As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away,they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.""Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.""The poison of vipers is on their lips.""Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness "Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.""There is no fear of God before their eyes." (NIV)
In reading Romans 3, 10-18, you get a picture of a court room scene where God is sitting on his judgment throne and man stands before him with the Apostle Paul designated to read a court injunction docket of God versus Man who claims to have righteousness within himself and continues even to this very day to defy God's preceipts, principles and love. Satan fooled Adam and Eve into believing that all it took for man to be his own god was having to knowledge of both good and evil. Yet, all throughout ancient and modern history, man still gravitates toward evil rather than good. As a result man is doomed and destined toward destruction unless, he turns from his wicked ways and turn to a Holy and Righteous God. And the question is, why wouldn't he? When you hear the 14 count indictment our Soverign, Sinless, Holy God has against man in general, why would you remain unrighteous and in submission humble yourself under the mighty hand of God? Here are the 14 counts:
A. "There are none righteous, no not one."
After the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, there has been any man or woman that is righteous in the eyes of God, even though a lot of people professed to be. Every person that was called“righteous throughout the bible was called this by God Himself because they were "filled" with the righteousness of God, having his righteousness "inputed" upon them. After the fall of Adam and Eve, everybody was born "spiritually corrupted" and with “sin” in their blood. In Romans 3:23, Paul reminds us that we all were born in sin and shaped in iniquity. In Romans 10:10, Paul tells us that "true belief in righteousness" comes from our hearts and with this belief confession is made to "receiving salvation" in Jesus Christ.
From another perspective, God in deep regret indicted man again in Genesis 6:5-7. According to God, "the wickedness of man was great upon the earth; that every imagination of the thoughts of man's heart was only on evil continually".
God lets us know that he knows everything that is in our hearts, including all of those "secret things" we never verbalize. Our true feelings are contained with our hearts. "Nobody" can possess "real righteousness", unless God put (inputes) "His righteousness" in that person. To obtain "this righteousness", we must express a desire to obtain it from God both with our heart and with our mouth. We must establish a “personal” relationship with God through the acceptance of the redemption work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
B. "There are none that understand".
Because outside of "God's inputation", there is "no righteousness" in man. It stands to reason that man "in whole" does not understand none of the ways, the wisdom, or the overall plan that God has for him or the world that he lives in. God said in Isaiah 55:8 "His ways were not our ways and His thoughts were not our thoughts". We do not think the way that God does neither do we act the way God act. We look for "quick and expedient" solutions to fulfill our desires, whereas God operates in "what’s right for all" and "what best brings Him glory".
The Bible says that "it’s the foolishness of preaching that confounds the wises of men". The true preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ comes directly from God through the Holy Ghost as He speaks through “chosen” ministers. Most people generally reject true, biblical sound preaching. Most people don't understand how Jesus can tell someone like He did in Matthew 5: 44 to "love your enemies and to do good to them that hate you and to pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you and swear against you falsely for His sake". Many people even in churches today don’t even understand how by prayer and faith in God and asking Him to do something in your life brings about that desired request of their heart, that is, if the request asked is in the will of God for that person. Many don’t understand that even though a law may be "legal" according to a government’s "judicial system", that "same law" may be "illegal" according to the "Divine Law" and "God's Judicial System". For an example: same sex marriages are rapidly becoming "legal" in many states, but according to God’s Divine Law, this act is still an abomination and illegal.
Third, "the natural man" can’t understand God’s ways because according to the bible, God’s ways are "foolishness" to them. It stands to reason then when Jesus said "He came that we might have life and have life more abundantly", many of us don’t understand what he really meant. We think "abundant life" is based upon the amount of material riches and possessions we accumulate, whereas Jesus clearly tells us that "the abundant life does has nothing to do to the abundance of material things we possess!" When we talk about what it takes for a man to receive salvation, many think that we must do a lot of "good works” in order to be saved, but Jesus said that if we must believe that God sent Him into the world to save us .(John 3:16-17) The Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:8-9 that salvation comes by the grace of God and not by any “works” lest we would boast upon those works!
C. " There are none that seek after God"
The "Natural Man" by his very nature never looks for a relationship with God. He believes that by simply knowing the "difference" between good and evil that he can bring about a change for a better life and save himself without God's divine help. He has based his life’s structure Genesis 3: 4- 5. Using the serpent, Satan told Eve that God was lying to her and that she would not die. He also told her that if she ate the fruit from the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden that her “eyes” would then be open and she would be just like God and possess the knowledge of good and evil. Both Adam and Eve fell prey to "the great lie". This resulted in 4 "knee jerk" reactions from Adam: fear of God's voice, reconition of his own nakedness, covering up his nakedness by man-made means, and physically hiding (so he thought) from the "condescending" presence of God.
The Natural Man thinks that just knowing the difference between good and evil is all it takes to be saved, but he fails to realize that Satan can make good appear to be evil and evil appear to be good. Because of this, man in his "natural " essence lives by 3 "evil means:" (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life), Man may know right from wrong, but he depends upon his own "limited knowledge and godless philosophy," constantly disobeying God, making his own "self-centered and self-serving decisions. Because no one by nature on their own looks for God, God has to present Himself in many different ways to us so we will know that He is sovereign and we must depend on Him for everything. He presents Himself through the Word of God, using nature and the laws of nature, and through the preaching and teaching of His holy word through His chosen ministers.
D. "They have all gone out of the way".
In Isaiah 53: 6, the Prophet Isaiah said the "iniquities of man" were placed upon the shoulders of Jesus Christ was because all of mankind had gone astray. God describes our going out of the way in Genesis 6: 5 as being "a great wickedness" that has filled the earth, to the point that we were using our imaginations constantly to devise new ways to bring forth more evil within our society. In fact, by doing so, man was" publicly saying" that he didn’t want God to rule nor govern our lives or lifestyles! As stated earlier, it was this attitude that caused God to regret the day that He even made us as living beings. This is what brought the first devastating judgment upon the earth and mankind according to Genesis 7: 17-23 (the flood). The Psalmist made a confession in Psalms 119: 176 that said that "our going astray was like being lost sheep and we needed God to look for us". Even the Psalmist realized that he needed God if he has any chance to make it and serve God in this world. The Prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 50: 6 said that God had declared that His people (Israel) have been lost sheep. God also said that the reason that Israel had been lost was because their shepherds (ministers, priests, etc) caused them to go astray by turning them away from their real help (God Himself) and toward other alternative methods of getting help (from “The Way” in the mountain to their alternatives on the hill). God said that they indeed had forgotten their “resting place”. Jeremiah brought to mind the fact that our "human leaders" (Pastors, Politicians) whether they are appointed or elected have a lot of influence upon the minds of the people play a great role as to where people ultimately seek out help. Unfortunately, many leaders today use politics and their “social” influence to steer people away from divine help and steer them toward finding secular help. We have truly gone out of the way.
E. " They have together become unprofitable".
Because mankind have as a whole gone out of the way of God, God also said that we have become unprofitable. This can be best described by 1 John 2: 15- 17, because, mankind as a whole have fallen in love with this world and the ways, the things and the entrapments of this world. We govern our lives by the lust of our flesh, the lust of our eyes and the pride of this life. Jesus said that if we love this world, that the love of His Father was not in us. We seek profitability through secular means. We've become lovers of “pleasures” than becoming lovers in love with God. Man is more concern with what riches he can accumulate in the world rather that making sure that his “soul” is saved and that he is in right relationship with his Creator (God). Jesus asked the people “What is a man’s advantage if he gains the whole world and lose his own soul”? Jesus also asked “What does man have to give in exchange for his soul”? Man is self centered and not Christ centered.
F. " There are none that does any good. Not one".
God said in Romans 3:12c that man has become a "predator" because man doesn’t seek to do good things in behalf of his fellow man, rather, he seeks systematically to plot and plan their downfall. On the surface, it may appear that by providing "community services", man is looking out for the betterment of the society and the brotherhood of his fellow man. Sometimes, it may even appear that the "fortunate" is looking out for the "less fortunate", but in reality, many of "the fortunate" in this life try to first gain the trust of those less fortunate by building up a “help image” among them, only in due time to bind up and destroy the less fortunate speeding then to a devastating downfall. Jesus admonished us in Matthew 5: 44 to "do good to them that hate us and pray for them that are “users” of their fellow man". In God’s eyes, man had become "useless and spiritually rotten!"
G. "Their throats are an open sepulcher".
Because of "spiritual depravity", the words and actions that came forth from a fallen mankind promoted destructive and a non-uplifting behavior. In Psalms 14: 1- 3, the Psalmist says that the fallen man (the fool) has already "said in his heart that there is no God". As said before, the fallen man verbalize his unbelief and declare that God doesn’t really exist. The fallen man speak "perverse things" and publicly endorse things ungodly and act as a spokespersons for Satan. In Romans 3: 13- 14, the Apostle Paul adds to their indictment and says that they will also speak deceitful things. The things that they say poisons the minds of a weaker person’s thinking. Paul said that the poison of Asps is under their very lips, because they constantly use their mouths to speak words of bitterness and are cursing things, events, their fellow man, and even God Himself.
H. " With their tongues, they have used deceit".
The Psalmist reveals in Psalms 5: 9 that the person that hears the words of this evil person should not expect their words to have credibility. The reason is because there isn't any faithfulness or credibility in anything they might say. This is to say that that this person will say anything just to bring attention to them and to the point that they're expressing. You can expect them to say something that will be totally different from what they will actually do. The Psalmist said also that whatever they do say is spoken from a wicked heart (a wicket mindset). These people will use flattering words to appeal to the intelect and emotions of a person.
In Psalms 52: 1- 5, David cautions the chief musician about any wicked person that is full of pride, yet has still been appointed by God to a leadership of responsibility and position. David said: "They boast (brags) about their personal accomplishments, yet their tongue (mouth) speaks deceitful things and devises mischief while working deceit. Their mouths is like razors and they love doing evil rather than good, to the point that they would rather lie than tell the truth or seek after righteousness". David also said that they are fascinated with the ability to put "smooth words" and “catch phrases” together as they make presentations and appeals. David called their words “devouring words”. David finally gives a stern warning that God will ultimately destroy all of them even to the point of taking their very lives if necessary. This is why the Apostle James said in James 3: 5- 6 that the tongue will “boast” great things and create many different controversies. Because of this vile use of their tongues, this misuse have been known to destroy many a friendship, many a relationship and create many different controversies.
I. "The poison of Asps is under their lips"
One of the true signs of a spiritually poisoned person is when that person resorst to using "foul language" (cursing) to get their point across. The Psalmist said in Psalms 10: 7 that "the wicked" person’s mouth is full of cursing and deceitful words. The Psalmist said also that the wicked person has a fraudulent agenda and because of this. They are prone to speaking mischief and vanity. The wicked person will hide in the city and villages for the sole purpose to murder the innocent. His real agenda is set against the poor. He attempts to draw the poor into a set trap until he can induce and seduce them, then when the time is just right, the trap is sprung and the poor is now the victim. In Psalms 36: 1, the Psalmist said that the wicked person has even said in their heart that he has no fear of God while at the same time he will flatter himself and brag about what he has accomplished by using gratifying words. Also, in Psalms 59: 7b, the Psalmist says that their very thoughts are the kind of thoughts that breed iniquity and their very words are designed to promote violence.
J. "Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness".
Another "indictment" of the wicked man is his mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. In Job chapter 20, Zophar said that "the wickedness is sweet in the mouth of the wicked". He said also that "his “bones” are full of sin, so much so that the wicked man robs and steals from others and is always seen oppressing someone". We must not forget that there are times when even "the righteous" will become bitter and in yielding to “flesh” will sometimes curse. In the case of Job, after all of the devastation and personal loses he had suffered by the “permitted” hands of Satan, Job even cursed the very day that He was born and because he didn’t understand why all of these calamities were happening in his life and God chose not to talk to nor answer his many questions concerning what was happening. We see him in Job chapter 23 "enbittered" and "demanding" a full scale "face to face" with God, even anticipating what God’s answers might be to his questions.
Job was a righteous man in the sight of God, yet in the time of despair, he reverted back to his “Adamic” nature. Even tough Job didn’t curse in the sense of using inflammatory and derogatory words, his bitterness over his dilema caused him to make the false accusation in Job chapter 10 that God must have had something against him, otherwise, he would not have be going through all of these heart-wrenching things that he was going through. Unlike Job, a wicked person will use a lot of blasphemous words with the sole purpose of degrading and expressing negative criticism against the ways of God. All of their filthy words are meant to hurt and maim a person’s feelings and reputation. Every time you engage them in a conversation, they never have too much constructive to say about God nor his people, and they can’t have a decent conversation without using curse words.
K. Their feet are swift to shed blood
In this indictment, God brings to the forefront that the wicked are very war-like and are very prone to violence. They are said to be swift to use violence as a means to get the desires of their heart. They will constantly lay traps and snares for their victims and ill even wait around until their target is at his or her most vulnerable moment. Just when they think that the time is right to attack, they will then spring their traps and snares and just like the thieves did the man on the Jericho Road, they will maul, maim, assault, rape and beat up their victims and leave them bleeding and dying with no remorse for what they have just done to them whatsoever. In Psalms 140: 1- 3, the Psalmist prayed for deliverance from the violent man. He said that this man constantly imagines mischief in his heart and is always looking for a fight. He also said that they have “sharp” tongues that speak poisonous words. According to the Psalmist, the sole purpose of a violent man is to overthrow other people’s comings and goings
L. Ruin and Misery Mark their way
In Isaiah chapter 59, Isaiah in addressing national corruption says that it is the iniquity of the wicked that has separated them from their god. He said in verse 7 that "their feet run to evil and that they get in a hurry when they want to shed innocent blood". Destruction and misery are in their path, and because their feet are so quick to shed innocent blood, violence virtually becomes an everyday way of life for them, so much that they don’t even have a clue as to how to make peace. In other words, destruction and misery are “traveling partners” and together are the end results of blood shed. They not only bring misery and destruction to the children of God that live in their communities, but their violent behavior systematically destroys the whole community, even the city or better yet, a nation. In all of the devastation that’s brought to property and people by their violent behavior, though they try, the wicked never find any happiness. The wicked are also eaten up on the inside by all of that “pinned up” hate and bitterness. It is the tandem of hate and bitterness that acts as the driving force behind their willingness to cause so much misery and acting as destructive as they do. Zophar said in Job 0: 15, ”He has swallowed down riches, and he will vomit them up again, because God Himself will cast them down (the riches) out of his belly. A wicked man is so miserable deep down inside, that he thinks that by causing all of the hurt and death of innocent people that they will find peace within their souls."
M. "The way of peace they have not known".
Because of their wave of destruction, they can’t find peace primarily because they always believe that somebody will come after them seeking revenge for all of the hurt and destruction the wicked caused to the avenger’s love one. Guilt and misery constantly eats at the soul of the wicked like an incurable cancer to the point that they really don’t know what it is to live in peace. They are so miserable, that they can’t even enjoy the “spoils” of their conquests In verses 10 through 12, Isaiah said that the wicked “grope” for the wall like a blind and “stumble” in the afternoon as though it was night. Isaiah said also that they are is “desolate places” like dead men and they roar like bears and mourned like doves. Even when they looked for judgement, there was none forthcoming. It was like the people caught during the wrath of God during the upcoming tribulation period; many people during this period of history will seek death, but even death will run from them. Salvation is far from them and their own sins testify against them. They will always have this feeling that they can’t be forgiven for their many sins and sadly, because of their belief, many of the wicked will not even seek salvation nor desire to have it. Many of the wicked talk of peace, but it is in reality a “false peace”, because they have no reverence for the True and Living God whatsoever.
N. "They have no fear of God"
The wicked have absolutely no fear of God. They have no reverence for the supreme authority of God, no reverence for the Word of God, nor any reverence for the will of God. The wicked are like those people described in Isaiah 53:6 that have gone astray and everyone of them have turn to do their own thing because they do those things that are right in their own eyes. They don’t even have a desire to do the will of God. According to Nehemiah 5: 15, since they have no reverence for God anyway, there will be no limits to how much destruction they are capable of creating. The lack of reverence for the Almighty God, His Word, and His will started a “snowball effect” in the lives of the wicked. Because they have no regard for anything that comes from God, subsequently, they will have no prayer life, even if they appear to be religious on the surface. According to Eliphaz in Job chapter 15, the wicked is “religious”, but is not “right”. He has “wisdom”, but that wisdom is the wisdom of the world. He has a form of godliness, but he denies the power of God. The wicked tries to be clever in his deceit, but he’s not clear in his real intentions, so because he doesn’t have a fear of God, he is not at all worried about his soul or where he will spend eternity when he dies. God's 14 indictments brings into focus the effects that sin has on us and how naive we are to think that we can continue to live in sin and feel the love of a Holy God. We must understand that God has the right to dictate to us how life is to be and should be lived. God calls all of of us to live a life of "holiness"!