02 Feb 2018 Romans (Program #5)

Romans (Program #5) – The Vanity of Religion and the Totality of Hopelessness

Paul is saying here, “My gospel is for God’s economy, but to do that, you don’t need religion. It’s not a matter of outward practices, it’s not a matter of just not doing or doing certain things – it’s a matter of getting into God’s salvation.”

We are going to look today at God’s condemnation as is presented in Romans chapter 1. Why is it important for mankind to have a realization of God’s condemnation? Romans is the gospel according to Paul. It is his gospel, written not according to the historical events of Jesus’ life, but according to the way that man experiences God’s salvation to reach God’s goal, [which] is to have an expression of Himself. It is written more from man’s point of view experientially. We all like to participate in God’s economy. We’d like to reach chapter 16, where we come to the conclusion of what God wants to do on the earth. But Paul in this book is wonderfully methodical, wonderfully systematic, to start from the very foundation, to reduce everybody to condemnation so that we can all begin with Christ and in the spirit in a proper way. It is masterful the way he takes care of both the so-called “unbelievers” that we talked about in previous shows, and the religious people that we will talk about in this time together. Both are useless – he uses this word “they have become of no use” – for God’s economy, for His purpose. The sinful people are of no use; the religious people are of no use – everyone is condemned. The encouraging thing is Romans doesn’t end with chapter 1. Chapter 1 just gets us ready to enter in to see the picture of God’s salvation from Paul’s presentation.

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