Romans 3:9 (New American Standard – NAS)
9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;
The former American president Thomas Jefferson said this: “Nobody is better than you and remember, you are better than nobody”. This has been quoted many, many times over the years and have been used in poetry and songs over and over again.
I guess that the apostle Paul was the first person to put this sentiment in print as we read here in verse 9 of Romans 3.
However, we tend to use the words as a way of justifying our own position. For example, I may be aware of weaknesses in my own life but when questioned about it, I respond by saying “You’re no better than me.” Instead of acknowledging sin our own lives, we deflect that on to other people.
This is actually the exact opposite of what Paul is really teaching us in this verse.
Later in the epistle, Paul will build on the foundations that he’s laying in these early chapters and the main teaching in these verses is that everyone is ‘under sin’. He has proved that the entire human race is condemned by God. The apostle Paul himself and everyone else that serve the Lord are part of this human race and by nature are all under the power of sin. In the next few verses of the chapter, he adds even more proof of this fact and uses very detailed and inspired material from God’s Word.
In a culture where ‘anything goes’, God’s Word stands in stark contrast and declares without ambiguity that every single person on earth has been separated from God because of sin. None of us can decide what is right or wrong. Sin is real, it is not just a moral code or a personal behavioural choice.
It is part of human nature and unless we place our faith and trust in Jesus, we cannot have a relationship with God and will remain separated from Him for all eternity. The fact is that nobody is better than you and you are not better than anybody. However, Jesus came and set the standard for righteousness. He is better than all of us!
Take a few moments today to reflect on where you would be if it were not for the grace of God in your life. Thank Him for your salvation and if you have any close friends who have not given their lives to Him, pray that God will speak to them and lead them to the cross.