St. Luke's Church Faribault
3-24-2019
      • Psalm 65:1–2NIV2011

      • Psalm 65:2NIV2011

      • Psalm 65:3NIV2011

      • Psalm 65:4NIV2011

  • Trust and Obey
  • Awesome God
  • Jesus
  • Before I read our passage today, I want to say a word about how we arrive at a particular verse, on a particular Sunday. Currently, I am preaching verse by verse expository preaching. Many weeks ago we started the book of Romans, and we are going through it verse by verse. I do not skip verses, or jump ahead. I do not choose to preach on on one thing over another. I simply preach on the next verses that come along, on the next Sunday they come along. If what I happen to preach on seems controversial, or challenging, it is simply because that is the next verse. It what I preach on is on the news, that is the way the Holy Spirit had it work out. We take God’s word as it laid out for us, we do not leave parts out, or skip over anything, we look at all of God’s word, and allow the Holy Spirit to move in our hearts as God wills. If the subject matter seems challenging, it is because God’s word is challenging you, I am simply moving systematically through God’s word.
    Last week I finished with verse 23, today I will begin preaching on verse 24, however I will read the whole section to give us the context. Romans chapter 1 starting with verse 18, but let me pray before I read.
    Pray
    Romans 1:18–32 NIV
    The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
    This section of Romans is describing the sinfulness of the gentiles, before they come to a saving faith in Jesus. We can tell that this whole section of Romans is talking about those that do not yet know Christ, by the use of the pronoun they. Back in the introduction, in Verse 7, Paul writes that this is written to those who are loved by God and called to be saints, then he says, Grace and peace to you. The you, is referring to those who have a saving faith in the gospel. In this section, Paul uses the pronoun they. THEY are those outside of Christ.
    Looking at our outline, we see that after the introduction this major section on sin can be broken into three sections, the sinfulness of the gentiles, the sinfulness of the jews and the sinfulness of all people. We are in the section the sinfulness of the Gentiles.
    ROMANS
    Introduction- 1:1-17
    Sinfulness-1:18-3:20
    Of the Gentiles-1:18-32
    Of the Jews-2:1-3:8
    Universal- 3:9-20
    Last week, we went up to verse 24, and we noticed that Paul was talking about a descent away from God, and it went like this.
    Ungodliness leads to (v18)
    suppressing the truth leads to (vs 18-20)
    darkened hearts leads to (v21)
    foolishness.(V22)
    Result is an exchange of God for images (v23)
    Then it results in an exchange. People without God end up exchanging the image of the immortal God, for images of the mortal.
    Up to this point, everything we talked about last week was happening in the minds and hearts of the sinner. God is on display for the whole human race to see, and they ignore him. Without God-reason becomes foolish, and without the light of Christ-hearts grow dark. All of this occurs inside of the heart and mind of the sinner.
    But what is on the inside, eventually comes out. The condition of your mind, and the condition of your heart, determines your actions-in other words-If you are mad at someone in your heart-eventually you will let it fly. If you have bad thoughts all the time, eventually you are going to act on those thoughts. What is on the inside eventually comes out. That is, unless there is something restraining you.
    Unless something is holding you back or preventing you from acting the way, you eventually you will act. Morals, restrain us. This basic sense of right and wrong hold us back, we do not hurt people, because we see that God made life, and hurting life is wrong. For everyone a basic sense of a creator God, or a basic sense of a morality outside of ourselves, restrains us. Ultimately, God is the restrainer. God is the one that puts that in us. Faith is Christ or not, people can see life, people know life is not a random collection of cells, people do not take life.God is the ultimate truth, the one who morals originate from.
    But what happens when you don’t have that restraint? What happens when God is removed? Without God, people suppress the truth. When people suppress the truth the restraints start to come off. As those that do not know Christ continue in their futile thinking with darkened hearts, they exchange the glory of the immortal God for images of the mortal.
    Romans 1:23 NIV
    23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
    Then after they exchange God for mortal things,
    Romans 1:24 NIV
    24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
    Therefore God gives them over, in their sinful desires. Because they choose to suppress the truth about which is plain and in plain sight-God gives them over to there sinful desires. This will be the pattern that we see. People exchange the Holy for the unholy. The sinner exchanges truth for a lie, the sinner exchanges worship of God for worship of something else, then God gives them over to that which they desire. This giving over is God letting them go their own way.
    God does not create in them sin. God is not the author of evil. Evil is already in their hearts. God allows them to go the way they already want to go.It has this Old Testament feel to it. In the Old Testament God gave them over to other Nations, such as Assyria and Babylon, here God gives them over to the sinful desires that are already in their heart. The person without Christ is by nature, a sinner.
    Here, God gives them over to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies. Did you ever think about how degrading sexual immorality is. It is the using of another person, not because of who they are, but because of the body they temporarily fill.
    Back in Genesis 1, on the 6th day, God made his pinnacle of creation. God made people in His image He created them male and female he created them. The chapter ends with God declaring it very good. Now in Romans 1-God gives them over to the sinful desires of their heart, and the sinful desires are to take that which is in the image of God, that which very good and beautiful, and degrade it, with sexual immorality.
    Pornography is terribly degrading. Sex trafficking is awful. there is people caught up in modern day slavery taking that which God has created in His image, and then degrading them for their pleasure. This is why people struggling with sexual immorality often struggle with low self worth, because the image of God has been degraded, and they no longer see worth and value in person.
    This behavior leads to another exchange.
    Romans 1:25 NIV
    25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
    Do you see how this happens? The truth of God, found in the word of God, without God becomes meaningless to them. The truth of God, that people have worth and value, is exchanged for the lie, that what is important is how you look. What your body is like, what physical attributes you have. The truth that before God created you in the womb is exchanged for the lie that you aren’t a person until after you are born. The truth that you have been created in the image of God is exchanged for the lie that God makes mistakes when he creates some people. Orr that someone is someone else's, property to be degraded.
    People then begin serving created things, rather than God. Worshipping pleasure, and money, cars, vacations, swimsuit models, plastic surgery and body modifications, are the order of the day, when man should be serving and worshipping the God who is the one responsible for the beauty of creation, the wonder of creation, the dignity of creation in the first place.
    Then Paul ands this little ending-who is forever praised Amen. What is on the inside eventually comes out, and Paul is so filled with God, that even while he is in the middle of this treatise on sin He breaks into a praise. Another word for praise os doxology. Dr. Steven Lawson said Your Theology produces your doxology. Theology or your idea of God produces how you praise him. High view of God or High theology, you worship a lot-or high doxology. Low view of God, low praise, low theology low doxology.
    So Paul’s Theology is so high, so bubbling over, that he cannot even contain himself and it boils out here and almost seems out of place.
    They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. We should be to have such a high view of God, that we just break into doxology at the mention of Him who is forever praised, Amen.
    After the exchange God gives them over again
    Romans 1:26 NIV
    Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.
    The sinner says that they would rather worship and serve that which is created rather than the one who is forever praised, so God again gives them over to what they want. What rules the sinners desires is lust, so much so that they are willing to again-exchange-that which is natural, the God-given beautiful gift of sex between a man and take that and exchange that for same sex-complete with the difficulties that arise from that.
    Romans 1:27 NIV
    In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
    This lust is not only unique to women, men too share that lust for sexual pleasure, and they are driven to shameful acts with other men.
    When the human race tries to function in an unnatural way, there are going to be natural consequences. Sex is supposed to take place within the boundaries of marriage between men and women. When humans step outside of those God given guidelines, new problems will arise. Problems that are the due penalty of this error. Disease, strife, division, heartbreak loss, anything that is not of God is a possibility. The sinner is subject to the due penalty of their actions.
    As men and women exchanged the natural for the unnatural and God again, gives them over.
    Romans 1:28 NIV
    28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.
    Because people did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so gives them over to a depraved mind. Think about this. Not worthwhile to retain knowledge of God. God by definition is the most worthy being in all the universe. But sinners do not think it is worthwhile to have knowledge of God? The infinite creator God, who should be forever praised, is not worth my time. I should soak my mind with other things instead?God is not worthwhile?, so of course there whole mind becomes depraved.
    Romans 1:29 NIV
    29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,
    Filled is mentioned twice is mentioned in verse 29. They are filled with every kind of wickedness. They are full of envy murder and strife. The last time we saw wickedness this great was in Genesis 6, when God chose to flood the earth in Genesis 6 we read.
    Genesis 6:5–6 NIV
    5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.
    It is only by God’s mercy that He does not destroy the world again.
    Not read on screen
    Romans 1:29 NIV
    29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,
    It is like an unholy filling. The sinners have been given over to their own desires, and they are now filled, not with the things of God, but with the things of Satan. Envy-be better than the neighbors, murder-the Chicago homicide rate is sky rocketing, Strife- our country has never been as divided as it is today. Deceit-gossip on-line. It seemingly never ends. And it seemingly gets worse.
    Romans 1:30 NIV
    30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;
    Even disobey their parents is thrown in there, is that strange? I don;t think so. Here is why. Honor your father and mother is a command repeated over and over again. The honoring of our parents reflects that the gospel has taken root in the next generation. If children are obeying their parents it is a sign that this new generation has believed the gospel, not necessarily a guarantee, but at least a piece of evidence. Think about this-we are one generation away from from the gospel being lost.
    Romans 1:31 NIV
    31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.
    Since they are filled with these evil and sinful things there is no room to fill with the good things, like love and mercy.
    Then the capstone.
    Romans 1:32 NIV
    32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
    Sinners know. Sinners know they are violating God’s righteous decrees. They know that man and women are made in the image of God, they know that people should not be degraded, and that these other things are wrong. However they continue, in spite of knowing right from wrong. They just continue, and then if that is not bad enough they also APPROVE of it. What once was known to be wrong, known to be unnatural, is now approved of.
    Unfortunately today, there are mainline denominations that actually approve of some of the behavior listed here. These are not obscure religious cults, these are everyday mainline denominations that for centuries once believed that the bible was the word of God. You can read the verses we read today yourself. You are smart people you know they mean exactly what they say. Yet these groups bless the behavior.Remember this is all in the pronoun they. The they is those that do not know Jesus Christ. If you know Jesus you do not approve of sin.
    Jesus Christ can and does save people no matter where they are, all the time. Even though God’s restraining hand may be removed, even though their hearts are darkened, and their thinking foolish. and although it seems like who then can be saved, All things are possible with God, and God the Holy Spirit changes hearts.
    God the Holy Spirit reaches in and gives them a new heart, He replaces the heart of stone and gives them a heart of flesh. God can and does save any sinner with any sin listed there. He saves the sexually immoral, the idolaters the homosexuals, the greedy, the murders, and even the God-haters. God can save any of them, and He does. But hear me say this.
    God can save anyone in any sin-------- but he does not leave them there. When God saves someone they do not desire to continue in their sin.
    Look at today’s reading.
    1 Corinthians 6:9–11 NIV
    9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
    And that is some of you were. Some of us were the they in Romans, but we are the they no longer. The Holy Spirit changes us, that is the power of the gospel. That is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe Romans 1.17.
    The Holy Spirit takes the sinner, who has suppressed the truth, who has a darkened heart, and who has been given over to sexual immorality, or greed or murder, or strife, and washes that away. The Holy Spirit washes that away. Do you see the symbol of Baptism there? The Holy Spirit washes that away-transforms the mind, the thinking, and begins filling with peace patience kindness gentleness and self control.
    It usually doesn’t happen all at once, the old self dies hard, but the desire to change is now there. It may be slow, but progress is being made. The greedy are less greedy than they were the sexually immoral are less sexually immoral than they were.
    The damage sin has on the mind and body is great. Sometimes these things can take a lifetime to battle, but the point is now, instead of approving instead of having no remorse instead of continuing to practice such things the person who believes the gospel now no longer suppresses the truth but instead looks to the truth.
    It is easy for us to point fingers at the they, but remember we too were at once were the they. Instead it should point us to the need for the gospel, for the transforming, power of God unto salvation. We should not be surprised when we turn on the news and we see new depravity, this is what sinners do they sin, and they invent new ways to sin. Instead when we turn on the news, It should be our call to figure out how we can spread the gospel.
    When we see the sin of the world it should call us to remember that we once we were among them, and if not for the power of the gospel we could easily be there. It should call us to hurl any remaining sins that still have to Jesus at the cross, and ask Him to forgive us for holding on to it, and ask Him to empty us of those sins and fill us once again with the Holy Spirit of God.
    If you do not know the power of God unto salvation in your life do not leave here today without considering giving your life to Jesus.
    Jesus Christ was born of a virgin. He was God made man, he was tempted in every way yet was without sin. Jesus died on the cross and suffered the wrath of God, and bore the punishment meant for sinners. He died and was buried, three days later he rose again from the dead. To save sinners. But you have to actively turn from sin, and toward Jesus to experience new life.
    This transforming, freeing power of the gospel is available to all, and it begins by praying, confessing your sins to Jesus and asking him to lead you.
    In Matthew chapter 9 Jesus said,
    Matthew 9:5–7 NIV
    5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home.
      • Romans 1:18–32NIV2011

      • Romans 1:23NIV2011

      • Romans 1:24NIV2011

      • Romans 1:25NIV2011

      • Romans 1:26NIV2011

      • Romans 1:27NIV2011

      • Romans 1:28NIV2011

      • Romans 1:29NIV2011

      • Genesis 6:5–6NIV2011

      • Romans 1:29NIV2011

      • Romans 1:30NIV2011

      • Romans 1:31NIV2011

      • Romans 1:32NIV2011

      • 1 Corinthians 6:9–11NIV2011

  • Fill My Cup Lord
  • Doxology
  • Revive Us Again

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