Romans 1:18 The Wrath of God is Revealed

Today we will talk about the wrath of God and the coming Judgment.
The crucial question that I would like to establish in your minds today is:
What will you say to Almighty God on Judgment Day?

READ Scripture- This is the Word of God

Point 1: The Wrath of God – A Present Reality
A. Why has God manifested His righteousness that can only be accepted by faith?

Verse 18 is the answer- “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” And will follow thru 3:20.

1. That God is wrathful was repulsive to Greeks and Greek philosophers. Even today many people, even some Christians, consider the wrath of God to be a ridiculously archaic thought.

2. The Old Testament pictures God as one who is wrathful in response to rebellion and then later in the Prophets, the wrath of God is associated with the ‘Day of the Lord’ (Judgment).

3. Paul, with the same OT background, teaches that the wrath of God is a present reality for all those who stand outside of Christ. What did He do? Verse 24 “Therefore God gave them up…”

B. That the Wrath of God is a Present Condition:
a. 3:5 “But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath?”
b. 4:15 “because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.”
c. 9:22 “What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction”
d. Ephesians 2:3 “among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”

C. There is obviously a connection of verse 18 back to verse 17:
a. v17- “In (the Gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith.”
b. v18- “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven.”
* It seems that what Paul is saying is that the wrath of God is falling more deservedly than ever because of God’s righteousness being publicly and widely proclaimed (Gospel).

D. These people that God’s wrath is presently falling on are those who are ungodly and unrighteous (seem to be connected, not necessarily two different thoughts), who “suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness” (through unrighteousness they suppress the truth). Truth is not something that is simply accepted mentally, but something that reflects in actions. When people act unrighteously they are suppressing the truth of God. The context of this verse proves that those who suffer the wrath of God are responsible for their situation.
Connective: When the Gospel message is proclaimed both the righteousness and wrath of God are revealed. Heb 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword…” With some it cuts to heal and with many it will cause devastation.

Point 2: What is Wrath?

A. The wrath of God is the withdrawal of His presence and the blessings of that association.
You probably remember what Jesus said in Matt 5:45, “[God] makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” At the present time, all people (to some extent) are benefiting by God’s sovereign providence.

B. Here is an idea of the wrath of God being the removal of His presence:
Follow with me through the remainder of C1:
1. v24 God also gave them up
2. v26 God gave them up
3. v28 God gave them over
When God withdrawals His presence wrath is being revealed from heaven and chaos ensues, sin abounds, the world is turned upside-down, and society is turned inside-out. Isaiah warned in 5:20,
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
Yet, this is the result of a world given over to its own depraved passions – God’s Wrath.
Just five verses down from there Isaiah says, “Therefore the anger of the LORD is aroused…”

Point 3: Wrath is also: Holy Anger, Judgment, Condemnation

A. Now this is the Holy Gospel found in Scripture: The wrath of God has been poured out on Jesus Christ. This is the great doctrine of what’s called “Penal Substitution,” which is clearly taught throughout the entire Bible. Jesus took our place, as our substitute, and bore the penalty of God’s wrath for our sins.

B. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, bore the wrath of God for us/instead of us. That is why the Scripture says in 2 Cor 5:21, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us…”

Point 4: Hidden in Him

A. I think this may be the best picture that has helped me clearly understand the Gospel and maybe it will help you this morning to get a better grasp of our faith.

B. Acts 17:30-31 says, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness…” When the Gospel is proclaimed and a hearer despises it he/she is building/treasuring up for himself/herself wrath for the Day of Wrath to come and he/she is even experiencing that wrath now to some extent.

C. Yet, for those who receive the Gospel with open ears, open minds, open hearts – the righteousness of God is revealed. This is the righteousness and the picture:
On Judgment Day God’s wrath will be poured out, but we will be hidden in Christ.
Jesus Christ has already experienced that wrath and it can not be on Him again!
When the rain of wrath is pouring down, those outside of Christ will be left consumed and those of us in Christ will have a shelter, a propitiatory shelter  Christ.

Conclusion: So, on Judgment Day, when the Lord Jesus returns and we all are raised from the dead by the power of God and must give an account to Him for every thing we have done (both good and bad, every word we have ever muttered), what will you say?

Will you try to defend yourself? Will you make a compelling case?
Men, what will you say about your family? Leaders, what will you say about your service?

When the Lord comes looking for me, I want to be hidden in Christ. I want to be found in Him.
He will be my propitiatory shelter. He will be my strong tower, my defender from wrath.

I have never been a huge fan of Christian Rock, but I have grown to really appreciate the group “Third Day” because of their latest album. In a song titled “Trust in Jesus,” they articulate an appropriate conclusion to this sermon much more poetically and compellingly than me.

“One of these days we all will stand in judgment for
Every single word that we have spoken
One of these days we all will stand before the Lord
Give a reason for everything we’ve done
And what I’ve done is

Trust in Jesus
My great Deliverer
My strong Defender
The Son of God
I trust in Jesus
Blessed Redeemer
My Lord forever
The Holy One…

What are you going to do when your time has come
And your life is done and there’s nothing you can stand on
What will you have to say at the judgment throne
I already know the only thing that I can say is, I

There’s nothing I can do on my own to find forgiveness
It’s by His grace alone I trust in Jesus”

When you die or when the Lord Jesus Christ returns, the wrath of God will have been escapable.
--If you trust in Christ and are found hidden in Him--

Jesus: Salvation in No Other - Acts 4:7-12

JESUS: Salvation in No Other (No Other Name)

READ Scripture- This is the Word of God

“Good deed done to a helpless man”  3:2 tells us that Peter and John crossed paths with a man that was lame and begging at a certain place on the Temple grounds. In fact, he had been lame from birth. His entire life was lived without function in his legs. That chilling line soon followed from the lips of Peter in v6, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”  “And immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.”

Just in front of the Temple, inside the gates, there was a place called “Solomon’s Porch.” After the lame man had been healed he walked, leaped, and praised God all the way into the Temple while still sticking close to Peter and John. Because of the amazement of the people, Peter was able to preach a sermon in response to what had happened. Part of that sermon is given in the second half of C3. He told those people “you…killed the Prince of Life, whom God raised from the dead…And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong.”

The Scripture says at the beginning of C4, “Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.”

Two men were taken into custody, but 5,000 men believed the word that day!

So it was the next day that all of the head-honchos of the Jews met together in Jerusalem and they put Peter and John in front of them in order to question them. And they opened the door wide for Peter! They threw him a fast ball straight down the middle that he could knock out of the park! They shined the ball and teed it up for him to knock down the fairway! They said in 4:7 “By what power or by what name have you done this?” No one could deny the miracle that had taken place. Not only did those men set him up nicely, but Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit. Remember what Jesus told the Twelve Apostles about speaking in front of rulers. Matt 10:16-20

Point 1: Notice Peter’s Boldness
A. Holy Spirit filled
B. Confident faith
C. Witness to miracles (esp. Jesus’ Resurrection)

Point 2: Name – Jesus Christ of Nazareth
A. “Jesus” was/is not unique, it was VERY common among the people (tells us something)
B. Christ was a title (Messiah/Anointed One), came to be His name
C. Of Nazareth – this was a certain Jesus (early church used to specify)
Point 3: v11 The Rejected Stone
A. Comes from Ps 118:22-24 The stone the builders threw out, God has made the most important
B. Capstone idea here whereas other places it is cornerstone idea, completes the project
C. Goes back to Peter’s boldness  “by you builders”
D. Despite what the people did, God accomplished His purposes (Isa 55:11Jn 1:14)

Point 4: Salvation
A. Peter has a great segue from the healing of the lame man to salvation in Jesus. The same word for salvation can have both meanings: restoration of health and preservation from eternal death.
He moves from the physical to the spiritual – This man’s body has been made whole, now do you want your soul to be made whole?

B. Both the healing and salvation are through the one name- Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Restoration, wholeness, salvation all come from Him alone. It is only this Jesus that was “crucified [and] raised from the dead.” When Peter preached there was no compromise or accommodation made for anyone or anything.

C. Jesus’ death and resurrection do not allow salvation for only Jews or only Americans, etc.
“There is salvation in no other name under heaven given among men.” All peoples!

D. Maybe Peter said most clearly what the entire New Testament teaches:
JESUS: Salvation in No Other

There is an appeal here for those in Peter’s audience to end their rejection of Jesus. God has declared Jesus to be Lord and Savior; there can be no other way, no other savior alongside Him.

We see that the two negatives “no one else” and “no other name” declare the positive uniqueness of Jesus’ name worldwide.

The healed man is seen as a picture of salvation in Christ  restoration, wholeness, celebration

Jesus: Salvation in No Other - 1 Timothy 2:1-6

JESUS: Salvation in No Other (One Mediator between God and Men)

Introduction: Today we continue the series “JESUS: Salvation in No Other.” We are going deep into the Gospel and praying that God will give us great insight and encouragement. We do this so we may have boldness and confidence in our Lord Jesus, but also that we can have a better sense of the truth which will enable us to tell others the Good News of forgiveness and joy in Him.

READ Scripture- This is the Word of God

Point 1: There is One God
It is a foundational truth of Scripture that there is only one God. The great Shema of Scripture is founding Deut 6:4 and it has been persistently declared by the people of God for thousands of years- “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!” And one example of a New Testament counterpart would be 1 Cor 8:5-6, “For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.”

God, the one and only, desires all men to be saved. This phrase is in accord with 2 Cor 5:14-15 which says, “If One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” Christ died for all because He wants all men to be saved. There is no question that the grace and love of God has been extended to all people through the death of JESUS. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Salvation is provided for all people, but only those who accept it are saved.

God desires all men to come to a knowledge of the truth. First of all, the word “knowledge” here is that compound Greek word that means something much more than simply knowledge. It means a thorough, saving, edifying knowledge. In order for all men to be saved they would have to all come to a thorough knowledge of the “truth.” What is the truth? JESUS said that the truth would make us free. I take the truth to be the Gospel. A thorough, saving knowledge of the Good News of Jesus Christ is what makes us free- from sin, condemnation, guilt, hopelessness.

That is why it is good and acceptable in the sight of God to pray for all men. We are told to pray for everyone – which may give us some fuel to “pray without ceasing.” We can see the direct connection between our prayer for all men and God’s desire that all men be saved. So, here is a simple prayer that you can pray for your spouse, children, family, friend, coworker, boss, president, “and all who are in authority.”

“Father, You desire all men to be saved, so it is my earnest plea that you bring him/her to a thorough and saving knowledge of the truth. May he/she grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. By His name we pray, Amen.

Point 2: There is One Problem between God and Men (Rebellion)
Without help our communion is broken because of our rebellion (Disconnect).

Without restoration the image of God in us is marred by rebellion.

There is a separator between God and men
This thing that comes between us is because of our rebellion. God has expectations of us and He is allowed to because He is God. He created us and even made us in His image. Not only that, but He is a holy God. The Scripture says that He is light and in Him is no darkness at all. He can not overlook transgressions and iniquities forever.

Though God’s expectations of us are only good and lead to a joyful, abundant life, we still go our own way. And yet the Bible says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov 14:12). And in another place it is says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way” (Isa 53:6).

This thing that I am talking about is difficult to pin down. What I do know: It separates us from God. It is a barrier. It is a blocker. It is a problem. The Bible often calls it Enmity or Hostility. Follow with me through a few Scriptures:
1) Rom 8:7-8 “The carnal mind is enmity against God; it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
2) Jam 4:4 “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
3) Col 1:21 “And you, who once were alienated and enemies (hostile) in your mind by wicked works…” Apart from a Mediator, we are alienated from God.

Point 3: There is One Mediator between God and Men
The Mediator is the God-Man – fully God and fully man, not 50-50, but 10-100. This is the mystery that the Church has proclaimed for over 2,000 years. God became man and dwelt among us. He put on flesh and blood. Col 2:9 affirms, “For in [Christ] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” and Col 1:19 attests, “For it pleased the Father that in [Christ] all the fullness should dwell.” JESUS is the Divine Mediator. He is the One who has stood in the gap. He is the bridge over the wide canyon between God and us. He is the One that the ancients cried out for in the midst of their despair. Turn with me to a Scripture that gives me chills every time I read it Job 9:29-35. Job could consider how great God was and conclude that the gap was too wide, he could never reach Him or even plead his case before Him. He knew that the LORD could declare as He does in Isa 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Thank the Father that the Mediator has appeared in time and space to reconcile all people to God.

The Mediator gave Himself a ransom for all. A ransom is a price paid for another to buy redemption. In the 1st century the word was commonly used of the ransom price paid for the freedom of a slave, which is a great illustration of our freedom from the slavery of sin and death.

To be testified in due time: SEE Gal 4:4. We should confirm the truth in every opportunity.
Conclusion: God has given one answer for the problem of sin- the death of Jesus. He has offered only one solution for the problem of death- resurrection (of Jesus and then of us). Now we see that He has sent forth only one Mediator to stand in the gap between Him and us- the Man, Christ Jesus. There is only One Mediator and thankfully the Scripture announces, “He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.” (Heb 8:6).

I appeal to you today, whether you have trusted Christ for many years or are just now accepting Him as the Savior of the world  Turn to the One Mediator between God and men. Jesus Christ is the One who can and will restore your relationship with Almighty God. He is the One who sets you free from your sin, condemnation, guilt, and hopelessness.

Jesus: Salvation in No Other - 1 Corinthians 15:21-23

JESUS: Salvation in No Other (The Act of Adam and the Act of Christ, Part 2)

We were in Romans 5 a couple weeks ago when we began the series titled, “JESUS: Salvation in No Other” and the sermon was titled, “The Act of Adam and the Act of Christ, Part 1” which means there is a second part and we will get to it today. In Romans 5 we were shown that God’s one-and-only answer for the problem of sin the world over was/is the obedient death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Christ’s redeeming work on the cross is a universal necessity for salvation. There is no salvation apart from what God did in the person of Jesus at Calvary. Jesus’ one act of obedience corresponds to Adam’s one act of disobedience. Adam’s one offense resulted in condemnation for all men. Likewise, Jesus’ one righteous act resulted in justification for all those who receive the gift of righteousness.

Today, in 1 Corinthians 15:21-23 we will see that God’s one-and-only answer for the universal problem of death is the resurrection of Jesus. The Apostle reveals how Christ is the second Adam. He is the head of a new creation marked by resurrection and life, obedience and righteousness. Every person born to this world inherits from the first Adam sin and death, but those who are born again by the Spirit become part of a new creation where death no longer has a sting and Hades no longer has a victory.

READ Scripture- This is the Word of God

V21] Adam = Death // Jesus = Resurrection
We can plainly see that the one act of Adam resulted in death and that, by the grace and might of God, the one act of Christ results in the resurrection of the dead.
“For since by man came death” refers to the penalty of the first sin. (SEE Gen 2:17)
We all know that Scripture that says, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23).
This death included physical death and more. It also includes spiritual death.
Adam’s act of sin had far-reaching consequences, but so has Christ’s act. It is through the one Man, Jesus Christ, that resurrection from the dead has come. Here is God’s answer. Death is not final. The victory is God’s because He raised Jesus from the dead on that third day.

Jesus said to Martha with the death of her brother Lazarus looming over the community, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”
It is amazing that we know the first part of Rom 6:23 so well and not the second part.
Turn with me there and let’s read the second half of the verse.

V22] Made Alive
“For as in Adam all die” alludes to the curse of Adam (SEE Gen 3:19).

“…even so in Christ all shall be made alive” is a special statement. First of all, to be made alive means more than just resurrection. It has the idea of renewal. We are new creatures in Christ. The old has passed away and the new has come.
It also bears the idea of abundant life (SEE John 5:24; 10:10b).
Secondly, to be made alive means that it is someone else doing the work in you. No person can make himself/herself alive. It is the work of God. Let me show you a couple Scriptures:
--Eph 2:4-5 “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)…” God made us alive!
--Col 2:13 “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses…” He has made us alive together!

V23] Those who are Christ’s
In the Old Testament, God called for the “firstfruits” to be brought to the Temple and offered to Him. This was a sign of obedience and submission to God as the source of all blessings.
“The first-fruits were a sign of the harvest to come; and the Resurrection of Jesus was a sign of the resurrection of all believers which was to come…the new harvest of life could not come until Jesus had been raised from the dead.”

So, those who are Christ’s come after the first-fruits. There is a particular order.

“The all that are in Adam are not identical with the all who are in Christ.”
Paul is saying that all those who are going to die are in Adam (and we know that is every individual because all have sinned and there is none that escapes death) and all those who are to live are in Christ. Yet, all those who are going to live are only “those who are Christ’s at His coming.” We saw this in Romans 5 where the “all men” was defined as “those who receive abundance of grace.” In the same way, here the “all” is defined as “those who are Christ’s at His coming.”

So, to be resurrected unto abundance of life only comes to those who have received grace, to those who are Christ’s at His coming. This is one way of saying what Jesus said in the Gospel of John in the fourth chapter- “You must be born again (or from above).” And throughout the New Testament we see that Christians must endure until the end.
The Lord Himself directly says, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”

In Romans five the problem of sin was discussed and the obedient death of Christ on the cross was put forward as God’s unique answer. Here, in 1 Corinthians 15, the problem of death is discussed and the resurrection of Christ is put forward as the divine answer. An integral part of the Gospel message is the resurrection of Christ. What Paul adds to that fact is the word “frist-fruits.” Christ is only the first among many to be raised from the dead. This is God’s answer for death. This is how victory over death is achieved- Christ was raised from the dead. Rom 6:9 teaches us that having been raised from the dead, Christ dies no more. Death has no dominion over Him.

There is no salvation from God’s wrath apart from Christ’s death and resurrection.