Calvary Road Baptist Church

“NONE RIGHTEOUS”

Romans 3.10

 

Bill attended a Church service on Sunday morning four weeks ago. He went to Church a couple of days after enjoying a thoroughly pleasurable religious experience. He had talked to a vibrant Christian who explained God’s plan of salvation to him. As much as he was able to, the vibrant Christian encouraged Bill to join him in praying the sinner’s prayer to trust Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. Then, at the conclusion of the pastor’s sermon that Sunday morning four weeks ago when he attended the Church service, he went forward during the invitation and was met and talked with a very nice man at the front. When Bill told the altar worker he was a new Christian the nice man congratulated him, filled out a card, and arranged for Bill to be baptized the following Sunday. That following Sunday, after the pastor had preached his sermon, right on cue Bill was baptized and became a member of the Church. After attending every service for about three weeks, Bill missed all three services last week. Bill will never again attend the Church he joined by profession of faith and baptism. Bill will never attend any Church again with any semblance of regularity, though he will to his dying day maintain his conviction that he is a Christian and that he will spend eternity in heaven.

What is the problem with Bill? The problem is not just with Bill. The problem is with Bill and the nice Christian man that “led him to Christ,” Bill and the nice Christian man that dealt with him when he went forward during the invitation in that first Church service he attended, and Bill and the nice pastor who baptized a willing candidate who he presumed was a Christian when he baptized him. You see, Bill never really trusted Christ. He had no Biblical concept of either Christ or his sinful condition. Bill never really repented of his sin or placed his faith in the Jesus of the Bible. Sadly, Bill was never, at any point, dealt with in a sensitive and discerning manner by any of the three men who assured him that he was a Christian. Oh, they were well meaning, or so it seemed, but they dealt with the profoundly spiritual matters related to bringing a lost soul to Christ in a very superficial way. That well-intentioned guy Bill first talked to, as well as the altar worker in Church that first time he went, and even the pastor who baptized him, were all very sincere people. They were also naively optimistic. Rather than asking tough questions to discern whether or not Bill understood any of the things they assumed he knew, those crucial truths were barely touched on in a very shallow and perfunctory presentation of the Gospel. Bill was rushed through, in minutes, things that should probably have taken at least hours to deal with properly. So, you see, Bill made a profession of faith that was only a profession and nothing more. He came to Church and responded to the invitation because he was sincere in his desire to do right and be baptized. However, the excitement faded. The thrill wore off. Bill was still just Bill, so he resumed the life he was living before that fateful day he would always think was the day he was saved.

Folks, it tears me up when things like that happen, which is more far more frequently than anyone wants to admit. What is the result I am hoping for with this message from God’s Word and then when I resume at the beginning of the New Year? That those of you who are saved will know more certainly that you are saved, and that those of you who are not saved will be certainly saved.

My text for this evening is Romans 3.10: 

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” 

This is the first piece of evidence the Apostle Paul admits into consideration to show his Roman readers what he believes about unsaved men, that they are guilty in the sight of God of sin. The problem for us to deal with in the twenty-first century, of course, is that being so far removed from the context in which the Apostle Paul wrote, many of us do not know what “none righteous” actually means.

Let me briefly lay out for you four aspects of man’s unrighteousness that are outlined in God’s Word: 

First, THERE IS THE DESCRIPTION OF THOSE WHO ARE UNRIGHTEOUS 

Have you ever wondered what those people’s descriptions are who are not righteous? Who are unrighteous? The answer is found in God’s Word:

First, we should note that someone who is unrighteous has very serious issues, even if their opinions of themselves give them a false comfort. Proverbs 17.15: 

“He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.” 

Whatever being unrighteous is, the result is being an abomination to the LORD, a very serious problem indeed, since this word translated abomination shows the LORD feels the same toward those who worship idols and sacrifice their children to false gods.[1] The implication is obvious. The unbelieving mother or father, being unrighteous in God’s sight, just as surely condemns their children to eternal damnation as did those of old who burned their infants as offerings to Molech.[2]

Second, Proverbs 29.27: 

“An unjust man is an abomination to the just: and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.” 

Thus, it is established that those who are unrighteous are also an abomination to those who are just, and not just an abomination to the LORD. So much for the supposed Christian who prefers the unsaved buddies and pals he hangs around all the time, but who has no time for Christians or for Church.

Third, we understand from Matthew 9.13 that the unrighteous person is in need of heartfelt repentance: 

“But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” 

This verse shows us that the opposite of one who is righteous, the unrighteous, is described by the Lord Jesus Christ as needing repentance.

The question we need to ask is why the unrighteous person needs repentance? Well, because unrighteousness is sin, according to First John 5.17, which says, 

“All unrighteousness is sin.” 

In agreement with Matthew 9.13, sinners need to repent, to have a change of mind and heart toward their sin, to have a change of mind and heart toward their unrighteousness.[3]

Sinners also need to repent because unrighteousness is error. Back in Romans 2.8, we read of sinners the following: 

“But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness.” 

Unrighteousness and truth are mutually exclusive. You cannot advocate truth and unrighteousness. Therefore, unrighteousness is error; it is wrong because it is untruthful.

Again, the unrighteous person needs to repent because unrighteousness is also lawlessness. Listen to what First Timothy 1.9-10 tells us: 

9  Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

10  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine. 

Finally, the unrighteous person needs to repent because, being unrighteous, he is unfaithful. This is seen by the contrast the Lord Jesus Christ uses in Luke 16.10, where He says, 

“he that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” 

So, the unrighteous, translated here “unjust,” is the opposite of the man who is faithful.

The unrighteous person is an abomination to God, an abomination to the righteous man, needing repentance, being a sinner, erroneous, lawless, disobedient, and also being unfaithful. Though this does not exhaust the Scriptural descriptions of an unrighteous person, you might be thinking to yourself, “Wow. Those descriptions sound too much like me. Make me feel better about myself, pastor.” 

Next, THERE IS THE DECEPTION OF THOSE WHO ARE UNRIGHTEOUS 

Those who are unrighteous often pose and live under the guise of being righteous. Indeed, they may even think themselves to be righteous. How can they do that? By deception.

This issue of deception was illustrated by the Lord Jesus in His remarks to the very religious Pharisees and scribes of Israel in Matthew 23.27-33. As you turn there to read along with me, you will note that these most spiritual-appearing men were, in actuality, religious hypocrites. They were deceivers. Hey, not all unrighteous people stop coming to Church services. Some continue to attend and pretend they are what in reality they are not. The Lord Jesus said, 

27  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

28  Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

29  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,

30  And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.

31  Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.

32  Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

33  Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? 

Deception is also something that was explained by the Apostle Paul in his letters to the Corinthian Church and also to Timothy. Listen very carefully to what he writes in First Corinthians 6.9-10: 

9  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 

Next, his words to young Timothy in First Timothy 4.1-3: 

1  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

2  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

3  Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 

“Be not deceived” is what he wrote to the Corinthians. “Speaking lies in hypocrisy” is what he wrote to Timothy. Folks, that is clearly deception, the unrighteous pretending to be genuine believers in Jesus Christ. However, that is not the only kind of deception. Sometimes a person can be honestly and sincerely mistaken about his relationship with Christ. James 2.22 reads, 

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” 

There are people in every congregation who pretend to be Christians, and who know full well they are not. There are also people in every Church who sincerely believe they are going to heaven who are not. There are even those who have stopped attending entirely, thinking themselves to be backsliding believers, who are not believers at all. They are, in fact, unrighteous. “Pastor, you said those things to cheer me up?” No, I mention these things to you so that you will know the truth. 

Third, THERE IS THE DESTINY OF THOSE WHO ARE UNRIGHTEOUS 

People who are pretending to be Christians need to understand that pretense will do them no good in the long run. Those sincerely mistaken about their relationship with Christ need to make sure, Biblically sure. Why is this so? Because of the destiny that awaits every unrighteous person. In chronological sequence, here is what will happen to every unrighteous human being.

First, the unrighteous person is destined to experience physical death. Do not think you are any different from anyone else. Someday you are going to die. Maybe now, maybe later, but eventually you are going to die. Hebrews 9.27 begins, 

“As it is appointed unto men once to die . . . .” 

Face the eventuality of physical death.

Then, sometime after physical death, the unrighteous person is destined to experience physical resurrection. Both in Acts 24.15 and in Daniel 12.2 we are told that 

“there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.” 

Be mindful, however, that the resurrections of the just and the unjust occur at different times and to accomplish different ends. The unrighteous person will experience physical resurrection as preparation for his third major experience: Personal judgment by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ. Turn, first, to Revelation 20.11-15: 

11  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

13  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. 

Turn to Revelation 21.8:

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” 

Finally, turn to Second Peter 2.9:

“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.” 

This judgment that the unrighteous man is destined to experience is only a prelude to the final experience that unrighteous fellow is destined for: Eternal torment. Listen to the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 25.46, describing the destiny of the unrighteous person: 

“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment.” 

Folks, that is eternal damnation my Lord is referring to. For the unrighteous person, that is forever his agonizing experience. 

Friends, THIS COULD ALL BECOME QUITE MORBID VERY QUICKLY WERE IT NOT FOR THE FINAL ASPECT OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS FOUND IN THE BIBLE . . . AND THAT IS THE DELIVERANCE OF THE UNRIGHTEOUS MAN 

You see, praise God, the deliverance of the unrighteous man from a destiny of eternal torment has been provided by the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Righteous, on Calvary’s cross. 

First Peter 3.18:

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.” 

The Lord Jesus Christ has done what needed to be done to facilitate the salvation of the unrighteous, to accomplish their deliverance from the penalty of sin, the power of sin, and the presence of sin.

Blessed are those who respond; this deliverance is made available to the unrighteous. Through faith in Jesus Christ, God works a miracle called justification, whereby He pronounces righteous those who are by nature unrighteous, justifying those who are by nature unjust. 

Romans 5.1:

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

Romans 10.9-10:

9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 

Romans 10.13:

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” 

Perhaps Bill has not dropped out of regular Church attendance and corporate worship because he thinks he is a Christian but in reality is not. Perhaps it is a sin problem that God will give him victory over when he comes back to Church, on his way to spiritual maturity, and a lifetime of effective service for Christ. However, I want to make sure. Perhaps you are not an unbeliever who is deceiving the rest of us, or a sincere person who is honestly deluded into thinking you are a Christian when, in fact, you are not.

However, I want to make sure. I also want you to make sure. Be aware from the description of unrighteousness how horrible it is to both God and to those who are born again. Be aware of its deception. Be aware of its destiny.

Do not become aware of these things so that you might become depressed and despondent. Become aware of these things so that you might become keenly aware of how very much you need to be delivered from the unrighteousness you find yourself in without Christ. Become aware that only through faith in Jesus Christ, the Righteous, will God deliver you, unrighteous soul, to righteousness, to salvation, and eventually to heaven.

__________

[1] Francis Brown, S. R. Driver & Charles A. Briggs, The New Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius Hebrew And English Lexicon, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1979), pages 1072-1073.

[2] Leviticus 18.21

[3] Bauer, Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature, (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 2000), pages 640-641.

Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org