Romans 1:16-20 / Ignorance is no excuse pt.1 (Sermon – Notes and Audio)

Posted on March 11, 2013


This is the fourth in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Romans. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of March 10, 2013. This message deals with whether those who died having never heard the gospel, will go to heaven or hell. This contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

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Rom 1_16-20 pt1


Rom 1_16-20 outline


Romans 1:16-20 / Ignorance is no excuse pt.1

Paul is not ashamed of the Gospel. Why should he be?

1) It is the good news of the Son of God.

2) It is the power of God.

“power” = (du’namis/Greek) the word from which we get dynamite.

This is a completely divine power, it does what no man can.

3) It is the one thing that can truly change lives.

Quoted from Habakkuk 2:4.

The Gospel reveals the righteousness of God.

Justification is by faith, not by works, and God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith.

First It is revealed in His gracious faith-based justification of the sinner, then it is revealed in the faithful life of the one who is justified.

This is important, because faith draws a line, and distinguishes between the just and the unjust.

God’s wrath is revealed just as His righteousness is revealed.

Who is it revealed against? The unrighteous.

Those who have been justified will live by faith, and faith will never lead someone into unrighteousness.

Instead, faith will lead you to lead others to faith.

Simply put, Faith is contagious.

Faith will lead you to preach the entire truth of God’s Word.

We Must preach God’s wrath and judgment as well as His grace and mercy.

Reason? Before you can get a man saved, you have to get Him lost.

People don’t automatically know that they are lost, so they need to hear it.

And they need to hear the consequences of it.

What kind of faith will we impart, if we don’t reveal the whole truth of God.

A faith based on only half of God’s character is no faith at all.

God is a just God. Therefore, everyone will have a chance to know Him.

Everyone has a chance to be saved, all are without excuse.

If anyone were to die without a chance to be saved, God would be unjust.

What about the person who has never heard the Gospel of Christ?

First we need to understand man’s true nature.

Jeremiah 17:9
(The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked…)

Isaiah 64:6
(our righteousness is as filthy rags)

Romans 3:10
(There is none righteous)

Romans 3:23
(all have sinned…)

Scripture is clear that ALL people are sinners, and that there is a penalty for that sin.

Genesis 2:17

Romans 5:12
(by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin)

Romans 6:23
(the wages of sin is death)

Revelation 20:11-15 (Great white throne).

So we see that we are all sinners, deserving of hell.

The good news is that God has offered a way of salvation, something that we can’t accomplish on our own.

John 3:16

Romans 5:8-10
(while we were yet sinners…)

Romans 10:9
(confess w/ your mouth…)

Romans 10:13
(All who call upon…)

There is NO way to Heaven, except through Jesus.

John 14:6

He is God’s only prescribed means of salvation.

So, we are all sinners deserving hell. God has provided a means of salvation, Jesus Christ, and He is the only way.

Next, understand that God is revealed to every person.

Acts 14:17
(God did not leave Himself w/o a witness)

Psalm 19:1

Romans 1:20

The existence of God is revealed to everyone, All are without excuse.

God’s testimony through nature, is what we call natural revelation.

Some people would call nature the 67th book of the Bible, but it is not.

First, this creation is imperfect, and under a curse since Adam’s sin. Therefore, it cannot provide a perfect revelation.

Second, nature only testifies that there is a god, it doesn’t tell us who God is.

Natural revelation, alone, is not sufficient for salvation.

So the question becomes “what will you do with this revelation?”

Some will deny God, some won’t care, and some will seek Him.

If one denies this revelation (grace), he accepts death.

If one accepts God’s natural revelation, and seeks to know him, he will make himself known.

Acts 8:26-39

The Ethiopian knew of God, and desired to know God. God used Phillip to make it happen.

What about the Old Testament, before Jesus?

We know from Scripture, that man has had knowledge of Jesus since Adam and Eve sinned.

Genesis 3:15

Old Testament Saints were also saved by faith, just as we are today.

James 2:23

They knew that The law, and their sacrifices would not save them.

They were saved on credit, their “Faith was credited…as righteousness”.

No where does scripture say that ignorance is credited as righteousness.

It is through faith in Christ, who paid the debt, in full.

It is through His death and resurrection.

There is no salvation for those who have not accepted Jesus Christ.

There is no such thing as ignorance of the existence of God, so there are no excuses, and no salvation apart from Jesus Christ.

God reveals himself to us so that there is “no excuse”.

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