the way of peace they do not know.” 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, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
As you work through the questions below, keep in mind the liberating power of the gospel.
Review the three movements of the Gospel that Terry Mentioned: As you do, remember that this is the path to true and enduring liberty.
Justification: Being declared “not guilty” by faith through grace…this happens at a point in time.
Sanctification: Becoming like Jesus over a lifetime by us choosing to work with the Spirit’s power and therefore our lives changing…ongoing life process
Glorification: The final, completed condition of the believer when this life is over…point in future time of eternity.
Now work through the passage:
What are the ‘three features of this grim biblical picture’, which stand out in verses 10– 18?
Remember, this is what Terry called “Pearl-stringing.”
Paul opens this section of his letter with the words “What shall we conclude then?” In view of verses 9-12, what is his conclusion about all that he has said thus far?
Focus on verses 13-18. What images do these words bring to your mind? Notice the various parts of the body that Paul describes in verses 13-18. What impact does this have on the way you think about sin?
Can you see how Paul uses the parts of the body to show the power of our words? How so?
In what ways do “words” reveal the condition of our hearts and how does it show that we are not free?
How should we respond to Paul’s indictment of universal sin and guilt?
Think about what it means to be liberated from sin by Christ? What does it mean for you personally.
Consider liberty. How do the three movements of God lead us to celebrate the liberation we have in Christ in a way that allows us to grow and develop an appetite for the liberty that is found in Christ?
What can you/we do to close the gap between God’s vision for our current life and our current reality and the liberty He has won for us in Christ?
When you consider the gap between God’s vision for your life and the current reality of your life. How wide is the gap? What can you do to narrow the gap?
God’s vision for our lives is to be continually closing the gap between our current reality and the liberty he has won for us in Christ.