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Embracing the Darkness - Romans 1:21-23

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Steven Davey
The Truth Network Radio
June 4, 2020 1:00 am

Embracing the Darkness - Romans 1:21-23

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Steven Davey

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June 4, 2020 1:00 am

In this message Stephen reminds us that there is no true enlightenment apart from the Light of the World. All are lost in darkness. Worse yet . . . all embrace it.

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There has never been discovered upon earth tribe of people, however small or depraved, which is not believe in some kind of daughter had some system of worship.

When a Christian comes to them and talks about sin, he often finds ready acknowledgment that this is true they are already aware that they have done wrong things in the wrong things must be punished if they are already afraid of punishment and they are already afraid of dying, possessing no knowledge of Scripture or civilized forms of morality, who were still conscious that sin must be atoned for and so they seek ways of appeasing their D even though almost everyone you meet can distinguish between right and wrong. Many choose to ignore it and most people reject God who established in our heart that moral code, they think that they're pursuing personal freedom by doing what they want to do so, they willfully forsake God and pursue self today on wisdom for the heart.

Stephen Devi takes you to God's word to show you that ignoring the truth of God is not freedom, it's simply embracing the darkness and embracing the darkness comes with consequences. Let's join Stephen right now in the book of Proverbs the spirit inspired Solomon to include in his wisdom sayings the phrase fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the holy one is understanding. Proverbs 9 verse 10. The wise person is one who fears the Lord, the fool is the one who disregards the Lord. When you desire to so live for and to so serve and do so love them so please the Lord upon that foundation will be built the necessary wisdom for living. But to ignore God to not want to please him to not allow them to not regard or acknowledge him is the beginning of the opposite is the beginning of foolish rather than becoming wise. The unbeliever loses his ability to act with discernment and sound judgment. They do not know right from wrong. They rush into sin without any regard for the consequences and at the same time, the demand that you consider them why Paul wrote in Romans chapter 1 verse 21, they proclaim themselves to be wise, that is, they grant one another degrees. They affirm each other's opinions as sophisticated and academic. They cheer one another on even though they all digress intellectually and morally, they proclaim themselves to be wise, but in reality they became fools. The word full means without insight without sound judgment without wisdom for living. How did they get that way when they had seen the signs from God.

As we have been studying but they refuse the signs they rebelled against the signs as I illustrated they are like the driver of a car on a winding mountainous road sees a sign that says slow down danger ahead. And he says I will rebel against that or I will ignore the sign in. Simply speed up. He's become a fool. Even though others may say is wise. That's exactly what Paul says humanity has become so they proclaim to be wise in the rebellion to become as fools that do you remember what the two signs are from God one outer and one inner sign that revealed that he indeed exists, that revealed to us some information that we need to be sure we are of cognizant. Do you remember what those two signs are creation and conscience. I want you to notice a word that I haven't brought out to your attention. It's in verse 20 is it talks about creation reflecting the nature of the creator. Paul writes, being understood through what has been made that word made is the Greek word Po am which transliterated gives us the English word poem creation is the poetry of God. It is his artistic masterpiece, which should bring all of humanity to desire to seek out and defined the divine artist, but instead the poetry of God is disregarded. It is considered Mayor reflection of chance or evolution. Secondly, the wrath of God is deserved. Verse 20 ends with those unmistakably terrifying clear words without excuse. Instead of seeking the divine artist mankind is sought to explain him away. He has ignored his brushstrokes. They have suppress the truth of his masterful design. They have silenced the voice that he painted on their heart that whispers there is right and there is wrong, they do not wish accountability Charles Darwin said man is developed from an oval, which differs in no respect from the oval of other animals when he said that he knew nothing of jeans you knew nothing of chromosomes you knew nothing about DNA in its millions of bits of information. One author said Darwin statement should not be considered as foolish as saying that the California redwood tree developed from a tiny seed that differs in no respect from the sea that produces the ragweed but now with what we know.

We know that the difference even in the smallest form of that seed is absolutely staggering.

There is a chemist in our church teaches at a university nearby that will go unnamed. My wife and I were together with her and her husband and she was she was talking about how the discussion in her world net academic field is no longer really a discussion about the origin of life is sort of a passé phrase. It is now a discussion about the origin of information. Where did that information come from that produced the life that you see with all of its distinctions and its millions of different kinds of forms. Where did the information come from in the beginning was the law DOS the word you can render it the reason you can render at the information on began with creator God. Sinful humanity must find another source, another cause, another reason something other than a personal living holy, righteous God, the truth is, men and women God exists and everyone knows it. They just deny what about those that are unreached missiology us Leath. Samuel wrote many missionaries point out that the heathen no more than we think they know that there is a God there are no atheists among heathen tribesmen there has never been discovered upon earth, a tribe of people, however small or depraved, which is not believed in some kind of daughter had some system of worship. They even know they have sinned, and when a Christian comes to them and talks about sin, he often finds ready acknowledgment that this is true they are already aware that they have done wrong things and that wrong things must be punished. They are already afraid of punishment and they are already afraid of dying. They know that sin must be atoned for and so they seek ways of appeasing their deities or their deities, David Livingstone wrote this missionary to Africa. Nearly 200 years ago that he found primitive tribes completely out of touch with each other and with basic civilization. Possessing no knowledge of Scripture or civilized forms of morality, who were still content of doing things wrong or doing wrong things.

After Charles Darwin took that famous trip in the Beagle.

He returned to England, saying that he had indeed found a tribe of people who had no religious system. He had found a remote tribe of savages on the island of Tierra del Fuego and he said they do not worship anything. There's nothing embedded in our hearts and speaks of God, there you have it. Exhibit a. There were believers who heard his report in England and they immediately formed a mission society and they sent missionaries to the island of Tierra del Fuego and once they learn the language and customs. They discovered that this people indeed had deep embedded religious ideas and concepts and practices that had all somehow missed the guys of Darwin, mankind, ladies and gentlemen is incurably religious. He will at least worship himself, if nothing else, and he is also rebellious.

Now we moved to verse 21, and Paul continues to prove the guilt of humanity in the coming fury and judgment of God, as he writes for even though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks even though they knew God zooming there with there are several different levels of knowledge the first and most basic level would be simple awareness you are aware of certain things, being true, but they don't affect you personally.

You don't live your life necessarily in the light of that truth. You might know you might be aware that the earth is round and set a flat but that more than likely will not in fact the way you spend your afternoon or this coming week. You are aware that equals MC squared. Whatever that means, but it's more than likely not going to impact your personal life as you live it out so that simple awareness.

The second level is based upon detailed description. This is the theologian. This is perhaps someone here this morning who has detailed description of God, and you ask them a question and they can spit it back. They can talk about the attributes of God.

They can sing the hymns. They have the detailed description, but still there are theologians around the world and pastors among them on their way to an eternal hell because to them it is matter fact it is not producing faith is not personally possessive. The Lord is a shepherd. He is not my shepherd, and third, there is the level of knowledge which is personal possession. It is already truth whether you believe it or not, but then you possess it and believe it live by. So now in verse 21, Paul is not saying that they possess God. He isn't even saying that they have a detailed description of God, he is simply saying I believe that they are aware of who God is. So if you wrote one little word in your text that might clarify it for you.

He is in effect saying even though they knew about God. That is, even though they had a vague awareness of God's existence. They did not honor.

Now remember, all of mankind will be judged not by the light they were not given about God, but by the light that they were given about God, not by the knowledge they did not have in order to refuse it, but the knowledge which they did have an refuse. Paul says here even though they were aware that a God existed.

They refused to seek him out. They refused to honor and instead they worship the stream that was made by the creator and the stump and the star in the bird and themselves.

So the first responsive unregenerate man toward the creator.

That is a refusal to give God glory.

It's a wonderful word glory comes from the root word doc saw, it gives us our word Orthodox. Originally, the verb simply meant to have an opinion. We all have one. Don't wait will have a dock so or to what this meant that was to have a right opinion Orthodox simply means to have a correct opinion paradox means to have conflict doing irreconcilable opinion. So who can give God glory only the person that has a correct opinion about God, the one who knows him properly and appreciates his attributes and his character.

The one who knows that he is just and righteous and gracious and merciful. The one who praises God for who God is, who experiences worship based upon this true opinion that comes from the word of God about God himself. The word doc so also gives us the word doxology. That is our opinion of him put to music. But the question remains beyond singing.

How do we give glory to God how we honor him with our lives when we got to do this afternoon. Based upon the truth that we know that is supposed to impact us how little we live as a result of our understanding of him. Let me give you a number of ways where you ascribed to him glory. Every single day number one by acknowledging Christ as your master Philippians 211 uses the word glory or doc saw what it says every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father number two by admitting your sin in Joshua chapter 7 verse 19, the Septuagint uses the same word Greek translation of the Hebrew word talks about Joshua and agent Aiken his sin in Joshua calls him to give an account of the sin and he says my son and I implore you give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel and give praise to him and tell me now.

Would you have done. Do not hide it from you so I can answer Joshua and said, truly, I have sinned against the Lord of you ever thought about the fact that when you acknowledge your sin to God you are expressing your correct opinion of his holiness and his holy standard and you are accepting that correct opinion of yourself as sinful and when you confess your sin to God. You are in effect giving him glory and back. Third, by trusting him with your life. Speaking of Abraham's trust and leaving all he knew for that which you didn't know, following the will of God.

Paul wrote in Romans 420 with respect to the promise of God. He did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God for it by praising him with your lips with your voice. We just did that.

A moment ago fifth by praying for his will to be done. John 1413, whatever you ask in my name, that will I do said that the father may be glorified in the son. That's how you glorify God, praying for his will be done.

Six.

By serving the church family. First Peter 410 as each one is received a special gift employed in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Whoever speaks, is to do as one was speaking the utterances of God. Whoever serves is to do so as one who was serving by the strength which God supplies.

It is so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.

See, you thought that parking cars are changing diapers in the nurture greeting visitors are setting up chairs or putting out hymnals or ushering or or whatever that you were just filling a need all know my friend you were bringing honor and glory to God by doing that you are expressing your right opinion about him because he was worth it.

And because those who belong to him are worth that you are willing to serve them and when you serve them you bring him on different glorified God by serving the church by preaching and teaching the word of God. Number seven second Thessalonians 3, one finally, brethren, pray for us word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified.

Eight. By living a morally pure life. First Corinthians 618 flee morality.

Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit was in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own, for you have been bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body as it were live out the doxology God's glory in the way you treat and use your body you got dressed this morning you were dressing the doxology to God by introducing number nine and believers in Christ. Second rent is 415 for all things are for your sake so that the grace which is spreading more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. Number 10 by bearing spiritual fruit.

John 15 eight my father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and so proved to be my disciple screws that reference the godly attitudes and godly action.

We give you a couple of more here. These are free 11 by thanking God for the ministry of other believers. It's one thing the thank God for what you do another thing the thank God for what others do.

Paul writes in second Corinthians 913. The saints will give glory to God because of your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ were 12 by dying as a faithful disciple. There a lot of people would like to die the death of a faithful disciple without living the life of a faithful disciple. There a lot of people want to die godly death will not live a godly life. Peter was talking with the Lord Jesus in John chapter 21 of the Lord Jesus was describing to Peter a little bit of his death of Peter's death that he would die a martyr, but in the course of the conversation Christ talks to all of us about the fact that we can bring glory to God in our diet.

Now this, he said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. In other words, Peter's faithful life would result in a God glorifying that. But isn't it interesting that that old enemy called death, even when you are in its clutches and you are gasping your last breath in that you bring God glory and the enemy is defeated. Even these are things an unbeliever cannot and will not do acknowledge Christ as master admit their sin. Trust him with their lives. Praise him with her voice and so on. They will not give God glory. Secondly, mankind refuses to give God not only glory but gratitude, Paul writes for even though they knew about God, they did not honor him as God or give thing one author by the name of skin is provoke my thinking when he wrote rebellion against God does not begin with the clenched fists of atheism. But with the self satisfied heart that refuses to say thank you to God as it ever occurred to you that one of the key distinctives between your life as a believer in the life of the unbelievers is this one characteristic of giving thanks to God. So how are you doing, how is that distinctive being played out in your life is last few days. Do you just register before got your complaints like some ornery hotel patron like the towels done like the food.

And like the service to like the mattress where's the hotel is the attitude of the world. The rain comes.

So what about time the sun comes I've been expecting believer says, oh Lord, thank Paul goes on to say in the last part of verse 21 to because man will not give God glory or gratitude.

They spiraled downward to become first of all involved in worthless self inventions or empty speculations. He writes in the middle part of verse 21 but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Whether it is the religion, whether you go to this place in the world or to another place in the world you will see the religions being played out, it might be the burning of incense to departed loved one in might be the scented beans of wood that are passed through fingers as they recite their prayers in the Orient. It might be a serous myth of the near East and their belief of goddess mother Earth giving birth to all that is life. They are constantly speculating because mankind is incurably religious.

Just pick up the newspaper from this past weekend look at the faith section quite a title for that section of the newspaper the faith section and you can read about college students who are spending their spring break by going to a Buddhist monastery in Wilmington. You can read about a conference coming to all of the Mormon wards of wake County. Those who deny that the singular distinctive deity of Jesus Christ.

You could also get enough information I faith section order your own CD on Hinduism.

Compiled by a Hindu priest who also happens to be a radiologist you can read up in that same section on the debate among Methodists over their new hymnal and the new hymns inside of it, that include lyrics to God. Their divine mother see when you refuse the standard the canon the plumb line of Scripture and how it describes God the creator and how it describes God's son.

The Redeemer you are left to wander alone through the maze and the hello. You will find your way out.

But apart from this guide, you will not Lauren wrote what man lost in fellowship with a personal God and what he has tried to retrieved by centuries of fetishism and idolatry and polytheism is found. What was lost through disobedience to God's spoken word and the garden is restored by obedience to God's written what man has tried to regain by religious achievement is gained by faith in Christ alone for the just shall live by faith. Secondly, unbelieving mankind becomes trapped in the darkness of his self-deception.

He speculates and then he changes his soul with his speculations and it grows darker, proclaiming themselves to be wise, they became fools, and here's the digression verse 23 they exchange the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man, and then of birds and of four-footed animals and crawling creatures see my friends when you do not give God glory you will end up giving some other person glory.

You will attribute to them some sort of worship and adulation. If you do not give God glory you might move beyond man and woman and you will give glory and honor and worship and adulation to some form of some bird. It might be a tree. It might be the sacred towels that I saw wandering the streets of India while little children starve nearby, begging from people like me go around the world and discover as you share the gospel that mankind prefers to worship their self-made God. They have chosen to embrace the darkness they congratulate each other on their sophistication and brilliance.

But God says something different about them. He says proclaiming themselves be wise, they became the Greek word is more not exactly something to write home about. When John the Baptist stepped out on the stage of human history. In his dark world there would be special revelation given beyond creation and conscience and he was introducing to that dark world. The Messiah, and seven times in nine verses and John chapter 1 John refers to the Messiah as the light.

The light, the light coming into the world. He enlightens every man. It's as if he is saying God has sent his son in the world and his sons come into the world to turn on the light in him was life, John 14 and the life was the light of men, and those who will receive the light to them. He gives the power of the dynamic. The right to become children of light, children of God. All others will one day face the fury of God who will meet out holy justice to all for having been displaced by Beatles and worms and snakes and beads in the sun and the trees and cows and fire man himself. Those who chose to embrace the darkness in one day. The new creation will sing a new doxology. Every created thing that is in heaven and on the earth, and that which is under the earth and all that is in the sea. John said I heard them singing, chanting, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb blessing and honor and glory and power for ever and ever. Amen. Christian friend your life this week is nothing more than a rehearsal for that faith put away site desires the Lamb are creator raise our voices is one gigantic choir we sing our opinion of him.

New doxology. So let's rehearse us to our voices, our lives be ready to say this is wisdom for the heart Ministry of wisdom international are Bible teacher is Stephen Davey, the senior pastor of colonial Baptist Church in Cary, North Carolina. Our church has still not been able to resume normal services because of the current pandemic but Stephen is teaching live online each Sunday morning. If you'd like to join us. You can participate at 10:00 AM on Sunday morning by going to Sunday.wisdom online.org that's Sunday.wisdom online.org join us again tomorrow here on wisdom for the heart


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