Summary of passage: Paul says we are all sinners and no one is righteous, quoting from the Old Testament.
8a) Part personal Question. My answer: No one understands God. No one seeks Him. All turn away and become worthless. No one does good. Their throats are open graves, their tongues full of deceit, and they speak poison. They curse and are bitter. They are swift to shed blood. They bring ruin and misery. They do not know peace. They do not fear God. We all have sin in our lives and are surrounded by sinners. People are mean. They fall away from God. Wars. Flippant attitude towards God and sinning. Personally, sticking to God’s path is the hardest and dealing with my own sin.
b) Part personal Question. My answer: Tongues are full of deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. The tongue can corrupt the whole person. It is full of evil and poison. Speak more words of encouragement and praise. There’s enough complaining and tearing down in this world.
9) No one fears God. Well, Paul quotes from the Old Testament here and he is living in New Testament times. Regardless, man’s nature doesn’t change with time. He is a sinner and is prone to turn away from God and not fear Him. God thus judges and punishes as we see all throughout the Old and New Testament. So will it be until the Second Coming.
10) Think before you act. Repent. Ask for forgiveness. Put others first. Follow God’s laws. Worship Him. Treat God and Jesus with the respect they deserve. Both lie in your heart and you do everything in your power to keep them there.
Conclusions: Paul again is emphasizing how we are all the same no matter what our backgrounds. God treats us equally. He takes it further here by saying we are all sinners and listing ways in which we sin. He wraps up with how no one fears God when we should. Good lesson on keeping us all humble. Least we get on our high horses, read Romans.
End Notes: Again, Paul says all are under sin and deserve condemnation (Jews, pagans, Gentiles, everyone).
“Under sin” literally means sold under sin or a slave to sin. We are all born in sin.
Paul then quotes the Old Testament (mainly Psalm and Isaiah) as proof of our sinhood. Paul uses parts of the body to emphasize our complete helplessness to save ourselves. Adam before the Fall wasn’t even righteous. He was merely innocent. The throat, tongue, lips, mouth, feet, and eyes are filled with sin and rebellion against God.
God calls all of us. On our own we would not seek out Him.
We sin because we do not have the proper respect (or fear) of God.
Side Note: If you were to look up these verses, you would find Paul does not quote them verbatim. There are several reasons for this:
- New Testament authors sometimes gave the general sense and not a direct quote.
- Quotation marks were not used in ancient Greek.
- Citations were often taken from the pre-Christian Greek translation (the Septuagint) of the Hebrew OT because Greek readers were not familiar with the Hebrew Bible.
- Sometimes this was done on purpose by the NT writer in order to drive home his point. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the writer would enlarge, abbreviate or adapt an OT passage or combine them.