What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin.
Paul has been talking about the human sin problem since 1:18. Indeed, 1:18-3:20 is the largest section on sin in the Bible. The question arises: Why does he spend so much time on sin before he gets to salvation?
This is what Paul would say: If you don’t recognize the severity of your sin problem, then you will never appreciate the wonder of God’s grace. You will never appreciate what Christ did for us on the cross. Slight thoughts about sin lead to slight thoughts about grace. If we are going to love God back – the first commandment – then we must recognize our sin and what God did to save us.
As Paul begins the final movement of the sin section, he underscores that both Jews and Gentiles are under sin. Under sin. It’s like we have the oppressive weight of sin on top of our chest, like a giant boulder, squeezing the life out of us.
Only God can pulverize this boulder of sin and set us free to breathe. God did it! He did it in Christ, and he did it at the cross.
Lord, may I see my sin the way I should, so that I can see your grace the way I should.