NextLevel Online: Romans

Session 2: Romans 1.18-32: The Problem

Plenty have tried to diagnose the core of our disease. Here at the start of Romans, we find Paul’s most thorough answer. To see this well, we’re actually going to take the text backwards.



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Classroom Instructions

Lesson
Materials: Lesson Outline
Leader

If you’ve read Romans before, you know that he goes pretty dark pretty quick. 1.18. Wow.

So we live in a jacked-up world that celebrates its jacked... Clearly, we have a problem. But what is it? That’s today’s Q: What is our problem? At the core, what is happening? What has gone wrong?

Plenty have tried to diagnose the core of our disease....Here at the start of Romans, we find Paul’s most thorough answer. To see this well, we’re actually going to take the text backwards. (Tracing to the lead domino)

  • People celebrate evil. (Rom 1.32)

  • People do evil things. (Rom 1.28b-31)

  • People’s minds have stopped working. (Rom 1.28)

    • Sin doesn’t make you an adult. It turns you back into a child. Sin doesn’t make us smart or sophisticated. Sin is dumb and it makes us dumb. Have you ever tried to help someone who has locked themselves into a years-long pattern of sin? It’s like they can’t even think straight. Because they can’t! You know why? Paul does.
  • God is judging people. (Rom 1.24-28)

    • God judges us by releasing us to the consequences of our sin. This is how his wrath will work with finality at the end of time, and it is how it works here and now. God does not choose evil for anyone, but he permits our choice as well as the consequences of that choice.
  • People replace God. (Romans 1.18-23)

    • There it is. The fundamental problem with the world is humanity. And the fundamental humanity problem is idolatry.

That is our root problem.

  • Idolatry breeds immorality. Replace God, reap the consequences. We see the consequences daily…
  • And don’t be fooled: Idolatry is not an ancient problem. We think that though. Is it possible that we still do this? That I am an idolater? This is not how we like to think of ourselves.
  • An idol is anything that in any way takes the place of God in your life. Anything you serve, love, trust in, die for, might just be an idol.
  • It could be anything. G. K. Chesterton said that when people stop believing in God, we don’t believe in nothing. We’ll believe in anything. John Calvin called the human heart an “idol factory”. Seems on point to me.

About NextLevel Online

The vision of Ozark Christian College is to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and edifying Christians worldwide. The mission of Ozark Christian College is to train men and women for Christian service as a degree-granting institution of biblical higher education.