Romans- Session 2- Guilty- For March 8, 2020

Text: Romans 1:18-28, 32

Resources:

Video Summary:

Romans Session 2 Notes

Romans Session 2 Handout

Romans Session 2 Powerpoint

 

Subject:  Sin

Central Theme:  Guilt of Sin

Objective Sentence: We must be assured of our own guilt by seeing the results of our suppressing the truth in this text.

Keyword:  Results

Result #1- Denying Nature.  (1:18-20)

Result #2- Declaring Nonsense. (1:21-23)

Result #3- Delivered Over. (1:24-28)

Result #4- Deserving Death. (1:23)

 

Introduction:

Connection:  (Capture the attention)

  • There have been times in my life early on where I drove things that were reliable but definitely not new.
  • When you drive things that are older with high miles they tend to have certain characteristics that come in to play that are not exactly great.
  • Maybe you’ve had a car like mine, that no matter what you did one of the indicators on the dash that said something was wrong would light up, but there wasn’t really a problem.
  • That’s not a good habit to get into, is it? What could possibly go wrong by ignoring the warning signs on your dash?
  • When your dashboard becomes “the boy who cried wolf”, it isn’t a good thing.

Tension:  (Create the desire for resolution by bringing up the problem the text will answer)

  • The same can be true in our lives.
  • There are many areas in life where people tend to ignore the warning signs.
  • We become very good at ignoring the glaring truth that we see in front of us.
  • Sometimes instead of facing the truth, we want to ignore it because we do not like what it means.
  • In todays text, Paul lays out the case for the Truth of God being evident, and mankind’s suppression of that Truth.
  • And he wants us to know that we will not be guiltless in suppressing this truth about God.
  • All mankind stands guilty before God having suppressed the Truth about Him and the Truth about our own sinfulness.
  • So what are the warning signs? How do we know that we are guilty and that God really does declare His truth to us?

Objective Statement:  We must be assured of our own guilt by seeing the results of our suppressing the truth in this text.

Result #1– Denying Nature.  (1:18-20)

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;  19  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  Rom 1:18-19

Explanation:

  • God is revealing his wrath against mankind.

    • The wrath of God is something not often attributed to God in public discourse but is plainly taught throughout scripture.
    • God is merciful, loving and gracious.  He is also holy and just.  In His justice and holiness He is angry at sin and holds the sinful accountable for their sin.
    • God’s wrath can be seen in that He has set up the world with natural consequences to sin.
    • God’s wrath can be seen in historical instances like the flood of Noah’s day.
    • God’s wrath can be seen in God’s removal of any kind of restraint of sin.
    • God’s final wrath is eternal separation from Him as a result of ultimate rejection of Christ.
    • This scripture lets us know that God’s wrath for sin is “revealed”.  God’s wrath for sin happens regularly and will happen ultimately.  There is no sin that will happen that will not ultimately be met by God’s wrath.
  • God is revealing Himself to all mankind.

    • This happens against mankind who “hold the truth in unrighteousness”.
    • According to these scriptures, each person possesses truth about God.
    • What they do with this truth is not ultimately righteous.
    • In and of ourselves we suppress this truth.
    • There are things that we can know about God, that God has manifested in the inner man.
    • God has revealed himself to them.
    • God has revealed himself through creation, through the conscience, and through special revelation- His Word, His Spirit, and His Son.

Rom 1:20-21  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  (21)  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

  • God, Himself, is not seen through physical eyes.
  • So how can someone be held accountable for believing in something or someone they cannot see?
  • Paul tells us that the seen world was created by the invisible God.
  • By simply viewing the natural world we can come to an understanding that there is a powerful and eternal being that exists that had to create what we see.
  • The Holy Spirit communicates here that this is clearly seen.
  • God is actively revealing Himself through the created world to mankind.
  • We know that something before us and more powerful than us had to create this.
    • Paintings come from painters.
    • Sculptures come from sculptures.
    • Cars must have car designers and manufacturers.
    • This created world, with all of its order, is designed.  It is obvious.
    • Even many scientists today are coming to this conclusion.
  • The response of most people to this simple fact is not to deny the evidence of the true and living God.
  • Many do not respond to the light they have been given.  They do not glorify the God who made them.
  • They were not thankful for the common grace that was given to them.
  • Instead, what they do with the common grace they were given is to use this freedom and grace for themselves.
  • Their “imaginations”, or what they can think up to do and live for, is empty and foolish.
  • The first way we can know that outside of Christ we stand guilty of our own sin is that we deny nature that tells us that He exists.
  • This leads to a second result.
  • Not only do we Deny Nature, we also….

Result #2– Declaring Nonsense. (1:21-23)

Romans 1:22-23

(22)  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

(23)  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Explanation:

  • Verse 22 further describes what happens when a person, who can clearly see the evidence that God exists refuses to seek out God, glorify God, or be thankful to God.  The result in verse 21 is vanity in their intellectual life, and foolishness and evil in their inner person- their heart. They deny that general revelation that has been given to them.  They deny nature.
  • This inevitably leads to them seeking out some explanation other than the eternal, powerful true God.
  • In this pursuit they profess to find some other explanation to the evidence before them.
  • In so doing they count themselves as wise, and are even counted as wise by others, but in God’s estimation they become fools.  Time will win out and their assertions will be seen for what they are.
  • In verse 23, Paul describes what this exchange of wisdom for foolisheness looks like.
  • They credit the evidence that they see (the glory of the uncreated uncorruptible God, even his eternal power and Godhead) to the corruptable things that He created.

Application:

  • Sometimes people who sound very wise are just describing sophisticated ways to be foolish.

Psalms 14:1

(1)  To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

  • It is important for us to test what we hear by the Word of God.
  • Of course this does not mean that we must believe in a faith that has no evidence.
  • On the contrary, the author of the “Book of Nature” is also the author of the Scripture.  They do not contradict!
  • One of the most foolish things we can do is attribute things that God has done to men, and the things that men have done to God.
  • Once you have denied God’s general revelation in creation and conscience, you have to have some explanation.
  • The common explanation is the worship of the material world- Worship of the creature, what is seen, over the Creator who is unseen.
  • Not only do they deny nature and declare nonsense, as a result they are…

Result #3- Delivered Over. (1:24-28)

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:  (25)  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.  Rom 1:24-25

Explanation:

  • There is a descent being described here.
  • In the previous verses, the descent started with not acknowledging God’s eternal power that is so evident in the created world.
  • This lead to the worship of the created things over the Creator, which is a great definition of idolatry.
  • God’s response to the descent continues in verse 24.
  • Sometimes God’s wrath comes by giving people that which they desire and the outcomes that are attached to those pursuit of those desires.
  • This is the case with those who begin to not only worship the creation, but worship themselves, and through these evil desires dishonor their own bodies through engaging in all forms of godless pleasure.
  • To engage in this descent they participate in what is described in verse 25.  They change the truth of God into a lie.
  • How do they do this?
    • They deny the truth that is so obviously evident before them.
    • They deny God’s existence.
    • They make claims about the created order that are not true.
    • They publicly and privately take the opposing position to what God has revealed through the book of creation, the book of conscience, and the supernaturally revealed Word of God.

Application:

  • It is amazing how relevant these words written 2000 or so years ago are to our present day circumstance.
  • There are people in our culture denying that God exists at all.  This is not surprising or new.
  • There are also people in our culture that take a position that nothing created everything.  Even this is not totally new.
  • It has progressed to the point now that there are those in our culture that are beginning to deny that gender and biology are tied together, stating that gender is a spectrum, etc.
  • Now you can identify as something other than what you are, and can demand that someone accept your identification of yourself even if it is objectively not the case.
  • The Truth in all of this is that God loves those who are on this descent. He has sent His Son to die for them.
  • We, as believers, must love these people by caring for them personally, and calling them to belief in the Truth, and repentance of the heart, while modeling that same course of action ourselves.

Romans 1:26-28

(26)  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

(27)  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

(28)  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Explanation:

  • The descent is described not in its inevitable form in verses 26-27, but in its logical form.
  • What I mean is that not everyone who suppresses the evidence of God’s eternal power and existence will end up as what is described in verses 26-27, living a homosexual lifestyle.
  • What is true is that everyone who gets to what is described in verses 26-27 are there because of suppressing the truth, worshipping the creature over the Creator, and worshipping themselves over other created beings.
  • Idolatry can you lead you to a lot of places, and those who end up exchanging the natural use of their own gender are practicing idolatry and denying the clear evidence of God around them.
  • God is described as giving them up or giving them over these people 3 times in these verses.
  • Previously we see this in verse 24 (“God also gave them up”).  As we stated previously, sometimes the judgement of God is allowing people to receive the full experience of their desires.
  • This is what is meant in verse 27 where he says “and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.”
  • In verses 29-31, Paul describes a list of the kinds of behaviors that come out of this way of thinking and living.
  • This list doesn’t just involve sexual sin, but certainly includes it.
  • This leads us to this 4th result…

Result #4- Deserving Death. (1:32)

Romans 1:32

(32)  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Explanation

  • When we get to verse 32, Paul states that those who practice these things are worthy of death.  He is not making a governmental, political statement.
  • Although in the Old Testament some of the punishments for some of these sins were capital punishment.  This is not what is being described here.
  • This is a theological statement.
  • He is saying that those who sin (and that’s all of us) deserve death- eternal separation from God!

Ezekiel 18:20

(20)  The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

James 1:15

(15)  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Application:

  • I am very aware of the lack of political correctness as I communicate this lesson.
  • That being said, it is not compassionate of anyone who knows the Truth of the Word of God, and the ultimate end of those who practice sin without redemption from Christ to not speak of the sinfulness and deadliness of sin.  There is hope!

Romans 6:23

(23)  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • Yes, the wages of sin is death.  Sin must be acknowledged.
  • The good news is that God sees those who deny him and exchange the truth for a lie.
  • He knows that outside of the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ’s atoning death for sin on the cross these people have no hope. So God became man…

John 1:14

(14)  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Response:

  • The Bible says that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  We must be willing to repent of our sin and turn to Christ by faith for the forgiveness of sins.  If you haven’t done that, do it!  NOW!  Today is the day of salvation.
  • If you know Christ as Savior then your response and mine ought to be clear.
    • We must see sin the way God sees it.  Repent of sin in your life.
    • We must see mankind as eternal souls, many of whom are lost. Ask God for a passion for souls.
    • We must be thankful for our own salvation, knowing who we were or who we could have been outside of Christ.  Express thankfulness to God for your salvation today!

 

Conclusion:

We must be assured of our own guilt by seeing the results of our suppressing the truth in this text.

Result #1- Denying Nature.  (1:18-20)

Result #2- Declaring Nonsense. (1:21-23)

Result #3- Delivered Over. (1:24-28)

Result #4- Deserving Death. (1:23)

 

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