Summary: Sometimes Trading Places with things we think we can do -- or seem right to do doesn’t work out. Have you traded the real you -- your character -- for someone that really isn’t you? Trying desperately to please people just so you will be accepted? Knowin
Sometimes Trading Places with things we think we can do -- or seem right to do doesn’t work out.
Paul addressed that with the Romans…
The Romans were dedicated to serving and worshipping their gods, but Paul saw that they needed to Trade Places with the one true God.
The Romans had “Traded Places” with the truth, and exchanged it for a lie.
When we wander away from God’s direction in our life, we sometimes want to “Trade Places” for an easier road.
The first line of defense that we usually “Trade Places” with, that God has given to us, is the TRUTH.
1. Don’t Trade The Truth ? What You Believe (v.18-19)
ILLUSTRATION (The Elephant and the Ambulance)
A woman’s red station wagon was crushed by an elephant at a circus.
The owners of the animal apologized, explaining that the animal, for some reason, simply liked to sit on red cars.
In spite of the damage, the woman’s car was still drivable.
But on the way to the garage she was stopped short by an accident involving two other cars just ahead of her.
When the ambulance arrived a few minutes later the attendants took one look at her car, then ran over to assist her.
"Oh, I wasn’t involved in this accident," she explained. "An elephant sat on my car."
The ambulance attendants quickly bundled her off to the hospital for possible shock and head injuries, despite the lady’s vehement protests.
Sometimes people just have a hard time believing the truth.
Verse 21: exchanged the truthfulness to God for terror and wrath…
God made the truth evident within each of His creation -- yet one still likes to believe their own version.
Similar to the mother that believes her child can do no wrong -- even while talking to the policeman who has her child in the squad car for breaking a window in a store.
When you decide to trade places – such as the other side of the fence, the you give up your first line of defense, which is the Truth that God has given to you and placed within you.
You begin regarding the truth as somewhat of a half-truth and become satisfied with that idealogy – which soon, you begin to create your own theology.
ILLUSTRATION: The Piece Of Truth
Once the Devil was walking along with one of his demons.
They saw a man ahead of them pick up something shiny. "What did he find?" asked the demon.
"A piece of the truth," the Devil replied.
"Doesn’t it bother you that he found a piece of the truth?" asked the demon.
"No," said the Devil, "I will see to it that he makes a religion out of it.
Many good believing Christians today are becoming defenseless against spiritual attacks, because they simply do not know the whole truth according to God’s word.
Fellowship is fine, prayer is purposeful, but without Bible Study, you cannot comprehend the the whole truth -- because the truth needs to be taught.
One spends their life relying either on sermons to supply them with the truth, or their friends perspective on the scriptures.
They dive into “Cultural Christianity” believing only that what fits their lifestyle and tastes.
You’ve got to know who you are in Christ -- and the word of truth will help you in defining yourself – similar to looking in a mirror…
ILLUSTRATION: Late Night?
The drunk husband snuck up the stairs quietly. He looked in the bathroom mirror and bandaged the bumps and bruises he’d received in a fight earlier that night.
He then proceeded to climb into bed, smiling at the thought that he’d pulled one over on his wife.
When morning came, he opened his eyes and there stood his wife. "You were drunk last night weren’t you!"
"Well, if you weren’t, then who put all the band-aids on the bathroom mirror?"
A piece of a mirror gives you just a glimpse of what your life looks like.
Piece of a dollar isn’t worth anything -- yet people still try to cash it at the bank – claiming that they lost the other half.
The same will hold true to believers on judgement day.
“Many will say Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, did we not cast demons out in your name, did we not perform miracles in your name” -Matt. 7:22
2. Don’t Trade Your Character – That which Defines You (v.20-21)
Character is much better kept than recovered. - Thomas Paine
ILLUSTRATION: Will Rogers’ Heart
Will Rogers was known for his laughter, but he also knew how to weep.
One day he was entertaining at a hospital that specialized in rehabilitating polio victims and people with broken backs and other extreme physical handicaps.