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Sunday September 18th
A Walk Through Romans - Week 2

Welcome everyone, I'm Pastor Paris of the Journey Church.

Last week we set up the 10 week Walk Through Romans study plus one week on The Roman Road insight to salvation.  Now don’t lose the primary focus of the topic of salvation while we investigate the details of this book.  We’ll pick up where we left off just after Paul’s qualification speech.

 

Romans 1:11–12 (NIV)  I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.

 

Take note of the tenor of his writing.  It’s filled with passion and purpose, but also authority.  The spiritual gift he speaks of here is God’s word and that’s what I want for you to desire also.  As I said last week, if you don’t read your Bible for yourself, then you are just going off of another person’s perception. 

 

Right out of the blocks Paul identifies his authority and God given commission to teach them by this letter.  We should see the critical nature of these words we are about to study.  Every Sunday morning is like that for me.  My hope and prayer is that you gain a little more hunger to know God each week.  Listen to Paul’s calling, mission, and persuasion and see if you hear this.

 

Romans 1:14–17 (NIV)  I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” 

 

Here Paul is opening the door as wide as possible to any who would hear.  It’s a “whosoever” message.  He elevates the simple story of Christ as the highest truth, the only truth, the gospel.  Faith in God is premiere and foremost to Paul.  He knows he will not be the source, only personal faith in God can uphold us through life.  Neither Paul’s faith, nor mine, will get you into heaven, only your own faith in God will save you.

 

Next, Paul removes all excuses for humanities sin and willful separation from God.  He levels the playing field for all mankind.  No effort on mankind’s part will save them.  The chasm has been created by our sin and no bridge we build can cross it.  All have sinned and are sentenced to death by their rebellion and Adam’s rebellion.  Just like in Noah’s day there will be no available excuse, judgement and wrath are coming for those who deny God’s revelation of Himself through Jesus.

 

Romans 1:18–21 (NIV) The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

 

Pay very close attention.  This is a clear indictment against all forms of naturalism and humanism that sees the world around them as evolved through nature, and not created by God.  There is no excuse for this according to the written word of God.  Every truth suppressor will be held accountable, so don’t be one.  Note that God’s wrath is not like the human wrath of uncontrolled anger and vengeance.  God’s wrath is simply based on His righteous judgement of sin.  His wrath is a controlled response to mankind’s rejection of His holiness.  He has unemotionally stated that if you do this… then the consequence is separation from Himself forever.  Did you hear it?  His wrath is finalized in allowing mankind to separate from Him for all eternity.

 

Romans 1:21–23 (NIV)  For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

 

Today’s lost world of naturalists, humanists and scientists have seen the natural world as a reason to disbelieve, God all the while, says it is the very evidence of His existence.  Man is not evolving up and to the right, but rather becoming more a degenerate fool every day.  I’ve said it before, if you are not a creationist you are not a Christian, you are a fool.  Not my words, but God’s word, that we just read in black and white.

 

Maybe you’ve heard of some excuse why certain people don’t believe in God.  A bad past church experience, a life trauma that God didn’t respond to as they think He should have, or the unexplained tragic loss of a loved one.  Maybe you’ve considered the description God has given for belief and still struggle.  God is about to paint a picture of mankind’s rebellion and God’s response to it.  See if you can see any familiarity with our present world condition.  God’s wrath is again described here in part.

 

Romans 1:24–32 (NIV)

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

 

So God spells out in detail our sinfulness or how far we’ve moved from His holiness.  Our sin is that we didn’t worship and exalt the true God.  God didn’t cause us to sin, but we decided to believe the lie over God’s truth.  Mike M spoke to me about this and said he understands that this is not a lie but the lie direct from Satan, that we could be like God.  Adam and Eve fell from a glorious place to a place of bondage.  God tells us several times that He gave-us-over or allowed us to have our way, tragically but lovingly, knowing it would cause us to die on the spot.  True love gave us free choice.  Notice that not only is the actual sin committed listed as a death sentence, but condoning it in others is also just as bad.  We should never approve of sin, period.  Other nations around the world have been fully eliminated due to this depravity and so will America if it continues in its own rebellion against God.

 

Next God is going to explain His righteous judgement, as “just” for all who sin, but our human judgement as unjust.  Many today feel God is unjust and unfair, but God spells out the truth here.  He emphatically declares we are without any excuse.

 

The next 16 verses are specifically targeted to those Jews who had the truth, the law and the one and only God and still lived in sin.  So Paul makes it clear that it is not only relevant to the gentile or ignorant ones, it is also true for the supposed enlightened family members.

 

Romans 2:1–4 (NIV) You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

 

Yes, God does judge sin.  However He first brings conviction of sin to our minds and hearts so that we can choose to repent for that sin and be forgiven, not condemned.  God is very patient, but the cost is still the same for disobedience and rebellion.  God has made provision for our sin.  So God allows us time to repent, instead of dying on the spot.  Our hearts should not cause us to perpetuate more sin, but rather materialize a broken heart followed by repentance.

 

SIN LISTs of the Bible, the mote and the beam, gradients of sin and the sin of omission

 

Now comes a clear understanding of the price of not choosing repentance.  Note the word wrath once again.  In fact it says here we can actually store up wrath against us because God is long suffering hoping we will repent.  God is not turning a blind eye to sin, He can’t.  Sin breaks our connection to God’s holiness and only God can provide the solution.

 

Romans 2:5–11 (NIV) But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”  7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.

 

So let’s stop here for now and let’s conclude with some straight language.  God makes it clear that unrepentant sin impacts us all.  So what should we do?  REPENT AND BE FORGIVEN!  Choose today clean slate living.  Prayer!!

 

Next week we continue the 11 week study of the Book of Romans.