Paul shows that Scripture clearly teaches the sinfulness of all people.
Here are some additional questions for use in small group discussion or just further personal study.
1. Read the passage. How does the passage make you feel? (shamed, angry, confused, shocked, thankful, other?) Why does it make you feel this way?
2. In what ways do the other views of human nature (people are naturally good; some people are better than others) lead us astray?
3. Is Paul teaching that there is nothing about human beings that is redeemable? What is it that makes humans worth saving? (in other words, if we are that bad why did God give His Son to save us?)
4. Read verses 9,10 and 12. What does it mean that “all are under the power of sin”?
5. Read verse 11. According to this verse, why is it that even though evil is all around us, no one seems to get it that we are all sinners? In what way does this lack of understanding keep us from seeking God?
6. Read verses 13—18. Do you think some sins are worse than others? If so, how would you explain this from the Bible? In what ways do we live like some sins are not as bad as others?
7. Read verse 19. Assuming that the “law” refers to the Ten Commandments, in what way are all people under the law so that “the whole world (will be) held accountable to God”?
8. Read verse 20. What according to Paul is the purpose of the law?