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Ruining the Reputation of God

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
August 28, 2020 1:00 am

Ruining the Reputation of God

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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Bought this word is their bond who put character above wealth who possess opinions on the will who are larger than their vocation who will not lose their distinctiveness in a crowd who will be as honest in small things as a great thing to do not believe that shrewdness and cunning are the best qualities for winning who are not ashamed to stand for the truth when it is unpopular and who say no with emphasis. Although the rest of the world says the real danger.

The apostle Paul said that it's possible to boast in religion and at the same time dishonor God.

The Pharisees in Paul's day did that and in our day. There are plenty of people in churches on Sunday who ruined God's reputation.

The rest of the week people listening to his word to learn how we can avoid this pitfall and live in ways that bring honor to God.

Stephen is in a series called got religion in his lesson today is entitled ruining the reputation of God pierced the Romans chapter 2 beginning with verse 17 the apostle has revealed six reasons why the Jew felt eternally safe before God. We have explored those he believed that he was safe because he possessed a special name Jew.

He possessed a copy of the law.

He was proud of his monotheism. He had insights into the will of God. He had the ability to discern between good and evil.

Finally he had been biblically catechized.

He had been educated in Old Testament law. All of that did not constitute however true safety and I couldn't help but believe that there are many that would believe they are eternally safe because they also claim the special name of Christian they possess a copy of the Bible probably half a dozen copies or so there proud to claim Elohim is their God, instead of all our Krishna.

They have an ability to discern between moral evil and good. They have received the something of a Sunday school education not only in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament as well. And yet, like the faithful Jew. They will one day discover it was not good enough to enter paradise apostle Paul. Then, beginning in verse 19 day for reasons why the faithful Jew felt entirely superior before men, they considered themselves. First of all to be the spiritual supervisors of mankind. That is, they were guides to the blind Jesus would say in Matthew 1514 of them. You are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man.

Both will fall into a pit and thus they were leading people and their self-deception into failure and loss spiritually. Secondly, they considered themselves to be enlightened. They said we have seen the light. We know light from darkness. Follow us.

Third, they felt superior because they considered themselves to be the standard of morality. They knew right from wrong and finally they considered themselves to be the spring of wisdom Jew believe that if the Gentile would simply be converted to Judaism and listen to their teaching that they would be rescued from hell.

How shocking it must've been and how devastating to have heard the words from Jesus Christ's own lips in Matthew 23 when he said to them.

Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, you travel about on the sea and land to make one convert and when he becomes one you make him twice as much a son of hell is your cell. How many people would consider themselves to be superior today to the rest of the world simply because they know the truth of the Bible, like the Jew they are concerned over the waywardness of the world like a Jew, there concerned about the standards of morality.

They encourage people to join their church to join in their teaching.

Perhaps to learn from them.

But in reality the converts to their churches only become more confirmed in spiritual pride and hypocrisy than before. And even more entrenched on the road that leads to hell than ever before that had become religious converts, but they are still unredeemed. Religion has become for them. As for millions of others.

The road that leads to hell you say how I know if I've been deceived. How can I examine my face to see if I am truly redeemed will in the next few verses that we began to explore in our last session, Paul began asking five questions that ultimately reveal the reality of good soil and good seed which then grows up and bears good fruit for God's glory in our last discussion we began with these questions that Paul was asking in a rather rhetorical fashion.

In verse 21 he asked the moral of the faithful Jew you therefore, who teach should another do you not teach yourself what this question reveals about the religious hypocrite.

The person who is self deceived into thinking that they are safe while they are in fact under judgment and in danger of eternal punishment.

Is this the religious man communicates truth without ever applying it to their own lives. That is, without genuine personal application. In other words to his audience.

The faithful Jew knew the truth taught the truth of the law, but it never applied the truth to their own lives.

You could say this way, the religious creeds did not produce righteous conduct. What they said to others about what they believed did not matter in terms of how they behave that the reaction of Paul's audience was anticipated. He anticipated the faithful Jew to sort of recoiled back and sort of shudder and say what you mean we are teaching others, but we have not learned in our cell. We keep the law diligently. Have you not seen us in our praying in our fasting and our tithing. Look at all the things we don't do in an effort to live righteous lives. They had created three and 65 prohibitions up one a day that they didn't do in an attempt to be righteous before men, we keep them all and we are teachers of God's commandments. Like the young man who came to Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ would tell them. In effect he needed to be born again, he was. He was lost in Matthew 19 he said to wait a second. I have kept all the commandments is he that was the prevailing thought of the Jews in this day were keeping all of it. If we broken some things we haven't broken the big one. I'm a pretty good person so people today say the same thing to you and me. Why do I need to be redeemed. Why do I need to be saved. I would do anything that bad. I haven't broken any of the big one. I would be safe now.

Paul then moves to specific things. The Jews never thought of as they consider the depth of their hypocrisy before God. Middle of verse 21 you preach that one should not steal these steel. I remember as I mentioned in our last study hall is and saying all right your thief is asking a rhetorical question expecting them in their hearts having their consciences provoked to say yes I I am a thief but he isn't calling them what you simply saying you steal, and he leaves it up to the spirit of God applied to their heart. Perhaps someone in here is a thief you're stealing the affections of someone's heart does not belong to you. You're stealing credit for doing something that someone else did in your receiving the praise you're stealing from God by keeping your money and possessions to yourself. You're stealing your children from God by discouraging them from ever pursuing ministry for Christ and his church. Someone in here perhaps is stealing from their spouse the fidelity and devotion belongs to them. Are you a thief. The Pharisees of Christ's day had come up with a rather clever scheme and why to keep money to themselves that they should have been using for their aging parents who were not dependent upon them for care. They took that discretionary money and they designated it with the word carbon. They called it carbon that simply means devoted to God. Then they said to their parents listen. We love to help you and we know you have financial needs, but all of our leftover money was dedicated to God and we just felt like we want to committed to God and so we can give it to you. And surely you would want to take what belongs to God, effectively stealing from their parents.

Jesus's response to them. In Mark seven was you honor God with your lips but your heart is far from me. He saw that the core of the issue, you sound wholly but in reality you're a hypocrite. You can talk it but you don't walk it. So the religious man. First of all, communicates truth without personal application. Secondly, the religious man talks about integrity but does not live honestly. Third, the religious man denigrates a morality without ever purifying his own heart proposes on verse 22 ask you to say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery in other words, the merrily religious person will talk about how terrible sexual sin is but he will never work on his own heart.

Remember, adultery is as much a matter of the heart as it is the flash the Lord said, if you look at one in lust after them you committed adultery with them already in your heart.

Matthew 528 perhaps someone in here committed adultery this week by what they watched on the Internet.

Perhaps someone committed adultery by what they thought about someone they worked with this week. Perhaps someone committed adultery here by what they wished in their heart related to someone else. The one who would hear these challenges and as a believer would say in their heart that is me at all. How dependent I am on the blood of Christ to forgive the nature that I have which is so sinful, the one who is not a believer, the religious hypocrite would seek to justify his own actions and he would say on that's not me.

I might've seen some things I shouldn't seen what's about about. I might've thought some things about someone that I shouldn't thought about have thought about that. That's the way God made us. My friend, you are deceived by the enemy of your soul in your own flesh you are religious, but you are unredeemed. One of the greatest evidences of true conversion is a passion for purity of heart and life at perfection but passion, one of the greatest evidences of true conversion is repentance and confession. It is sorrow over sin, where Paul himself, the man that we probably could all someone agree was one of the spiritual man living in his generation and he said all wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from this body of death, the things that I want to do. I don't do the things I don't want to do. I do there was an admission and sense of confession and total dependence upon God who will deliver me from this body of death phrase takes us back in culture to the time when a man committed murder if he killed someone who was a slave or of ill repute. They would often crucify that murderer and they were attached to his body, face-to-face, cheek to cheek arm to arm, leg to leg.

The one he killed the man would often die of insanity. That's what Paul is referring to who will deliver me from this body of death the evil thing that I have done, who will rescue the mark of a believer. The fourth question. Paul is asked strikes of the issue of materialism, timeless principle comes out of this vague text about stealing your poor idols. He says, but do you rob temples. It's a first century practice of marketing stolen idols of gold and silver. They would talk to. They would worship it since it would go to the temple, but they would market in the gold and silver, and thus become defiled. So in other words, the religious man talks about character, but he chooses commerce whenever the choice between God and money comes around.

God always loses one of the marks of the unbeliever is that whatever the choice has to be made between money or God business or faith, career or character, money, business and career always win the contest.

It is commerce over character.

It is agreed over godliness. These are the marks of the unbelievers self centered life and heart that these are just the first four questions how would you answer them.

Nobody in here knows the answers except you and God may be those who live around you who watch you live under the roof with you have an inkling of what your answer would be the apostle Paul said the widow examine ourselves to see if are truly in the faith. How would you answer these. That's exactly what Paul is doing here in Romans chapter 2 to the religious world of his day. He is challenging them to answer the basic question. Are you spiritually alive. It is there evidence to reveal that or are you living a lie is the evidence reveal that a member the year before I gave my life to Christ so senior in high school my 11th grade year was a tumultuous year primarily because of the battle.

It was going on inside of me.

I can remember wishing the invitation would end quickly, but there are always at least 30 versus I was terrified of the rapture afraid of being left behind. I had prayed a thousand times for God to save me God in my heart. I was only interested in fire insurance. I've no desire for fellowship or forgiveness. I can remember as 1/11 grader. For the most part staying out of trouble missionary kid. I was sweeping the gym floor.

That afternoon my brothers and I worked a little bit of scholarship for this Christian school to help my parents pay the tuition is quite a sacrifice for them to send us all their Mr. Garrick was the superintendent is now with the Lord we didn't see much of him.

We so more of the principal and faculty that of him. He was also the associate pastor of a nearby church ride spent my childhood very formal nondenominational church that was rather austere and they didn't sing those hymns that the other church saying they saying the church's one foundation and a mighty Fortress is our God and the other church. I went to later taught me those other hymns that would rather not sing, at least at this point in my life. Mr. Garrick looked the part of his pastorate. He was a big man, tall member.

His large hands. He always wore a serious look on his face.

Never saw him laugh, although I'm sure he did was sweeping the gym floor that afternoon and I was alone pushing one of those long dust brooms and I was it about the half-court circle when the back door opened. Mr. Garrick walked in.

We didn't have an appointment but he walked over to me where I stood rather frozen. He looked down at me and with kindness.

He said you may have.

Others fooled.

But I know you're not genuine.

You put on a good front but I know you're living a lie. I remember my heart racing. So was my mind.

I wonder what he knew I had done anything they could suspend me for punish me for I was a missionary kid and never miss church all my sins were legal but that wasn't his point was talking about something far more serious than that he was discerning he had found me out and as abruptly as he came in he turned and walked out. I can still remember his blue gray suit and his black wingtips clicking along the Maple flooring walked out the deed and offer counseling and offer conversation he'd simply delivered a message from God. It's the same message that Paul is delivering to the religious people of his day know they are not about to be suspended from the synagogue and they never missed a sacrifice all their sins were legal to what Paul was talking about something much deeper than that. By God's spirit. He was penetrating their heart, and he was exposing it for what it was, my friend. I may not know your name. But I'm here today to ask you, are you living a lie or are you spiritually alive without exposure to his audience now completed. Paul moves to the verdict in verse 23 you who boast in the law through your breaking the law do you dishonor God for the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you. Just as it is written in other words, the Jewish people in The Roman law, but they were breaking the law of God they were doing it in a couple of ways. They were disobeying his law through their ungodly attitudes and their ungodly action. Ask the average person on the street about the Bible and I'll say it's a good book to own nice thing to quoted weddings and funerals in family reunion.

Don't take it seriously and ladies know and here's the point here is Paul's point. Why should they take it seriously. Why should the world feel any other way when the suppose a believer doesn't seem to be all that obligated or interested in obeying and why would the world say it doesn't matter because it not matter to them's point to the religious Jew is the verdict of today. He says in verse 23 you who boast in the law through your breaking the law do you dishonor God.

Listen, you boast in the fact that you have the law of God, you buzzed God's inspired record of right and wrong is yours.

You have it, you own it, would you break it you don't care about it you will love it and you dishonor God. If you do not take your Bible seriously this point is the world will not take your God seriously in the real tragedy here in this text is not the failing credibility of the believer or the suppose a believer, but the credibility of God himself.

Look again at verse 24 for the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles and next phrase because of you. In other words, not only is your reputation a mess. You're also ruining the reputation of God.

The word blasphemed make ties. Transliterated blasphemed the Greek word means to be evil spoken of, to speak lightly profane Lee or piously of God. Paul quotes here from Isaiah 52 five when he says it is written will is quoting from the prophet where God is speaking to the nation and saying now, therefore, what do I have here declares the Lord. Like a parent who walks in and says will what we have here. God says will, what do we have here. My name is continually blasphemed all day long. God speak.

Some believe Paul is quoting Ezekiel as God spoke there in chapter 36 verse 20 they blasphemed my holy name in that men's set of them. These are the people of Jehovah.

In other words, the Jews were living such sinful lives among the Gentiles, that the Gentiles and affect were saying if this is the people of Jehovah, then what kind of God, must Jehovah be the same indictment came to David after sitting with Bathsheba then ordering her husband to be put on the front line in the battle in its fiercest moment for the soldiers in a battle to withdraw, leaving him to be killed.

It happened in were aware of how Nathan came and said to him in second Samuel 12 seven thou art the man were familiar with adverse were not as familiar with verse 14 where Nathan says to him, David. By this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of God to blasphemed. In other words, if you are man of God and what kind of God, must you had to do the things you do. Believer then has a way of affecting the reputation of God to ways. One positively and one negatively positively Matthew 516 Jesus Christ said live in a way that men may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. In other words, God's name can be honored and glorified by the way the live, but here Romans 224 living a hypocritical life causes God's name to be blasphemed. In other words, the way we live we can actually have his name dishonored and blasphemed. So in other words, the reputation of God depends upon the way we live. Yes. Has it ever occurred to you in the daily actions of your life in attitudes and responses and decisions of your lifestyle that God's own reputation is at stake, and I ask you a question. What is the reputation of God in your world. I love this ad that appeared in the East African standard newspaper in Nairobi was put into a book by Arcand Hughes that I read recently. Here's a man who came to faith in Christ and it is obvious the ad said this quote by Alan harangue. We have dedicated my services to the Lord Jesus Christ.

I must put right all my wrongs if I owe you any debt or damage. Personally, through my businesses of water pumps, electrical and general sales and services.

Please contact me at PO Box 73137, Nairobi for a settlement. No amount will be disputed.

God and his son Jesus Christ will be glorified from that great. Haven't seen any ads like that in the Raleigh news and disturb early leave you what an incredibly effective testimony here, something happened to this man and handle it is world noise a different man leaving three statements that are true in every generation Nunnally here in Rome within the city. Number one the greatest attraction to Christianity is holy living. The greatest attracting force to the fact that Jesus Christ is who he said he is is that we live like you live the greatest evidence that this book is truly alive is that it lives in and through us to the greatest obstacle, then to Christianity as hypocritical Christian. If the first is true.

The second and would be true for laughs and mocks that our Lord when they see those who claim the name of Christ live like the world. Perhaps you've heard somebody I've had people say to me. The reason I don't go to churches because all those hypocrites nicely let them get away with come back with something like will you know you're just the person that needs to be say why well because if you want to spend an hour with them in church.

You don't want to spend forever with him and how. Usually, then work. By the way, so don't go on for the greatest obstacle to Christianity is those who claim to be Christians. Unfortunately, talk all about what we believe that the world is watching how we behave in the way we behave is so loud they cannot hear what we are saying John Wofford Chancellor Dallas seminary one set at a graduation ceremony. I am afraid for this graduating class. I am afraid that we are turning out too many graduates who have a great number of beliefs, but not enough conviction final point in the summary statement would be this. I've cited a number of different ways. Let me say it this way, the Messiah is measured by the messenger God will be judged by you and by me.

His character will be defined by our character, so I holy living in evangelism are considered inseparably so you can teach mathematics live an immoral life, and no student of yours, whatever. So you're not qualified to teach me the principles of mathematics by virtue the way you live. But if you say to that person. I believe in Jesus Christ. For thus saith the Lord of the Bible teaches this or I belong to God and yet live in ungodly life, they will close their ears and mock your God, the Messiah is measured by the messenger. If there was ever a time for Christians to be different distinctive holy passion for purity, ethical, honest self-control, hard-working, gracious. It is now only redo attendings from said as he put it this way with the world needs as Christians cannot be bought, whose word is their bond who put character above wealth to possess opinions in the will, who are larger than their vocations who will not lose their distinctiveness in a crowd who will be as honest in small things, as in great things, who will make no compromise with sin whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires who will not say they do it because everybody else doesn't who are true to their friends through good report and evil report in adversity as well as in prosperity who do not believe that shrewdness and cunning are the best qualities for winning who are not ashamed or afraid to stand for the truth when it is unpopular and who say no with emphasis. Although the rest of the world says yes the lesson you just heard is called ruining the reputation of God you can listen to it again from our website.

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