We are All in the Same Boat (Romans 3:9-20) *All verses in NKJV*
– In 1912, the RMS Titanic made its maiden voyage from South Hampton England to New York.
– The Titanic was the most luxurious and technologically advanced passenger ship in the world, and actively marketed as the world’s first and last “Unsinkable Ship.” Ironically, it hit an iceberg 4 days into the journey and sank, killing 1,517 of the men, women, and children who were on board.
– The youngest victim was 13 months, and the oldest was 74 years old.
– The Titanic was capable of carrying 48 lifeboats but was only equipped with 20 at the time. This was enough for less than half of the passengers on board, and when the lifeboats were deployed, most ended up only about half full. They had room for 1,100, but only 712 survived the ship sinking.
– According to witness accounts, the ship’s orchestra of 8 musicians, continued to play during the whole evacuation, in an attempt to calm the passengers. They played until the very end, and all of them perished. By many reports, the last song they played was, “Nearer, my God, to Thee.”
– They were all in the same boat. People from every demographic died. Rich, poor, old, young, passengers, crew members, servants, and officers. The richest man on the boat, and the Captain.
* WE are all in the same boat too! The world wants us to focus on our differences, but spiritually speaking, we are the same. We are all just arranging chairs on the deck of the Titanic.
– In the Book of Romans, The Apostle Paul is saying the same thing. At the end of the day, whether Jew or Gentile, our fate is the same. Our sin has condemned us all to death!
– Our only hope is salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone!
Read Romans 3:9-20
1. This is what Paul is saying.
– In the Book of Romans, The Apostle Paul is speaking to a Jewish audience. He speaks to them with credibility because he is also Jewish and trained in the religious law.
– The Jews know they are God’s people, and they are well versed in the law of Moses. They believe they are saved because God chose them, and the law, but Paul is telling them where they are wrong.
– Romans 2:1, Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
– The Jews should not be condemning the behavior of the Gentiles, all the while thinking that they are safe from the consequences of their own sinful behaviors.
– God does not play favorites, and we all will be held to the same standard.
– Romans 3:1-2, What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? 2 Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles (scriptures) of God.
– If, like Paul says in Chapter 2, The Jews can’t count on their history with God for salvation, and following the law won’t make them righteous, what’s so good about being a Jew?
– Paul tells them they have the advantage over the gentiles because they have the Word of God. They know the truth. They just need to start obeying the truth.
– So, the Jews might be thinking that if they are God’s chosen, and they have God’s word, and this gives them the advantage, that it makes them better people than the gentiles, but Paul says, “NO!”
– I think this is similar to how many Christians act these days. We have the knowledge of God, we have his Bible, and we are His people. We are better than all those sinners out there in the world.
– Romans 3:9, What then? Are we (Jews, God’s chosen) better than they (the pagans)? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.
– We, as believers have an advantage over the non-believer because we know the truth of God and the path to salvation. But, this advantage doesn’t make us “better”, because…
– We are all sinners in need of a Savior. None is righteous apart from Jesus. The difference is, we should know this, and they do not.
– The ultimate problem for humans is not the fact of sin, but more the basic situation of being slaves to sin. That’s why we need Jesus to set us free from the penalty and the power of sin.
– Read Romans 3:10-18
– This is from several passages of Psalms and Isaiah that illustrate our sinfulness as people.
– Paul does this similar to a “topical style” of preaching. Collecting several different verses to support one primary truth of God’s word. Old school, the Rabbis used to call this “pearl-stringing.”
– This is a graphic description of who we are apart from Christ, but also, who we are when we are disobedient to God, and ignore His word.
– The Jews had become prideful and entitled about their relationship to God. And that is a huge danger for us too, as believers. It’s easy to fall into the trap of pride.
– Example: You start believing that you have “out-worked” your fellow Christian in doing good, and that has earned you favor with the Lord, or the church, or other believers.
– You begin to want recognition from man for your service to God. A public word, a certificate.
– You feel intitled to blessings because you faithfully attend church, or tithe, or watch your behavior. You think you deserve it, and it’s owed to you… like a quid-pro-quo with God.
– “There is none righteous, no, not one.” Sin will condemn us all to death without Jesus.
– If God’s own people stand guilty, how much more the whole world?
– Romans 3:20, Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
– Simply obeying the rules, and doing good deeds, will not save you. You will not escape death.
2. This means that we are all sinners who need a Savior.
– We cannot be in a right relationship with God apart from the sacrifice for sin of Jesus Christ.
– There is no need to over complicate this. Understanding this makes the other pieces fall into place.
– Example: FF/EMT: I don’t need to know exactly what is wrong with a patient. I really only need to know what I need to do about it. Sick, or not sick. Medic, or not. Tx, or stay home.
– Only in a few high-risk situations does it matter why they are sick, because I cannot fix it on my own. My main job is to get them directed to the definitive care they need.
– Romans 8:2, 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
– John 14:6, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
– 1 John 1:8-10, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
– Eph 2:4-5,But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
3. Knowing all of this, you need to decide how you will respond.
– This life is like a sinking ship, but unlike the Titanic, no one will escape death.
– We are all in the same boat. You can’t be good enough or holy enough on your own. We need Jesus!
– We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone!
– Accept, Believe, Confess… alter call
– prayer –
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