The Great Exchange
Summary: You will either accept the truth or suppress the truth. You will either believe the truth and change your ways or change the truth to believe your ways!
Intro: Where did man come from? Where is man going? These 2 questions are at the heart of every human being at one time or another. The answers to these questions determine how a person values life and the lives of others.
For example; if a person believes in evolution, which is a process of change, he believes man started low and is climbing higher. He started somewhere as the result of something and become something that evolved over millions of years into someone. As long as man continues he will get better with every new generation.
The truth is, we are all changing a little every day. We are not the same as we were 5 years ago. We are either changing for better or for worse.
Our text for today teaches us, apart from the grace of God man never gets better but rather sinks lower and eventually lower than the animals.
These devilish changes that take place in man are the result of man exchanging things God has given him for other things. What are they?
I am glad you asked that question! #1
I. THEY CHANGED THE TRUTH OF GOD FOR A LIE.
Verse 18 demonstrates that they suppress or hold back the truth of God because they are living ungodly and unrighteous lives.
God’s Word is described in Jer. 23:29
Jeremiah 23:29 (NKJV) “Is not My word like a fire?” says the LORD, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
ILL. Sometimes that hammer breaks that hardness around our hearts or burns like fire. People become” sermon proof” to the degree that they hear the truth of God but do not obey it. They don’t repent but keep on living the lie. In order to do this man has to justify his ungodly and unrighteous life by changing the truth into a lie and serve the creature rather than the Creator. Read Romans 1:25.
Humanism is the end result of evolution. It is the philosophy man is the highest authority and beyond man and the material universe there is no reality. You know people who are humanistic in their thinking. They change right into wrong and make what is wrong sound right.
The lie begins to sound more right than the truth does. All this is done so man can serve himself rather than God.
Whenever we sin against the Word of the Lord we will suffer.
God’s Word is truth for us to live our lives. When we obey His Word we are blessed when we disobey there is built in reproof. See Proverbs 1:23-33.
II. THEY CHANGED THE GLORY OF GOD TO CORRUPTIBLE MAN.
Romans 1:22–23 (NKJV)
22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
Once a person rejects the truth of God he embraces a lie about God. The result is his heart becomes “darkened”. He imagines God to be something He is not.
Man’s image of God is warped. He makes God into something to his own liking rather than receiving the truth about God. Willful rejection of God’s revelation of Himself causes man to glorify his own intellect. He de-thrones God.
a. Man likes a god who cuts corners on holiness.
b. Man likes a god who does not punish sin but who is all loving and understands and tolerates our sin. This is not the god of the Bible.
c. Romans 1:22 (NKJV) – “Professing to be wise, they became fools.”
They changed God’s incorruptible glory for an image. Man wants something he can see touch or feel. This is the reason God warned His people not to think of Him in terms of some tangible form.
Note the descending order in verse 23 of man’s worship exchange. First it begins with man, then birds, four footed creatures, then reptiles.
Mental perversion leads to moral perversion.
Romans 1:24 (NKJV)
“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves…”
The result of self deification is self indulgence.
“God gave them over” 3 times mentioned = God let men reap what they sowed -- much like allowing a boat to drift downstream.
As a result there was another change.
III. THEY CHANGED THE NATURAL USE OF THEIR BODIES
One example was homosexuality or sodomy which was common in Greek and Roman worlds. The crucial point to note in homosexuality is the LIE that is involved. That it results from a biological condition and cannot be helped rather than the truth is it is willful disobedience.
Note verse 24 again - “lusts of their own hearts” = an expression of their own will.
You don’t lust because someone dangles temptation in front of you, you lusts because you have it in your heart already.
Matthew 15:19-20 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery…”
The devil can only appeal to lust, not create it.
Read verse 26 “natural use” = heterosexual relationship. “which is against nature”.
Read verse 27 “receiving in themselves” is an imperfect verb meaning the result is coming because of a continuous past action.
Read verse 28. The deeper a person goes into the depravity of sin he loses his grip on the knowledge of God. “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge…”
“God gave them over” = not without a battle. They insisted on their own way with no repentance and God eventually gives them over to a …
“Reprobate mind” is one abandoned to its own wishes.
ILL. Ever notice an abandoned building never stays abandoned. It soon becomes occupied by bugs, rats, bats, pigeons or almost anything.
If you do not fill yourself with God then the devil, with all his delusions can move in.
Verse 29 is filled with a list of things that destroy social and family relationships.
Read Verse 30-31. What a list!
Verse 32 “death” includes spiritual death and eternal death = hell.
Conclusion: No breaks in this letter such as chapters.
It continues in chapter 2:1a
“You are without excuse” because you know the truth.
Since you know the truth what are you doing with it?