Almost like a clinching argument, Paul turns to Psalm 36:1 to conclude, “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”  This is proven by the thoughts and the behavior of men.  They do not have the appropriate dread of offending the gracious God Who gives them life, and breath, and all things.  They do not have the terror that ought to grip all of us of sinning against a holy God Who will not permit sin to go unpunished.  The absence of the fear of God in the lives, in the hearts, and in the minds of all men as they come into the world and live in it, is conclusive proof of our desperate condition, which only the Gospel that Paul preached can alleviate.

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Having run through a list of proof texts proving man’s desperate condition before God, that there is no man on the face of the earth who is righteous in and of himself, Paul now begins his glorious exposition of the Gospel of free and sovereign grace, which will run through the end of chapter 5.  Many facets of it will come up again all the way through the 11th chapter, after which he at last turns to begin drawing practical implications from the grace of God as he has described it.  However, I think it best to say that his doctrine of how men are justified before God runs primarily from Romans 3:19 to the conclusion of chapter 5, after which he begins considering and debunking arguments against the doctrine he has proposed.

 

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