Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 4 Study # 3
July 20, 2004
Lincolnton, N.C.

<043> Thesis: God's revelation of wrath rests upon man's rebellion against his sure knowledge of God. Introduction: Last week we said that the reason for the revelation of God's wrath was man's deliberate attempts to prevent the Truth from running in a free course to have its beneficial impact upon all who have the capacity to learn. Man's animosity toward God bleeds out into animosity toward his fellow man and the two combine to undercut the beneficial impact of the Truth. This antagonizes God and He has responded by visiting retribution upon man day after day, night after night, and year after year. This is Paul's opening statement as he attempts to build a case for man's understanding of just how desperately he needs to be saved by the Gospel's revelation of the righteousness of God, which is by faith. No man ever comes to salvation without first sensing a need to escape the consequences of his own deeds. Paul, in these verses, is setting about to establish the need. This evening we are going to look at one of the first things man falls back on when confronted with the inescapable reality of his own failure: his claim "I didn't know". Man is the inveterate seeker of a way to minimize the retribution due him. There is a hot debate going on right now as to whether people ought to be executed for capital crimes if they committed them before they were 18 years old. What does "being 18 years old" have to do with anything? Does turning 18 suddenly bring sense into the heads of human beings? The argument fundamentally rests upon one assumption: if men "knew" what they were about to bring upon themselves by their actions, they would not "do" what they were contemplating. It is this target toward which Paul takes aim in Romans 1:19-20. His claim is that "ignorance" is not the problem.