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Summary:

Our text passage this morning is part of the most terrifying collection of words ever put to paper. Romans 1:18 - 3:20 (quickview)  is the most stinging indictment in existence of the realities regarding the condition of men and women as they stand before Almighty God. If your picture of God is that of a benevolent Grandaddy-God who bestows blessings like so many Tootsie Rolls to anyone who asks; if your understanding of God has as its source the teachings of Eastern mystics, or New Age philosophers, or Scientologists; if you have always limited your vision of God as a warm, fuzzy Giver of Love and Happiness; you will not enjoy the picture of God presented in these verses by the apostle Paul. If you are among those who think that the "harsh" God preached by the Puritans or the "picky" God worshipped by the Baptists or the "unmerciful" God claimed by the so-called "Religious Right" could in no way represent the God of Love and Mercy you prefer, you may find yourself surprised this morning. If you think that all mankind is, with a few "truly bad" exceptions, pretty decent and capable of becoming even better through the exercise of love, compassion and open-mindedness, you will learn today that this is not what the Bible says about mankind. If your vision of the future is one where justice -- rooted in and administered fairly by an enlightenend, sensitive world culture which is coming into focus even now -- will somehow prevail; you will be sorely disappointed by these verses.

We are in the midst of an extended look at the two essential "extremes" in the Bible: r __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ and w __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __. One is the exlusive property of God; the other is the persistent nature of mankind. They are contrasted sharply for us in the first three chapters of Romans. Let us read today's text verses, Romans 1:18-32 (quickview) , but let us also include v.16-17, from last week's message.

A. The Righteousness of God (v.16-17)

1. Paul declares in v.17 that the righteousness of God -- "from f __ __ __ __ to f __ __ __ __" -- is revealed in the g __ __ __ __ __ of C __ __ __ __ __.

a. There is a two-fold "sense" of this righteousness in Scripture.

(1) First, the gospel declares "Who is righteous." It does so by showing the "personal" righteousness of God. This may be seen in the biblical accounts of:

(a) C __ __ __ __ __ __ __

- declared by God to be "g __ __ __"

- j __ __ __ __ __ __ by God when spoiled by sin

(b) the F __ __ __ __

(c) the Nation of I __ __ __ __ __

- God's choosing A __ __ __ __ as patriarch

- exaltation of J __ __ __ __ __ in Egypt

- the controntation between M __ __ __ __ and Pharoah, resulting finally in the E __ __ __ __ __

- the giving of the L __ __ at Sinai

- the conquest of the land of C __ __ __ __ __

- Israel's glory under D __ __ __ __

- Israel's destruction, dispersal and enslavement

(d) Jesus Christ

- His miraculous b __ __ __ __

- His sinless l __ __ __

- His atoning d __ __ __ __

- His glorious r __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

- His a __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __


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