S (Scripture): Romans 3:9 So what are we saying? Are we better off? Not at all. We have already stated the charge: both Jews and Greeks are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written,
There is no righteous person, not even one.
There is no one who understands.
There is no one who looks for God.
They all turned away.
They have become worthless together.
There is no one who shows kindness.
There is not even one.
O (Observation): Here, when Paul says “we,” he is referring to the Jews who follow Christ. He wants to ask if the Jews have an advantage over the Gentile Christians, since the Jews had the Scriptures from which to study and learn about God. But even with the Scriptures, they have to realize that even they – as first recipients of God’s covenants – are sinful, too!
Paul uses Scripture to support the notion that no one people are immune from the power of sin, not even the Jews.
The words above in italics are Psalm 14:1-3. From the Scriptures, Paul reminds the Jewish Christians that none are without sin.
A (Application): While this all seems hopeless, we also keep in mind that God’s grace saves us all. The reminder of sin affecting us all is simply a tool for humility. We (however defined) are not by default better than anyone else. We all sin. And so therefore any good we do comes because we are forgiven – forgiven sinners, but still forgiven.
So the ground upon which we stand as forgiven people is established God, by Jesus suffering, dying, and being resurrected.
Therefore, we ALL can receive grace. We ALL can receive mercy. Not by our own doing, but by what God has done for us, for me.
P (Prayer): Lord, save me, a sinner. Amen.