Bible Study: Romans 3:9-20

Read Romans 3:9-20

Last time we read Romans 3 we talked about the privilege/advantage of being a Jew or a covenant Child.  We talked about how while there was an advantage we must not boast in it.  In this section of Romans 3, Paul is teaching that while we may have an advantage in having the law, we and all mankind do not follow the law, and are completely and totally depraved from righteousness because of sin.

Now in most of our youth group and Sunday school times, I will bring up the term total depravity, which if you do not remember, means that because of Adam’s sin in the garden of Eden, all people are full of sin, and have no good in us, none at all.   Any “good things” that we do help the poor, give to the needy, help an old lady across the street, they are not righteous actions in the eyes of God unless you are forgiven of your sins by Christ and Christ alone.  Romans 3:9-12 show us this in great depth.

Now you may have noticed in Romans 3:10b-18 that there is a lot of quotation.  Now almost every time in the Bible that there is a quotation it is from somewhere else in scripture.  (There are a few times where the Bible is not quoting itself, but there are not in this passage.)  In this passage every quote with the exception of one is from the Psalms, the other is from Isaiah.  The most blatant of these quotes from scripture dealing with total depravity is the first one which states “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless, no one does good, not even one.”

Without God calling us to Him, we cannot see His love, without God sending Christ we cannot understand His love, without God having Christ sacrificed we cannot experience the depth of His love.  This is why without Christ we are totally depraved for we radically rebel against God and actively reject His love for us. 

This is also why we must share the Gospel of God’s grace with others.  For since everyone who does not repent will go to Hell for their sin, God tasks us with the job of spreading His Gospel of grace, for without them having received the good news of the Gospel their utter depravity,  makes them have the punishment of total and inescapable separation from God in Hell for all eternity.

What does it mean to be totally depraved?  Why is this so important?  Can we save ourselves from sin?  Why?  How does total depravity part of our inability to save ourselves? 

Can talking about total depravity be a starting point for sharing the gospel?  How?  How does understanding the doctrine of total depravity deepen your relationship with Jesus?

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