For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
Romans 3:20 completes the longest and most thorough passage on sin in all the Bible. Beginning with Romans 1:18 Paul talks about several aspects of sin. Here’s the flow of thought.
1:1-15 Introductory Thoughts
1:16-17 Theme: Right with God
1:18-32 Depraved Gentile Sin
2:1-15 Hypocritical Religious People
2:17-3:8 Self-Righteous Jews
3:9-20 Whole Human Race
Paul underscores that both Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews), that both the religious and the irreligious, that all people are under sin and in desperate need of a Savior.
Why is there such an inordinate emphasis on sin? As we saw recently, unless we recognize the depth of our sin problem, we will never appreciate the wonder of God’s grace. If we do not recognize our sinfulness, we will see no need for a Savior. As the seventeenth-century pastor, John Owen, put it: “He that has slight thoughts of sin never had great thoughts of God.”
God hates sin, because God knows that sin destroys us. And if God hates sin, then we must hate sin. “The pardoned sinner hates the sin that cost the Savior his blood” (Charles Spurgeon).
Let me ask you: Do you hate the sin that cost the Savior his blood? Or, do you tolerate sin in your life with “It’s no big deal”? Is there any part of your life that needs to be surrendered to Christ? Your language? Anger? Fear? Way you love your spouse? Temper? Sexual purity? Pornography? Spending? Giving? Gossip? Self-centeredness? Honesty? Envy? Unforgiveness? Compassion for lost people?
Papa, may I hate the sin that cost the Savior his blood!