"Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law" (Romans 3:21-28, NASB)."

Devotion 11 of 30


Allow me to put the matter in perspective. Sin has infected the entire race--none has been excluded. The Lord Jesus is the only one born of woman that triumphed over the devil and his craftiness. Apart from Christ, no one is righteous--not one! What is more, no one is capable of leaving that unrighteous state on their own. It is not possible to work yourself out of a state of unrighteousness--even if you are told what to do!

The administration of the Law proved this to be the case. How poignantly the human condition apart from Christ is declared. "But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin" (Gal 3:22, NIV). While some erroneous doctrines announce people can be locked into salvation, the Scriptures proclaim humanity is imprisoned in sin. They are unable to extricate themselves; "remember that at that time you were separate from Christ . . . without hope and without God in the world" (Eph 2:12).

Attempts Without the Law

2,500 years without law proved humanity could not become righteous through their own ingenuity. During those times great philosophers, and social experts arose. But none of them were "righteous," nor could they produce a system that could make people righteous. The epitaph over two and one-half millennia was "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" (Rom 3:10-12).

Efforts With the Law

Perhaps more information was required. After all, man was made in the image of God. Given the proper knowledge, he could find the way to be righteous. Thus, the law was given, and reigned over our race for 1,500 years. Lest some imagine that it only pertained to Israel, it is written, "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. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin" (Rom 3:19-20). The Law faithfully did its work. If any one dared to boast of their accomplishments, it would "stop" their mouths, pointing out their transgressions.

Four thousand years of intense effort, and no one righteous! Do you suppose more time would enable one to be produced? Who is so foolish as to entertain such an imagination. Such thoughts are to be thrown down with spiritual weaponry (2 Cor 10:3-5). They are a deterrent to spiritual progress, a reproach to God, and flow from unbelief.

PRAYER POINT: Father, thank You for confirming the futility of seeking righteousness in our own strength and wisdom.