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Not even One

Words of Faith Final

Not even One
Words of Faith 7-27-2021
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2021
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Romans 3

    [9] What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. [10] As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; [11] there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. [12] All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one."  [13] "Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit." "The poison of vipers is on their lips." [14] "Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness." [15] "Their feet are swift to shed blood; [16] ruin and misery mark their ways, [17] and the way of peace they do not know." [18] "There is no fear of God before their eyes."

       So, if there is an "advantage" to being Jewish because the Word of God came through the Jewish people, does that advantage make Jewish people any better than Gentiles?  Paul answers emphatically: In no way!  Jews and Gentiles are under sin just the same. Human depravity is distributed quite fairly. Paul quoted six different Old Testament references to make the point.  
         As part of a pre-Christian culture, Paul's hearers argued that some are somehow better than others or are naturally benevolent. As people immersed in a post-Christian culture, we cling to the same idea.  But the truth of Scripture declares something else. Here it is in a nutshell.  
        No one is righteous.  No one understands God.  No one really seeks God.  At our best, at the high end of our imaginary bell curve, we claim to act with benevolence, but we are not pure of heart, and we are prone to deceit.  We are masters at deceiving, even deceiving ourselves.  We deceive ourselves to the point of believing we are benevolent.  Even our most selfless acts are, in the end, selfish.  Selfless acts are selfish either because they are done to be seen by men, preserve self, or make us "feel good."  
       At our worst, the low end of our imaginary bell curve, humanity is full of cursing and bitterness rushing in to shed blood.  We wage selfish wars and create self-justified ruin and misery.  Just read the papers.  At our highest level of world policy, we pat ourselves on the back for our victories for world peace. Finally, we must confess that the "way of peace" is something we do not know.  And at every level and place, without God, there is no fear of God before our eyes.  
        It sounds harsh, but this is the beginning point.  There can be no other.  As long as we cling to our self-justifications and self-righteous theories, we are not ready to truly discover God.  We really need no God because we are not open to the most fundamental truth: we need Him!  Until we discover that we are lost, we are in no way ready to begin the journey that grace shall offer.  

         Lord, I am ready to listen.  I am ready to hear.  I recognize that I cannot even seek You apart from Your grace.  Reveal to me the depths of Your grace and love.  In Jesus' name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2021
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)        
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2021 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.