Summary: Paul writes to reveal to the believers in Rome the wrath of God, and to show us that all around we have evidence of God’s authority, if only we would look at creation and behold the Creator.
Romans, Part 3
- Continuing on our study of Romans, we see Paul’s writings to the church
- This letter is to the church in Rome, consisting of Jews and Gentiles
- It is an encouragement, a constitution of HOW to live for Christ
- Today, in 2011, we would be wise to read this and apply it immediately
- Stand and read Romans 1:18-25 / Pray
Point 1 – God’s Revelation through Wrath (v18-19)
- The Greek word used to describe this wrath is thymos (literally, to boil up)
- First thing to understand is that God is love …
-- 1 John 4:8, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
-- John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only son …”
- Second, God is the supreme ruler and creator of ALL creation
-- He is righteous (entire scripture proclaims God is righteous and He gives it)
-- He is Truth (Romans 3:4, “Let God be truth and every man a liar …”)
- So, in our lives – the application is this: Having ungodliness and unrighteousness is a deliberate violation and disrespect to how God calls us to live
- Paul was writing to the church in Rome not to show us “God’s checklist”
- He was writing to reveal who God is so we would recognize it and CHANGE
- Today, God’s righteousness is revealed at all times when the Word is preached
-- Because of man’s rebellion, v18 shows us the outcome of our actions
-- We are created to fellowship with – and to DESIRE to be closer to God
- Jesus was sent to reconcile this relationship, because you and I could not
- It is not about religion, it is not about rules, it (our lives) are about CHRIST!
- TRANS: God also shows us Himself in all of creation
Point 2 – God’s Revelation through Nature (v19-20)
- God has given us nature (creation) to identify us who He is
- Remember the conversation between Philip and Jesus in John 14? (Go there)
-- Just after Jesus proclaimed, “I am the way, the truth, and the life …”
-- We have this dialogue which tells us so much about God’s desire to show us
- John 14:8-9, “Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” “Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”
- Consider the obviousness of this statement: Philip wants to see the Father
- We talked about this last week; there are two things revealed to us
- Jesus is fully God and yet fully human (see Romans 1:3-4)
- But, since we cannot see Jesus today; look at what God has given us to see!
- APP: Consider: stars, planets, galaxies, insects, trees, and sunsets … LIFE!
- John Calvin writes, “By saying that God has made it manifest, he means that man was created to be a spectator of this formed world; and that eyes were given to him, that he might (by looking on such a beautiful picture) be led to the Author Himself.”
- 1) God is the revealer – nature is how He reveals Himself to you and I
- 2) God’s revelation doesn’t guarantee a positive response
- 3) God’s revelation gives EVERYONE a chance to see Him … and RESPOND!
- Re-read verse 20
- APP: No one has an excuse for their rebellion (this is key in understanding God)
- TRANS: Paul then gives us insight to man’s response so we might be wise
Point 3 – How Does Man Respond? (v21-25)
- Preface: We have issues!! No one is absolved of having rebellion against God; so this application of this entire point applies to you and I (stay with me on this)
- Re-read verse 21-25
- Ask yourself, “What is a fool?” Someone who’s silly? Arrogant? Ignorant?
-- Hebrew culture shows us that the greatest fool of all is the one with the intelligence who is totally disobedient and rebels against God.
- Paul writes and uses the Greek word “moros”
-- It means sluggish, morally worthless in character, of no use to those around
-- The English word here is “moron”
-- Isaiah 32:6, “For fools speak folly, their hearts are bent on evil: They practice ungodliness and spread error concerning the LORD; the hungry they leave empty and from the thirsty they withhold water.”
- Paul says that mankind responds to God in three ways:
-- 1) Rebellion: Chooses to not acknowledge who God is
-- 2) Arrogance: Rejecting God in place of his/her own knowledge