In Romans 3:9-20, Paul provides us with a most grotesque picture of our un-holiness apart from grace. These verses parallel those found in Ephesians 2:1-3. Both places are succinct descriptions of the extent of the fall of mankind into sin (cf. Genesis 3). Ever since the fall, mankind has been running away from God with a rebellious and stubborn heart and truly does not "want" anything to do with the one true God. We seek substitutes to fill the void and try to find alternative gods of our own making, ones that we can control and manipulate (cf. Romans 1).
It is a great joy to know that Romans 3 does not end in v. 20 and Ephesians 2 does not end with v. 3. God's work of regeneration in the heart of a person by the Holy Spirit is truly nothing short of a miracle. God takes a spiritually cold & dead heart and awakens it by grace to His great love and mercy. He imparts spiritual life into the spiritually dead. What mercy and what grace!
Rejoice this morning that God, by his marvelous grace, can take this ugly picture and turn it into a masterpiece with the "touch of the master's hand".