As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous—not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.”
“Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.”
“Snake venom drips from their lips.”
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
“They rush to commit murder. Destruction and misery always follow them. They don’t know where to find peace.”
“They have no fear of God at all.”
Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
Paul uses these Old Testament references to show that humanity in general, in its present sinful condition, is unacceptable before God. Have you ever thought to yourself, “Well, I’m not too bad. I’m a pretty good person”? Look at these verses and see if any of them apply to you. Have you ever lied? Have you ever hurt someone’s feelings by your words or tone of voice? Are you bitter toward anyone? Do you become angry with those who strongly disagree with you? In thought, word, and deed you, like everyone else in the world, stand guilty before God. We must remember who we are in his sight—alienated sinners.
In Romans 3:10-12, Paul is referring to Psalm 14:1-3. “No one is righteous” means “no one is innocent.” Every person is valuable in God’s eyes because God created us in his image, and he loves us. But no one is good enough (that is, no one can earn a right standing with God). Though we are valuable, we have fallen into sin. But God, through Jesus his Son, has redeemed us and offers to forgive us if we turn to him in faith.
The last time someone accused you of wrongdoing, what was your reaction? Denial, argument, and defensiveness? The Bible tells us the world stands silent and accountable before almighty God. No excuses or arguments are left. Have you reached the point with God where you are ready to hang up your defenses and await his decision? Allow your desperate need to point you toward Christ.