Every Mouth Stopped
What happens to us when we run out of excuses? What happens if every excuse only furthers the evidence of guilt? That is the state of all people today, Romans 1 and 2 condemns all of mankind based on what they are expected to know and that, based on what is revealed to them externally and internally, so that every mouth may be stopped and all the world guilty before God.
Externally is the evidence that God is, “For the invisible things of him are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made” Rom 1:20
There are a total of eleven rhetorical questions posed by the apostle Paul from verse 1 to 20. Questions that are designed to pre-empt any error relating to how it is that a soul is saved by God, but also to ensure that the errors considered in light of the simplicity of salvation, is dealt with from the beginning.
Last week we dealt with the Jew and what logical advantage he has in light of the fact that he too is in the same predicament as the gentile respecting his lost condition.
If the Jew is also lost, then “What advantage hath the Jew…?”.
Now the question arise with regard to faith, consider
The Law is True in Spite of Faith
3For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? 4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
Paul denies the notion that the faithlessness of some “make the faith of God without effect”
For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
In other words, it is not your faith that determines the truth of a matter.
Your level of faith, or what you believe is true, has no bearing on the reality of Gods work and all he has promised. What he has determined is true, is trueirrespective of whether or not you believe it is true.
Let me provide a couple of examples going from what many Lost people believe is true to what a believer might also believe is true.
STATEMENT 1: “I don’t believe God exists”. The Bibles says “The fool hath said in his heart there is no God”.
The atheist seems to have unwittingly made a declaration concerning himself.
Nevertheless, saying you do not believe God exists is immaterial to his existence.
God either exists or he does not exist irrespective of a persons faith concerning him.
The only difference is that what you believe concerning God has very serious consequences if you are wrong. Not so much for the believer.
Here we come to an idea called ‘Pascals Wager’.
Blaise Pascal was a 17thCentury French Philosopher and mathematician who proposed an argument that was quite persuasive and also quite logical respecting its outcome concerning Faith in God.
In short he said it is wiser to gamble that God does exist than that God does not due to what might be referred to as a “Risk / Reward” analysis.
What is my risk if I bet that he does exist compared to my reward.
What is my risk if I bet that he does notexist compared to my reward.
There are six quick points to Pascals Wager, In short Pascal claims that;
- God either is or is not, reason alone cannot determine it. (NB: According to Pascal, not Romans 1)
- A game is being played where heads or tails will turn up.
- You must wager (This is not optional)
- Weigh the gain or loss in waging that God is. There are two chances, if you gain, you gain all. (In other words, if God is you gain everything, and its value is infinite.) But if you lose, and God is not, you lose nothing. (More accurately, your loss is limited or finite.)
- Wager then that he is!
- If you cannot believe, work with all diligence to believe.
Risk Reward Explained
- If you wager he is, the cost of the wager is finite, the gain infinite.
- If you wager he is not, the gain (whatever that is) is finite but the loss is infinite.
Essentially this is a one way bet that only has an upside.
Notwithstanding the few Biblical Issues with the argument, essentially, he makes the point that the consequences of being wrong respecting the God of the Bible is infinite.
Man can believe whatever he chooses to believe, but man cannot choose the consequence of what he believes.
STATEMENT 2: “I don’t believe in hell so I won’t go there”
I actually have had this argument put to me on a few occasions and I don’t really think the persons thought about what they were saying at all.
It is not applicable in real life, we cannot apply this type of thinking even in the simple task of crossing a street, a lack of faith in the Bus bearing down on you will have consequences disproportionate to our faith!
Hell, either exists or it does not exist, and it has little bearing on whether or not you believe it. Discovering its existence will be disproportionate to the faith that denied it.
Statement 1: “I can lose my salvation”.
Again, For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid
The phrase in Greek is mē genoito, The literal words God and Forbid are the best representations we have in the English language to represent that phrase.
The adverb Mi=not or never, comes together with genoito = be or become or take place, and is in the third person. It is a permissive word and there is nothing in English that portrays the strength of that word other than God Forbid.
Therefore “God Forbid” is the perfect translation of the word.
“I can lose my Salvation”
Gods promise will stand sure respecting the salvation secured in Christ, well beyond your own ability to trust in Christ each day.
2 Tim 2:111
It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead withhim, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we denyhim, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
2 Tim 1:12
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
I am reminded of the born again, amillenial Christian who believes there is no millennium and no pretribulation Rapture. One exasperated commentator simply said, “Its ok, we’ll explain it to you on the way up”.
The Bible is true respecting your Salvation independent of what you believe is true.
His words and promises cannot be disannulled no matter what we might think or believe at any given time.
You think God intends evil against you?It does not change the fact that “All things work together for good to them who love God” (Rom 8:28)
You think he has left you alone? It does not change the fact that he said “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” (Heb 13:5)
You think that Jesus might save everyone else but not you?It does not change the fact that “Whosoevershall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom 10:13)
THE LAW IS TRUE IN SPITE OF OUR FAITH;
Yea, let God be true but every man a liar.
The Judgement is True in Spite of Excuse
5But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say?IsGod unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) 6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? 7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? 8 And notrather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just. 9
Never underestimate the number of perverse notions that come out from people who misapply the wonderful doctrines of the Bible.
It is true That the goodness of God is made increasingly evident by the badness of man;
Just as the brightness of light shines brighter in the darkest of dark, but it does not stand to reason that we should entertain the darkness to better see the light.
The apostle brings to the front the excuse of some who might well justify their sinfulness “to the glory of God”.
5But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say?IsGod unrighteous who taketh vengeance?
If it is through our unrighteousness that we can applaud the righteousness of God, Gods judgement must be therefore unjust to judge us.
Why should God be angry if our unrighteousness demonstrates his righteousness?
- Christmas Day 1974 Cyclone Tracy made landfall in Darwin Australia. 90% of homes were completely destroyed with a damage bill of over $4.5b billion dollars in todays value.
- February 1983, I remember the Ash Wednesday fires that destroyed over 3000 homes in Victoria and South Australia
- The Queensland floods on late 2010 to early 2011 saw at least 90 towns affected with over 200,000 people displaced. The damage bill was just under $3 billion dollars.
I remember carpenters wanting to head up to Queensland for the opportunity of heaps of work and good money.
The destruction that came in just these areas was commended by many who saw opportunity to work and profit. What was a disaster, became a windfall.
There are those even in political circles who I recall arguing that disasters can be a big gain in a slowing economy. NO, Disasters are a NET LOSS ALWAYS!
Do we allow evil that good may come?
That is the mentality exposed with the notion that my evil elevates Gods goodnessand therefore he is unjust to judge me.
Paul gives the clearest response;
God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?
You simply cannot judge evil if it can be justified that it elevates good.
Turn in your Bibles to 1 Samuel 15:13-23
I am reminded of King Saul and his excuse to Samuel for his disobedience to the Lord.
Saul was commanded by God to remember what Amelek did to Israel, laying wait for them to destroy them when they came out of Egypt. God commanded Saul in verse 3 to utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
But Saul did not do as he was instructed.
13And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessedbethou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.14 And Samuel said, Whatmeaneththen this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed. 16Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on. 17 And Samuel said, When thouwastlittle in thine own sight,wastthou notmadethe head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel? 18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. 19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD? 20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the peopletook of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. 22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORDas greatdelight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD?Behold, to obeyisbetter than sacrifice,andto hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellionis asthe sin of witchcraft, and stubbornnessis asiniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee frombeingking.
The Judgement of God will remain true in spite of excuse
Have you permitted sin in your life in order that you might have something to repent from?
Have you ever justified your sin, even using scripture to do so?
Beloved, this is a dangerous thing to do and might find you as Simon in Acts chapter 8, who once before was a Sorcerer, but then became a baptized believer whom Peter charged with being “in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity” (Acts 8:23)
Take great care beloved that you do not excuse sin.
Paul finally condemns those who willingly excuse themselves and who charge that this excuse is the very doctrine taught by Paul the apostle
7For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? 8 And notrather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.
The Depravity True in Spite of Vanity
What then? are we betterthan they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are allunder sin; 10 As it is written, There is nonerighteous, no, not one: 11 There is nonethat understandeth, there is nonethat seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throatisan open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of aspsisunder their lips: 14 Whose mouthisfull of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feetareswift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and miseryarein their ways: 17And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of Godbefore their eyes.
This passage is the highmark in the biblical declaration of what can be considered as “Universal Depravity”.
Romans 3:9-18 makes abundantly clear that “There is none righteous, no, not one”.
The Christianeeze phrase “seeker friendly” assumes that there are some who seek after God, verse 11 makes it clear that “there is none that seeketh after God”. There are no seekers of God in the Bible, but there are those who fear him!
Many seek after a comforter, or a way of peace not known. This passage certainly gives the impression that in the natural sense, man is without hope without God drawing mankind to himself.
The phrase refers to a Universal Depravity of all and not the Total Depravity of one, there is a distinction. Paul makes clear again in verse 9 that both Jews and Gentiles, that they are allunder sin;
No matter what we might think of ourselves, no matter how highly we think of ourselves, our Depravity in sin is True in Spite of our Vanity.
For as long as we think too highly of ourselves, we must understand that it does not negate the truth respecting ourselves.
The problem however is that when we do not judge ourselves in accord with the truth, we do a great evil and damage to ourselves.
There is a passage in Plato’s Republic, here we have one of the best of human philosophers denouncing excessive self-loveand its dangers, he wrote;
Of all evils the greatest is one which … a man is always excusing in himself and never correcting; … the excessive love of selfis in reality the source to each man of all offences; for the lover is blinded about the beloved, so that he judges wrongly…. and thinks that he ought always to prefer himself to the truth.
Its fascinating that the pagan world was also aware of the danger of loving yourself too much. Of thinking too highly of your own self-interest. Todays world is literally filled with such people as well as all Christians who will not submit themselves to the Bible.
Plato goes on to say;
Wherefore let every man avoid excess of self-love, and condescend to follow a better man than himself, not allowing any false shame to stand in the way
Our “better man” is The Lord Jesus Christ, it is his ‘words’ we are to follow.
Beloved we must learn and not fear to think truly of ourselves, if we do not do so the consequence of self delusion is eternal. If you think you are just without the Justifier of the Just, you will not ever know you are damned for your sin!
And this is the state of the world, Their Depravity is True in Spite of Vanity.
They justify themselves in spite of themselves, they want to remain self-deluded. They know the law and yet act contrary to the law and essentially come to hold to two completely opposing views simultaneously.
The Phycological term is known as Cognitive Dissonance and, according to the Bible, most people in the world suffer with it in one degree or another.
Beloved, are you willing to be corrected by the word of God? Are you willing to humble yourself, to set aside all you think true of you, and accept what the scriptures state concerning you?
Verse 17 astounds me somewhat as it states, for all that man is and all that he essentially searches for, “The way of peace have they not known”
So many today searching for a feeling of peaceand not understanding that apart from salvation there is no true peace.
They look to the gods of their own making, some to Budism, some to the Hindu, some to the New Age, others to drugs of delusion and others still to the greatest variety of exploits they might be able to undertake to impart to themselves a temporary comfort, a false peace.
Like the mourning’s of Jeremiah of those who preach “Peace, peace when there is no peace” Jer 6:14)
NO, the way of peace have they not known
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov 14:12)
O but what wonderful true peace there is on the Prince of Peace!
There is an abiding that we can adide in, a shelter in the storm, a rock on a high place, a strong tower of defensein the one who calms the seas with a word, a throne that we can come to, to find grace to help in time of need.
Godisour refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Ps 46:1)
Do you know him? Do you really know him?
I can tell you his name!
His name is WONDERFUL, COUNSELLOR The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (ISA 9:6)
I am not talking here about “a way which seemethright”, I am speaking of the way the truth and the life. You can read about it all here in this book.
But how do you know the book is true you ask?
That is easy, it was written by him that cannot lie!
We, who fear God, have obtained mercy through the blood of his son Jesus Christ, its not a feeling, it’s a reality.
It’s not a vain peace, it is real peace, everlasting peace and he has given to us the comforter which should come, that Holy Spirit.
That is those who have believed, but there are also those who have no fear of God before their eyes, they need you to share the Gospel with them that they might know the wager, the bet, the gamblethey have laid will have an infinite cost, they need to know, will you tell them?
By The Law Is The Knowledge Of Sin
19Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the lawisthe knowledge of sin.
Who was to know that the ultimate purpose of the Law was to reveal the knowledge of sin in man?
God has little concern of our temporal righteousness, he did not give us the Law in order to climb up to him, to live by, or rather be “Under the law”. The apostle Peter tells us it was a yoke upon the neck… that neither theynor their fathers were able to bear” (Acts 15:10).
We have all heard of the manner in which the farmer or hunter in Africa traps Monkeys.
He simply bores a hole just large enough for the Money to fit his hand. He places within the hole some nuts or sweets. The monkey comes by and smells the delicacies inside the tree, reaches in and takes hold of those nuts.
Sadly for the monkey it is a choice of either freedom or the nuts, but not both, for while his hand has a fist full of nuts he cannot remove it from the tree, if he drops the nuts he can be free, but he wants both. Now he KNOWS HE IS STUCK, what to do?
The purpose of the law is to reveal to man that he IS STUCK. When man reaches in and takes hold of the law he has with him a choice, hold the law and attempt to be satisfied in it, or come to the realization that he cannot fulfill the obligations of the law and acknowledge his si.
Beloved the Law of God is the ultimate ‘Cookie jar’ example. When we have before us the law of God, and consider ourselves in light of the law, Our mouth is stopped. We have nothing to say in defense of ourselves.
19Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
We become as the monkey caught in the tree with his handful of delicacies, there is nothing to say to justify why we are here, why we sin, we are stuck, our mouth is stopped and we are evidently guilty before God.
By the time we come to the knowledge of the Law of God, even the knowledge of that written in our hearts, it is too late, the law is broken, our mouth is stopped.
As the monkey who now waits only for his captor to take him away, so too do we if it were not for the mercies of God.
Those who think now to take those nuts and live by them find themselves unable to do so.
They know the law, they teach the law but, inbreaking the law dishonor thou God?Yes.
Please consider just for a moment the ten;
1 And God spake all these words, saying, 2Iamthe LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likenessof any thingthatisin heaven above, or thatisin the earth beneath, or thatisin the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy Godama jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourthgenerationof them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. 8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh dayisthe sabbath of the LORD thy God:in itthou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger thatiswithin thy gates: 11 Forinsix days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in themis, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 13 Thou shalt not kill. 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15 Thou shalt not steal. 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing thatisthy neighbour’s.
- (3) No other Gods before him.
- (4-6) No graven images or idols.
- (7) No blasphemy
- (8-11) The Sabbath day
- (12) Honour to parents
- (13) Do not kill
- (14) Not commit adultery
- (15) do not steal
- (16) Do not lie or bear false witness
- (17) Do not covet.
Expand on the above
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the lawisthe knowledge of sin.
No person ever can be justified by the Law, that is not its purpose. The Law condemns you it cannot liberate you. We have broken the Law, when placed in light of Christ, we have broken them all.
The whole world is guilty before God, their mouths are stopped, they cannot be justified by the same Law that condemns a man, what now?
In this condition, standing before the throne of God will you be found innocent or guilty of breaking the law?
Will you be in the condition of the devil, who also was guilty of breaking the law of God, in hell or in heaven?
If your thoughts of goodness for yourself keeps you asleep to yourself until death, hell is final wake up, there will be no tomorrow in an eternal lake of fire.
Too many are the churches who fluff the pillows of the damned. Filling their ego’s with confirmation of vanity in their depravity.
Cognitive Dissonance is the diet fed from the pulpits of this Laodicean age and it seems the world is hungry for more and yet remains malnourished. Like the monkey caught in the tree, they wont let go for liberties sake, they have no fear of God before their eyes, they simply await the captor.
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the lawisthe knowledge of sin.
That knowledge is given that you might ask, “What must I do to be saved?”
The cry that needs to be cried is simply, “Jesus Save Me!”
Plato, The Dialogues of Plato; The Seventh Letter, eds. Mortimer J. Adler and Philip W. Goetz, Great Books of the Western World, Second Edition., (Chicago; Auckland; Geneva; London; Madrid; Manila; Paris; Rome; Seoul; Sydney; Tokyo; Toronto: Robert P. Gwinn; Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1990), 6:689.