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August 20, 2017

"A FURTHER REVELATION"

TEXT: Romans 1: 18-21 (Read vv. 14 - 21)
READING:  Psalm 103: 1-22

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SUBJ: The revelation of the wrath of God as a part of Gospel revelation given in the previous verses and the fact that it must be applied to us as well.

AIM: That we might not be guilty of suppressing any part of the Word of God no matter how distasteful it seems to the world.

INTR: It is well that we recognize verse 17 as the essence of the Gospel – it sets the tone for all that is to come in this epistle.
1. The difficulty with many begins with the next verse which declares the necessity of the truth that “by faith, the just shall live.”
2. What comes immediately into view is the fact that all others must die.
3. What follows from here to the end of the second chapter is a history of man in his considered rebellion against God and this is being suppressed in the hearts of the masses.

THESIS: Sin-consciousness is being lost by professing Christians and with that comes the loss of God-consciousness and so the reason of a blatant disregard of the Word of God in all and that spells doom for such nations and peoples that forget God. They do not believe God puts men in hell.

I. From where the revelation comes (v. 18a)
1. It is well to see that the Gospel is communicated by men and so it is that we have a mandate from the Lord to do so – witness the Great Commission.
2. We do not have either the right or the ability to decide the deservingness of another to be subject to the final wrath of God.
1) The thought of sins being retained or remitted may give us reason to hesitate. But,
2) We may freely declare to any that there is mercy with the Lord and so declare the necessity of the Gospel – the consequence of unbelief and disobedience is certainly eternal punishment.
3) We may communicate the truth – our condemnation of others bears no weight.
3. The wrath of God is revealed from heaven leaving no room for equivocation among men.
4. Donald Grey Barnhouse saw the wrath of God as being stored like waters behind a dam, noting that He has at times released some of it while reserving the fulness of it to the end (read the conclusion of the matter in Revelation).
1) He released a measure of on one occasion in the waters of a universal flood.
2) He displayed His willingness to condemn sin and sinner in the destruction of Sodom.
3) He brought His wrath to bear on Egypt and
4) Who can forget the awful destruction on the Israel and then on Judah.

II. Against whom His wrath is revealed (v. 18b)
1. Man, by nature hates Christ and therefore the righteousness of God
1) This is more than a hatred for the Law or even the love of doing wrong.
2) The prophets who prophesied Christ were persecuted and killed and
3) As soon as He came into the world the forces of evil, operating in the hearts of men set about to kill Him.
2. While these things are terrible to consider, we must recognize that the same nature that is in them is in us as well – the pride of man often conceals the indwelling of a nature that hates God and all concerning Him.
1) It is easy for we who know the Lord and many who are constrained by the law in their minds to condemn the actions of the heathen and others who commit atrocities against men.
2) It is difficult for us to reckon on the fact that we are all have the same nature apart from Christ in us.
i. We carefully note that he did not refer to the ungodliness and unrighteousness of “some men.”
ii. And, if we do not recognize this aspect of the truth about men in general, we may not see the need for the revelation of the righteousness of God in us.
3. In picturing the restraint and longsuffering of God as a dam we are brought to Calvary and there to witness the full release of all that was stored up for all that had truly believed the Word of God and all that ever shall embrace the death of Christ as their own receiving the resurrected life from Him.
1) If we would see how much God hates sin and sinfulness – we must look to the flood of wrath that was poured out on Him.
2) If we suppress the truth of God’s Word, such has no meaning for us.