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Romans Series #13
Title: “Without Excuse”
Text: Romans 2:1-11
Subject: No Excuse for Unbelief
Date: Sunday Morning — May 4, 2014
Reading: Romans 10:1-17
Open your Bibles to Romans chapter two, Romans 2. I will be preaching to you today from Romans 2:1-11. The title of my message is “Without Excuse” — Romans 2:1-11
There comes a time when God Almighty turns the light out in a lost soul and shuts sinners up in the darkness of reprobation. He does so in strict justice. He does so because they refuse to walk in the light he has given them. Be warned, my friend, be warned. — There comes a time when God Almighty turns the light out in a lost soul and shuts sinners up in the darkness of reprobation.
Many, many years ago, preaching from our Lord’s words in Luke 11:35, — “Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness,” Rolfe Barnard preached a sermon I wish you could all hear. The title of his message was, “When the Lights Go Out on the Road to Hell”. There is a time when the lights go out on the road to hell! And when God turns the lights out, you can’t see. If God turns the lights out, you will never be able to see.
John 12:35 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
John 11:10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
Given Up by God
The fact is God speaks to all men. He so speaks to all that all are “without excuse” (Romans 1:20). That is what we are told in the 1st chapter of Romans. And that is what we are told, again, in the 2nd chapter of Romans. In Romans 1 the Holy Ghost declares that the heathen, even those who have never heard the gospel, are utterly without excuse. If the heathen would walk in the light God has given them, God would give them more light; but they refuse to walk in the light God has given.
· The Light of Creation
Therefore they are utterly “without excuse.” Not only do they refuse to walk in the light God has given, fallen men everywhere change “the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man.” Therefore God gives them up.
Oh, what a horrible thought! — God gives them up! God gives them up! God turns the lights out on them on their road to hell! The lights that should have lit the way to God, to eternal life, to Christ, to eternal salvation, are turned out forever and the obstinate, reprobate rebel is shut up in darkness, as sure for hell as if he were already there!
· 1st — He gives them up to uncleanness, beastly indecency (Romans 1:24-25).
· 2nd — He gives them up to vile affections, Sodomy (Romans 1:26-27).
· 3rd — He gives sinners up to a reprobate mind (Romans 1:28-32).
But there is another group of people “without excuse,” a group whose unbelief and sin are even more vile, base, and excuseless than pagan idolaters and Sodomites. I am speaking to some here today in that group.
Proposition: You who despise the light of the gospel court reprobation, court the wrath of God, court everlasting damnation. — As you spurn the gospel you kiss the flames of hell!
Two Great Dangers
Here are two great dangers by which Satan destroys the souls of men, two great dangers you must avoid.
1. A False Profession — “Eating and drinking damnation to your soul.”
2. The Wilful Determination not to Trust Christ
Isaiah 55:6-7 (6) Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: (7) Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Illustrations: Dutch the Saloon Keeper near Houston, Texas — The Young Lady in Barnard’s Detroit Meeting
“Without Excuse” — That’s my subject. I am here to show you from the Word of God that if you refuse to trust Christ, if you refuse to believe on the Son of God, you are “without excuse.” If God turns the lights out on you on your road to hell, when you wake up in hell, it will be completely and totally your own fault. You will have no one to blame but yourself. Keep your Bible open on your lap at Romans 2:1-11. Pray, oh may God help you to pray that God will speak to you by his Word, give you life and faith in his Son, and save you by his great grace in Christ Jesus!
Divisions: In these 11 verses of Inspiration, God the Holy Ghost directed the apostle Paul to denounce the Jews, those who professed to be God’s people and claimed to live righteously by the law, in exactly the same terms of condemnation and justice as he had denounced the Gentiles. — They, refusing to trust Christ, rejected far greater light and brought upon themselves far greater condemnation. — So it is with you! Here are four things by which I pray the Lord God will be pleased to open your heart and bring you to Christ. — I have four barbed arrows in my quiver. I am taking careful aim at your heart. Spirit of God, hit my target as only you can.
1. Your hypocrisy, your pretended goodness shall be your everlasting ruin, if God does not save you from it (vv. 1-3).
2. By despising the goodness of God, you are treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath (vv. 4-5).
3. God always deals with sinners in strict justice (vv. 6-10).
4. God is no respecter of persons (v. 11).
1st — Your hypocrisy, your pretended goodness shall be your everlasting ruin, if God does not save you from it (vv. 1-3).
Romans 2:1-3 (1) Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. (2) But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. (3) And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
In the preceding chapter Paul had described the state of idolatrous pagans. He now passes to the Jews, religious people, people who (while they reject the righteousness of God in Christ to which the law and the prophets bare witness) look for salvation in their godly heritage, the observance religious ceremonies, keeping the commandments, and their outward morality.
In this chapter Paul shows that the just judgment of God is the same against all, Jew and Gentile, religious and irreligious, for all have sinned (Romans 2:17, 23, 28).
Romans 2:17 Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God.
Romans 2:23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?
Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh.
The Jews quickly condemned the Gentiles, just as self-righteous religionists condemn others. This Paul condemns, judging and condemning sin and idolatry, but judging and condemning others for the very things they do (inwardly if not outwardly). — God save me from such hypocrisy!
The fact is, we are as guilty and utterly inexcusable as the most barbaric heathen who ever drew breath in New Guinea or Turkey (Romans 3:19, 23).
Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
When you condemn the sins of others and are guilty of the same transgression, you condemn yourself and are inexcusable (Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28).
Matthew 5:21-22 (21) Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: (22) But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Matthew 5:27-28 (27) Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: (28) But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
God's judgment is according to truth —– not appearance, works, or profession. God will punish sin without respect of persons. — “The soul that sinneth shall die.” — God will by no means clear the guilty.
The believer is freed from sin and freed from condemnation because he is freed from sin and altogether righteous. We have fulfilled the law and suffered its just penalty in the obedience and death of Jesus Christ, with whom we are one (Romans 5:19; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 3:25-26)
Romans 5:19-21 (19) For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (20) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Romans 3:25-26 (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
If you vainly imagine that by your outward show of goodness and righteousness, religious morality and decency you will escape the judgment of God, you are greatly deceived! God's judgments are true and righteous. God looks on the heart, not on the outward appearance. Except you trust the Lord Jesus Christ, you shall be forever damned and justly damned! — Trust Christ and you shall be forever saved, and justly saved!
Job 25:4-6 (4) How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman? (5) Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight. (6) How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?
Romans 8:1-4 (1) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (3) For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (4) That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Romans 8:33-34 (33) Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. (34) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
2nd — By despising the goodness of God, you are treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath (vv. 4-5).
Romans 2:4-5 (4) Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? (5) But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.
The goodness of God in giving you the light of the gospel ought to lead you to repentance, just as God’s goodness in giving the Jews his law, his Word, his oracles, and his prophets should have led them to repentance. But just as they hardened their hearts, and stubbornly despised God’s great goodness, you do the same, refusing to trust Christ. By your wilful, obstinate unbelief, you treasure up wrath against the day of wrath, and the revelation of the righteous judgment of God. — O sinner, harden not your heart against God!
Psalm 95:8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness.
Hebrews 3:8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness.
Hebrews 3:15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
Hebrews 4:7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
2 Corinthians 5:17-6:2 (17) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (18) And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (1) We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (2) (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
3rd — God always deals with sinners in strict justice (vv. 6-10).
Romans 2:6-10 (6) Who will render to every man according to his deeds: (7) To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: (8) But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, (9) Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; (10) But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
In the Day of Judgment God (who is righteous, holy, just, and true) will deal justly with every person according to his deeds. Every man will answer for himself in all that he has thought, said, and done. No partiality will be shown to anyone!
· Those who trust Christ, seeking the glory of God in in him, the honor and immortality that is in the God-man, shall have eternal life by the just judgment of the holy Lord God!
· Those who despise the gospel, you who refuse to trust Christ, shall be forever damned, and justly damned. In your damnation, “ye shall eat the fruit of your own way!”
4th — God is no respecter of persons (v. 11).
Romans 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
God is no respecter of persons. There is, there can be nothing in the creature in a way of merit, which can act as a cause in the sight of the Lord to induce respect from him. Yet, toward his elect, upon the whole election of grace, chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, the triune Jehovah did have respect on Christ’s account, highly distinguishing each one as one with Christ, accepting us in him, as one with him!
Christ himself is eternal life; and all who have Christ, have eternal life in him, and all the blessings of life, grace, and salvation connected with it.
Oh, may God the Holy Spirit now convince you that there is more in Christ Jesus to save than there is in sin to condemn! If he will do that for you, what peace, what sweet consolation will follow. And depend upon it, if the Lord speaks peace now, he will not speak condemnation then. He is of one mind, and who can turn him. — God will never unsay what he has once said. “Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom!”
Illustration: The Handkerchief