Sin is malignant. It is progressively destructive.
Sin is S.T.U.P.I.D.
S. Suppress the truth
U. Unwise decisions
I. Idolatrous and Immoral
D. Depraved Mind
v18-20. To suppress the truth you must know the truth. How do we know God exists? By what has been made.
Creation means there is a Creator, the design of the universe means there is a Designer.
We see God by his effects (The Law of Causality) – Like gravity, there is a cause and an effect.
“It’s not just that I don’t believe in God, I don’t want there to be a God.” – Thomas Nagel (Atheist professor at NYU)
Every day we are either moving toward God or away from him. There is no standing still.
v1. This is speaking about those with a depraved mind at the end of Chapter 1.
v2. What is Truth? Telling it like it is. Something that is true is true for all persons, at all times, in all places – Absolute Truth.
If someone says there is no such thing as absolute truth, ask them; is that absolutely true? or are you absolutely sure?
Is it wrong to judge? Not if you judge based on truth (Bible).
When you judge certain things to be wrong, you are not actually making a judgment.
You are just agreeing with what has already been judged to be wrong.
v4. Judgment will come, but God is waiting to allow a time of repentance. He is patient.
v9-11. The Jews are not favored. (Acts 10:34-35)
v12-15. Everyone knows right and wrong because of our conscience.
You don’t need an excuse for doing the right thing.
“My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust, but how had I gotten this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?” – C.S. Lewis
v24. What is the cost of hypocrisy?
Because of their behavior (hypocrisy), the Jews are causing the Gentiles to think less of God. Are we guilty of this?
We can minimize our hypocrisy by staying close to Christ.
We will never live up to His standard.
v29. What is the difference between religion and true Christianity? Religion says do, do, do. Christianity says done, done, done.
Religion is knowledge of. Christianity is trust in (faith). Religion is believing that. Christianity is believing in.
v3. Does anything we do change God?
v4. David’s repentance from Psalm 51.
v8. If we are all sinners, should we continue to sin to prove God right? No, Paul is saying that the idea is so absurd that they are condemned for just saying that. (Romans 6:1-2)
v9. Religion doesn’t save anyone, we are all under sin.
V11. No one seeks God first; God had to initiate the contact through creation, conscience and the Holy Spirit.
“God doesn’t need us, but we desperately need Him.” – Ray Pritchard
v18. Depravity is the propensity to sin and the necessity to die.
It is easier to be bad than to be good.
“What is wrong with the world? Dear Sirs, I am. Sincerely yours, G.K. Chesterton”
What do you call a kid that gets everything they want? Spoiled.
What is spoiled about them? Their character. You have exacerbated their already depraved nature. You haven’t disciplined it, you’ve fed it. You’ve added fuel to the fire.
Can the Law save you?
Suppose when you looked in the bathroom mirror, first thing this morning, and you saw a sign attached to your head that transmitted, in BIG letters, every thought you had and you couldn’t turn it off. Would you leave your home? You may not even leave the bathroom! Why? Because our thoughts are inherently evil.
“God loves us in spite of our sin and not because of some supposed worth he found in us.” – Ray Pritchard
v19-20. The Law is like a mirror. A mirror can show you that you need to shave, but it can’t shave you.
The Law is like a ruler. You can measure a board, but the ruler can’t cut the board for you. It can only show you that it is too long.
The Law can’t save you; it can only show you that you need a Savior.
The depraved nature is hostile to God, selfish and evil.
When you come to Christ your problems are not gone, they have just begun. Conflict between flesh and spirit in continual and inevitable.