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Truth for Today - Intro to Romans

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
January 28, 2020 12:00 am

Truth for Today - Intro to Romans

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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January 28, 2020 12:00 am

The book of Romans has been considered by many scholars and theologians throughout the ages to be the magnum opus of all Paul's letters--as well as the pillar of Christian doctrine and practice. So in this message Stephen reveals to us why this book is not only essential for Christians . . . it is essential for Christianity.

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All sounds with the joy of a delivered man in verses one through four.

That chapter delivered by the son of God delivered by the spirit of God.

Verses 5 to 13 delivered into the family of God.

Verses 14 to 23 delivered through the promises of God. Verses 24 to 25 delivered in the prayer of God delivered by the providence of God.

Verse 28 delivered for the purposes of God delivered by the power of God and delivered by the unstoppable love of God, depraved sinners can be delivered. The apostle Paul lived in a time that was marked by depravity option violence into that culture. You delivered a message of hope and deliverance based on the power of the gospel, the good news for you and for me is that while culture and the sin we experienced has not changed much.

Neither has the power of the gospel, God brings deliverance.

This is wisdom for the heart with pastor and author Stephen Davey today Stephen begins a series entitled gospel truth.

Open your Bibles to Romans chapter 1 as we begin this lesson entitled truth for today. I have attempted to preach systematically through the entire Bible were not yet halfway through.

Today we begin our journey through the book of Romans.

At first glance I had decided to complete the first paragraph of chapter 1 today. Upon further study. I decided time would limit us so I would just begin with the exposition of the first verse as I studied further I realized we could have just enough time for the first to simply introduce this letter written to the believers in Rome and I hope that when we complete our introduction this morning that the question in your mind will not be why study the book of Romans. But instead how can we survive without it.

Several centuries ago. After studying the letter to the Roman believers. Martin Luther, the reformer wrote these interesting words as he said. Romans is the masterpiece of the New Testament which is well worthy and deserving that a Christian should not only learned by heart but also that he should daily deal with it as the daily bread of his soul, the more it is handled the more precious it becomes and the better it tastes. The truth was the believers in Rome were hungry for this truth. They were starving for direction from God. They were wondering about many things included in their wanderings where their troubled thoughts about their eternal security in the love of the father through Christ. They were wondering how believers were supposed to act in church.

They were confused about Israel's part in the flow of God's history and they didn't know of Jews and Gentiles were to be wanton or remain distinct they had questions about divorce and remarriage.

They even wondered about paying taxes to political leaders who were dishonest and immoral. Many believed in that day that paying taxes to a corrupt government was tantamount to inconsistency of the Christian faith in God through Paul's letter will answer the question believers of Rome were perhaps struggling more than anything else with the ungodliness of its society that had surrounded it in the wickedness of its evil, corrupt day, the Roman historian Seneca wrote of Rome during the days of Paul and said that it was the cesspool of iniquity political leadership that Paul will referred to in Romans 13 that we are to pray for now and he was to pray for, then, was merrily reflected in the morals of its kingdom. Roman women in the upper class were said to number their years by the names of their husbands. They changed as often as they did the dates of the calendar. The days of Paul homosexuality and lesbianism, bisexuality, and even beastie reality were considered among the normal parameters of social or societal boundary or even Roman philosophers during Paul's day that mocked. A man and a woman who joined in a monogamous relationship that they remained infidelity to one another. Perhaps the greatest tragedies committed in the days of Paul were committed against children. Pre-born and newborn children were at greatest risk in these days abortion was commonplace and killing even the newly born was already legal and it was a way of getting rid of an unwanted or sickly child, one Roman writer living during the first century said we in Rome slaughter, a fierce ox, we strangle a mad dog and the child who was born weak and deformed. We drown without legal recourse. A letter written by a man to his wife that predated Paul by a few years shed some light on the Roman Empire and the destruction of its values and what was considered the norm although we hold our breath. These words included Tulare and my wife parties greetings though that we are still even now in Alexandria. Do not worry if when all others will return and I remain in Alexandria as soon as I receive wages. I will send them to you.

If you have our child while I am away and it is a boy he let it live. If it is a girl expose it and let it die.

We know from history that many of these children were left outside the home at night and then picked up by child prostitution rings where they would be raised for their evil purposes. During the days of Paul, child prostitution, proliferated as children abandoned by parents who didn't want them fell into the clutches of evil men and women. In fact we also know from church history that the early church took on itself as a mission to go out and pick up these babies from the homes where they would be left out at night to be there exposed to the elements, or to wild animals or to worship these prostitution rings, and so they begin a ministry to orphan. In addition to sexual vices, drug addiction was rampant during the days of Paul. In fact, we know in Scripture and another letter how a during a revival in one city where Paul was preaching those who place their faith in Christ and repented of their sin brought out into the streets.

There the Greek word is pharmacopeia their drugs and they piled them in the street.

It was rampant in this day you add to that the fact that religious superstition was the name of their religious game and pluralism.

Of course, abounded the people could simply choose from one God or another and combine and convolute their own theology to find something that was comfortable for them. The most popular religions in Paul's day were those religions that included sexual practices as a part of worship is the people performed all sorts of perversions. It probably goes without saying, but in the days of Rome during the writing of Paul's letter life in Rome was cheap.

The lower classes had already lost such a dignity in the eyes of of their society that they had already formed by the days of Paul labor union, not union so that they can ensure better wages and better working conditions but labor unions were formed for the sole purpose of those lower classes receiving a proper burial, rather than simply being exposed to the wild animal life was cheap man was just another animal, and you act like an animal was acceptable, and to treat each other like animals was also acceptable and normal.

In fact, in actuality, to be an animal mentor, you are probably more protected in that society than being a human. There was ever a time when believers need to learn that solid truths about a sovereign creator God and we been singing of and the dignity and value of human life as his chief creation. It was then when he wrote it and it is now.

This book is not just truth for yesterday. It is truth for today for today as in the days of Rome. Life is cheap animals in many ways are more protected in humans today. There is a legal penalty in our country for the destruction of the egg of an eagle, but you can dismember a child with in the womb and have no legal recourse brought against you. The national organization of women and our own first lady have probably defended the policy in China of allowing only one child per couple and that has led to massive abortions, and even infanticide because the one child you will have you wanted to be a boy so that he can carry on your family name and then take care and provide for you as parents when you are older and yet most news reporters don't mention now they are reaping the whirlwind today in China. After years of this policy. There are 700 single men for every 100 single women I read this past week.

The incredible news that the governor of Iowa is begging for people to emigrate to his state even though unemployment is less than 3%. He said that the population of his state is slowly shrinking. Is anybody connecting the dots.

Even at the same time. Our children are being taught in school that our population is exploding and we are in deep trouble of running out of earth resources. I have not learned the truth of Romans that we were not created for earth.

Earth was created for us. Furthermore today, as in Rome, the destruction of the definition of a family was in its final phase and so today the family law quarterly under the guidance of Georgetown University Law Center even propose that in America we ought to move to have a licensed parents or caregivers. It suggested that parents whose ideas quote of child rearing and family life which are not in line with community standards should be required to give their children of those who will rear them according to community standard. The commercial may be sought.

Wife did and told me about a just a few days ago that aired during the Olympics showed two women and they were holding a baby that they had just adopted and one woman finally said into the camera. We are a family to say anything against a lesbian couple's adopted a baby and calling themselves a family would be considered politically incorrect. I'm going to be extremely politically incorrect in the series. In fact, I thought of entitling our series politically incorrect because so much of organ. I learned just in the first chapter of Romans's goes against what is considered sophisticated and normal and mature and acceptable. The tragedy is life continues to be cheapened. Medical ethics are now in an topsy-turvy. In fact, it was throwing the one of our pastors was invited to sit on a medical ethics team at a nearby hospital, which is thrilling because we can be salt and light. There, but I read the international story not too long ago. The father was dying of kidney failure, they artificially inseminated his 16-year-old daughter with the help of physicians.

Seven months into her pregnancy. The baby was taken by C-section its kidneys were removed and transplanted into the father and the infant was left to die of uremic poison. We have lost the definition in the value of life, because we have lost the truth of Roman. We have become more like Rome than ever before, and I want you to know that the more we become like Rome, the more we need.

Romans it's truth for today. See before you even begin finishing the chapter the first chapter of Romans, Paul is introduced to us. A man who was called by God. We learn in another letter called by God while he was still in the womb. Thus, the value of life begins in the womb. Before you even finish the first chapter of Romans, you discover human relationships that God considers normal and acceptable and wholly unfulfilling in the first chapter alone you discover the creative genius of God and how mankind has dignity and honor within his created order to see whenever you deny the authority of God is revealed in the Bible, you condemn yourself to confusion and you will ultimately condemn yourself. The barbaric acts against human beings so that they no longer have value and honor within God's creation lives can be taken by other human beings without thought.

Thus, an eagle laying in a nest has more value than a baby and how far we've come in our day. We expect animals to be treated like humans, and we treat humans like animals do you have an answer for that is found in Romans the book of Romans was sent to penetrate the darkness of an immoral pagan superstitious hungry needy, lonely, hurting world. If there was ever a description of our culture and our country. It is that one this is truth for today.

The introduction of the letter takes place in chapter 1 that I have spent some time already.

Just introducing the introduction verse division is chapter 1 through verse 18, or from verse 18 through chapter 3 verse 20.

It asks and answers the question, is the whole world really lost government asked that question my Sony worker 70 at school. What about those who never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. Are they condemned to hell: answer the question and explain why the answer is yes. The key word is condemnation and we will discover the wrath of God revealed against sinful depraved humanity. The second division is chapter 3 verses 21 on through chapter 8 and verse 39 it asks and answers the question just how does God say sinners.

The key word is salvation or the righteousness of God revealed a man by the way we happen to be living in an era where the definition of salvation is needing to be read translated once again it's all money it's all clouded by religion.

The third division is chapter 9 to the end of chapter 11 and it addresses the question, whatever happened to Israel. Other questions are addressed here, such as our Israel and the church one and the same is, is the church a continuation of Israel and its covenant with God. Does baptism then correspond to circumcision of the Old Testament.

My reformed friends would say yes.

I believe pulses the final division in the book of Romans takes us from chapter 12 through chapter 15.

That is the application of the book you have learned all that you have learned so that you can move to this question, what difference does it make in my life. That is the application question so what difference does it make in the way I live. The key word is exhortation that is the will of God revealed for mankind and then Poland is the letter with personal remarks and greeting an author by the last name go day once wrote many years ago. These provocative words and I want you to listen carefully, there has never been in there, probably never will be an important spiritual movement in the history of the church that cannot be connected to the book of Romans.

If you think about it throughout church history there have been episodes of revival and awakening in Reformation within and over and through the church.

Upon closer observation of those times of revival in Reformation and the transformation you discover that for the most part, those people just prior to that revival are Reformation had a basic belief in the existence of God as revealed in Scripture. They also had a basic attitude of respect for the authority and the authenticity of Scripture, so that even though they were unbelievers. They basically respected holy Scripture.

They also had a sense of personal shame over sin. They basically then had a basic understanding of the doctrines found in Romans. I personally believe that revival cannot occur in our generation as in the past because today there is not a belief in the existence of God is revealed in the Bible you as people they believe in God and they will say yes. But if you asked them to define God they'll come up with some sort of strange convoluted answer. There is no longer today in our generation. A basic respect for the Scriptures as authoritative or authentic and also there is a lack of guilt or shame over personal sin. So revival cannot and will not occur unless first of all we as a people of God are again exposed to and find ourselves submitting to the truths of God's word found herein so it go day was right and I believe he was while Christian leaders are today lamenting for revival and asking for revival and praying for revival. What I believe somebody needs to do is stand up and say what we really need is a return to Romans, and by returning to Romans and its basic truth. We very well may have revival. We live in a generation that is lost basic truths that form the foundation of revival. So what are some of the truths that pave the way to revival where there are several key doctrines taught throughout the book of Romans. First, the book of Romans pronounces the total depravity of man, that is, we are not slightly sinful. We are totally thoroughly depraved, and though the message taught out there and culture to your children and do you is, believe in yourself. The Bible says don't believe in yourself, you'll disappoint yourself believe in Christ you are not basically good, ladies and gentlemen, you are basically evil came to church to hear somebody tell you that in that wonderfully encouraging. We are all basically evil.

I think about the Gerard the teacher son had a lie when he learned that from the yet to teach them how to be honest, he lies naturally and it starts so you know, and so you start teaching honesty at such a young age of life you never had that teacher daughter how to manipulate you into getting what she wants when she learned that from her mother to say that no we were born intuitively no lien how to do bad thing and it takes the revolutionary power of Jesus Christ to sweep into our lives and transform us so that we can periodically do your thing and Paul will lament the fact that after years of walking with Christ, he still did the things he didn't want to know the things he didn't want to know. He did his only hope and recourses found at the end of chapter 7 raises thanks to God through Jesus Christ our Lord, our penchant for running after sin is so true. In fact, I believe that we run after sin more than sin runs after us.

The book of Romans. Secondly, promises the future damnation of all unbelievers. This is also an unpopular message today that the book of Romans declares with authority from God and without apology. In chapter 6, verse 23 the wages of sin is what the wages of sin is death. What bothers me ladies and gentlemen is not so much that our society is ignoring the Bible but that the church seems to be ignoring the Bible. I expect society to do all those things that I just simply recalled as I equated our American culture with Roman culture. But what you and I expect them to do that evil men will do evil thing. Those who rebel against God's word will do ungodly things that rebel against God's authority.

It takes a person submitting to God to ever do anything other than that. What bothers me though is not so much the society is rejected, the God of the Bible, but that the modern church has rejected the God of the Bible. They are having their meetings and synods and conferences where they are voting on all sorts of terrible thing is if God were listening man in our church gave me an article from the news and disturber. We call it this column in the news is dedicated to interviewing a pastor from some local church. This particular church which shows in Raleigh and I will mention the name was featured and it espouses to me nothing less than the typical church spiel out there. The reporter asked the pastor what are you known for. They said well we have a positive spiritual message so that we can feel better when we leave than when we come in. This gentleman by the way, tongue-in-cheek row to the bottom of this article. Hey, sometimes I'll feel better after your service.

Can you work on that pastor was asked what would you say to someone is thinking about giving your church a try. Well answered they would be well done. Regardless of who they are and that's great and we would do the same. They would be welcome, regardless of who they are, but he goes on, and regardless of their belief system. Pastor said we don't try to convert anybody you want to say we need to stop being so religious and be more spiritual. We need to practice more spirituality. Well, I don't mean to be mean but I know I'm being sarcastic but I am deeply disturbed by the fact that our culture is dying of thirst. At the same time with beautiful wells without any water. Our society is starving for spiritual brand in the church for the most part has stopped baking, I want you to know that we this church believe that pleasing God is better than feeling good and sometimes truth will hurt before it heals.

While this particular church has announced in many like it. We are not trying to convert anybody.

I have an announcement for you.

We are trying to convert everybody. Why, because the book of Romans tells us of a coming judgment day that the payment for sin and depravity, and evil and ungodliness is an eternal hell that may not make you feel good, but it may save your life. Third, the book of Romans proclaims the only deliverance of humanity. Let's finish that verse. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord is another verse in Romans. It says if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be what saved us on an old-fashioned word that's a biblical word right out of Romans in chapter 8 alone, Paul shouts with the joy of a delivered man in verses one through four. That chapter delivered by the son of God delivered by the spirit of God. Verses 5 to 13 delivered into the family of God. Verses 14 to 23 delivered through the promises of God. Verses 24 to 25 delivered in the prayer of God delivered by the providence of God. Verse 28 delivered for the purposes of God delivered by the power of God and delivered by the unstoppable love of God, the latter part of that chapter.

Depraved sinners can be delivered forth the book of Romans prescribes the holy development of the believer men and women if it is indeed true that revival cannot come to the believer. Apart from an understanding of Roman sin and awakening to our culture cannot come without an understanding of basic truths found in thus the church must teach it like never before. Then you cannot walk in holy living without understanding the truths found herein. What does it mean to be living sacrifice sacrifices are supposed to be put to death. What is it mean to be a living one. What is it mean to have your mind metamorphosis sized. The word is translated transform a what is it mean the love with godly love, the book of Romans prescribes the holy development of the believer and those questions will be answered, and I want to tell you something from my own personal desire. By the time I finish preaching and teaching the book of Romans as God allows.

I want to be a different man. I want to dream differently with more of eternity in view. I want to think cleaner and wiser. I want my affection for Christ to consume. I want to be a more godly example to my family at home want to serve his church more fervently. You see we are about to begin. As one man wrote in the book of Romans to climb the heights of Mount Everest. You how formidable this book is to the teacher. Thank you for praying for me. I have studied so many commentaries and so many of the men say we hesitated to ever teach this.

I was just reading pipers first manuscript he said the same thing was formidable and I put it off. He said for 18 years. But the wonderful thing is, as we climbed the heights of Mount Everest. We will be able to catch a clearer, more biblically right and correct view of our gracious content sovereign wonderful Lord leads me to the last point, the book of Romans parades before us an awesome display of God's after my friends. We are not about the study just a letter from a man. We are about to study Revelation about God who use how he thing's what he expects from what he's done what he will do, how we live how he redeems the tragedy of our generation, perhaps could be boiled down to the fact that while our churches have grown larger our God has grown or Romans will restore our vision of a truly magnificent holy gracious God. No wonder Martin Luther wrote centuries ago as he studied this book as I studied the book of Romans.

He wrote it was as if the gates of paradise opened to me, this letter is truth for today in the days ahead, working to continue its these opening verses of the book of Romans as Stephen Devi works through a series entitled gospel truth, wisdom for the heart is listener supported and if you're able to make a donation to our ministry would be grateful for your support. Our address is wisdom for the heart PO Box 37297 Raleigh, NC 27627.

Thanks for joining us today and please be with us at this same time tomorrow right here on wisdom for the horns

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