Faithlife Sermons

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Anger
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*WHY "RELIGION" CAN'T SAVE YOU*
*Grace:  The Truth that Transforms  -  Part 5 of 36*
*Romans 2:17-29*
*Rick Warren*
 
 
*I.
OVERVIEW                                 *
* *
*               *       Intro                               1:1-17
                      Sin                                 1:18-3:20        
                      Salvation                        3:21-5:21
                      Sanctification                6:1-8:39
                      sovereignty                    9:1-11:36
                      Service                           12:1-15:13
                      Conclusion                     15:13-16:27
 
In the first major section of Romans (1:18-3:20), Paul makes the convincing case that everyone has sinned, and therefore needs forgiveness and salvation from God.  Paul identified 3 categories of people who have sinned:
 
~*     The "Rebellious" (1:18-32) ______________________________
~*     The "Respectable" (2:1-16) ______________________________
~*     The "Religious" (2:17-29)  ______________________________
 
               Definition of Religion:
 
 
*II.
EIGHT CHARACTERISTICS OF THE "RELIGIOUS" PERSON -- Romans 2:17-29*
 
(vs.
17a)
 
(vs.
17b)
 
(vs.
17c)
 
(vs.
18a)
 
(vs.
18b)
 
(vs.
19-20)
 
(vs.
21-23)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
               The negative effects of religion (vs.
24)
               Two things to remember
 
                      ~*
 
                      ~*
 
(vs.
25-29)
 
               Who is a real Jew?
Galatians 3:29
 
 
 
 
*III.
APPLICATION FOR MY LIFE TODAY:*
\\ *WHY "RELIGION" CAN'T SAVE YOU*
*Grace:  The Truth that Transforms  -  Part 5 of 36*
*Romans 2:17-29*
*Rick Warren*
 
In this first major section of Romans, chapter 1:18 - 3:20 Paul makes the convincing case that everybody has sinned.
The first section of Romans is answering the question, "Why do I need to be saved?"
He says everybody has sinned therefore we all need forgiveness and salvation from God.
In this passage of Paul's writings, the first three chapters of Romans, Paul identifies three different types of people who need forgiveness, who need to be saved.
They are the rebellious person, the respectable person and the religious person.
We've already looked at two of these.
In the first chapter we looked at the rebellious person.
These are the people who rebel against God outwardly, they reject God, they repress the truth, they reject the truth, they replace the truth.
Intellectually they rebel against God and we saw how morally they rebel against God to do their own thing in sexual immorality and perversions.
Paul says they were guilty of two kinds of sins:  godlessness which is living as though God doesn't exist and wickedness which means living without rules.
There is a certain group of people in the world who just kind of say, "Forget God!  I'm going to do my own thing."
They're rebellious, godless, they live without rules.
Paul says those people need salvation.
Then he deals with the second kind of person in 2:1-16.
This is the respectable person.
This is the guy who says, "I'm a decent citizen.
I'm law abiding.
I'm better that those so-and-sos in chapter 1.
I'm no pervert!"
They feel superior.
They're quick to judge people whose sins are more open and gross.
We looked at that person and looked at four characteristics of the self righteous person.
We saw the fact that only God has the right to judge people; we don't.
Then Paul says there is one more group of people who probably think "I'm not just a moral person -- I'm religious."
He uses the Jews as the example because that's what Paul was.
He says that these are the people who are trusting religion to save them.
This is the hardest group to reach with the gospel -- the religious person.
Often the rebellious person gets to the end of their rope, their life is falling apart, they're an alcoholic, everything has gone wrong and they're quick to admit their need.
The guy on skid row is pretty quick to admit "I have made a mess of my life!"
They are often the easiest people to reach.
A little more difficult are the respectable people in the next chapter.
They're the people who'll say, "I'm a good moral person so I don't need Christ.
I'm better than so and so."
They are a little bit harder to reach.
They say they keep the Ten Commandments.
[Ask them to name the Ten Commandments.
Ninety‑ five percent of the people in America can't even name the Ten Commandments, let alone keep them.]
But by far the religious person is the hardest person to reach with the gospel.
He is trying to work his way to heaven and he's trusting his religion to save him.
Paul points out that you can be religious and lost.
You can be a church member and still be headed for damnation.
Definition of religion:  Religion is man's best attempt to get to God.
The Bible compares religion with a relationship.
It's a relationship to God that saves us.
A relationship is God's attempt to get to man.
We find that in Jesus Christ.
In this chapter 2:17ff, Paul deals specifically with the Jewish religion because he was a Jew.
But the principles apply to anybody who thinks that his religion can save him.
You could substitute the words "church member" here and it would apply.
the purpose of this section is to show that religion without Christ will not get you to heaven.
It will not save you.
It will not get you right with God. 
 
Paul starts off by giving *eight characteristics of the religious person.
*
 
*1.
They depend on a label.*
Paul says in verse 17, /"If you call/ [name, claim]/ yourself a Jew you think you're going to make it to heaven."/
The Jews thought that their name was an instant passport to heaven.
Regardless of what they did, if I'm a Jew, I'm going to make it!
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