Exchanging the Truth for a Lie

Romans 1:24-32 (ESV)

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

As we look to this week’s passage in our series on Romans, we come to the end of Chapter 1. It's a heavy portion of Scripture to read through, but we need to ask ourselves, "How should we, the people of God, respond to these verses?"

Pastor Tim Keller, in his book Romans For You, tells us that we should have three right responses as Christians.  

1. All systems of thought must account both for the awesomeness of the cosmos and the goodness of which humanity is capable; and for the brokenness of the world, our societies, and our lives and relationships. Why is there so much beauty; why is it so flawed? Paul's answer is simple: God.  There is a God who made it all, and made us in His image, to know and reflect his character. And that same God has, in wrath, given us what we have chosen: Life without Him, worshiping things that cannot satisfy. In the beauty of the world, we are to see God's existence. In the brokenness of the world, we are to see God's justice. As we do, we run back to the place where we see God's mercy: the Cross.

2. The function of these verses is to draw out any self-righteous pride in us; any feeling of satisfaction that: they are wicked, and I am not like them. As we will see, Paul will next turn to confront that religious, moral man: "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself" (2:1) Self righteousness is always self condemning.  

3. Rather, we are to read these verses in light of 1:16–17, knowing that we do not need to fear God's wrath because we have received His righteousness.  This gives us both the humility and the freedom to ask: what idols could be, or are already, jostling for position with my Creator in my heart and life?

This is an incredible insight into this passage and should challenge us all as we search for where self righteousness has taken root in our heart.

Pray through these verses this week and feel free to listen to this week’s worship music in preparation for our worship gathering.

God Bless,
Mike Norman
Director of Worship & Technology

Worship set list for July 9th, 2017

Exalted Over All (Vertical Church Band)
All Glory (Vertical Church Band)
Holy, Holy, Holy (Audrey Assad)
Great Are You, Lord (All Sons & Daughters)