Devotional- Count The Cost- Romans 1:18-32- AJ Iovino

Posted: May 18, 2012 in Devotionals & Bible Studies
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COUNT THE COST

ANTHONY IOVINO-10-25-11

 

I titled this bible study, Count the Cost for a reason.  There are many people today who go about living their lives as if they are going to live forever.  “Nothing bad will ever happen to me they say, because there is no God and I am not accountable for anything I say or do.  The way I choose to live my life is my business and as long as I am not hurting anybody it is okay.”  Sound familiar?  Is this you?

Many people have turned away from God for many different reasons.  Others feel that God has abandoned them.  Many simply drift away slowly from a former way of life and simply choose not to believe.  Still others actually say they do not believe, yet they curse God whenever they have an opportunity.  They literally hate a God that they do not believe in.

Many believe that God sits idly by and is aloof to what is going on in the world.  In their minds God does not care how they live.

The Bible has something totally different to say about these types of people.  The bible says that there is a cost associated with unbelief, godlessness, wickedness and suppression of the Truth.  In Romans chapter one, the Apostle Paul delivers what I will call a knockout blow to all those who are enemies of God and of Christ.  Paul preached to everyone without hesitation and without shame, (Romans 1:14-16).

Paul uses some very strong language to help build his case that all are sinners and in need of a savior.  Even those who have never heard the Gospel.  Those that continue in their wickedness will pay a heavy price and there will be no excuses in the end because God has made Himself fully knowable by his invisible qualities, power and nature, (Romans 1:20).

As one reads Romans 1:18-32, a very clear picture emerges:

  • God exists
  • God is fully aware of every person’s behavior.
  • God has the power to give you over to your sinful desires.
  • God is just and He will punish all sin.

As a person drifts farther away from God their thinking becomes futile and their hearts grow dark.  As intelligent as a person thinks he is, the Bible calls him a fool.  They worship everything but the one true God.  They are idolatars.

What types of behavior do people display?

  1. Rampant Immorality–  The exact opposite of what is normal healthy God given sexual behavior.
  2. Social Anarchy– Violence, greed, injustice.  Lying replaces truth.
  3. Hatred Toward God– Mocking Christ and His deity.  Hatred for God’s Word.  Persecution of all those who believe.  (This persecution takes place all over the world.  Each year 160,000 Christians are killed).  The seeds of this hatred are getting ready to sprout in America.  We are not far from physical persecutions.
  4. The Breakdown of Family– Defiant children, who despise authority.  Dysfunction is the new “normal.”
  5. Gloating over the breakdown of society–  Calling forth a system totally foreign to our Nation’s foundation.

One of the ways God’s Wrath is displayed is by giving a person up to their sinful desires or uncleanness, v.24, to vile passions, v.26, and to a reprobate (depraved) mind, v.28.  God’s wrath is seen directed at man’s entire personality.

Why would God abandon someone?  Look at v.25- They exchange the truth of God for a lie..”  An idol is a lie, a false representation of God.  An idolater worships the image of a creature, and insults and dishonors the Creator, who is worthy of honor and glory.

Why does evolution have such an appeal for natural man?  The reason lies not in their intellects but in their wills.  They do not want to believe about God.  It is not that the evidence for evolution is so convincing, but because they want an explanation for origins that will eliminate God completely.  They know that if there is a God, they are morally responsible to Him. (v.28).

Verse 29 of Chapter one, Paul begins a list of additional sins which characterize man in his alienation from God.  Notice that the bible tells us that man is “filled” with these sins and not just an occasional dabbler in them.  He, in effect is trained in them:

Unrighteousness (injustice), sexual immorality (fornication, adultery, and other forms of illicit sex), wickedness (active evil), covetousness (greed, the incessant desire for more), maliciousness (the desire for harm on others, venomous hatred), full of envy (jealousy of others), full of murder (premeditated and unlawful killing of another, either in anger or in the commission of some other crime), full of strife (wrangling, quarreling), full of deceit (trickery, treachery), full of evil-mindedness (ill will, spite, hostility, bitterness), whisperers (secret slanderers, gossips)

Verse 30Backbiters (open slanderers, those who bad mouth others), haters of God (or hateful to God), violent (despiteful, insulting), proud (haughty, arrogant), boasters (braggarts, self-paraders), inventors of evil things (devisers of mischief), disobedient to parents (rebellious to parental authority),

Verse 31Undiscerning (lacking moral and spiritual discernment, without conscience), untrustworthy (breaking promises, treaties, agreements, and contracts whenever it serves their purpose), unloving (acting in total disregard of natural ties and the obligations that go with them), unforgiving (irreconcilable), unmerciful (cruel, vindictive, without pity).

Paul concludes in verse 32 – Their outrageous conduct was not due to total ignorance of what God required but to self-will and rebellion.  The extreme of sin is applauding, rather than regretting, the sins of others.  They feel a sense of camaraderie with their partners-in-sin.

 

Sermon-Count The Cost-10-25-11-AJ Iovino

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Comments
  1. I NEEDED THIS SERMON,BECAUSE OF ALL THE DEFINITIONS THAT YOU
    HAVE GIVEN I THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH .I HAVE LONGED TO PREACH THIS MESSAGE,

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