Missing the Mark

Understanding God’s Standard of Righteousness

Romans 3:23

DATE: 1 July, 2001                                                                                                                                                                         PLACE: BBC Mallow


I.         Introduction (Romans 3:10, 23)


A.      No matter how you look at it, we are caught


1.        According to God - We are sinners – we fall short of God’s measure of rightness (Isa 64:6)


a.        It is permanently engraved in the Bible

b.       We sin when we disobey God’s word – do wrong

c.        And we sin when we don’t do right – ignore God’s word – again, it is disobedience


2.        According to our own hearts even – we are sinners


a.        We all have a sense of guilt – we know how deadly it is – it is a sad thing today how people are being numbed towards guilt and shame

b.       We have something engraved in our hearts that tells us we, or someone else is doing wrong


B.       The world system attempts to cope with this fact in various ways


1.        Creates new religions, and new philosophies that teach


a.        There is no such thing as sins, only mistakes

b.       Anything is as good as another, as long as people don’t get hurt

c.        The only sin is to believe in sin, and absolutes


2.        Creates diversions


a.        Entertainments like 50 channels on the TV, and videos galore, so that people sit and watch 30-40 hours of TV a week

b.       Busyness – no time to sit and reflect, or meditate on something good, and wholesome

c.        Drugs – they sell, because there is a DEMAND – people want DIVERSIONS from reality!


C.       God’s got a better way - Jesus –that is why He is called, THE WAY


1.        If you know the truth, you are FREE from guilt and shame

2.        If you know Jesus, you end up with more than all the world together could buy!


D.      So let’s take a moment and look at how far we fall short of God’s glory, and how to bridge that gap, so to speak!


II.       Message - Missing the Mark (Romans 3:23)


A.      The Start of Sin (Romans 5:12)


1.        Actually starts was with Lucifer – truly the very start was in heaven

2.        But with us humans, it started much closer – right in our own family


a.        Not even really on Eve - tricked

b.       But on Adam – made a wilful decision


3.        Adam invited sin into the world – opened the door, the Pandora’s box

4.        Sin began in a perfect Garden, with two people being lied to about God and reality. When they believed the lie, they disobeyed, and sin began!


B.       The Source of Sin (James 1:13-16)


1.        We can blame our environment

2.        But the problem is, we love sin


a.        When we are tempted, it is our flesh being attracted to sin – God never draws anyone away from Himself

b.       To be enticed means to be lured like fishing, or drawn like a trap

c.        Our lust is only the beginning though – it conceives and brings forth something not beautiful, or pure, or wonderful, but SIN

d.       And then SIN is not finished until it KILLS the person


3.        Who is to blame for when a drunken man knocks down and kills a baby with his car? The Council for not putting up more speed bumps? Right!

4.        The source of sin is IN US (Mk 7:14-23)


C.       The Sum of Sin (Rom 3:23; 1John 1:8,10) – that pleasure of sin, is so deadly


1.        Who can quantify the results of all sins ever committed?

2.        Remember David and Bathsheba?


a.        One night – just ONE fling

b.       Then, lie after lie to cover it up

c.        Then the DEATH of her husband Urijah

d.       Then the DEATH of the baby

e.        Then the trouble in David’s home for years to come

f.         That ONE NIGHT cost David dearly! That’s why this preacher is against DATING, and FLIRTING, and Discos, and Pubs and drugs

g.       It costs everyone ever born so, so much!


3.        And it all ends in something called DEATH

4.        What is DEATH?


a.        Death is a curse from the very first sin in the garden – “ye shall die”

b.       Death is FINAL (Heb 9:27)

c.        Death is TRIPLE in size


1)       Spiritual death – everyone is born spiritually dead from Adam

2)       Physical death – everyone is physically dying from the moment they are born – there is no downhill after 40

3)       Soul death – all eternity in hell, wishing you could finally be over with


5.        Truly death is enough of a result of sin, but there is more


a.        It always reaps what it has sown – spiritual law – disobedience reaps judgment of God

b.       It always reaps more than was sown. 1 kernel of corn produces 3 ears

c.        It always affects more than just the sower. See:


1)       Achan – and his family

2)       Koran, Nadab and Abihu – 250 people died

3)       Adam’s sin affected the whole human race without exception


6.        It is time we realised just how great the work of Christ was on the cross when He roiled back EVERY aspect of sin’s curse


D.      The Slyness of Sin (Heb 3:13) There is a great deal of deceitfulness in sin


1.        It appears fair, but is filthy.

2.        It appears pleasant, but is deadly.

3.        It promises much, but performs nothing.

4.        This is what sin does:


a.        It makes you think you are right – deceives people into thinking they are justified in the way they are:


1)       Acting – see the way people drive, and talk, and treat each other

2)       Thinking – people think their anger, bitterness, envy is justified

3)       In seeking to obtain what only they want – fell deprived


b.       It makes you numb to God’s HOLY Spirit – He can’t speak to you!

c.        It makes you a tool of the devil, instead of to God – The devil takes and uses those who yield to him, and then throws them away!


E.       The Strength of Sin (1Cor 15:56) What is the power behind sin’s stronghold on my life? God’s Law (Rom 6:16)


1.        Sin USES righteousness to nail the lid on your coffin – what do I mean?


a.        Sin makes you feel filthy – away from God

b.       Sin uses the righteousness of the Law to make you feel you will never live up to what God expects

c.        Sin in my life is only made stronger by God’s righteousness because I realise all the more just how far away I am from God as a sinner


2.        But thank God that it doesn’t end here – there is something stronger!


F.       The Solution to Sin – The Remedy (Acts 20:21)


1.        Fear of God – had to be there at salvation – has to be today as well!


a.        Not of sin’s consequences – doesn’t faze people enough

b.       Not the affect on others in our lives

c.        But a terror of God’s righteous judgment


1)       The Flood

2)       Sodom and Gomorrah


2.        Repentance towards God – the basis for any real prayer – constant!


a.        God can’t stand pride – especially in prayer

b.       God expects us to come as we are – real, honest

c.        God offers the remedy for all bondage, if only we empty ourselves


3.        Faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 5:17,20,21; 10:4; Philp 3:9). Can you trust Him more and more, or less and less – sin will dominate!