Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Today we will see what life looks like when God gives a people over to their sin. Human history is not evolution but devolution: man initially walked with God and sin caused a fall and that man will become progressively more wicked until a final rebellio

Lynne and I often like to go to the running trail near our house. She will sometimes take our two little dogs and walk them while I run. These dogs are two small dachshunds who think they are German shepherds. They constantly pull against the leash to try and go the ways they want to. The one with the smaller IQ is named Cinnamon and she seems to have a desire to be someone’s lunch. We will often sit on a bench after exercising while holding the dogs on their leashes. Sometimes people will pass by with much much bigger dogs and guess what Cinnamon does. She barks and growls and strains with everything she has against the leash. All I would have to do is release that leash and let her have her way. The result would not be pretty.

Francis Shaffer, a great writer of the 70’s, says that the statement ‘God gave them over’ could be rendered ‘God let go of the leash’.

Today we will see what life looks like when God gives a people over to their sin.

The bible teaches that human history is not evolution but devolution: man initially walked with God and sin caused a fall and that man will become progressively more wicked until a final rebellion. MAN IS NOT FALLING UP BUT HAS FALLEN DOWN.

Last December I went to the Philippines on a mission trip. I was about to preach at a small church in Iligan City and some of the people were asking me questions thru the pastor who was interpreting. They all seemed to be focused on the same subject which I would not know until the pastor told me. The shooting at Sandy Hook elementary had just happened where many children and teachers were murdered. The pastor looked at me and said, ‘They want to know why these types of things always happen in America?’ How would you answer? I told them that many people in America had turned away from God.

This is what a culture begins to look like when God let’s go of the leash.

(21) For even thou they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (22) Professing to be wise they became fools,

(23) and EXCHANGED the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four footed animals and crawling creatures. (24) Therefore….

The primary message in these verses is that man made an exchange. He made a decision regarding God in his life.

Exchanged giving God His rightful honor and glory for exalting himself instead of God.

They stopped the glory of God and started seeking something to replace Him with. When man stops worshipping God he will often begin worshipping what he is most familiar with: himself . We settle for a false glory. When man reinvents God he tries to exchange Him for more comfortable options. Options to which we are not accountable to for our choices and behaviors.

Starting in verse 24 we see a phrase repeat three times: ‘God gave them over’. God let go of the leash and let us have our own way and our culture is being eaten alive by the consequences of our choices without God. It begins with one particular problem.

IDOLATRY: (25) For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever. Amen

ADRIAN ROGERS: An idol is anything you love more, fear more, value more or serve more than you do Almighty God.

Someone has said that the god of the last half of the 20th century is MATERIALISM. I can’t think of another generation that has spent more of their resources and time to accumulate more stuff than we do today. It is the reason many people go to school or choose the kind of work they do. To get bigger and better and nicer. Bigger houses and closets, attics and even storage rentals to keep all the gods they worship.

The good thing about living in our culture is that we know better than to worship idols or false gods, or do we? Those things were done by uncivilized peoples of the past or in remote areas today, or are they?

The gods that are being worshipped in today’s culture have a striking resemblance to the gods that have been worshipped before.

Mesopotamia(ancient Babylon & Syria) 2 main gods worshipped were Istar & Nebo. Istar was the god of nature or earth. Nebo was the god of education, culture, & the mind. The god of the human intellect.

Egypt - 2 main gods Osiris & Nim / gods of sexuality Today same gods are prevalent.

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