Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home
14 November 2021
Service available on Youtube, or as text (below), or for audio see the Podcasts page.
Times are difficult but we still have so much to thank and praise the Lord for.
Wendy shared a testimony on Sunday regarding her cancer which was at stage 3. She was first diagnosed with cancer 7 years ago and stopped treatment after a short time. She was given two years to live so declared she was leaving it all in the Lord’s hands. Recently there was concern that the cancer had spread even further as another lump had appeared. She was called in to have a scan. Last week the doctor phoned her to tell her that there was no sign of any cancer at all, she was cancer free. Wendy is elated (and everyone else at Bethel) and gives all thanks and praise to the Lord, Amen!
Reading: Rom 1:18-32
They exchanged the truth about God for a lie.Rom 1:25
This section in Romans, if we correctly interpret it, cuts right across the thinking, the beliefs, the culture of this present day, not only in the Western world but throughout the world. Paul is addressing everyone when he writes,
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and unrighteousness of people,”Rom 1:18, 20
“suppress the truth by their wickedness … about His revelation in creation and so are without excuse”.
They neither glorified God or gave thanks to Him.Rom 1:21
They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images” (Rom 1:23); “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie.Rom 1:25
Women exchanged natural God given sexual relations with men, for sexual relations with women.Rom 1:26
Men exchanged natural God given sexual relations with women and were inflamed with lust for other men.Rom 1:27
They did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God.Rom 1:28
Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practise them.Rom 1:32
The picture looks very grim and so it is, and it gets even more so as we read on to chapter 3:20 and its conclusion: “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight”.
So how does God move people from here to the great blessing of salvation in His Son. One way is that He gives them over to their own sinful ways and desires (cf. Rom 1:24, 26, 28), so that sexual perversion for example is not only a reason for the wrath of God but also the result of the wrath of God. God in His wrath gives people over to their sexual perversion and as a result sexual perversion increases. How long will it be before paedophiles start aggressively campaigning for it to be legalised?
God does this with the intention that people come to their senses about their sins and the things of God. Think of the prodigal son’s father, I’m sure his heart was broken when his rebellious youngest son left him for a distant country (see Luke 15:13) but the father “gave him over” in the hope that one day he would come back a different person (Luke 15:21). Yes for sure humankind is in a mess: “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” but the good news is that by God’s grace we are “justified freely”.
Questions for Discussion
- Sexual perversion is the result of God’s wrath not the reason for it?
- Why do people hate the truths in this passage?
- What is your response in prayer to the realities in this passage?
Quote of the week
“Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy of that self-centredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.”
Verse of the week
I urge you … in view of God’s mercy offer your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, and pleasing to God, which is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, acceptable, and perfect will of God.Rom 12:1-2
Heavenly Father, there seems to be a huge mountain of unbelief, of teachings contrary to Your word, of godlessness and unrighteousness, that stands tall in society at present. But You are able to move the mountains. Pray so empower Your church that as we preach the gospel Your power will be once more seen, to set the captives free, give spiritual sight to the blind, to unblock the ears of the deaf, that many will come to a saving knowledge in and through Jesus Christ, Amen.