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Sermon #59 — Romans Series


      Title:                                 Three Things Most

  Religious People Don’t Know


      Text:                                  Romans 5:12-21

      Subject:         Depravity, Redemption, and Salvation

      Date:                                Sunday Morning — July 19, 2015

      Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:1-31



Writing to the Church at Rome, the Apostle Paul called upon God to be his witness regarding the sincerity of his heart toward the saints of God in that place. He said, “God is my witness whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel” (Romans 1:9). — “God is my witness.” — I cannot imagine words more fearful to speak, if they are not spoken in truth. I say that because I want you to know the solemnity with which I come before you this hour as God’s ambassador to your soul. I borrow Paul’s words and take them as my very own. — “God is my witness whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel.


Threefold Desire

I have a threefold desire which dominates my heart, my mind, my time, and my life. I have a threefold desire that has dominated my life for 48 years. — “God is my witness whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel.


Number one, I want to know the Gospel. I want, above all things, to know the Gospel. I do not want to be deceived. The apostle Paul, in 2nd Corinthians 11, warned us of messengers of Satan who would transform themselves into angels of light and preachers of righteousness, preaching another Jesus, another spirit, another god, and another gospel. Paul wept for the Galatians who had been bewitched by will-worship, works-righteousness legalists, and had received Satan’s messengers preaching another gospel. I don’t know of any greater curse in all the world that could be upon a preacher or a congregation than the delusion of “another gospel. In fact, that is exactly what the Apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 1.


(Galatians 1:6-9) I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (7) Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (8) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (9) As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.


Do you see the solemnity of this, the fearfulness of it? I want, above all things, to know the Gospel. There is not but one Gospel. There are many false gospels; but there is only one Gospel which is the “power of God unto salvation.”

·      The Gospel of God.

·      The Gospel of Christ.

·      The Gospel of the Grace of God.

It’s not the gospel of works. If there is just an atom of works in it, it is not the Gospel. If it has just a shade or a jot or a tittle of man’s merit in it, it is not the Gospel. The Gospel, the one Gospel is the Gospel of God’s free, sovereign, effectual, irresistible, saving grace in Christ!


(Romans 11:6) And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.


And this Gospel is the Gospel concerning his Son. It’s not concerning you and what you do about his Son. It is not concerning me and what I do about his Son. It’s not concerning what the world does about his Son. The Gospel of God’s grace is the Gospel of concerning his Son, Jesus Christ. It’s what it’s all about his Son. He’s the Alpha and Omega. He’s the Beginning and the End and everything between. The Gospel is concerning his Son.

·      His Person

·      His Offices

·      His Accomplishments

·      His Intercession

·      His Dominion

·      His Glory


The Gospel is the Gospel of his glory, his glory, not our glory, not man’s glory, not the glory of the church, but his glory! The Gospel of this Book gives all glory, honor, majesty, preeminence, and praise to the Triune God alone in Christ Jesus, our God-man Mediator!


I want to know the Gospel. I desperately want to know the Gospel. I must know the Gospel. I must have the Gospel.


Here is my second desire. — I want to be saved by that Gospel. That’s the only way a person can be saved. Now, I’m telling you this and I’m telling it to you as plainly and as boldly as I can tell you. A person who does not know the Gospel is not saved. Now, that’s all there is to it. I don’t care what church he’s in, what his religious activity is, what he’s engaged in, what he knows, or what he does. I care not how moral he is, how religious he is, or how zealous he is. A man who does not know the Gospel of God, of God’s grace, of God’s Glory, of God’s Son, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not saved.


We are saved by believing that Gospel. — “He that believeth on the Son hath life and he that believeth not the Son hath not life.” A man can’t believe the Gospel unless he knows the Gospel and he can’t know the Gospel unless God reveals the Gospel. That’s just so. It’s just absolutely so.


Saul of Tarsus was as religious as a man could be, but he didn’t know the Gospel; and he didn’t know God. He was as orthodox as a Jew could be, keeping the holy days, the sabbath days, the feast days, the ceremonies, the circumcision, fasting, praying, tithing mint, anise, cumin, and did all the good works a religious zealot could do. He was religious. He was moral. He was zealous. He was sincere. But he was lost. He was not saved. He did not know God. And he was not converted, until he met Christ on the Damascus Road and learned the Gospel.


A man is not saved who doesn’t know the Gospel. That’s the reason we must preach the Gospel. That’s the reason we must not compromise the Gospel. That’s the reason we must not take away the offense of the Gospel. We must proclaim the Gospel because nobody is saved who doesn’t hear, receive, believe, and stand in the Gospel.


(1 Corinthians 15:1-3) Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; (2) By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. (3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.


I know we try to justify everything in the name of religion today; but you can’t do it. I know we try to justify everybody that uses the name Jesus. But our Lord Jesus said…


(Matthew 7:21) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.


(John 6:40) And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.


I want to know the Gospel. And I want to be saved by that Gospel. I don’t want to go to hell, swearing on a stack of Bibles that I know God. I don’t want to perish under his wrath standing in a pulpit or sitting in a pew or singing, “Oh, how I love Jesus!”


I want to know the Gospel. I want to be saved by the Gospel. And, thirdly, I want to preach the Gospel. — “God is my witness whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel.” Unless I am deceived, if you could cut into my mind, if you could cut into my heart, if you could cut into my soul you would find this driving ambition, desire, and determination. — I want to preach that Gospel. — “Woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel!

·      Woe is unto me if I am so weak and spineless, that I preach not the Gospel!

·      Woe is unto me if I am so persuaded by human influence that I preach not the Gospel!

·      Woe is unto me if I am so affected by the desire for approval and praise that I preach not the Gospel!

·      Woe is unto me if I so grovel for acceptance and praise that I preach not the Gospel!

·      Woe is unto me if for fear of men that I preach not the Gospel!

·      Woe is unto me if for the love of purse, power, or position I preach not the Gospel!


I have, with resolute determination, planted my feet in concrete. God helping me, I will not be moved. — I am determined to preach the Gospel.

·      Ruin by the Fall!

·      Redemption by the Blood!

·      Regeneration by the Holy Ghost!


(1 Corinthians 1:17-21) For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. (18) For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (19) For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. (20) Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? (21) For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.


(Romans 1:15) So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. (16) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.


(1 Corinthians 2:1) And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. (2) For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (3) And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. (4) And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: (5) That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.


This pulpit and this congregation stand for, and contend for, and declare the Gospel. If people want to come here and hear it, worshipping God in Spirit and in truth, they are welcome and wanted. But this isn’t any debating society. The Gospel of God is not a matter of debate. In this place, in every relationship we have as a congregation, it is T.U.L.I.P. or termination. — There’s no in-between ground!

·      Missionaries

·      Church Association

·      Guest Preachers

·      Supported Preachers

·      Musicians

·      Teachers

·      Men who Read Scripture and Lead in Prayer


Folks who don’t like it can go play church somewhere else. Nothing is changing here!


Three Big Questions


Now, let’s turn to Romans 5. I’ve taken a long time getting to my text; but I won’t be long preaching my message. Let’s begin reading at Romans 5:12. I am going to show you Three Things Most Religious People Don’t Know. — Three Things Most Religious People Don’t Know — (Romans 5:12-21).


(Romans 5:12-21) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (13) (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (14) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (15) But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. (16) And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. (17) For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) (18) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (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.


If you are not in too big a hurry to go to hell, if you have any concern for your immortal soul, if you are at all interested in the glory of God and the truth of God, I urge you to think about these three questions.


The Garden


What happened in the Garden? — That’s my first question. — What happened in the Garden?  — All heresy arises from a misunderstanding of what happened in the Garden of Eden. If you go wrong here, you go wrong everywhere. If you get this right, you will not likely fall into grave error elsewhere. Take a moment to consider this question carefully in the light of Holy Scripture. — What did happen in the Garden?


Was man totally ruined by the fall, or just partially handicapped? The Scripture says, “In Adam all died.The sin of our father Adam brought about the total ruin and spiritual death of our race, so much so that the natural man has neither the desire nor the ability to bring himself back into fellowship with God (John 5:40; 6:44). – The Lord Jesus said, “Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life…No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”


Like it or not, God made Adam to be the federal head and representative of the whole human race. When he sinned, we all sinned in him. When he died, we all died in him (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22).


(Romans 5:12) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.


(1 Corinthians 15:21-22) For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.


That means that all the sons and daughters of Adam are born in spiritual death, without spiritual sense or ability (Ephesians 2:1-4). We are all born sinners, totally depraved, without the will or ability to do good (Romans 3:9-19). We are all transgressors from the womb (Isaiah 48:8). No mother ever had to teach her child how to lie, cheat, and envy. Those things are in our hearts by nature, because we are born sinners!

  • Because man is born in spiritual death and depravity he cannot see, much less enter the kingdom of God, until he is born again by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-7).
  • By nature no one has the will or the ability to repent of sin and trust Christ (John 5:40; 6:44).
  • Repentance and faith are gifts of God’s grace, wrought in the hearts of chosen, redeemed sinners by God the Holy Ghost (Acts 5:31; Ephesians 1:19; 2:8; Colossians 2:12).
  • Salvation cannot be by the will of man. — He is dead!
  • Salvation is by the will of God (Romans 9:16). — “Salvation is of the Lord!


The Cross


What happened at the cross? That’s my second question. — What happened at Calvary?


Did the Lord Jesus Christ, by his substitutionary sacrifice and atonement, make redemption a possibility, or did he actually accomplish the redemption of his people? The Bible says, “Christ hath redeemed us!” He “obtained eternal redemption for” God’s elect. He did not just make it possible for sin to be put away, but he actually “put away sin.” We do not sing, “Redeemed because I believe it.” Our song of praise is…


“Redeemed! How I love to proclaim it!

Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb!

Redeemed through His infinite mercy!

His child and forever I am!”


(Hebrews 1:1-3) God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, (2) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; (3) Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.


(Hebrews 10:1-14) For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. (2) For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. (3) But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. (4) For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. (5) Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: (6) In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. (7) Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. (8) Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; (9) Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. (10) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. (14) For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.




Alright, here’s my third question. — How is salvation accomplished?What happens when God saves a sinner?


Is salvation accomplished by the will of man, or by the will of God? The Scripture says, we are born again “not of the will of man, but of God.” It is written, “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy!” Is salvation the work of man, or of God? The Bible says, “God hath saved us!” Is salvation by grace or by works? The Word of God declares, “By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourself. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” — “Salvation is of the Lord!

  • Regeneration!
  • Resurrection!
  • New Creation!
  • Christ in You!
  • Partakers of the Divine Nature!
  • The Life of God in the Soul of Man!
  • Super-abounding Grace! — “Where abounded grace did much more abound!” — “Salvation is of the Lord!


Think about these things. Will you? If you care for your soul, refuse to hear any preacher or any doctrine that speaks contrary to the Word of God.





Don Fortner








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