Preaching Sermons That Work From Romans 2

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PREACHING SERMONS THAT WORK FROM ROMANS 2 is a sermon about realizing the hypocrisy of religion. This sermon make the point that there are difference between religions. Moreover, these difference do have eternal consequences.

Preaching Sermons That Work From Romans 2

Preaching Sermons That Work From Romans 2 is an expository sermon about The Hypocrisy of Religion. In an age when people are searching for spiritual truth, it is important that we realize that there are differences between religions.

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INTRODUCTION: It is said that people with no ear for music say that it all sounds the same (now, I can relate to that), but lovers of music know better. Likewise, people who lack spiritual understanding often tell us that all religions are really the same.

A local newspaper said, “Local people from many religions. . .will be joining together in prayer for peace and unity.” A spokeman for the local Baha’i community who are organising the service said, “This is an opportunity for people of faith to join with each other and create a bond of love and unity. It will also be a chance for many who come, to see that we share much more than we realise. The unity of all faiths when seen together like this creates an understanding that we are not separate.”

Is this statement true? Are all religions similar? Do all religions lead to the same God? Many people would say yes, but is this the case?

Another writer said, “There are a lot of ‘religions’ in the world that have nothing to do with God. There are a lot of people with ‘religions’ that will never take them to heaven.”

Is this a true statement? Again people have different conclusions. Some say yes, but other say no? Who is right and who is wrong! In many ways, it is not a matter of who is right and who is wrong. The issue is that there is a difference between religion and Christianity.

Paul wanted his reader to realize the difference - to realize the hypocrisy of religion because it has eternal consequences (Romans 2:17-29).

There are three realization of the hypocrisy of religion. They are:

1. It lacks credibility (Romans 2:17-20)

Why does religion lack credibility?

A. It can be in name only (2:17a)

Religion per se (itself) can be in name only because it does not require a personal encounter with God or a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Just because you may be Baptist doesn't mean you automatically know God personally.

The Jews were God's chosen people; however, this privilege position did not mean they automatically knew God personally.

In fact, the Bible tells us that the opposite is true. Many Jews did not know God personally but they still claimed their privilege position.

Religion lack credibility because it can be in name only.

B. It can be in knowledge only (2:17-18)

The Jews had a knowledge of God and His word but that knowledge did not lead them to a personal encounter with God (John 5;39-40).

Christianity is not just purely knowledge. It is a knowledge that leads to a personal, life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ.

2. It lack integrity (Romans 2:21-24)

Why does religion lack integrity?

A. It can be in word only

Religion often preaches one thing and does something different. The Jews boasted in the Law of God; and yet, they continually broke this Law or manipulated the Work of God to their situation.

B. It lack power

Religion has no power to obey the Work of God. The power to live the Christian life and obey the Work of God is in the person of Jesus Christ. As Paul said, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

3. It lack substance (Romans 2:25-29)

Why does religion lacks substance?

A. It can be outward only

The Jews kept the outward sign of the covenant, which was circumision, but failed to respond to God in a personal way.

God is always looking for a heart response (Jermiah 7:22-23).

Jesus said to the religious leaders, “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me” (Matt 15:8-9).

B. It fails to recognize the inward response (2:29)

God is always looking for a heart response brought around by the Holy Spirit.

This is what Jesus inferred when he spoke to the religious leaders: “First cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also” (Matthew 23:26).

We can get caught up in religious activity, but God seeks an inward response, a heart response to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In a nutshell, this is the difference between religion and Christianity.

John Stott said, “It is not something outward and visible, but inward and is in the heart, not the is effected by the Spirit not the law; and it wins the approval of God not man.”

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