Pristine Grace

Rom 3:10-12, (GILL)
10  As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one. The several passages cited here, and in some following verses, are taken out of the Psalms and Isaiah; and are brought to prove, not only that the Jews are no better than the Gentiles, being equally corrupt and depraved as they; but also to show the corrupt state and condition of mankind in general: and the words are not always literally expressed, but the sense is attended to, as in this passage; for in the original text of Ps 14:1, it is, "there is none that doth good"; from whence the apostle rightly infers, "there is none righteous"; for he that does not do good, is not righteous; and therefore if there is none on earth that does good and does not sin, there is none righteous upon earth, "no, not one" single person. The Jews allegorizing that passage in Ge 19:31, "there is not a man in the earth to come into us", remark [u] on it thus,

"Urab qydu vya Nya, "there is not a righteous man in the earth"; and there is not a man that rules over his imagination.''

There is none righteous as Adam was, in a state of innocence; for all have sinned, and are filled with unrighteousness, and are enemies to righteousness; none are righteous by their obedience to the law of works; nor are there any righteous in the sight of God, upon the foot of their own righteousness, however they may appear in their own eyes, and in the sight of others; nor are any inherently righteous, for there is none without sin, sanctification is imperfect; nor is it, either in whole or in part, a saint's justifying righteousness; indeed there is none righteous, no, not one, but those who are justified by the righteousness of Christ imputed to them.

[u] Midrash Haneelam in Zohar in Gen. fol. 68. 1.

11  There is none that understandeth,.... This is rightly concluded, from what the Psalmist says, Ps 14:2, "The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men", on all the children of men, Jews and Gentiles, "to see if there were any that did understand"; and it appears, upon this survey of them, there was not one understanding person among them: man thinks himself a very wise and understanding creature, though he is born a very ignorant one: true indeed, he has not lost by sin the natural faculty of the understanding, so as to become like the horse and mule, which are without any; and it must be allowed, that natural men have some understanding of things natural, civil, and moral; though there is none that understands even these, as Adam did: but then they have no understanding of things spiritual; no spiritual knowledge of God; no true sense of themselves, their sin and misery; nor do they truly know the way of salvation by Christ; nor have they any experience of the work of the Spirit of God upon their souls; nor any experimental knowledge of the doctrines of the Gospel: no man can understand these of himself, by the mere strength of reason, and light of nature; nor can even a spiritual man fully understand them in this life; in consequence of this account and character of men it follows, that

there is none that seeketh after God; that worships him in Spirit and in truth, or prays to him with the Spirit, and with the understanding; who seek him chiefly, and in the first place, with their whole hearts, earnestly, diligently, and constantly; who seek him in Christ, and under the assistance of the Spirit; who seek after the knowledge of God in Christ, communion with him through the Mediator, or his honour and glory.

12  They are all gone out of the way,.... In Ps 14:3; it is said, "they are all gone aside"; as persons in debt: man had a considerable stock of righteousness, holiness, knowledge, &c. but he has run through all, has contracted large and numerous debts, has been obliged to hide himself, has been used as a bankrupt, and turned out of house and home: Christ indeed has undertook to pay, and he has paid all the debts of his people; and has put them into a better state than ever Adam was in: in Ps 53:3, it is rendered, "everyone of them is gone back"; that is, from God; from his commands, and from their former state and condition: here the phrase is rendered by the apostle, "they are all gone out of the way": that is, out of the way of God and his precepts, out of the way of holiness and righteousness, of light and life; into their own ways, the ways of sin, Satan, and the world of darkness, and of death: so Aben Ezra explains it, "out of the right way"; Kimchi and Ben Melech paraphrase it, "out of the good way: and so"

they are together become unprofitable; the word wxlan, in Ps 14:3 and Ps 53:3; is translated, "they are become filthy"; which R. Aben Ezra interprets by wtxvn, "they are corrupt"; and R. Solomon Jarchi by lwqlql wkphn, "they are turned to corruption"; the metaphor is taken from stinking flesh, which is tainted and corrupted, and so good for nothing, hence here rendered "unprofitable"; for so men being corrupted by sin, are of no use, service, and advantage to God, to men, or to themselves; but, on the contrary, nauseous to God, and to all that are good, and hurtful to themselves and others: for

there is none that does good, no, not one; and therefore must be unprofitable. There is none that can do good in a spiritual manner, without the grace of God, strength from Christ, and the assistance of the Spirit; and there is not even a spiritual man, that can do good perfectly, and without sin.

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