“How broken do you have to be to be broken?”


Romans is written to the church in Rome who are struggling with many of the same issues that we struggle with today. What do they really believe?
How do Christians stand firm in a world that opposes all they stand for?
How should the Church live in the midst of all that is going on inside it and around it?

He begins with the “gospel” … “good news”
The “gospel” is a person not a message.
Jesus is the “good news”
Why is “good news” necessary? Because of the bad news

Romans 1:18-32 shows us that humanity is broken.
We behave the way we do because of brokenness within.
Mankind is broken … in need of a cure.

Vs. 28 Spiritual dysfunction
Vs. 24-27 Sexual dysfunction
Vs. 28-32 Social dysfunction

Paul is not giving a list of things God will punish … this is not a “don’t do this or you will go to hell!” list.
These are the key areas that reveal how broken we really are.

But surely, many will now say, these are “the bad people”.
I know many “really good people”. What about them?

Romans 2-3 turns to this common question.
Illus: A glazier comes to your house to replace a shattered pane of glass.
He carefully prepares the area and places a new sheet of glass in the gap.
BUT as he begins to finish the job he accidentally cracks the glass across one corner.
Would you be happy if he left it in?
Why not?
Slightly broken is STILL BROKEN!

Paul now turns his attention to two other classes of human being.

Romans 2:1-16 Those who think they are good enough in their own strength. “I’m OK. I’ve never done anything really bad” Vs. 1 “because you who pass judgment do the same things”
Romans 2:17-3:20 Those with religious background (The Jew in this case) who rely on their religious efforts. Romans 2:23 “You who brag about the law, do you dishonour God by breaking the law?”

Without going into these passages in detail Paul is saying one thing loud and clear:
Moral self effort falls short (Romans 2:1-16)
Religious self effort falls short (Romans 2:17-3:8)

Romans 2:5
There will come a day when God righteously judges mankind. The bad, the good and the religious.
We are broken because we choose to live without God.
God’s anger is not at us but at the damage living like that causes to His creation.

Where is the good news in this?
• A good home or moral upbringing is no advantage
• A good education is no advantage
• A religious upbringing is no advantage
• Bible knowledge on its own is no advantage
God’s judgment upon broken humanity is JUST because ALL ARE IN THE SAME BOAT.

Romans 3:9-20
Vs. 9 “What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin.”

“sin” … not a wrong action BUT A MORAL FORCE … a state of brokenness.
6 Old Testament understandings of the word “sin”

Sin is a MORAL FORCE that causes us to …
1. Miss the mark or fall short
2. Overstep a boundary
3. Fall instead of standing … be weak or crooked
4. Be ignorant instead of knowing
5. Short change or diminish that which should be given in full.
6. Be willfully careless

ALL are under the influence of sin.
All are defeated by it … kept under by it … controlled by it … dominated by it … held captive to it.

Vs. 10 No-one is “in the right”
Vs. 11 No-one understands … no-one seeks God
Vs. 12 ALL have turned away

Vs. 19 “every mouth may be silenced”
In a court of law, if you have no more defense, you put your hand over your mouth.
Paul is saying, EVERYONE is in the dock & is left WITHOUT DEFENSE before God.

Vs. 21 “BUT NOW!
A dramatic shift in the plot … like a trumpet blast!

“a righteousness FROM GOD”
God Himself will put mankind to right.
We can do nothing for ourselves … it is ALL from Him.

Vs. 22 “This righteousness from God comes THROUGH FAITH in Jesus Christ to ALL who believe”
“faith” also translated “the faithfulness of”

Jesus lived a faithful life before God, like Adam failed to do.
Jesus obedience to death on our behalf made the way possible for us to be set free.

Our belief & trust in Him means we are declared by God TO BE IN THE RIGHT.
Our trial is over.
The righteous judge declares in our favour.

Vs. 23 “ALL have sinned (are broken and living away from God) and fall short of the glory of God,
Vs. 24 “and are justified (declared to be in the right) FREELY BY HIS GRACE.”

This is the good news … the gospel.
We are broken … but Christ came to set us to right again.
All we need to do is trust in God’s method and believe in Jesus for ourselves.
What we could never do, GOD HAS DONE!
Next time: “What exactly HAS God done for us in Jesus?”