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07-01-21.01

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07-01-14.02                                                      07-01-21.02

Title:           “We are His offspring…!”

FCF:            arrogance born out of ignorance

D-Theme:   God who is… Sovereign Lord!

M-Thrust:   repent of our arrogance

App:           since God is Sovereign we must repent of our arrogance!

Comment:  we had time @ the altar during prayer time again this Sunday. I really enjoyed the delivery and content of the message too, although there was no altar response (@ Melrose)

Subject:     sanctity of human life Sunday

Date:          07-01-21.01

Text:           Acts 17:22-31; Genesis 1:26-28; Genesis 2:4-7

22Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

• Introduction............................. dominating theme

•   How many have ever heard or used the maxim…

•   What you don’t know won’t/can’t hurt you…?

•   …often said when we don’t want something known about us…

•   But the maxim has come to suggest that ignorance…

•   …about important matters… ignorance is bliss…

•   Ignorance is a good thing…

•   Dr. William Walsh, of the Health Research Institute, after studying strands of Ludwig von Beethoven’s hair, determined that the composer’s untimely death at the age of 57 was likely the result of lead poisoning. Walsh found one hundred times the normal amount of lead. According to Walsh, the lead poisoning may likely be traced to his drinking from and swimming in mineral spas as an adult.  [1]

•   No doubt Beethoven did this for his health…

•   Not knowing it was that that very thing was killing him…

•   How often it is people do not know what is hurting them…

•   …in both the physical world and the spiritual world…

•   John Piper, in his sermon “God Is an Important Person” said…

•   “In the Minneapolis Star Tribune is an entire section for sports. Can you believe an entire section of the newspaper for sports and not one column for God? Not one column is written about the Maker of the universe who upholds the whole Coles Media industry by the power of his word. Not one minute for God on prime-time news. In twelve years of public education, not one hour relates to God, and not one page in Newsweek or Time.

•   “What about evangelicals? I’ve been to church growth seminars where God is not once mentioned. I’ve been to lectures and talks on pastoral issues where he is not so much as alluded to. I have read strategies for every kind of recovery under the sun where God is not there. I have talked to students in seminaries who tell me of manifold, practical courses where God is peripheral at best. I have recently read mission statements of major evangelical organizations where neither Christ nor God is even mentioned.” [2]

•   And what is the outcome of Mr. Piper’s observations…

•   Tonight Show host Jay Leno frequently goes “Jay-Walking” —doing man on the street interviews. One night he collared some young people to ask them questions about the Bible. “Can you name one of the Ten Commandments?” he asked two college-age women. One replied, “Freedom of speech?” Mr. Leno said to the other, “Complete this sentence: Let he who is without sin...” Her response was, “have a good time?” Mr. Leno then turned to a young man and asked, “Who, according to the Bible, was eaten by a whale?” The confident answer was, “Pinocchio.”

•   And of course when folks watch this they laugh…

•   Thinking that the ignorance of many is funny…

•   When ignorance of this sort is might be killing them…

•   …leading ultimately to their eternal death…

•   Ignorance is not bliss—what we don’t know CAN hurt us…

•   Ultimately there is an arrogance born out of ignorance…

•   As we see in Paul’s encounter with the Athenians…

•   Who worshiped an unknown god…

•   Who, because of their ignorance became arrogant…

•   Thinking their gods could be…

•  …shaped by art and man’s devising…

•   What Paul want us to know is…

•   There is a God who is… Sovereign Lord!

•   And since God is Sovereign we must repent of our arrogance!

•   Sanctity of Life Sunday

•   You folks need to know that this sermon is in recognition of…

•   Sanctity of Life Sunday which is recognized each year…

•   Since 1983, by presidential proclamation…

•   President Bush, in this years proclamation wrote…

•   America was founded on the principle that we are all endowed by our Creator with the right to life and that every individual has dignity and worth. National Sanctity of Human Life Day helps foster a culture of life and reinforces our commitment to building a compassionate society that respects the value of every human being. [3]

•   So the question—what leads a nation to a culture of death?

•   Is answered perhaps by…

• The ignorance of man.............................. v. 22-23

•   Paul, in ministering in Athens came across an altar…

•   On it was the inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD

•   …which became for him an occasion of proclamation…

•  …the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim…

•   Their being ignorant of God… lacking in knowledge of God…

•   Being both unaware and uninformed of God… [4]

•   Was the launching pad for a great sermon…

•   It wasn’t that they weren’t interested in religion… He said…

•  I perceive that in all things you are very religious…

•   But their objects of worship… the focus of their attention…

•   Indicated they were ignorant of God and the ways of God…

•   And how could they have known…?

•   They were immersed in a pagan culture…

•   Surrounded by statues of gods and pagan deities…

•   They weren’t brought up believing in a monotheistic God…

•   But were taught that there were many gods…

•   So, in order to make sure they had their bases covered…

•   Someone thought to have an altar to THE UNKNOWN GOD

•   You know that ignorance is rooted in the word – ignore…

•   Suggesting that available information is ignored…

•   Paul wrote in Romans that…

Romans 1:18-20

18…the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse

•   If we are to stand before a traffic court judge…

•   And say to him “I didn’t know the speed limit was 35…!”

•   We likely would hear him say “Ignorance is no excuse…!”

•   Meaning that we should know what we ought to know…!

•   And we ought to know what we can know…!

•   Paul is saying in this passage in Romans…

•   That what we should and ought to know about God…

•   God has made it possible for us to know…!

•   So that mankind is without excuse before God…

•   Sometimes we ignore saying we haven’t been taught…

•   Saying we don’t know any better—that is ignorance…!

•   But sometimes we ignore because we choose to…

•   Willfully disregarding what we know…

•   That is arrogance…

•   So the question—what leads a nation to a culture of death?

•   Is seen in…

• The arrogance of man.............................. v. 24-29

•   The verses I read to you from Romans continue on…

Romans 1:20-23

20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

•   Because of their ignorance of God they became arrogant…

•   A word rooted in the word arrogate

•   To take or claim for oneself without right [5]

•   They took for themselves something not theirs to take…

•   Something they had no right to take…

•   Fashioning their god in their own image…

•  Thinking that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising…

•  an image made like corruptible man

•   That is the height of arrogance…! [6]

•   When what can be known about God is clearly seen…!

•   Arrogance is to stand before the same traffic court judge and say… “I knew the speed limit was 35 but I broke the law anyway…!”

•   What is the end result of arrogance of this sort…?

•   A culture of death…! A culture where the value of life…

•   Is determined not by the One who gives it and sustains it…

•   But by those who have fashioned god in their image…

•   Saying he is who they say he is…

•   A culture that determines for another whether their life…

•   Has value to that culture—able to contribute…

•   Or is a detriment to that culture—taking from it…

•   After all, if mankind worships a god of its own making…

•   Then who really is God… if not the men who make it…

•   So then, we can make god say whatever we want…

•   We can make God do whatever we want…

•   We are the ones who determine…

•   …when life begins and when it ends…

•   …whether a pregnancy is viable or worthwhile…

•   …whether someone on life-support should live…

•   Small wonder then that…

•  the wrath of God is revealed from heaven…

•   When there is a God who is… Sovereign Lord! …

•   …made the world and everything in it…

•   …is Lord of heaven and earth…

•   …does not dwell in temples made with hands…

•   …is not worshiped with men’s hands…

•   …gives to all life, breath, and all things…

•   …has made from one blood every nation to dwell on earth…

•   …has determined their preappointed times

•   Yes indeed the wrath of God is revealed…

•   Against the arrogance of man—the ignorance of man…

•   But there is good news…

•   …this same God want us to seek him…

•   in the hope that we might grope for Him and find Him

• Repentance for man................................. v. 30-31

•   Because he longs for us to find him and be found in Him…

•  …these times of ignorance God overlooked…

•   He purposely paid no attention to our ignorance…

•   He has disregarded our sin—arrogating godhood…

•   But the time of God’s mercy toward arrogance…

•   …is drawing to a close and He…

•  …now commands all men everywhere to repent…

•   To live with new minds fixed on his grace and mercy…

•   Knowing that we are not God and never will be…

•   That we don’t have the right to claim the rights of God…

•   It is God who gives life and breath and being…

•   And the time of our repentance is now…

•  31because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained.

•   There is an answer to the wrath of God…

•   …an answer to the arrogance and ignorance of man…

• Application

•   Chan Gailey, football coach for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, told how he learned a lesson in humility.

•   Gailey was then head coach of Alabama’s Troy State, and they were playing for a National Championship. The week before the big game, he was headed to the practice field when a secretary called him back to take a phone call.

•   Somewhat irritated, Gailey told her to take a message because he was on his way to practice.

•   She responded, “But it’s Sports Illustrated.”

•   “I’ll be right there,” he said.

•   As he made his way to the building, he began to think about the upcoming article. It would be great publicity for a small school like Troy State to be in Sports Illustrated. As he got closer, he realized that a three-page article would not be sufficient to tell the whole story. Coming even closer to his office, he started thinking that he might be on the cover. “Should I pose or go with an action shot,” he wondered. His head was spinning with all of the possibilities.

•   When he picked up the phone and said hello, the person asked, “Is this Chan Gailey?”

•   “Yes, it is,” he replied confidently.

•   “This is Sports Illustrated, and we’re calling to let you know that your subscription is running out. Are you interested in renewing?”

•   Coach Gailey concluded the story by saying, “You are either humble or you will be humbled.” [7]

• Conclusion................................ motivating thrust

•  He has given assurance of this by raising Him from the dead.”

•   And the Man he has ordained is the Lord Jesus Christ…

•   Assured to us all by the resurrection from the dead…

•   arrogance born out of ignorance

•   Charles Spurgeon said… I believe a very large majority of churchgoers are merely unthinking, slumbering worshipers of an unknown God. [8]

•   God who is… Sovereign Lord!

•   repent of our arrogance

•   since God is Sovereign we must repent of our arrogance!


----

[1]      Citation: Greg Asimakoupoulos, Naperville, IL; source: The Daily Herald (10-18-00)

[2]      Citation: John Piper, "God Is an Important Person," Preaching Today, Tape No. 125.

[3]      http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=48737

[4]     ig·no·rant (ĭgʹnər-ənt) adjective 1. Lacking education or knowledge.  2. Showing or arising from a lack of education or knowledge:  3. Unaware or uninformed.  ig·no·rance (ĭgʹnər-əns) noun The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed. [Middle English ignoraunt, from Old French ignorant, from Latin ignōrāns, ignōrant- present participle of ignōrāre, to be ignorant, not to know.] Synonyms: ignorant, uneducated, untaught, unlearned, untutored, unlettered, illiterate. These adjectives mean lacking in knowledge or education. Ignorant can refer to a person's low level of knowledge in general or to the person's lack of information about or awareness of a specific fact or subject: was ignorant of the hidden dangers. Uneducated, untaught, unlearned, and untutored imply lack of schooling: uneducated youngsters; untaught people whose verbal skills are grossly deficient; an unlearned group incapable of understanding complex issues; an untutored genius. Unlettered describes one deficient in book learning: exhibited contempt for his unlettered colleagues. Illiterate most often refers to the inability to meet an established minimum level of achievement in reading and writing: developed special tutorials to assist the illiterate sector of society. Excerpted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V., further reproduction and distribution restricted in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.

[5]      ar·ro·gate (ărʹə-gāt´) verb, transitive  Excerpted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V., further reproduction and distribution restricted in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.

[6]      ar·ro·gance (ărʹə-gəns) noun The state or quality of being arrogant; overbearing pride.  ar·ro·gant (ărʹə-gənt) adjective 1.            Making or disposed to make claims to unwarranted importance or consideration out of overbearing pride.  2.            Marked by or arising from arrogance: an arrogant contempt for the weak. See synonyms at proud.   [Middle English arrogaunt, from Old French, from Latin arrogāns, arrogant- present participle of arrogāre, to arrogate. See arrogate.] Excerpted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products N.V., further reproduction and distribution restricted in accordance with the Copyright Law of the United States. All rights reserved.

[7]     Citation: Alan Price, Chatsworth, Georgia; source: Chan Gailey speaking at a dinner in Dalton, Georgia (4-20-04)

[8]      HYPERLINK "http://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/article_print.html?id=19151" Citation: Charles H. Spurgeon in Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 11. Christianity Today, Vol. 40, no. 1.

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