In the first 2 chapters of Romans, Paul talks a lot about our actions, and our failures. Since we have all sinned and failed, these two chapters by themselves would paint a very bleak picture for each of us as individuals. Thankfully, even though these contain very important teachings, they lead to much more.
Everyone of us is guilty under the law. Romans 3:9-12 gives us a clear picture of this:
“What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written,
‘There is none righteous, not even one;
There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.’ “
So, where does this leave us? We are all guilty under the law. We need something else. We need grace. This is exactly what we are offered. Verses 23 and 24 say:
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”
This grace is offered freely to all of us if we accept it and follow Christ. So, while we strive to follow God’s commands, and honor Him in all that we do, there are times we will all mess up, and therefore the law cannot justify us. The law condemns us. God has given us another way out through Jesus. We have to accept the gift, and follow Jesus throughout our life.