The Great Exchange
February 19, 2017
Romans 1 and verse 18 Romans chapter 1 and verse 18. And so thank you guys for sharing the video. Checking in on Facebook let anybody know you're here. And now we're one dive into the word this morning. I didn't know that I said dive into the word as much as I did and my kids at home are making fun of me like that. I want a belly flop into the worth of the suite and I'm like OK kids you've got your smart gene from me momma. Romans chapter one and we're going to start in verse 18. And top of the book of Romans and we're going to finish all of Chapter One. The first three chapters of the book of Romans are raw chapters. Is there anybody that doesn't have a hand out. Raise your hand if you don't have a hand out.
We'll get you one. Hanna doesn't have one up here. Nobody else doesn't have a handout. OK. If you have a handout then you should have a pen on your seat so you can fill that out and you can take it home and remember what was spoken about. Romans chapter 1 and varsities So last message on Romans we talked about the DNA and what made Paul tick like Who was Paul. How was Paul working. What made Paul take this guy. Really this guy was just crazy. Like what kind of a crazy dude would do that kind of stuff that he did. You read through the book of Acts in your. That act was insane. OK that guy was just crazy. His willingness to go out and his willingness to preach the gospel no matter what happened to him last week we talked about his DNA.
So what made him who he was the three I AM statements in Romans chapter 1. He said I am a debtor because I am a debtor. I am ready. And since I am ready I am not ashamed of the Gospel that we talked about last week. He closes out the introduction of his book in verse 17. So we've been going through the book verse 17 is read close up introduction in every book and the Bible has just really and this introduction. But in verse 17 he talks about. In verse 17 he talks about the righteous peace of God and he talks about the just in how they just are going to live on. That's like a La La Land Disney world kind of fairytale land where everybody just good old Mr. Goody Two Shoes.
Great place to live. All these great people. And that happens in verse 17 where it says For there is the righteousness of God. God is righteous. He is revealed from faith on the faith as it is written The just shall live by. FAITH. What a beautiful picture of the Christian life. But brace for impact. Because he is about to be a big gigantic change in what he's talking about today is what we did venture into the Internet versus We're going to see the exact. Opposite. OK. We'll see the exact opposite. Righteous just living by faith. That's awesome that's cool. That's what a church should be about. That's what people should be about. But we're just about to see this change where everything turns and everything changes we go from the right just walk to a vastly different idea.
So Paul wrote the book of course and where he wrote the book of course. He was in the shadow of acro coin. And this is a picture of actual court and you got a little tiny one in your hand where you can see you know the actual court and it's right there and basically on the top of that mountain right there was this great temple and the there was this temple was Aphrodite Aphrodite was the goddess of love.
OK. The goddess of love. And he's sitting here and you're about to read Romans chapter 1. He's about to hit some pretty hard stuff. So again she's out there and you're the Goddess of Love. Aphrodite is the slot come up in the second I see people going by how do you spell that.
So Aphrodite the goddess of love is up there and this this temple had one thousand prostitutes and their job was to serve the visitors that came to the temple.
I love listening to us as we talk in our common vernacular our common conversation how we talk about how our world is so much more in vile and nasty than the world of the Bible wasn't if we lived in Paul's age it would be easier. In case you're wondering. Oh no. That's not it. They was really just crazy the kind of place that Paul is in and he's loving it. So Aphrodite the Goddess of Love was featured here in Temple Prostitutes were there to entertain visitors. That was their job to do that. So he said and he's looking at this as he spinning these words right here.
It's a great book about the good news. The book of Romans is a great book about the good news of Jesus. But first we have to understand the human condition before we can appreciate the good news. We have to understand the human condition before we can appreciate the good news. We have to understand who we really are. We have to understand that the next couple of chapters are going to do exactly that. So
let's dive into the following verse as you dive into this passage here. I want you to picture you just close your eyes or at least just think of this right here. This is the entire world walking here. But we got on the passage we can hear Paul saying Hear ye hear ye.
Court is now in session. How many of you like going to court. Going to court. How many of you like jury duty that you just got video got through doing that.
Nothing like being on the opposite side where you're the accused one.
Well guess what. That's where you're sitting this morning.
Hear ye hear ye. And they open the door and the judge walks in and the next verse is the door that leads into God's courtroom. After going through this passage you want to see that mankind has no excuse. Do
you have any excuse. Is it not funny how our excuses grow over time. What I mean by that. When you ask your kid why he hit his brother that they come up with some of the craziest excuses ever. I
don't know if you've ever noticed that.
Oh but momma you got to understand why there was a solar eclipse that made they come up with the craziest thoughts in the crazy crazy excuses and his parents.
It makes us irate how our kids do those dumb things doesn't it. The
sad thing is that the only thing that changes over time is the complexity of our we love saying something like I don't have time area you just there's no way I can afford that.
There's no way is it not funny the way our excuses change in polls and I look at you here and it said You're in the courtroom. You're sitting down. You think you're all Mr. Goody Two Shoes but guess what you're going to find that you are guilty before a Holy God and you have absolutely no excuse.
In case you're wondering this is not the kind of message you're supposed to preach to grow a megachurch.
Good news is that's not our goal. Our goal is not to grow a mega-church. Our goal is to be a church that rallies around the word of God.
That's the goal of this church man is guilty before God. As Paul begins sharing about righteousness of God He knows that he has to start with the unrighteousness of man he has to start with you are the righteousness of man. So here's the deal. I never have really felt short until they is fire from the church.
And it's fun to lie to you to have the look of it. Many people but day Shylocks and we go how are you doing man. The comparison is what's going on here. What's happening here is he says listen you are unrighteous. Not a great message to preach if you want to grow a church not only a fun message to hear today.
Unless you get to the end of it you're going to hear the beauty of what's going on. You can see here's the funny thing. It seems like to most people we think they were pretty decent people.
Do we not why we're pretty decent people we're not that bad. They don't think you're perfect but they've not done any great wrong. I didn't murder anybody. You're a good person. That.
Is almost like that because of this I think they have a great standing before God Ango forgotten them. God knows better than other gods until man knows he is a sinner. He cannot appreciate the grace and salvation that God offers until a man knows that he's a sinner. He cannot appreciate the grace and salvation they got off in this section. God proves that all men are sinners and they all need his salvation. And here Paul is going to hit. Remember
the Roman church is full of Jews and Gentiles. And here he's going to hit the Gentiles and I'm talking about you know why I'm not talking about tapping them on the shoulder I'm talking about the two by four across the head hit the Gentiles and say guess what. You are wicked. You were reviled before in all my holy God. So brace for impact. Because the picture that Paul is about to give isn't really pretty. Number one you see the revelation of God's wrath. Now this isn't something we talked about much between the revelation of God's wrath the revelation of God's wrath for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness.
And unrighteousness of man who holds the truth in righteousness. He starts out and says for the O righteous people truth people living by faith people and he goes way way for the wrath of God.
Not know the verse starts with a statement about the wrath of God. This notion is not really welcome among most Christian. Like we don't even like thinking about the wrath of God.
If you grew up in Sunday School for example you saw pictures of Noah's Ark and the picture Noah's ark was awesome like drastic in there and out of the windows and you know you got the Lion next to the Lamb or did you just so sweet. Well nobody's ever shown that that was a picture of the wrath of God. And outside of that ark there might have been two giraffes inside it there were thousands out of it drowning like we like our first kid. We put Noah's ark in their were. Like that is a picture of the wrath of God coming down the the of me. But of course we didn't put any drowning people on the floor you know like we only play giraffes and lions and all that Sunday school that talking about Noah's Ark. They always talk to us about the escape.
But you know what we don't even like talking about the wrath of God is so comfortable just trying to ignore God's wrath and judgment and makes us comfortable to ignore it for a matter of fact I've not seen one single bumper sticker yet in my life that said God is angry.
God my God happy never seen one of this forget about this. We like talking we like one that said oh our God is love. My copilot. I could just sit in the chair next to me told me what I need to do. It is funny the difference is we don't like talking about the wrath of God. Honestly I don't like talking about the wrath of God. I prefer talking about the love of God. But that's the problem with being a Bible preaching church when the Bible gets to it. We actually get to it and we're going to talk about it. It's revealed from heaven. And here's what it is again. The wrath of God against Romans 1:18 says the wrath of God is against godliness Yes I guess murdering but also against lying.
All ungodliness in and enlightenment is. We will never understand God or the work he accomplished for us in the sun until we understand the reality of God's wrath. It's impossible to understand God until we understand God's wrath. But the man that is against Indos in this passage are the people according to this verse that.
Hold the truth in unrighteousness.
So what was the idea of holding the truth and righteousness. Exactly what does he mean by this. He's talking about those that hold back or hold down the truth in unrighteousness. Another word for it would be suppressing the truth when the truth is there and it's true. But you're trying to suppress the truth is a decision on their part to not listen to God or not accept the truth. Having held down God's truth and refusing to acknowledge God's glory.
Man was left without a god holding that is true. This kind of like the little boy who smuggled his door into his bedroom at night she could sleep with parents that know it. Parents
go upstairs. His parents come in. He put the dog in the toy box and sat on top of the toy box sat on the lid and then he tried to talk to his parents and the whole time ignoring the phone. But wait. For wanting the whole time trying to get out. Try to ignore him. He was suppressing that dog that dog in there.
That's what the Bible say here when it talks about holding the truth. What it's saying is you've been suppressing the truth because here's the deal. It's a deliberate act. And here's something you have to understand about mankind.
Here's something you've got to understand about mankind. You all fill in the blanks here and this is important. Our Nature requires that we worship something our nature requires that we were and honestly we may not worship the same thing.
But even the guy who says he is an atheist worships something even the God it says is a Gnostic works something he works with his intellect. He worships what he thinks that he knows he worships the fact that all of us we are made and we are the people that are made to worship.
The question is what will we worship. If he will not worship the true God then we will worship if we do not worship the true God will worship a false god. And the sad thing is will even worship a false god that we've got to build with our own hands. I wish you could go overseas and watch all these countries where you see them making a statue that they're never going to put in their own house and worship it that's a story they're going to see in this passage. RATH
Is it some emotional outburst it's a necessary response to a perfect and holy God. Because if God did not have anger and God did not have wrath against that which is the exact opposite of what he is then he would not be God he would be a puny and pathetic God. He says I am only I am sinless and because of that there is wrath in me against sin. Has read it and some emotional outburst the last sentence tells us the direction that Paul's going to take in Romans 1:18 he says. Who hold the truth and I'm right. As he talks about those who suppress the truth. These are the ones that become the recipients of His wrath.
Number two the reason for God's wrath. The reason for God's wrath. People can't hold on down something they don't have and what God is saying in these passages.
There is no excuse for you buddy because you have the truth. You have the truth in these verses that history began. Wouldn't man knowing God. Ok see here's the funny thing.
We think we think that we all are like these crazy people that worship a bunch of gods and now we narrowed it down to one God. That's the story of evolution. But if you want to read Rowling chapter one which will find is the story of mankind is not the story of evolution. The story of mankind is a story of devolution is the exact opposite of evolution. We had the truth but we chose to go in a different direction with human history is not the story of a beast that worship idols that evolved into a man worshipping one God and the next they did of the same chapter 19 in verse 1. Tell us about that.
Some 19:1 the Bible says the heavens declare the mind of the rest of the heavens. The heavens declare what the glory of God the firmament showed his handiwork. His wrath is there because he has shown the all in himself in themselves. What can be known of God. They are there but they have not responded. They should have to the truth that God revealed to man did not want to know God or honor him as God. That's the truth about man. They did not want to know God. They did not want to honor him as God. And we see in Romans chapter one in verse 19 the gift of truth.
Look at the gift of truth and so go to one 19 the Bible says because that which may be known of God is manifest in them for God had showed it unto them.
He says he says he showed them about himself through Creation itself. If you were to drop a human being with no knowledge of anything on the planet Earth they would have to walk away with. There has to be a god.
There has to be a god. No one has an excuse because every person whether first century pagan or a twentieth century materialists have all seen creation.
He has he has been given the knowledge of God and he has chosen idolatry.
Mankind is being given God. But they have chosen idolatry over God. Abraham Lincoln once said I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down on earth and be an atheist but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God. How in the world can you look into the heavens and say there is no God. One of the fringe revolutionaries was bragging one day walking along with when you were walking around with us with a peasant walking next to him and he said we're going to tear down all those things that remind people of God and the peasant answered and he said. He said sir you better start with the Stars. There's no way to not be reminded of God you walk out and look at his handiwork. You are just blown away by it.
You look at the sunset and the glorious colors of it and you think wow what an amazing God we serve. I've not seen the sun rises because I don't like that version of it. I like the sunsetting better than the sun rising I'm at 2 am working kind of guy not for him getting that kind of guy just not in. When you look at it and you're like look at the handiwork of God you go out camping and you you do because I don't let you go. Can you look in your heart. Man look at the handiwork of God Almighty.
And this is called natural or general revelation. A person can't be saved through that. But they do know that there is a God behind the creation. Tell the story in the book eternity in their hearts by Don Richards about God.
Richardson made me tell the story of the poor the Peruvian Inca that was there and he he they worship the God of the sun as they worship the God of the sun. He comes who has a council with the leaders of the Inca empire in Peru and he says to them he says there cannot be God the Son cannot be God it's impossible.
The son is teaching him that the son can't be God because the son follows the same pattern every day. A cloud can glimpse its glory. There's no way he said there has to be a God behind the sun.
And that's what natural revelation d'esprit as you look at it you go wow there has to be a God behind the sun because it is true. People have no excuse for not believing in God. They knew God didn't glorify and they knew God but they decided not to glorify him. And it's hard not to think of Paul does explain the limit of what can be learned from nature usually says. Nature points to an eternal impotent omniscient omnipresent creator.
But beyond that his voice fails they could never know of Jesus Christ by looking at creation. But they can't know that they're missing something.
You know what missions are so important because that's the truth and while we choose our churches like we choose our menus at McDonald's want to number one. Number two and number seven on a big Mac and now they have a big mac. Gigantic. Want to give you a heart attack immediately. They have the other to give you a heart attack in a week in the small to give you a heart attack in a month. But they got three different versions of it now. From what I've heard I don't. I've never been there and they say yeah commercials commercials. But hey here's the deal. What you need to understand. Well we choose our churches like that. I wish I could take you to Malawi where Justin's dad is leaving to go to tomorrow where people don't have a church that preaches the Gospel at all.
And I wish you could understand that natural revelation is screaming at them and saying there is a God and there is a void in there looking for God. They do not know the duty of the church to share the gospel around the world.
Creation. I love this line. You want to fill it in on your paper. Creation tells us of the work of his hands. Creation tells the work of his hands. Cowdrey alone unveils his heart. Calvery alone and is heart. Number
two is let her be the limit of truth. Romans Chapter 1 in verse 20 for the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen. If you light underline in your bible they take this and underline it because this is kind of a funny statement he makes here. He says for the help me out for the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly Oh so you see in the invisible That's pretty cool.
Hey just listen you can see the invisible stuff from the very beginning being underfilled of the things that are made even his eternal power and Godhead. And he says and here's the deal you'll know there is a God you'll know he has power and when you look at it it makes you have no there's no excuse. Special
revelation is where people hear the Word of God and the sacrifice of our Savior. And this is not what nature teaches. This is what a missionary teaches. This is what a pastor teaches. This is what a Christian teaches we tell of the special revelation of how Jesus Christ died for mankind. It's
This is what makes us a debtor by the way that makes us responsible to share the gospel around the world and makes it fit down alongside of all to the entire world. The Gospel through creation you can see the invisible things. Think about the emphasis he's making with his statement seeing the invisible.
The specific thing that can be seen is God's eternal power his divine nature. From one Gondreville to nature people can know that God exists and that that God is powerful.
There is no way they could know of Jesus or the price that he paid for their salvation outside of a preacher of the gospel mission it is not about living in some crazy world where it's just awesome.
Look at this a different foreign land. It's not about taking kids shoes it's not about feeding kids meals. While all those things are good it's about spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ because you'll give a kid a pair of shoes and they'll wear out but you'll give them the Gospel and the gospel will change everything about it is like a change.
The rest of eternity and the world is without excuse. People are guilty because they soon get the truth. They have not the truth they do not. People are guilty because they sin against the truth. They have not. Not not the truth that they do not have and here's what we understand. People never have never lived up to the highest and the best that they know. How many of us struggle with keeping a promise to ourselves.
Anybody in here struggle with that. Have you ever made a New Year's resolution that didn't do finish by the end of the year.
And yet he said I promise you from here on out I'm going to do this or that or do you know me and you have you ever do that just for me. Nobody else in here has ever done that. He said We've got we've got to go to Google and look at raise my hand like that. You can do it. I'm never gonna yell at you like that again baby I promise you that was wrong. I'll never do that again. Now if you get the point or even say that.
Because you should be saying that what you didn't say that. No no I promise you I will never have. I mean every time you say I will never. Don't worry. Almost always there is a date place and when you'll do it again.
You know what that tells you that you're a sinful human being that you are fallen human being let her see the relationship of the truth.
The relationship of truth in Romans 1 to 21 book is that when they knew God they glorified him not as God.
Neither were they they neither was God that it glorified his god either. Were
they thankful but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was dark.
They are without.
They cannot claim ignorance.
Wouldn't it be nice if they could just go before God and God was angry guy because no you weren't. You woke up in the morning and saw that sun rising or just light. Man what an amazing sunrise. I wonder who does that. You knew that there were something behind that site and while you may have tried to rationalize it you may have tried to think through and you may have tried to put him aside in every way you could let me just tell you. We both know that that's a lie. You knew there was a god. You decided you didn't want to believe in God so guess what. You now have to give account to the god you didn't believe in.
There's no excuse they cannot claim ignorance.
They have knowledge of truth but they do not do with it what is required because they should glorify God.
They should give thanks to God. But instead they became vain and their own thoughts. Had been learned personally. There is a god out there.
Nobody has ever heard that before. They became vain in their own thoughts.
Maybe if you just use it all you would believe that there's a big guy in the sky moving everything around me.
He talked down to these dummy Christians over here.
They became vain in their false vain in my thoughts. They have hearts that are darkened and thinking that's perverted. They have hearts that are dark and in thinking that's perverted.
So I show you this next slide and you got it over there and if you're wondering what it looks like in 55 inch version. Here it is. They knew that he was God. You don't have Slack. They knew you would see that tree. I gave it to you in that paper you can see where it shows you. They knew that he was God. So it says if you look at their number two on the bottom it says knowing that he was God. The question is this. Did they honor him.
Did they thank him. Yes then according to the book of Romans. That's the power of God and the salvation. No. Then guess what your foolish and your futile. You just that's who you are.
Here's the deal. They have hearts that are darkened and thinking that's perverted. If people cannot be saved through general revelation then what does that do.
From our responsibility to show us you see you are blessed beyond your wildest imagination.
Because you were born in America and I know you don't like politics going on in America and I know you don't like then you can have me fifty five thousand reasons you're upset with being an American right now but just about five thousand people would love to change places with you and be in your messed up country right now.
Let me burst your bubble though. America is not the greatest country in the world.
Because of politics America is the greatest country in the world because we are a nation that was founded on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Do you understand a privilege that you have being able to be at a church this morning.
Well I have a friend that had his first person accept Christ as Savior this last week in Morocco he was learning Arabic and they're trying to figure out where they can meet kind of hidden and where how can we rent a place that I don't even know how to rent a place because how do you when you're born in America where you can stand up and you can see on the altar of our prayers let there be no higher name that Jesus Son of God and you can do it unapologetically and you can do it with all you can but.
We don't even really love to take you to Morocco when you sit down with a guy and tell him I know you can't stand up and shout and sing and be excited about singing and praising Jesus. But then when you see you seem quiet and you go.
Don't get too excited.
Why do you do that I to a church where they do love for us to really see and really enjoy it.
Instead of worshipping Jesus we worship anything but you are blessed.
I am blessed to be in this country. But what makes this country amazing is that you can find a place that preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ. And the sad thing is you can even pick Coca-Cola or Pepsi if you want.
Because you go I don't want my kind of a church like you shop for churches like you shop for your favorite paints.
All those things are going over Benjamin maneuver with the city where my freezer that Morocco has let me come to me have you count how many churches are in the city in Morocco where the guys at curse you don't understand my priorities aren't really church or anything.
He's get together now with bad people he said. We found about 12 believers that we know exist in the city of close to a million people creation screens there's a God.
And in Morocco where nobody been preaching the gospel they're searching for the gospel of Jesus Christ. He's put out Facebook ads in his Facebook and they say stuff like have you ever wondered about the God behind the sun.
He puts out stuff like then people are going. You're clicking on it. They're signing up for bible studies and we sign up for Bible study. Yes. And he flat out tells them we're going to talk about Jesus and the Bible and he's had hundreds of people signed up for bible studies in a place that doesn't have the gospel. You know why. Because natural revelation is screened to them for years. There's
no there's no way you've created the earth you live on there's no way you're a great idea how to have that God has done this time to worship this god.
How do we take the worshipping of God ourselves. We're going to stop right here because I know you look at the paper boy. Oh my goodness. A long today we should try to Keino Faso where they're preaching the finish and the guy is like hey could you preach more please. Well we sit in our beautiful pad but by the way the nicest church I've ever Hastert is this church.
I've actually talked to 450 people in Peru. We didn't have chairs this knife didn't have a C in that room. It was not just church the richest church we'd ever had and had three baby places that put babies in the nursery. We were like rolling in the high. We were with the rich people never pastor churches. Nice of this room but guess what. As we look around and we can we find so many things to complain about. While the world has had creation screening and there is a God and they go home at night they're talking to their family about there has to be a God behind all of the stuff that we see.
I just wish there could be a preacher to tell us about. They don't even know what they want. They just want somebody to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. And while I know that what touches your heart strings is the fact of seeing kids without shoes. What should touch your heartstrings is this. These people have never ever heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
My friend Jim Robertson and his main guy that's working with him thus accepted Christ by going on his cell phone and doing a search on who is God. And accepted Jesus as his Savior. On a cell phone. You know what makes me so thankful for the Internet.
Is that we have too many preachers sitting on pews so they can go to the Internet.
Maybe they can preach the Gospel that we were supposed to preach.
The world is in need of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You know why.
Because we have no I thank you for your word even when it's so convicting even when there's so many things in my life that I see right that you would help me as I grow you and help me to grow in understanding the need of spreading your word asking that you might help me to not be comfortable in this amazing church. You might help me understand there are still some dying without you know without.
Your mind. Help me to show that and not only the way that. Preach not on the stage but in the way that I like you. My budget might actually say my time might actually say. What I beg you to forgive me for putting me on the altar. No gospel truth. Is my job. Thank you for everything you do.