Romans 1: 18-25† †No Excuse
Intro : On Wed. night we began our verse-by-verse study of the book of Romans
A) We covered verses 1-17 in which we saw Paulís intro 1-7 / His prayer v.8-13 / & his passion v.14-17
B) This week as we come to v. 18-32 where we see Paul kind of shift gears a bit as he assumes the role of a Prosecutor in a court room of moral law
1) †On trial is humanity - / What Paul does here is he shows that all humanity is guilty & doomed because of sin !
C) In the section we just read Paul outlines the guilt of the heathen / the person who flat out rejects God / Ch. 2-3:8 Focus is on the Hypocrite & Hebrews†
1) †those who know what is right ( Paul uses the Hebrews as example of those who have been given the Law ) know right / but No practice
D) Teach others that which they donít follow themselves !
1) †And in Chapter 3:9-20 Paulís focus is on the Humanity at Large/ none righteous no not one / none who seeks after God
†So as we begin to break this down this week in v. 18-32 we will see first of all that Paul says the Wrath of God is revealed Ö.. ungodliness &Ö. Of men
A) We are going to take a close look at what that means / the wrath of God /† what it is & what it is not !† Very important thing we need to understand
B) Been said †That God is the victim of a lot of BAD PR & MUCH OF IT COMES FROM HIS FRIENDS ! That is a true statement
1) †And part of that problem is directly related to what happens when Christians fail to understand the Wrath of God
C) Paul also gives some insight into what happens to man when rejects or ignore God !
1) †Those who believe in evolution / teach that man is moving from bad to good ! That is not what the Bible teaches nor what history reveals
D) Human history began with man knowing God. Human history is not the story of a beast that worshiped idols, and then evolved into a man worshipping God.†
1) †Human history is just the opposite: man began knowing God, but turned
†† from the truth and rejected God./ Began worshipping idols
E) Paul also reveals how this rejection of God leads to a life of gross immorality & perversion / he gives some interesting insights into Homosexuality
1) †So that is what we will be looking at on Wed night but this morning I want to focus on v. 18-25
18† For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19† because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20† For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes 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, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.22† Professing to be wise, they became fools,† 23† and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man; and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24† Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
25† who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.† Pray
Life is a serious of Choices ! A serious of Decisions ! Everyday we make choices that determine what we will do/ where go/ eat / wear !
A) Consider today you made a choice to get out of bed / to put on the clothes you are wearing to get in your car & drive to this building !
B) Your morning was a series of choices & decisions !
1) †Once you arrived here you made a decision of where you were going to park / what door you would enter through & where you would sit
C) You made a choice of whether or not you would bring your bible / if you were going to join in in worship or just sit there !
1) †Life is indeed a serious of choices / of decisions that we make day after day moment-by-moment !
D) But the biggest decision that a person can ever make is the God that they will choose to worship / the Deity they will choose to serve !
1) †Now a† god by definition is anything that is worshipped or anything that holds your primary devotion !
E) You can really tell what† a persons god or gods are by their lifestyle / what are they devoted to ! What is their
1) †I suggest to you there are even those who profess to be Christians who are devoted to other things above their relationship w/ Christ !
F) †Couples retreat - Amanda / Daddy - Mommy !† /† That is what some people do / they sit here in Church & sing Jesus I love you most of all
1) †And then go out & run right past Him in their pursuits of other pleasures
††† devoting themselves to that which will never satisfy them !
Paul says the person who rejects God or chooses something else to be devoted to besides God is w/out excuse /
A) So This morning as we look at this section I want us to† see 3 main things that Paul says here / 1st† Why man is w/ out excuse !
B) 2nd if a man is not worshipping the true God he is worshipping something else
††††††††† 1)The gods that are worshipped today are very similar to the gods that were
††††††††††††† worshipped in O.T. times !
C) 3rd† Look at the breakdown or the Process given to us by Paul of why People donít worship the true & living God !
1st of all Why men are w/out excuse V. 19,20 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.† 20† For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
A) Been said that Creation is Godís first missionary ! The grandeur of heaven alone has spoken to every tongue, every culture, society throughout history
1) †The Psalmist declared Psalm 19:1-3 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.2† Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.3† There is no speech nor language Where their voice is not heard.
B) Creation all around testifies to us of the reality of God !
C) During the French revolution a soldier boasted to a peasant †we are going to pull down all that reminds you of God !
1)† Peasant replied †You will have to pull down the stars then!
D) Abe Lincoln was once quoted as saying †I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down at man on the earth & be an Atheist - seeing man
1) †But I can not conceive how a man can look up into the heavens & declare there is no God !
E) The greatest and most insightful† scientists of history/ men like Galileo, Kepler, Newton, and Faraday
1) †have always seen creation as the evidence of an intelligent Creator. It was Isaac Newton who observed, "This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being."† Creation = Creator /
F) †And Thomas Edison once wrote, "No one can study chemistry and see the wonderful way certain elements combine with the nicety of the most delicate machine ever invented and not conclude that there is† a Great Engineer who is running this universe. "††† Design or Designer
So what does Creation reveal to us about God besides the fact that he exist ?
A) Paul says that through creation his invisible attributes / His eternal Power & Godhead or His deity are clearly seen !
B) Creation definitely reveals to us that God is Powerful & Vast / David declared that 2 Kings 8 Behold, heaven and earth cannot contain Him
C) Consider the vastness of our universe for a moment ! Think about our Sun / As big as it looks it is actually much larger than we could imagine
1) †if the sun were hollow it could contain 1,300,000 earths / huge !
D) Although it is about ninety-three million miles away, you can feel its warmth on your face. Whatís interesting is
1) †The light that illuminates our days takes about eight minutes to reach us from the sun, traveling at a speed of 186,000 miles per second.
What if the sun were closer?† On Venus the next-closest planet to the sun,. The surface temperature of Venus averages about 875 degrees. A) What if the sun were further away? On Mars, the† furthest planet from the
†††††† sun, the mercury dips to about minus 200.
††††††† 1) The folks in Minnesota ought to count their blessings C) Did you know that the moon, too, is obviously positioned very strategically for our sakes? /† If it were just a little bit closer (relatively speaking),
1) †Miami would be under water for twelve hours each day due to the moon's increased gravitational pull on the Atlantic Ocean.
D) And when the tide came in, it would rush like a tidal wave./ So the heavens declare the glory of God / a Order / a Design†
E) Another Marvel of creation is the Human body itself A) The human body is made up of a hundred trillion amazingly complex cells.††††
B) Each cell is comprised of an organized grouping of molecules, which are in highly structured and complex. Every cell in your body has a specific function
C). Let's consider the cells in your eyes for a moment. How is it possible that you
†††††† can read the words in your Bible !† It requires millions of miracles.D) Inside your eyeball there are about 107million cells. About seven million of
††††† those cells are called cones, which you use to see in daylight.
1) †They are color-sensitive, and you can distinguish a thousand different shades of color.
E) The other one hundred million are called rods, which you use to see in dim light. They aren't color-sensitive,
1) which is why things tend to look black and white at night. As light enters the eye, the lens refracts an upside-down image upon the cones and rods.
A) These images are then translated into little electronic messages that travel along some 500,000 neurons & nerve paths to take their information to the brain.
B) The computer inside your head then assembles millions of simultaneous bits of data & merges them together creating one three-dimensional picture.
1) †Then your brain flips the image over so that everything is right side up, and somehow sight is accomplished!
D) That is just one of many examples of how intricately we have been put together
†††† Job wrote in Ch. 9 :4-10 God is wise in heart and mighty in strength. Who has hardened himself against Him and prospered?5† He removes the mountains, and they do not know When He overturns them in His anger;6† He shakes the earth out of its place, And its pillars tremble;7† He commands the sun, and it does not rise; He seals off the stars;8† He alone spreads out the heavens, And treads on the waves of the sea;9† He made the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, And the chambers of the south;10† He does great things past finding out, Yes, wonders without number. †NO EXCUSE
So we see that Denial Of God is really Denial of truth ! David wrote in Psa.14 that the fool has said in His heart there is no God !
A) But Paul says even his foolishness is not an excuse ! But Creation clearly reveals to us the existence & the Power of God !
B) If there is someone behind† all this that is around us My life needs to be in subjection to Him!
So first of all we see that there is no excuse for man† to reject God !
A) But the 2nd thing that we want to see is that when men fail to worship the true & living God they end up worshipping something else
B) And the gods that are being worshipped today in our 20th century culture have a striking resemblance to the gods who were being worshipped in O.T. times
1) †Note Paul says in v. 22 †Professing to be wise, they became fools,† and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man; and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
C) Now most people today donít have little shrines set up in their backyards where they offer up sacrifices to some statue
D) But when you consider that a god can be that which consumes your time / Your energy & your affections /
1) †easy to conclude many gods that are being worshipped today !
E) And those gods bear a striking resemblance to the gods that were worshipped in O.T. times !
There were 4 main territories in Israel in O.T. times & each of those territories had many gods they worshipped
A) But each territory also had one or two main gods or specific deities that they were into !
B) Take for instance Mesopotamia which was the area that included Babylon & Syria / two major empires in O.T. times
1) †In Mesopotamia the 2 main gods worshipped were Istar & Nebo
C) Istar was the god of the earth / the god of nature !† And there are still those today who worship Istar / worship nature !
D) Pantheism† the worship of nature is a rapidly growing religion in the U.S.
†††††† today !
D) I came across an article this week that was advocating this whole idea /It was titled †LET EARTH SPEAK.
1) †Whole essay about how you could ďScientificallyĒ learn how to create moments that let Earth touch you and teach you peace.
E) How you can become one w/ a rock or a potted plant just incase you lived in the city & couldnít get out into the country!
1) †Ridiculous how could people be into this ! But they are ! No doubt !
††††††††† †††† Worship of Istar all over again !
The other main† god they worshipped in Mesopotamia was Nebo - Nebo was the god of education , culture , & the mind !
A) The god of the human intellect / that idea that says I will base my theories of man life death on my own understanding ! / Not the bible archaic & old fashioned
B) Nebo is worshipped in mass today in our culture in Business & colleges Universities across our country / as well as w/ those who run our Govt.
Move further south from Mesopotamia to Egypt / find 2 main gods Osiris & Nim / gods of sexuality !
A) There they would gather in the temples & engage in sex w/ temple prostitutes /idea was the more sex you had the more blessed you were !
B) In fact the term you walk like an Egyptian / meant you probably had a V.D.
C) Today same gods are prevalent / Playboy , penthouse, pornography
Go even further to the South down into Canaan / Canaan gods are gods we are the most familiar w/ because we see constantly through out O.T.
A) gods of Baal / Molech / & Gad - these were the gods of prosperity
B) The people in those region had a very bizarre understanding / they felt that if they sacrificed their 1st born to these gods they would be blessed financially
1) †Molech had a hollow belly in which† a fire was made / fire grow hot and the arms of Molech would be blazing / glowing from heat / place kids
C) But we see the same thing today w/ parents who sacrifice their kids while they work 80 hrs a week to buy that nice house or / new car / boat
1) †people slave like crazy seeking to put away enough money to send their kids away to college / but they donít even know their kids
The 4th territory was Greece & Rome they† worshipped the gods Zeus , Hermes & Diana - familiar w/ because we studied in High school
A) These were primarily the gods of sport & activity & these gods are definitely still being worshipped today
B) In fact at the Olympics last year in Atlanta , during the opening ceremonies they called upon the gods of Ancient Greece to bring the spirit of sport to Atlanta
C) It is crazy what some people will do for ďtheir team ď / they paint their face their team colors / and take off their shirt in 30 degree weather
1) †They are considered a loyal fan
D) Or they will spend vacation time travel across the country & spend 1,000 dollars to go to the Superbowl - great fan
1) †But a person who believes in Jesus goes to church a few times a week & takes their vacation time to go on a missions trip is a fanatic
E) Pt is The gods worshipped in the† O.T. times are still being worshipped today
Now if you are hear today & you havenít chosen to worship the god of the Bible / not serving Jesus Christ /
A) Know this you are serving one of the gods I have just referred to / god of sex / god of the intellect / god of Business & prosperity / god of sports & activity
B) What has your time / where is your devotion / what is your passion / that is a good indication as to what your god is !
In closing this morning the 3rd thing we want to see is the Process of why men donít worship the true & living God & end up in idolatry
A) Begins in v. 18 Paul says they suppress the truth in unrighteousness
B) That word suppress is an interesting word it refers to a helmsman stirring a boat against the current !
1) †The current wants to take the boat in a particular direction but the helmsman is determined to go the opposite way
C) So he holds the rudder in such a way that he might go his own way instead of the way of the current
1) †God says this is my way - righteousness / and he reveals how we who are sinners can be made righteous / believe in the gospel !
D) The message of Jesus Christ / power of God unto salvation all who believe / v.17 for in it the righteousness of God is revealed
1) †Believe in the message of the gospel / put your faith & trust in Christ alone & you will be made Just / made righteous !
E) That is the direction that God desires that man would go but men suppress the truth / they turn their lives away from God - why? Paul tells us
1) †because of their unrighteousness !
F) †Like what John said in John 1 men hate the light because their deeds are evil !
†††† because the light exposes their evil deeds / turn off the light
1) †And men suppress the truth & refuse to give their life to the Lord because they know they will have to turn away from their sin /
So they choose their god ! I know god says I am to go in this direction but I am going to do my own thing !
The 2nd thing that Paul mentions is in v.21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22† Professing to be wise, they became fools,
A) Notice there is a knowledge of God that is unmistakable / evident through creation / they knew God - He is real but they didnít glorify Him as God !
B) This means that they didnít give Him His rightful place upon the throne of their lives but instead became self sufficient / self reliant / self dependant
C) Nor were they thankful - They didnít show God gratitude or worship !
1) †In other words they were ungrateful & ignored God & as a result they became futile in their thinking
D) Which means their clever ideas, procedures & programs / fall apart & come to nothing / and their† foolish hearts were darkened
E) Next phrase is classic Professing to be wise -( or cultured & learned ) they becomes fools -
1) †Word used here for fools is moraino from which we get our English word moron / Professing to be wise they become Morons
F) †And they start worshipping images philosophies / sports teams / nature / or themselves !
When a person ignores God & comes up w/ excuses as to why he is not going to worship God / the next step is to justify replacing him w/ other gods
A) Note v.26 God gave them up or over to vile passions / see the Bible tells us that God will not always strive w/ man
B) Knocks on your heart but the longer you ignore him / come a day where He says† †you want to do your own thing - fine go for it ! Cease striving w/ you
1) †Suddenly the knocking stops ! Conviction goes away & those people begin to plunge deeper & deeper into sin & immorality wickedness
Now perhaps you are thinking well I am a Christian & This message really doesnít apply to my life Really not true
A) See this same step by step process can take place in our lives when the word of God is being† taught or when we are reading our Bibles
B) We have to make a choice/† remember life is a series of Choices / decisions / Decision to apply to my life or reject / Listen to truth or suppress it
1) †Choice to be doers of the Word or to ignore it & make up excuses as to why we shouldnít or canít obey it
C) Are we going to let God have His rightful place upon the throne of our lives or are we going to lean to our own understanding
††††††††† 1) See even when we know the Lord we are constantly faced w/ similar choices as the H.S. speaks to our hearts
D) Plus even as Christians† we can still find ourselves allowing things to come into our lives that will take us away from the word & will not build us up but tear us down !
Perhaps you are here today & you realize that you have been ignoring that knocking upon your Heart /( Rev. 3:20 )† knocking is getting fainter !
A) Not as convicted about the sin that you are in as you once were / knocking is growing fainter / remember God will not knock forever
B) I encourage you to stop your running & turn to the true & living God today / Give your heart over to Him / Let Him be the Lord of your life !
Perhaps you are here today & you are a professed Christian but you realize that your life is not where it should be w/ the Lord
A) Because you have allowed something or someone else to assume that role as your #1 passion & devotion !
B) Get God back on the throne today !† re-affirm your commitment to Him / Give Him the glory & thanks that He deserves !
††††††††† 1) Give Him that #1 place in your life today !