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What is the Remedy for the Total Depravity of Man? (Romans 3:9-19)

Pastor Heo, Romans: The Righteousness of God, Sermons

What is the Remedy for the Total Depravity of Man? (Romans 3:9-19)

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What is the Remedy…?

Romans 3:9-19 (Pastor Heo)

No One Is Righteous

9 What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands; there is 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.” 19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.

Today’s conclusion: The whole world is guilty – including you and me. Every mouth must be shut up before God.

  • This is Total Depravity (inability).
  • This is Total Depravity on Parade since Romans 1.

v.9 “What shall we conclude? Are we any better, by nature? Not at all! All are under sin.”

  • Mind, heart, will, mouth, feet, hands, eyes, etc = ALL under sin / affected by sin / we are all sinful. We are not as sinful as we COULD be, but we are totally affected by sin.
  • Man’s heart, by nature, is evil and sick, unable, incapable, corrupt. Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things. Who can understand it?”

v. 10 “As it is written…” – this is the OT scriptures that underscore the charge that all men are guilty and under the power of sin.

v. 10-18 = Spiritual x-ray

Have you ever had an x-ray? You can see ALL that is inside a person. These verses are a spiritual x-ray from top to bottom – head to feet. The general state = mind and heart under sin.

  • v. 10-11 = mind and heart part
  • v. 12 = willpower part
  • v. 13-14 = mouth part
  • v. 15-16 = feet part
  • v. 17 = no way of peace
  • v. 18 = WHY? no fear of God in their eyes (eye part)

Notice the power of these single negative words: “No one, no, none, all”, v. 10, 11, 12, 17, 18

v. 10 “No one righteous” (healthy, sound, perfect, sinless, blameless)

all are unrighteous, unjust, unfair (Ecc 7:20 “There’s not a righteous man who does what is right and never sins.”)

  • 2 Cor 5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Do you need this?

The main theme of this book = the Righteousness of God

v. 11 The mind: “no one understands”

Spiritual things can be understood only by the guidance of the Holy Spirit – we cannot understand by human minds and ideas (unspiritual minds). 1 Cor 2:14 “The man who is not of the Spirit does not understand the things of the Spirit.”

Whenever we stand before the Word of God, our minds must be illuminated by the guidance of the HS.

v. 11 The heart: “no one who seeks God”

A sinner has no heart, no courage to seek God. That’s why God must seek the sinner first.

  1. In Genesis, after the Fall of Man (chp 3), the first thing Adam did was HIDE and God SOUGHT him out. “I hid in the garden because I was naked and afraid.”
  2. The lost sheep could never seek the shepherd, but the shepherd pursues the lost sheep earnestly.
  3. Prodigal Son: On the way home, before the son saw the Father, the Father recognized his son and ran to him and threw his arms around him.

Can you imagine? Before the Creation of the world, God knew YOU, individually, personally, perfectly.

  • That’s why Jesus says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit.”
  • To Jeremiah, “Before you were born, I appointed you, I set you apart…”
  • Romans “Those he knew, he predestined, called, justified, glorified.”

In this, God pursues first, he takes the initiative and has the power to pursue first. We have no power, no heart to seek God first.

v. 12 The will: “no one does good”

Sinners have no will, power, willpower to be good / do good before God.

  • Jesus says, “There is only ONE who is good: God.”
  • Also: “I’m the Good Shepherd, and the Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.'”


  1. A man is not a sinner because he sins.
  2. A man sins because he is a sinner.


  1. God is not good because he is doing something good.
  2. God is good because he is the standard of what is good.

From a sinner, nothing good comes. So, how can we be/do good before our Father God?

Prodigal Son: In this story, a son – as long as he is away from his father, no matter what he is doing, he cannot be a good son for his father, nor do good for his father. The starting point for the son to do good for his father is to return to his father.

Like this, the starting point for us to be good to Father God is to return to Him by becoming his child by accepting Christ as our Savior and Lord.

  • John 1:12 “To those who believed in him, to those who called upon his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

Are you a man/woman of Christ? Make it CLEAR.

  • Not to be in Christ and try to live a “good” life before God is contradictory and impossible.

v. 13-14 The mouth: – God bless our mouths – our MOUTHS must be saved

  1. “Throat = open graves”
  2. “tongues = deceitful”
  3. “lips = poison of vipers”
  4. “mouths = cursing & bitterness”

Continual emphasis = throat, tongue, lips, mouth – the WHOLE section is infected

A sinner is dead spiritually: “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins.”

  • From death, what comes out? More death.
  • From life, what comes out? More life.
  1. The mouth is the expression of what is INSIDE YOU. What does your mouth say?
  2. The mouth is also the evidence of what you believe.

Jesus says, “You evil vipers – how can you who are evil say something good? The good man brings up good from what is stored up in him. The evil man brings up evil from what is stored up in him. On the day of judgment, everyone must give account of every careless word he has ever spoken. You will be acquitted or condemned based on your words.”

Our mouths can be acquitted by confessing with them “Jesus is Lord.”

  1. Condemned mouths can be converted
  2. Unsaved mouths can be saved
  3. Confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord”
  • Romans 9:9-10 “If you confess with your mouth and believe in your hearts that Jesus is Lord, you will be saved.”

v. 15 The feet: “swift to shed blood, ruin and misery”

Do you have enough feet? 2 is enough.

Just as a sinner’s mouth and words are deceitful, so their ways are destructive. Lost sinners bring death, destruction, misery, ruin, wherever they go. This afternoon, where will you go?

Whatever I touch with my finger, there is my fingerprint. Like this, wherever we go, we leave a mark of our footprints. We may not see with our naked eyes, but there are many finger/foot prints covering everything.

The lost sinners bring death, destruction, ruin, and misery wherever he goes. These tragedies may not happen immediately, but they will happen gradually, step-by-step, finally, inevitably, because the lost sinner is on the broad road that leads to destruction.

  • “Wide is the gate and road that leads to destruction, but narrow is the road and gate that leads to life and only a few find it.”
  • Isaiah “How beautiful the feet of those who bring good news.” (also repeated in Romans)

Our feet (like our mouths) must be converted / saved. Condemned feet can become converted by delivering the good news of salvation of Jesus Christ.

  • “How beautiful are the feet of those who deliver the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ.”

v. 17 No peace

This is the original condition of sinners. Do you have peace? Do you know this way?

When we do something illegal, we have no peace in our minds. Like this, when we do something against the will of God, we have no peace.

  • Peace comes from doing the will of God.
  • Jesus is the King/Prince of Peace. Jesus, himself, IS our peace.
  • So, only He can say, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives.”
  • This peace can only be attained through Jesus Christ.

“He himself is my peace.”

Why do sinners not know this way? There is no fear of God in their eyes.

v. 18 The eyes: “no fear of God in their eyes”

This is one of the most clear signs of the Last Days – this is the Last part of the Last Days – “no fear of God in their eyes.” The result of this is: “Fear of all but God.”

“No fear of God is fear of all BUT God.”

Around us, do you have something to fear? Spiders? Cancer? Death? Natural disaster? Boss? Spouse? Why do we fear these things? Because they do not fear God.

  • Ecc conclusion (chp 12) “Fear God and keep his commandments. This is the WHOLE duty and responsibility of Man.”

Do you want FREEDOM from all fears in this world?

  • Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

The fear of God is the spring of life – the beginning of wisdom.

v. 19 Conclusion

In total depravity on parade, the whole world is guilty, so EVERY mouth must be stopped (closed) before God. There is no debate/defense.

As long as we defend ourselves, command ourselves, we cannot be saved through Jesus Christ – his death and resurrection.

  1. In a Christ-less state, we are totally sinful, under the power of sin – hopeless, powerless, helpless.
  2. In a Christ-less state, we are indifferent, corrupt, helpless.
  3. In a Christ-less state, our tongues, mouths, language are deceitful, miserable.
  4. In a Christ-less state, our conduct is ruin, destruction, injurious, totally nothing.
  5. In a Christ-less state, our end is destruction, ruin, and eternal death / separation from God in hell.

Please be serious in this matter.

By nature, Man is a GREAT sinner, but our Messiah is a GREAT Savior.

The Remedy:

Only Jesus

Jesus died for your sin / my sin and rose again for our salvation. Do you believe? Jesus died for your / my sin, and man is a GREAT sinner, but our Messiah is a GREAT Savior.

  • Do not overrate the sin of man, and do not underrate the saving power of Christ.

Only Jesus is our answer, our life, our salvation.

  • “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: ‘Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners.'”

God bless us. Let’s pray.

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