Summary: In our arrogance we have traded the natural truth of God for an unnatural lie of Satan.
The Natural Result Of The Unnatural Mind
Text: Rom. 1:24-32
1. Illustration: C. S. Lewis ended an essay saying this:
"These, then, are the two points I wanted to make. First, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in."
2. The truth of the matter is this, the laws of God make sense. They are based on nature, the nature he created.
3. The sad reality is that we have chosen what is unnatural, and then we pay the price for our bad choices.
4. Paul says that we have been...
A. Trading The Truth Of God For A Lie
B. Trading Natural Relations For Unnatural Ones
C. It Was A Bad Trade
5. Let's all stand together as we read Romans 1:24-32.
Proposition: In our arrogance we have traded the natural truth of God for an unnatural lie of Satan.
Transition: First Paul says that we have been...
I. Trading The Truth Of God For A Lie (24-25).
A. Traded The Truth Of God
1. If you remember, last week we talked about how humans have turned away from God and chosen to worship idols rather than God. As a result, God is angry and one day Jesus will return to judge us for sin.
2. Paul here continues that argument and shows us the result of our bad choices.
3. In v. 24 Paul says, "So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies."
A. The verb for "abandoned" here means to "deliver them over for punishment." The idea that Paul is referring to here is a judicial act by God.
B. Since they have chosen to not acknowledge God, he has handed them over to their own shameful desires; a term which is often used in Scripture for sexual immorality.
C. This does not mean that God forced them to do these things, but rather that he simply let their sin run its course.
D. This flies in the face of the homosexual community today who say that they are homosexual because God made them that way.
E. Paul is saying that God gave them up to do whatever they wanted to do. God handed them over to dishonor their own bodies through sexual immorality.
F. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the moral state of the Roman Empire of Paul's day, or our own society today, to see the extent with which sexual sin dishonors the body.
G. Without moral standards, sex is downgraded to animal behavior. There is an emptiness and sadness behind the state of the world without God (Osborne, 51).
4. Next Paul goes back to an argument he made a few verses earlier. In v. 25 he says, "They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen."
A. Not only did their trade God's glory and power for idols, but they also trade human lies instead of divine truth.
B. They traded the truth about God, the truth that he made known through natural revelation, about his divine power and glory.
C. Instead they traded it for a lie, choosing to worship the creature rather than the Creator. This is the essence of idolatry.
D. Then Paul adds a benediction. There are three places in his writings that Paul uses a benediction, here and in Rom. 9:5 and 2 Cor. 11:31.
E. Following Jewish tradition, adds his own praise in honor of the Creator. He is so horrified at the idea of the desecration of God in pagan idolatry that he feels the need to praise God.
F. It's almost as if he is using it to wash the bad taste out of his mouth (Osborne, 51-52).
B. Knowledge Of The Truth
1. Illustration: Two men had an argument. To settle the matter, they went to a judge for arbitration. The plaintiff made his case. He was very eloquent and persuasive in his reasoning. When he finished, the judge nodded in approval and said, "That's right, that's right." On hearing this, the defendant jumped up and said, "Wait a second, judge, you haven't even heard my side of the case yet." So the judge told the defendant to state his case. And he, too, was very persuasive and eloquent. When he finished, the judge said, "That's right, that's right." When the clerk of court heard this, he jumped up and said, "Judge, they both can't be right." The judge looked at the clerk of court and said, "That's right, that's right."