Summary: We are better off taking our position as lost and helpless sinners before God than we are fighting Him with our objections and rationalizations.
Facing Reality or Fighting God’s Truth?
1. LONDON (Reuters) - A leading British brain surgeon has been suspended from work following a dispute over a bowl of soup.
Dr Terence Hope was sent home from the Queen’s Medical Center in Nottingham, where newspapers say there is a 39-day waiting list for brain operations, after being accused of taking extra croutons without paying, hospital sources said on Monday.
"A consultant was suspended following allegations surrounding his personal conduct," the hospital said in a statement. "He was due to operate today on three patients. Their surgery has had to be postponed."
Hope, 57, who has been working as a neurosurgeon in Nottingham for 18 years, is an expert in traumatic brain injuries. Efforts to contact him not immediately successful.
2. Some people just do not know WHAT is important! People might die waiting for brain surgeries, but no one is taking extra croutons now!
3. What’s wrong with people? Do we really know what is important.
4. We were created for fellowship with the Creator. Almost all of us will live less than 100 years on this earth, but eternity is forever. You would think everyone would rush to God. But not so.
5. We’ve seen –and will see—more evidence that human beings are predisposed toward religion but against the TRUE God.
6. This hostility toward God shows itself as bitterness, refusal to embrace the parts of God’s Word that offend us, and justifying our refusal to jump in with both feet.
MAIN IDEA: We are better off taking our position as lost and helpless sinners before God than we are fighting Him with our objections and rationalizations.
I. Dealing With __Objections__ & Rationalizations (3:1-8)
A. If God is Faithful to His People, the Jews, Then Why Are They Not
____RUSHING_________ to Jesus in Droves? (1-4)
Note: Paul will address this matter in detail in chapter 11 (for example, 11:1 reads, “I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin….” And 11:25, “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in…”)
1. The priveleges they have are summarized by Paul Apple, “Spiritual identity and religious heritage do not automatically gain God’s favor--but that does not mean they are all a big waste.. There are many advantages and benefits--with the most important being possession and knowledge of the Word of Godb. God has granted spiritual privileges not to promote complacency but to encourage application and outreach to others
"entrusted" -- a stewardship. Revelation (although it carries with it accountability) is a privilege and much preferred above the state of ignorance
2. Whatever men believe or reject does not change what is…
The world was always a sphere, even when most believed it to be flat…
3. The Herd Instinct is not always a good instinct!
Some people operate by convictions…Others by Herd Instinct…
Many people will harm their bodies, their families, their finances, or their souls to follow the crowd…INSECURE PEOPLE OFTEN MASK THEIR INSECURITIES BY LETTING THE MAJORITY PRESCRIBE LIFE’S DECISIONS….
Example: Many Hoosiers claim to believe the Bible, but when challenged they fold…why? Because they were raised in an environment where many people claimed that belief…they were into Herd Instinct, not Conviction….when their current Herd (made up on unbelievers) predominates, they follow that herd. They never asked the questions, addressed doubts, or realized that being a genuine Christian is COUNTER-CULTURAL
If you have conviction, you are willing to stand alone.
4. Most people get their religious and moral bearings by following the pack….but the test of real conviction is the willingness to stand alone and suffer ridicule…
B. Since Man’s Sin Highlights God’s Righteousness, Why Would God _Judge_ Men for Being Sinners? (5-6)
This leads into a second question:
C. Since Salvation is By Grace Through Faith So That God Receives All the Glory, Why Shouldn’t We Sin ____More___& Give God More Opportunity to Be Gracious? (7-8)
1. By definition, sin is an insult to God; God’s only attribute is not mercy; He has many attributes, and HE IS GLORIFIED WHEN HE DISPAYS ANY OF THEM. This is a key thought and will be brought up again in chapter 9.
There is an element of truth here. Jesus said this in Luke 7:47, “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."
II. Taking Our Place As Helpless and Lost Sinners: Conclusions (3:9-20)
A. Jews have an advantage in that they have the privilege of safeguarding Scripture and are God’s ____Chosen___________ nation; but on an individual basis, the Jews have no advantage, because they are as lost by nature as are the gentiles.