Title: When God gives up

Focus: Mankind has rejected the Lordship of God which progressed to idolatry which progressed to depravity. Since only the righteous will be saved through faithfulness, mankind needs a way to be righteous. Righteousness can only come through the Gospel

Function: To motivate the hearers to submit to the Lordship of God

Text: Romans 1:14-32

1.  What does it mean to be righteous?  (Not righteous babes)
	a.  Just, moral uprightness, merciful, honest, fair, and compassionate.  
	b.  One who is right with God, which would include the character traits
2.  Rabbinic Tradition:  
	a.  613 commands of God at Sinai.  
	b.  David boiled these commands down to eleven in the 15th Psalm.  
	c.  Isaiah boils them down to six in Isaiah 33:15.  
	d.  Micah boils them down to three in Micah 6:8.  
	e.  And Habakkuk boils them down to one in Habakkuk 2:4.  
	f.  This one command, highest expression of the righteousness of God.
3.  Paul quotes from this as his thesis of the letter to the Romans (Rom 1:14-17)
	a.  Context of Habbakuk - God raising wicked Chaldeans against Judah
	b.  Wicked will perish, but the righteous live by faithfulness
	c.  Paul makes similar point - Righteous saved by faithfulness
4.  Paul delays this discussion.  So I will too.
	a.  ILL:  Drive through bad neighborhood?  That is what Paul does next
	b.  Spends next three chapters showing why we need Gospel

I.  (1:18-23) We need the Gospel is because mankind has forgotten God
	A.  Anthropology believes upward evolution from animism/brutality
	B.  But that is not what Paul describes
		1.  Man BEGAN by knowing God - God revealed himself
		2.  19th Psalm - Heavens declare the glory of God
			a.  Know his power - Floods, storms, tornadoes
			b.  His attributes - Rains on just and the unjust
			c.  Order and harmony
		3.  They did not honor him as God
			a.  They supressed the truth
			b.  The exchanged God for idolatry
		4.  Is idolatry an ancient problem?  What is the root of it?
	C.  ILL:  Man who lived miserable life
		1.  Went to see preacher to find out what wrong
		2.  Preacher took him to window - What do you see?
			- See trees, sky, street, men, women, children
		3.  Went to mirror - What do you see?
			- I see only myself
		4.  In both cases, you were looking through glass
			a.  But one had a bit of silver added
			b.  When add silver, all you see is yourself
	D.  Idolatry is selfishness - Exchange God for someone of own making
		1.  Slave trying to be master, creature being the creator, make god 
		      in own image
		2.  This shows itself in many ways
			a.  Put career ahead of husband, wife, family, God
			b.  Can’t say sorry because hurt pride
			c.  Shun poor, ethnic, etc. because hurt your image
		3.  When not submit to his Lordship, that is idolatry

   1.  It doesn’t seem like a big deal does it?  
   2.  Socially acceptable to put yourself as number one.
   3.  In our nation, we prize freedom only second to life.  
   4.  Leads to next point:  

II.  We need the Gospel is we are obsessed with freedom (1:24-27)
	A.  Not like having rules or limitations.  So make god into own image. 
		1.  Ancient times - fertility gods.  They were very, very popular. 
		2.  Sacred prostitutes
		3.  Now we enlightened.  That no longer a problem right?
	B.  Still have people making their “god” in their own image.  
		1.  “If enjoy and it doesn’t harm anyone, then don’t tell me it wrong
		2.  Many university professors teach we our own standard
		3.  Is this really idolatry?
		4.  It is making an idol, not of wood, but flesh and blood 
	C.  ILL:  This is what happened on Jimmy Neutron
		1.  Kids not like rules, one day aliens kidnapped parents
		2.  Party-time!   No rules.  Eat candy, no bathe, no clean, stay out
		3.  Were free to party and gorge self on junk food.
	D.  Isn’t that what Paul is talking about here?
		1.  Forget ultimate parent, behavior changes.
			a.  Things considered immoral not seem bad any more
			b.  They might even be considered acceptable
			c.  I am what determines ethics
		2.  Feel liberating to escape archaic God with archaic rules
		3.  Result of this understanding of freedom?
			a.  Gary and Steve want to get married.
			b.  Bobby wants to use drugs for entertainment.
			c.  Bill and Sue spice up their marriage by swinging
			d.  Consenting adults, who are you to say it is wrong?
		4.  Who made you God?  How true?  Who made any man God?

What is the result of this liberated life that so many work for?

III.  (1:28-32)  We need the Gospel because of our depravity without it
	A.  How would you like to live in a society where this is the norm?
		1.  Can’t trust anyone, live in fear, be miserable
		2.  This what happen when reject/exchange Lordship of God
		3.   Begin a gradual spiral down.
		4.  Some now claim pedophilia a “sexual orientation” 
	B.  Unsettling about this section
		1.  Wrath “is being” revealed
			a.  Not an eschataological wrath
			b.  It is present tense
			c.  v.27 - They are “receiving” the due penalty...
		2.  People may misinterpret the permissiveness of God as grace
			a.  Not continue in sin to increase grace
			b.  Grace is not permissiveness, but forgivness
		3.  Permissiveness is his wrath
			a.  God not alway strike evil people down
			b.  Reveals wrath through passiveness
		4.  He gave them over
			a.  God - “You insist on being your own god?  Fine.”
			b.  Like kids on Jimmy Neutron, they party
			c.  Result?  Sickness, scared, miserable without parents
	C.  ILL:  It’s like the fence around the school playground.  
		1.  Is it there to imprison the kids?  
		2.  Keep kids out of traffic
		3.  God puts his fence around us for our good
	D.  Israel didn’t understand this. 
		1.  Rejected God’s Lordship, created own gods
		2.  Downward spiral - Eating all of that “junk”
			a.  Became sick society
			b.  Reglious sickness, moral disease, economic decay
		3.  In Ezekiel, God’s glory left the temple
			a.  He “gave them over.”  He “gave up” to their depravity
			b.  They had rejected God, so he just..... left
			c.  They rejected fence around playground, God let them
			d.  With fence gone, nations attacked them
		4.  Having such good time, not realize they experiencing wrath 

Concl:  Not through with trip through the hood yet
1.  Don’t want to leave you here.  Look at destination at the map - better place
2.  Only righteous saved, but it righteousness through the Gospel (v.16-17)
3.  Gospel is “Good News”  
	a.  It is power of salvation to believers
	b.  If you believer, you have faith.  Are faithful = loyalty  
4.  Faith begins with pledging your loyalty to him.  
	a.  He washes away all of the filth of your unrighteousness.  
	b.  Pledge your loyalty to him and baptized, old, filthy man dies, new man,
5.  God gives you a great gift at that moment - hope.  It propels us through life.
6.  Are you ready?  Are you ready to accept his Lordship.  
7.  Don’t reject it.  Ultimate result of rejection is downward spiral = miserable.  
8.  Lay hold of the hope Christ offers you today.  Accept his kingdom, his reign in
your life.