Romans 1:18 The Bad News & the Good News of the Gospel

Introduction to Topic:

Growing up with two younger sisters— we watched a lot of Disney cartoons

They all have the same pattern

Each story begins with the introduction of the princess

Then something terrible happens to her

Be it at the hand of an evil queen, witch, or enchantment

The story ends with a prince who saves her from her enchantment

>>>This basic story goes——— Characters— Bad news— Good News

This pattern makes a lot of sense

It tells you who’s involved – the characters…

It tells you the problem—  The bad news

It tells you the way of Salvation— Good news

Your Doctor uses the same pattern—- Introduction, diagnosis of problem, & cure

You wouldn’t jump straight to the cure without the right diagnosis

>>>Paul teaches us the Gospel in This pattern

In 1:1-17 he introduced the characters (The Romans)

Now in verse 18 He introduces the bad news…

In 3:21 he will introduce the Savior— Jesus ….

My Topic today come from verse 18

sin and guilt

Q: why would I bring up something so depressing as sin and guilt?

First: Without the bad news we don’t know why we need the Good News

Second:  the way we hear the news tells us if there’s hope or not

Imagine Your Doctor says to you “I have some bad news”

Only bad, no good…  Is there no hope?

Now Imagine he says to you, “I have good news and I have bad news”

If he gives you the bad news first it means he has good news that helps the bad

>>>Paul shows us the bad news first because there’s good news!

>>>The Bible teaches the good news of Jesus, which resolves our sin and guilt

***Because we have the good news we can say to people—

“What’s your sinful vice? …… Uh Huh…. Jesus says “”believe that I forgive”

Mis: You may say, “I am already a Christian, I don’t need the bad news anymore

Ans: You always need to hear it because

it makes the Gospel sweeter….

It is your message to all of your friends…

And it’s the door all must enter to gain salvation!

Intro to the FCF:

Think of verse 18 as a hinge… then verse 1:19-3:20 are the door

Think of a hinge that hold a door to the wall and allows it to swing freely…

The little word “For” at the start of the verse connects it to verses 1-17

But really the content of the rest of 18 matches up with verses 19-20

Verse 18 is a little door between the intro to the characters to the bad news

It is the door through which all people who desire salvation must enter…

That Little door is conviction of your sin and guilt!

The main Question is: Why do I need salvation?

… verse 18 gives the answer —–Guilt!

So to enter the world of salvation… we must enter through the door of verse 18

We must come squarely face to face with the bad news… sin and guilt

>>>That’s Paul’s design for the book:

1:1-17 introduces characters —-Rome and all sinners in the whole world

1:18-3:20 the bad news- Guilt

3:21-8:34, the good news— Jesus saves

He says in 18a, “The wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men…”

First, Paul tells us God’s just wrath is against all guilty mankind

Second, Paul summarized the guilt of man in two ways—-

ungodliness & unrighteousness

Ungodliness refers to our moral failure to imitate God’s moral nature

Do you consider yourself a good person?

Most likely you do because you look around you and see all sorts of sinners

You get angry and indignant at all kinds of immoral-inconsiderate-people

You look across the room at work and think, Well at least I’m not him or her

But our standard of goodness is not other people—- its God!

Our problem is that we are ungodly… not just immoral…

Unrighteousness refers to our failure to treat others fairly…

Righteousness basically means treating people fairly or justly

The problem is we don’t treat people fairly…

Q: Have you ever cheated or used anyone? Ever been manipulative?

That’s our test! Perfection is Godliness and Righteousness…

Q: Who can pass that test?

Q: Have you always been perfectly fair with others?

Q: Have you ever under any circumstances placed your interest before others?

Q; Have you ever under any intense desire done something you wish you’d not?

>>>Of course you have… Of course I have…——-So we are without excuse….

There is the old phrase… “To err is human”

Because that is what we humans do—–we make moral errors….

But it is not so with God… and that is why he is angry!

Mis-So you say, “Alright, if God is angry with me, why don’t I fix it by being good?”

Answer: First the problem is you cannot erase the past…

Imagine saying to a judge, “My crime was in the past… please forgive me…”

The just judge would be duty bound to justice to condemn you…

He’d say, “I cannot change the past— and the victim cries out for justice!”

>>>So if the judge in society must be just—- How much more the God of Justice?

Scondly we continue to sin the Lion’s-share of the time…

We compound our guilt daily and it gains interest…

Q: Have you ever been in debt? —-

Every day you feel the crushing weight of compounding interest…

Sometimes you have to take out more loans to pay off old debts…

>>> So it is with sin and guilt

You crush under the weight of sin already…

Guilt compounds interest every day, with every sin, with every transaction….

Intro to Point

Now listen to me because I am about to interpret everything before I apply it…

Remember the structure… Characters, Bad News, Good News

We need the good news to resolve the bad….

Here is the Main Question: Q: Why do I need a Savior?

The Answer is:

if we are guilty before God Almighty

— we need a Savior who saves us from our Guilt!

Thesis: Jesus justifies us before the almighty Father!

17 “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Def: Justify means to make all unrighteousness and ungodliness go away…

It means forgiveness of sin…

It means literally acquittal in court before God!

It means the debt has been wiped out and forgiven!

Need: Q: What is your sinful vice? Dirty guilty secret?

There’s a real salvation for real guilt…

>>>We are all guilty criminals before God the Father Almighty…

>>>Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for sin…. To remove your guilt…

>>>The Holy Spirit Speaking in scripture now calls you to ask forgiveness…

Here’s the Point: Plead Guilty!

cry out, “I am guilty… I need a savior…”

Because Paul preaches forgiveness for all your sins and guilt in Jesus’ death!

Rom 5:1  Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

>>>But you cannot ask forgiveness unless you recognize your guilt!

Ex: little kids when they get in trouble will say sorry but not mean it…

Their not feeling guilty… they just don’t want to be in trouble anymore

We do this from our childhood to the end of our lives…

We only act right because of the consequences, not because we feel guilty

That’s no way to approach the Gospel!

Jesus said to the Pharisees,— the healthy don’t need the doctor, the sick do…

What he told them is this….

You must plead guilty to plead grace!!!

***If you are guilty today… cry out, “I need a savior…”

Mis and Obj….

OBJ– You may say“The Gospel is good news, it doesn’t need all this guilt-nonsense”

            Ans: Actually it’s Paul who gives the bad news right there with the good

>>>All Christians come to Christ’s Gospel because we are guilty

>>>We fear the Lord’s “wrath against all ungodliness and unrighteousness”

***We Plead guilty because that’s the door to salvation!

Mis– Some say today “You’re Bible Preaching of morality makes people feel depressed for their sins and leads to mental illness. It’s intolerant to the point of abuse… ”

            For example, the sexual revolutionaries who say, “Don’t tell us what to do”

            They feel bad when you say, “This life you live is morally and physically and spiritually destructive…”

            That bad feeling of guilt leads to depression… and mental illness..

            Ans: Being aware of your sin is not a mental illness—- ignoring it is!

In verse 18b Paul calls that “suppressing the truth in unrighteousness”

>>>Meaning we ignore our feelings of guilt because we want to sin more!

Now that’s insanity!

>>>Mental illness is not caused by truth, it’s caused by lies!

The lie is we tell ourselves is guilt will never catch up with us!

The lie is making excuse for yourself that you’d not make for someone else!

But— I will concede… depression often does come from being aware of guilt…

But only because you don’t know the way of forgiveness and freedom!

And only because you believe a lie about why you’re excused and others aren’t

Application of Point

The introduction is over… we are in the thick of the doctrine of sin in Romans…

In the coming months—– pray for God to reveal your own sin to you…

As you confess your sin and rest in the Savior…

…watch the Gospel grow in its sweetness and clarity to you…

The door of conviction is the way into salvation….

Imagine you’re a fugitive from the law… on the run…

You leave the cities for the wilderness….

On a path in the forest suddenly an angel appears to you

He says, “This way to salvation…”

He points and you see a path marked ———“Plead Guilty…”

You say to the angel… but that is the way of death for me!

The angel says, “No… it’s the only way to find forgiveness…”

***The only way to faith in Christ is through the door of guilt!

***The only way to true victory over sin is through pleading guilty

***So, you need to know and own your guilt!

***Further… If you want to effectively share the Gospel —–We must expose others’ guilt if they are to realize their need for salvation in Jesus

Do you have friends or family you want to reach with the Gospel?

If you want to reach them, take a cue from Paul….

Don’t get all hung up on abstract philosophical arguments…

Keep it on the personal and moral level…

Ask them about their sense of guilt…

All people feel guilt at times…

Even though most of the time people suppress their guilt with excuses

They excuse themselves from their responsibility to be moral agents…

They even feel safe talking about God when it is impersonal and theological

But then sometimes they come to their senses…

You can bring them to their senses by asking about their guilt…

From there you can give the gospel on a personal level without any barrier!

***Expose the guilt then give the Gospel!

***What the world needs are Christians who speak the truth in love

Not Christians who know the truth but are silent!

>>>Jesus promised forgiveness to all guilty ones who repent and believe in Him

You may say, “Lord, I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news…”

But the Lord says back to you, “Bad news is the only way to the Good news!”