God, Who?

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Good morning. It is good to be in the house of the Lord this morning with you. The Bible says that when two or more are gathered, that He is here - among us. We gathered this morning to worship the almighty. It is good.
This morning we are continuing our study of the book of Romans. And we are really moving very quickly through this book. Like - we are at neck breaking speeds at this point. We might even finish chapter one by Christmas! Which is only 22 weeks away.
Only kidding. Definitely by next christmas though.
If you have a Bible please open it to the book of Romans, chapter 1.
Last week my message was on the life of a believer - as we are called to be Saints. We looked at the description that Paul gave of his life in chapter one, to see what it looks like to follow the Lord after He ascended into heaven.
We saw that following Jesus might not look logical, it might not line up with what we want, that his plans are not our plans for our lives. And those things are okay. If we will follow Him - we will be blessed.
Today - I have entitled my message God, Who? As we look at Romans 1:17-20 and see a God who has revealed himself. Lets pray.
There are 3 different things that God reveals about himself described in this passage of scripture.
Eternal Power/Divine Nature

Wrath of God

Romans 1:18 CSB
For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth,
Paul writes that nature - the world around us - heaven - reveals God’s wrath. His wrath is known by the world, because he declares it from heaven. Nahum describes it like this:
Nahum 1:2–6 CSB
The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is fierce in wrath. The Lord takes vengeance against his foes; he is furious with his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will never leave the guilty unpunished. His path is in the whirlwind and storm, and clouds are the dust beneath his feet. He rebukes the sea and dries it up, and he makes all the rivers run dry. Bashan and Carmel wither; even the flower of Lebanon withers. The mountains quake before him, and the hills melt; the earth trembles at his presence— the world and all who live in it. Who can withstand his indignation? Who can endure his burning anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; even rocks are shattered before him.
God used a prophet to declare to Nineveh exactly what was going to happen to them.
We do this with our children.
You speak like that again and I will wash your mouth out with soap.
If you can’t get along I will turn this car around.
We let them know exactly what we are capable of - to make sure they know who they are messin with!

Eternal Power/Divine Nature

Romans 1:19 CSB
since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them.
Romans 1:20 CSB
For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse.
Psalm 19:1–5 CSB
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands. Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they communicate knowledge. There is no speech; there are no words; their voice is not heard. Their message has gone out to the whole earth, and their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming from his home; it rejoices like an athlete running a course.
This is what we refer to as general revelation. The reality that God exists is made plain to the world through creation.
I like to talk about how God made good things. How bees work to help grow flowers, and we get to enjoy those. How things taste good.

Righteousness of God

Revealed from Faith to Faith

Romans 1:17 CSB
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.
Romans 10:14–17 CSB
How, then, can they call on him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about him? And how can they hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news. But not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our message? So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.
There is a verbal component to the gospel being revealed.
God’s wrath - is revealed from heaven.
God’s eternal power - is revealed by creation.
God’s righteousness - is revealed through sharing the gospel
The gospel does not go out, except through you sharing it.

Our feelings dictate our response

Facts care about your feelings.
Romans 1:21 CSB
For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened.
If I don’t care about God, about his wrath, about his eternal power, and certainly not about his Righteousness… Then my behavior will follow that.
Choose not to Glorify him.
Choose to create idols
Falling into sin.
Vs 21-32 describe a slippery slope of sin that follows indifference.
If it isn’t valuable to me… then who cares, I am going to live my life.
How could we get there?
Consider myself wise. - hey I’ve got it all figured out.
Not worthwhile to acknowledge God
Prodigal son
This is less dangerous, but more likely to happen to us.
If you are sitting in this room - you probably are not indifferent. You might be. You might be living a double life. But its raining outside - the rain usually weeds out most of the people who aren’t really committed.
No the people who gather here and call this or another church their home, probably haven’t fallen into that sin spiral that
Paul says very boldly in verse 16 I am not ashamed - after saying he is excited to share the gospel.
We can live a life where we attempt to follow Jesus, and yet be ashamed and unable to communicate about it.
The bible doesn’t describe here what it looks like to be ashamed, because Paul says that he isn’t…
but we know what it looks like. Ashamed means to be embarrassed or guilty because of something.
Lets take swimming for example.
Swimming is a very common skill, but some people never learned how.
In this room, several people right now are thinking “who doesn’t know how to swim??” and some others are thinking “please don’t ask who knows how to swim”
If asked about swimming - those of us who can’t - will probably not offer that information up readily. Our first response is probably not “no, I cannot swim”
We might say “nah, I don’t like swimming that much” or
“I’m pretty sure we have something going on that day”
Or we will act like we can swim. “Oh yeah, that would be fun, I will be there”
and then they will get there - and suddenly realize, they forgot their swimwear. Whoops.
I can’t believe I did that.....
There will be some great reason they cannot go swimming today.
And then they might tell stories of other times they definitely did go swimming.
“Yeah when I was in college we actually went bridge jumping and then we swam across the river to a dock and walked into town and…”
And we go through that entire act, because saying that you cannot swim could be embarrassing.
We might be ashamed.
If we are ashamed, how do we act:
We hide it
discard it
lie about it
very sensitive about it
lash out about it
apologize for it
If we act in those ways - are we ashamed of the gospel?
How could we be?
Well… lets think about it. Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians ....
1 Corinthians 1:23 CSB
but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles.
There are some hard truths to the gospel.
Our God is real.
He is triune in nature
He created everything. - say that in a room full of scientists.
God good - me bad
Jesus’ death and ressurection are the most important things to have ever happened.
Jesus is the only way to salvation
Being born again is a real thing!
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is Real!
There will be a final judgement
Our opinion - our understanding - our faith - looks foolish to the world. They don’t get it.
I don’t want to talk about Jesus, because they might not like me.
Paul talked about his experiences sharing the gospel in a way that was super encouraging and really got me excited about it.
2 Corinthians 11:23–26 CSB
Are they servants of Christ? I’m talking like a madman—I’m a better one: with far more labors, many more imprisonments, far worse beatings, many times near death. Five times I received the forty lashes minus one from the Jews. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked. I have spent a night and a day in the open sea. On frequent journeys, I faced dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own people, dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, and dangers among false brothers;
Mark 8:38 CSB
For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
As we live this life - existing as believers, following after Jesus, we see the instruction time after time to share the gospel. But it is easy to be ashamed of it. To feel and to know the disapproval of others
Set Joy Before you.
Hebrews 12:2 CSB
keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Realize how important this whole thing is. - Read this passage again this week.
Speak - so that the Holy Spirit speaks through us.
Understand and accept the risks of being disliked for the Gospel of Christ.
Know your God.
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