In this sermon, we are going to look at the meaning of the scriptural verse which says there is no one righteous, not even one.
Why we are going to look at this passage is because; so many Christians are using it to indulge in sin; concluding that there is no way they can ever be righteous in this world.
But after reading this sermon, you will get the understanding that there is a way to become righteous on earth.
Bible verse about there is no one righteous.
As it is written: “there is none righteous, no, not one.(Romans 3:20)
The meaning of there is no one righteous.
To interpret this bible verse properly and discover the meaning of there is no one righteous, we must understand that the bible does not always talk about the believers alone, but also the unbelievers; and most especially the unbelieving believers.
That is, those who practice righteousness outwardly, but in their inside they are the worst unbelievers.
That is why it is always necessary to read through the preceding verses; in order to understand those a particular scripture is always making reference to.
So in this case, let us go down the verses to see if this particular reference was made to the believers or the unbelievers; or better still the unbelieving believers.
There is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no not one.”
Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “the poison of asps is under their lips”; ‘whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” “their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known,” “there is no fear of God before their eyes.”Romans 3:11-18.
So all we can now see: believers are never those who do not seek God; nor turned aside and become unprofitable.
Believers are not those who does no good; and their throat can never be an open tomb nor their tongue practices deceit.
Poison of asps is never in their lips and their mouths do not curse.
They do not shed blood, destroy because their ways are always free from misery; and is known as the way of peace. Above all they fear God.
But the unbelievers and the unbelieving believers do such things.
So we now understand that the above scripture was referring to the unbelievers and the unbelieving believers.
There are two other related bible verses that also points to the fact that there is no one righteous in this world and they are: Ecclesiastes 7:20 and Romans 3:23.
Now let’s get to see the meaning of these bible verses.
What does Ecclesiastes 7:20 mean.
Now this takes us to Ecclesiastes 7:20 where we find the same scripture we explained above.
In verses 15, the preacher tells us of how a righteous person perishes in his righteousness; while a wicked person prolongs life in his wickedness.
And so he advices us in verses 16-17 never to be overly righteous; lest we destroy ourselves or too wicked lest we die before our time.
Now we get confused again and so we ask: how can a righteous person perish in his righteousness?
Beloved, the kind of righteousness the preacher was referring to here is the type Jesus told us in this parable:
Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others; “two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. ‘the Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men – extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.
‘I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to the heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’
“I tell you this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.Luke 18:9-14.
And the Scribes and Pharisees were used to practicing this kind of righteousness as Jesus further enlightened us:
‘Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.Mathew 23:23
Paul himself even shows us how he thought he was righteous while persecuting the church of Christ.
Though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eight day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning a law, a Pharisee; zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gained to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteous which is from God by faith.Philippians 3:4-9
So we can now see the kind of righteousness that makes someone to perish; and so the preacher knowing this said in verse 18:
It is good that you grasp this, and also not remove your hand from the other; for he who fears God will escape them all.
And the person who fears God, after observing the paying of tithes; will also show justice mercy and faith as Jesus enlightened us.
What is the meaning of Romans 3:23.
Now let’s treat that of Romans 3:23
for all have sinned and gone short of God’s glory.
In the verse that follows i.e. verse 24, we see that these people that sinned and gone short of God’s glory, after repentance, receives the free gift of God that justifies and sets them free from their sinfulness.
Finally let’s examine that of 1 John 1:8 (If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.).
Let’s check what the verse that follows it says:
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.1 John 2:1.
Now from this passage we can understand that there will be times we, as humans – will unknowingly, unconsciously, not on purpose or intentionally – go against the commandments of God.
But as soon as we realize our faults, we should immediately approach God through Jesus for forgiveness.
We can see an example in Peter’s case – Luke 22:31-34, 54-62 – where Jesus told Peter beforehand that he was going to deny Him three times before the cock crew.
Peter thinking that such a thing could not happen because of his love for Christ and above all the willingness to keep God’s word, told Jesus that he was ready to go anywhere and die with him.
But when the time to deny Him came, he totally forgot the promise he made not until the cock crew as Jesus predicted that his gaze met Jesus and he remembered His words; so he went somewhere and wept bitterly.
And the tears he cried was not just ordinary tears but the plea for forgiveness, that was why he was restored and able to fulfill the promise he made to go anywhere with and die for Jesus.
Note: the moral lesson here is that we should not sin intentionally because we know that God is waiting to forgive us through His son Jesus.
For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery imagination which will devour the adversaries.(Hebrews 10:26-27)
Because, you may likely never come out of that sin you intentionally commit.
Example, you may see something that does not belong to you and you decide to steal it and afterwards go to God and ask for forgiveness.
But if while stealing that thing you are caught by the owner and handed over to the police, or worst still burnt to death with a tire; where then will you get the chance to go ask for forgiveness.
Another example is you see a beautiful lady and decide to do that thing once with her and afterwards go to God for forgiveness.
But what if the lady ends up giving you HIV, what will the forgiveness you will go to ask from God do for you?
Therefore, if you must sin please I beg you in God’s name never do it on purpose or intentionally, because I assure you, the worst might just be your reward.
Was Jesus Himself righteous?
Now there is one very important scripture that connects with this topic, that if I leave it out it is going to be incomplete.
And that scripture is the case of the rich man who called Jesus Good Master and Jesus responded that He was not good because only the Father in heaven is good. (Mathew 19:16-17).
People misinterpret this scripture to prove that Jesus was not righteous, and if He wasn’t; how can they try to be one.
And with this misconception they continue in their sinfulness.
Now I want to reveal to you that the reason Jesus never considered Himself good was because at that time, He never fulfilled the purpose for which He came.
He knew that the flesh might obstruct Him from achieving His aim, or perhaps He might fall into the temptations of the devil and so forgo the purpose for which He was sent.
We see this instance present itself in Mathew 26:37-47 that He had to comment in verse 41
The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
So He had to press on in order to achieve the purpose that the Father sent him.
I think Paul also made a reference to this point somewhere in his epistles:
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.Philippians 3:12.
And he tells us in verse 15 and 16, to have the same attitude.
Therefore, let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
Therefore, we must further understand that unless we die, we are never free from falling into sin.
And for that reason, we must watch and pray always never to fall into the temptations to sin, even as Jesus advice before He said the words in the last bible passage. – ‘watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation- never forgetting that our adversary, the devil roams about like a roaring lion seeking whom to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
The word ‘watch’ as used here means being on the lookout for the occasion of sin that will always present itself, and looking up to Jesus Who himself was tempted so He can know how to deliver us that will be tempted.(Hebrews 2:18).
And so we are confident because we know:
Then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations…(2 Peter 2:9).
There are two other sermons that will help you further understand this particular one and they are.
You can read them via their various links.
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