“What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin” (Romans 3:9).

As bad as you might assume it to be, it’s far worse. With his first use of the noun, sin, Paul introduces the root cause for the corruption of the created order; what will be a central theme of the Roman epistle. For Paul, sin is much more than the error of my ways or yours; it is something far more heinous than the sum of its parts; a force of evil having a life of its own, that traps and enslaves every person. No amount of human effort, or works, can escape its deadly grip and mind-distorting hold. Under the gloom of this reality, but knowing the Good News that Paul will soon be unveiling, now is an appropriate time to be giving thanks for God’s mercies.

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