Rom 3:18 How God Looks at Mankind 1/14/2007 ßà
#1. A World Full of Anger (Rom 3:12-18, 10-11)
· Why Did God Create the Human Race This Way? (Ex 20:11, Gen 2:2, 1:11,21,24,27, 5:3, Ps 58:3)
#2. The Human Race Is One Organism (Rom 5:12-19)
#3. Before the Foundation of the World (Eph 1:3-8, Rom 3:13)
Please open your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 3:12 (2X). Today we will cover another very basic element we need to know in our understanding of the Gospel. This sermon is installment # 10 in the series that I titled, “The Simplicity of the Gospel” (2X). Today we will consider God’s view of mankind. That is why the title of this sermon is, “How God Looks at Mankind” (2X). It is important that we have the correct perspective of how God looks at mankind, for this is the first stepping stone to the development of the Gospel as we find it here in the Bible. What does the Bible say how God looks at mankind? What is God’s perspective on this, and what are God’s plans with the human material that is called “sinful Adam”? Let us look at:
#1. A World Full of Anger (Rom 3:12-18, 10-11)
Just imagine that you are a member of the crew on the starship Enterprise, and that in one of your travels through this Galaxy you land on a planet where there are people like you and me, but these people are a bunch of angry people. They walk around with faces that are twisted in anger. You can really see on their faces that they are all very angry. Their eyes lay deep in their heads, they have dark circles around their eyes, and when they look at each other with eyes full of anger it seems as if they are ready to kill one another. Their fists are clenched as if they are ready to pounce on anyone who dares to put a tiny pebble in their path. When they speak they snarl at each other, or when they speak nicely to someone it is only to lie to that person, or to embezzle some money out of that person. Even the children are like that against their parents. No one seems to speak the truth, and no one seems to live a happy life. Well, such a world full of anger is only imaginable in movies.
Guess what? When God looks at the human race, this is what He sees, for God says in Rom 3:12,
Ro 3:12-14 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Ro 3:15-16 Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways:
Ro 3:17-18 And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.
This is how God sees the whole human race. This is God’s opinion of every one of the human race. God says in verse 12, “There is none that doeth good, no, not one”. NO, NOT ONE! All mankind is called spiritually dead, because no one of the human race is doing anything that is pleasing to God. No one! As far as good works is concerned, everyone is dead in the eyes of God. We are dead to God, but alive to Satan. Everyone is eager to do the works that pleases Satan. God says in verse 13, “Their throat is an open grave”, ready to swallow up whosoever crosses their path. Out of their throat comes only words that are causing death and condemnation. Their accusations are all lies and hypocrisy. These lies are the cause of much misery in this world. The poison of poisonous snakes is under their lips, for they always lie and deceive others. They show their children how to lie and deceive others. In God’s eyes they are all like poisonous snakes. Who else resembles a poisonous snake in the Bible? Satan. Yes, in God’s eyes the whole human race looks like children of Satan. The Lord Jesus said to the unbelieving Jews around Him, “Ye are of your father the Devil”. Their life is full of bitterness, and curses flow out of their mouths like water. They curse God and they curse their fellow man whenever they speak. Peter said to the unsaved Simon the Sorcerer, “Thou art in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity”. This is the condition of every person in their natural state, the way they come into this world. Everyone is in the bond of iniquity, in the bond of sin, as slaves of Satan. They are swift to use violence as their weapon, and they do not mind if death and destruction follow in their path. You can clearly see it today in the actions of terrorists and suicide bombers. They are eager to do it, because there is hatred in their heart. And this is a character trait not only of the suicide bombers, but of each one in the human race. It only takes a charismatic leader to ignite the spark of hatred and violence in the human heart. Just think of the millions who followed Adolph Hitler to terrorize all of Europe. Clearly we see that destruction and misery are in their ways. They never live in peace with God or with their neighbor. They constantly live in strife and in war. The way of peace they have not known. And what is the character trait that lies at the foundation of all this misery? “There is no fear of God before their eyes”. God is not in their mind at all. Their lives are centered on satisfying their own ego. They are not interested at all in what God has to say about all of this in the Bible, and they have no fear of Hell, for they do not believe in Hell. They just want to live their selfish life apart from God. That is why we read:
Ro 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Ro 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Here is news for all those who believe in the goodness of man: “There is none that seeketh after God”. Regardless what you hear out of the mouth of Dr. Phil. If you believe in the goodness of man, you have put your faith on a rotten plank. For God does not see the human race as a bunch of do gooders. God sees the human race as a bunch of snakes. This is how God looks at mankind. But you might say, “There are lots of people all over the world throughout all the centuries who seek after God”. That is not true, for they do not seek after the only true God, the God of the Bible. They are all seeking after another god who is not the God of the Bible and by doing so they provoke the true God to anger.
· Why Did God Create the Human Race This Way? (Ex 20:11, Ge 2:2,1:11,21,24,27,5:3, Ps 58:3)
Why would you blame God for all of this? If you saw a man dying from cirrhosis of the liver, would you blame God for creating him with a bad liver? No! Most likely the man was an alcoholic, and he destroyed his own liver with lots of alcohol. If you saw a man dying from AIDS, would you blame God for creating the man with a disease called AIDS? No! Most likely this man contracted AIDS through some sinful sexual intercourse. God cannot be blamed for the sins of man. Our sins are committed totally voluntarily. And man must live with the consequences of his sin, whatever they are. God does not sin, nor does He tempt any man to sin. We must be careful when we accuse God of creating something that is wicked. Please turn in your Bibles to the prophecy of Genesis, Gen 1:11 (2X). God says in Gen 2:2 that “He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made”. And God emphasized this fact in Ex 20:11, where He again said that He rested on the seventh day,
Ex 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
What does it mean that God rested? It does not mean that God took His hands off this creation and that He let this creation become whatever wicked forces want to make of it. No! God’s providence continued to rule and regulate everything in this great universe, so that all things work out according to God’s predetermined plan. God rested the seventh day from all the creative work that He has done. From that time on new plants and new creatures sprang forth from the parent creatures that God has created. God said that so clearly in Gen 1:11 where we read, “yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself”. And God said in Gen 1:21 of the creatures in the waters, “brought forth abundantly after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind”. And God said in Gen 1:24,
Ge 1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
God’s providence regulated how and when each of the new living creatures came forth, but they came forth after their own kind. And so it was with man. All descendants of Adam and Eve came forth after their own kind. God created Adam and Eve good and righteous. In Gen 1:26 God said that He created them in His own image, after His own likeness. We read in Gen 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them”. But what came to pass after Adam sinned? Adam sold himself and all his posterity into the hands of the Devil. Adam sinned, and that made him a slave of sin. The Lord Jesus said, “Whosoever committeth sin is the slave of sin”. It takes only one sin to become the slave of sin and to fall under the wrath of God. And so, Adam became a slave of sin and a servant of Satan. And thus, since Adam continued his life in the servanthood of Satan, all his children were born also in the servanthood of Satan. We read in Gen 5:3, “Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his own image”. The same laws that applied to plants and animals, who bring forth seed or offspring after their own kind, the same law applied to Adam and Eve. They too brought forth children after their own kind. We already see it in their firstborn son, Cain, who became a murderer. And to make the point abundantly clear God stated here in Gen 5:3 that Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his image. Initially Adam had been created in the image of God. But now, after Adam’s sinful obedience to the serpent in the Garden of Eden, the image of God had been almost extinguished in Adam. He still had a glimmer of the image of God in him, which caused him to have a healthy fear of God. But his posterity came into the world in the servanthood of Satan, just like Adam was. And so, the consequences of sin for the posterity of Adam was that they came into the world with a disposition that was altogether opposed to God. This opposition to the only true God, combined with the glimmer of the image of God within them, has led all the descendants of Adam to seek for other gods whom they will worship. They seek for other gods, for the only true God frightens them. This is why they stay away from the Bible. And this is why God says in Rom 3:11, “There is none that seeketh after God”. How soon in their life will the descendants of Adam sin against God? Will they begin their life as innocent babies? God answers this question in Psalm 58:3, where God says, “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies”. Who are these wicked babies? They are everyone of the human race. We all came into the world that way. We all were by nature children of the wrath of God, because we all came into the world as enemies of God. And when a baby comes into the world, their first cry is a lie. This is what God says. Don’t believe Dr. Phil. Their first cry is their first sin. And after that their disposition only goes downhill, and their enmity against God increases. This is how God sees the human race. There is nothing flattering in it at all.
#2. The Human Race Is One Organism (Rom 5:12-19)
If this is the situation with everyone of mankind, if their enmity against God only increases with age, if there is NONE that seeketh after God, if they sin continually and their sin inherits the wrath of God, if the wages of sin is death and the death that God has in view is the second death in the Lake of Fire, and if there is no fear of God before their eyes, then who can be saved? If God does not interfere in the affairs of mankind all will be condemned to Hell, and God will be totally just and righteous if He throws everyone of mankind into Hell. Don’t blame it on Adam; blame it on yourselves, for we sin voluntarily. Adam did sin, and Adam is the federal head of the entire organism that is called the human race. What is an organism? Let me give you two examples. If you see a mushroom emerging out of the ground you should know that below that mushroom in the ground is a very large network of fibers. It is one large fungus organism that has been growing for a long time before it sends its representative, the mushroom, out into the air. The mushroom then produces thousands of seed that are carried by the wind to another place. The fungus is an organism, because the mushroom and its root is not a separate plant; it is part and parcel of the fungus. The second example is a termite colony. Here in California we do not see many ground termites. Most termites in this state love to reside in the wooden beams of houses. But if you travel to tropical countries, like Indonesia, you can find colonies of termites that live in the ground. They have built a fortress in the ground, containing many channels, and in the center of their network of channels is a hardened disk, made of very hard clay, wherein they have hidden their representative, the queen who lays the eggs for the whole colony. These termites do not eat the dirt. They go out on expeditions to find wood that they will consume. Such a termite colony is one organism. When you attack one of them you are being attacked by all of them. They respond as one organism. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 5:12 (2X). The human race is one organism. We do not exist as separate individuals, like the angels are. The angels are separate individuals. Every angel that fell into sin with the angel Lucifer had to be individually won over to his cause. Each one of them made that decision individually. That is why there are many angels who did not fall into sin. But the entire human race descended from one man, Adam. The entire human race is one organism, with Adam as our federal head. But because God set up the human race that way, with Adam as our representative in the flesh, that is why God could arrange that Christ would be our representative in the Spirit. The fallen angels cannot be saved that way. They cannot have someone as a representative in the Spirit who will represent many of them. There is no salvation possible for the angels. But there is salvation possible for mankind, because God set up mankind as an organism. And thus we should be grateful to God for setting up the human race that way, for if we had all been individuals, like the angels, there would be no salvation possible for anyone. We read in Rom 5:12,
Ro 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Ro 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Ro 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
Ro 5:15-16 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
Ro 5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
Ro 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
Ro 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Do we recognize the representative principle here in this passage? We can see it already in verse 12. By one man, Adam, sin entered into the world. Sin entered the entire human race as an organism, and so death passed upon all men, for all have sinned in Adam. Then God repeats the representative principle over and over again in this passage. In verse 14 we read that Adam “was the figure of Him that was to come”. Adam was our representative in the flesh; Christ is our representative in the Spirit. There are many truths to be discovered in this passage in Rom 5. We will have time only for a few salient points. The main reason I brought up this passage is because I wanted you to see that the human race is an organism with a federal head, Adam. Likewise the Body of Christ is one organism with their federal head, who is the Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, in this passage it is mentioned six times that salvation is the free gift, or the gift by grace. How could it be otherwise? All mankind is in utter rebellion against the only true God; all mankind is full of hatred against each other; there is no one who seeks after God or turns to Christ; there is no one who does anything that is good in the eyes of God; there is no fear of God before their eyes; there is none who is afraid of the penalty for sin in Hell. All have inherited a vicious nature from their parents. And so, how could anyone, of their own volition, turn to God in repentance and faith? It is absolutely 100% against human nature to turn to God in faith and repent of their sins. It is like a lion to eat straw instead of a juicy steak. And so, we want to ask:
When God looks down on mankind He sees only evil continuously, for the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. This is what God said before the flood. God said in Gen 6:5,
Ge 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
This was before the flood. But what did God see after the flood, after there had been such a great cleansing of the wicked from the earth. God said in Gen 8:21,
Ge 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
Again God saw that the heart of man is evil from his youth. Already as a baby the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked. What is God going to do with such a wicked human race? Well, we know that God had His plans when He created Adam and placed him in the Garden of Eden. God intended to set up a Kingdom of God on this earth where He and man could fellowship together for all eternity. But has Satan destroyed God’s plans? Has Satan frustrated the objectives that God had from before the foundation of the world? If that were so, then Satan is a more powerful god than Almighty God Himself. And we know that this is not possible. And so, God did not change His plans. God worked out His plans with the sinful material that Adam left Him. God chose out of the miserable mass of mankind those whom He wanted to save from their slippery slide into Hell. We have seen in Rom 5 that there is a free gift, a gift of grace, and a gift of righteousness. What is that gift? It is the gift of eternal life in fellowship with God. And to whom is that gift given? It is given to all those whom God chose out of the miserable mass of mankind. They did not deserve this gift. God could have passed them by and God could have given this gift to someone else. God would still be infinitely righteous if He had done that, for God does not owe anyone anything. God is not obligated to save someone, or to give someone an opportunity to be saved from his slippery slide into Hell. Please turn one page to your right, to Romans chapter 6, Rom 6:23 (2X). And there we read in Rom 6:23,
Ro 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This gift is entirely a gift by grace, according to Rom 5:15. Do we understand what grace is? Briefly, grace is unmerited favor. Grace is an absolutely free gift. Grace is receiving some-thing that we do not deserve. Contrast this with mercy. Mercy is withholding something that we do deserve. We do deserve to go to Hell for our sins. And so, when God withholds Hell from us, He is merciful to us. When God chose us to give us the gift of eternal life He gave us His grace. When He pardoned us from our penalty of going to Hell He gave us His mercy. But God did not stop there. He then lifted us up to the status of sons of God, and that is again grace. That is why we read at least four times in the opening verses to Timothy and Titus, “Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord”. Where in the Bible can we read about these marvelous things of grace, mercy and peace from God? Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 1:3 (2X).
#3. Before the Foundation of the World (Eph 1:3-8, Rom 3:13)
Did God make up His mind in the course of history? Did God choose someone to salvation when that person was born? This would be an insult to God, for the Bible says that God knows the end from the beginning. The Bible says that God is infinitely wise, which means that God does not get any wiser as time goes on. If God decided to save someone, God would have known this person’s entire history before the foundation of the world, for God knows the end from the beginning. Thus we read in Eph 1:3
Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Eph 1:4-5 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Eph 1:7-8 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
Who is God speaking about? US. He has blessed US with all spiritual blessings in Christ. And who are US? Verse 4 says, “According as he hath chosen us in Him”, that is in Christ. In other words, before the foundation of the world the Father has chosen us to be represented in Christ. Not only would Christ be our representative, but verse 4 continues with the concept: “in order that we who are in Christ should be holy and without blame before Him”. What happened to our sins? They are erased! Verse 7 says, “In whom”, in the beloved, in Christ, “we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins”. The Bible teaches that the Lord Jesus Christ took our sins upon Himself, and paid the penalty that was due, for we could not pay such a high price. What did the Lord Jesus have to pay? He had to pay the full price, for there was no one to stand in for Him. There was no one to substitute for Him. The full price is the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. That is what the Lord Jesus had to pay while He was hanging on the cross. And so, since He was our representative, we were in Christ when He was crucified. The Bible teaches that when Christ was crucified we were crucified with Christ. When Christ died we died with Christ. When Christ was buried we were buried with Christ. When Christ rose from the dead we rose with Him. When Christ ascended into heaven we ascended with Him. When Christ was seated on the right hand of the Father, we are there seated with Him and in Him. And thus, since Christ went through the torments of Hell, we went through Hell with Him and in Him, and came out the other end of Hell with Him and in Him. Therefore God cannot send us to Hell again, because we have already been there. All our past sins and future sins were fully paid. In fact, at the time that Christ died all our sins were still future sins. And that is why Verse 7 says “we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins”. We were redeemed through His blood, which means through His life that He gave as our sin-offering on the cross. We received the forgiveness of our sins, because Christ paid the full price for those sins, and God will not require that those sins be paid again. Then God says in Eph 1:5 ”Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will”. We have become adopted children of God through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. He purchased the right to make us His Bride. And thus He presents us to the Father holy and blameless, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. And to this we have been predestinated, because this entire scenario of Christ taking our place before the Judgment throne of God was all decided before the foundation of the world. And thus, when God looks down upon all mankind He sees many who have remained unsaved, whose sins have not been paid at the cross. In addition He sees all those whom He has predestined unto salvation, and He sees that they have been washed from their sins, and He sees some who are still in the process of being washed. The Bride of the Lamb has been made ready for the great wedding feast. And notice the last few words of Eph 1:5, “According to the good pleasure of His will”. How can it be that there are people who say that they have become saved because they accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior? Given all this information in the Bible about the condition of the heart of man, and about God’s predestinating power to save those whom He wants to save, and about God’s purpose as stated here that He saves people according to the good pleasure of His will, how can it be that there are people who claim that they too had some input in their salvation? These must be people who have no fear of God before their eyes. These must be people who seek to replace the Almighty God by an impotent god who does their bidding. These must be the people God was speaking about in Rom 3:13, where God says, “Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips”. How else can they, in the face of the wonderful Gospel of Eph 1:3-8, say things that totally negate the wonderful Gospel that God has laid down here. We marvel at the wondrous words that God speaks to us through the pages of the Bible and we marvel at the stubbornness and self-centeredness that many unsaved people display by twisting the words of Scripture, or by ignoring large portions of Scripture. They will be hailed by many who jump on their bandwagon, because they have desired a way to circumvent the sovereignty of God and to preserve their own self-respect. They certainly have their reward, but it will only be a reward here on earth. But praise God that He has opened our eyes, so that we can see and delight in His goodness toward us. AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.