Summary: This message is from a series I preached in Romans.
Title: “Getting the Gospel Right IV – Man’s Rejection of God.” Script: Rom. 1:18-32
Type: Expository series Where: GNBC 1-31-21
Intro: Picture a guy floating downstream on a raft on a hot summer day. He’s having the time of his life, enjoying the ride as the cool water gently splashes on him. You’re on the shore and you know that there’s a deadly waterfall not far downstream. This guy is floating blissfully and ignorantly toward certain destruction! So you yell to warn him. You throw him a rope. But he rejects it and keeps floating toward certain death. Why won’t he grab the life preserver? Because he loves what he’s doing and he doesn’t want to believe your warning. Why do people reject God’s wonderful offer of salvation through Jesus Christ? You would think that everyone would eagerly grab the life preserver that God has thrown out through the gospel (John 3:16): “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Why would anyone reject such a wonderful offer? Why would anyone want to keep heading for eternal destruction?
Prop: Examining Rom. 1:18ff we’ll realize man’s rejection of God & the consequences of that rejection.
BG: 1. Romans – Edwards said: “Romans shows Gospel truths which are bright and glorious.” Robert Haldane said: Romans was the fountain of heavenly truth.” John Wesley was converted while listening to a message from Romans: “I felt my heart strangely warmed.” M. Lloyd Jones : “The Grand theme of the entire Bible.” J. Stott called it: “The Christian Manifesto.” JM Boice: “The most influential document ever pinned.” Chrysostom 4th Cent.AD: “The fullest, deepest of all sacred foundational truths.”
2. Romans 1:18-3:20 is a lengthy section describes the sinfulness of man before God.
Prop: In Romans 1:18ff, Paul discusses man’s rejection of God and the consequences of that rejection.
I. Man’s Rejection of God. Vv. 18-23
A. Man Shows Contempt for God by Rejecting His Revelation. Vv.18-20
1. Man is without excuse before God.
a. No excuses. We live in a word of excuses. Here are some complied by Readers Digest that have been offered for not showing up for work: I dreamed I was fired, so I didn't want to get out of bed." "I was up all night arguing with God." "A raccoon stole my work shoe off my porch." "I wasn't thinking and accidentally went to my old job." "While rowing across the river to work, I got lost in the fog." "I didn't have money for gas, because all the pawnshops were closed." "My dog dialed 911, and the police wanted to question me about what 'really' happened." We’re great at coming up with excuses to absolve ourselves of guilt. Paul shows us in v. 18ff that man has no good excuses before God.
b. What’s the result of this condition? Man’s due the wrath of God. God’s wrath is His perfectly righteous antagonism towards evil. It’s especially directed towards those who suppress His knowledge which is completely evident in the created order.” The idea of “God’s wrath” is out of sync with our modern world. Many evangelicals object to the concept of God’s wrath. Although they know the concept is in the Bible, they are at best, embarrassed by it. I’ve even heard of professing Christians say very foolish things like, “I believe in a God of love, not a God of wrath.” Dear one, the God of love is the God of wrath, and the God of wrath, Praise God!, is the God of love.
2. General Revelation points man to the existence of and need for God.
a. It was the early church father, Tertullian, who said: “It was not the pen of Moses that initiated the knowledge of the Creator. Rather, it was God Himself.”
Paul states that people perceive God’s eternal “power and deity” through their observation of the created order.
b. Yet, what is the response to this truth? Man suppresses the truth! “The word “suppress” may mean to hold on to, or to hold down, which is the idea here. It implies that men knew the truth (note that there is such a thing as knowable absolute spiritual truth!), but they want to hold it down so that they can pursue their sins. Whether it is evolution denying God as the Sovereign Creator, or philosophy speculating that we cannot really know God at all, or psychology telling us that we are not responsible for our problems (psychologists don’t like the word “sin”!), these are all ways of pushing God away from us so that we can be our own lord.” (Stephen Cole, “Is God’s Wrath Justified”)
B. Rejecting God’s Revelation Leads Man to Idolatry. V. 21
1. It dishonors God.