Sunday School Material 6-26-16: Ignoring God's Plain Truth

(Romans 1:18-32; 6/26/16)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God is subject to turn people over to their sinful choices, if they don’t yield to Him. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to make sure that we yield to God and help others do the same.

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Read Romans 1:18-20

I. Willfully Ignorant. In our Sunday School material God’s wrath is being revealed against the godlessness and wickedness of the people. God has made Himself known. But the people have suppressed the truth by their wickedness.

Applications –

- God’s wrath. Notice in vs. 18 that God’s wrath was aimed against the godlessness and wickedness of the people. First, to be godless is to deny the true God. This is a vertical sin. Robbing God of His tithes would fit here.

Second, to be wicked is more concerned with causing harm and withholding good from people. This is more of a horizontal sin. Being unkind to people would fit here.

Third, God sees both types of sin and will punish the sinners. This is good news, if people are being wicked towards you.

Fourth, this is challenging news for those who are sinning. The best thing to do is to simply repent, before God executes His plan of punishment. Let’s work on living obedient lives, so we don’t have to deal with God’s wrath.

- Without excuse. Notice in vss. 18-20 of our Sunday School material that the people suppressed the truth about God. They were not ignorant of God, as much as they were in denial and rebellion against God.

From God’s perspective, they had enough general revelation to know that there is a God and He deserves our best. Because this is what God expected, the people were not excused.

Similarly, those who never come to church and never study the Bible are still held accountable by God for the sins of murder and failing to acknowledge their Creator.

Let’s work on studying and obeying God’s word, instead of thinking that we can get away with telling God, “I didn’t know.”

Read Romans 1:21-23

II. Displacing God. Even though the people knew God, they did not receive and glorify Him. In our Sunday School material they did not even thank Him.

They became futile in their thinking and dark in their foolish hearts. They exchanged the glory of God for images that looked like humans and animals.

Applications –

- Obedience and praise. Notice in vss. 21-22 that even though they knew there was a God, they did not glorify or thank Him. They became futile in their thinking and dark in their foolish hearts.

First, the more we know God, the more we should glorify Him, by obeying Him and offering praise and thanksgiving to Him. Think about how too many church goers sit through praise and worship with so little glory and thanks being extended to God.

Even those who come to Sunday School and Bible Study can be poor examples of discipleship.

Second, as the people in the text became futile, dark, and foolish, we should make sure that we avoid doing the same. Prayerfully studying and obeying God’s word with the support of others (i.e., growth groups) can help you move in the right direction.

Without prayerful study and obedience, we run the risk of becoming educated fools. Let’s work on living like we know that God is worthy of our obedience and praise. Such living includes obeying and praising Him.

- Giving God’s glory to God. Notice in vs. 23 that the people gave God’s glory to images that looked like humans and animals. First, the people knew how to give glory. They just refused to give glory to God.

Second, it is so foolish to give more honor to what is created than to He who did the creating. Think about how this relates to people making idols of their possessions (e.g., cars, jewelry, cloths, home, etc.), relationships (e.g., marriage, children, grandchildren, friends, etc.), or themselves. Let’s work on giving God’s glory to God.

Read Romans 1:24-32

III. Receiving Penalty. The people chose to worship created things, instead of the Creator in our Sunday School material. God gave the people over to shameful lusts.

Homosexuality is clearly presented as a example of sin. God gave them over to depraved minds, which led to quite a list of sins.

Applications –

- Homosexual behavior. Notice in vss. 24-27 that because the people refused to submit to God, God gave them over to their sinful desires and shameful lusts.

First, God will give us more than enough chances and then He is subject to administer negative consequences for our negative choices. This should move us to make right choices like studying and obeying God’s word.

Second, homosexuality is high on the list of things that the sinful people were engaged in. Even if a person believes they were born a homosexual or with homosexual tendencies (i.e., we are all born in sin and shaped in iniquity, there is none righteous, etc.), the call is to repent and be transformed into who God is calling us to be, not to simply advocate for one’s right to live in a state of sinful desires and shameful lusts.

Third, the church is called to speak the truth in love regarding homosexuality (i.e., the truth as the church understands it). Too often, we do a better job talking about the sin than loving the sinner.

Let’s work on submitting to God, so we are not turned over to our sinful desires, and ministering to people in ways that help them repent.

- Gossip, no fidelity, and no love. Notice in vss. 28-32 of our Sunday School material that since the people did not think it was worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, God turned them over to depraved minds.

Notice that on the long list of sins that come about when we are left to our depraved minds that gossip, “no fidelity,” and “no love” are on the list.

First, as homosexuality is a sign of God turning us over, so too is gossip. It is so sinful for especially believers to spread gossip about anyone but even more so about other believers.

Second, “no fidelity” is translated as “covenant breaker” in the KJV. Think about how as homosexuality is a sign of God turning a person over, so too is a person not keeping their promises/covenant. Think about how many people do not live by the church covenant.

Third, “no love” is on the list. When we do not behave friendly towards one another, are not kind to one another, and do not forgive one another, we are behaving as if we have been turned over like those who engage in homosexual behaviors.

Let’s work on living by God’s will, so we are not turned over to our sinful desires or depraved minds.

Conclusion: Let’s work on making sure that we yield to God and help others do the same. God has much for those who obey His will.

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