Every year my favorite speaker for the Shepherd’s Conference is Al Mohler. I am thankful for this man of God.
Here’s my notes from the evening message that Dr. Mohler gave on March 7th during the Shepherd’s Conference for 2014:
We are here because of John MacArthur’s preaching expositionally.
Look at Romans 1:16-32
There are some passages of the text that is touchstone text that you turn to again and again.
By the time this letter was written, Jews and Gentiles are in the church in the city of Rome.
When we read Romans 1:16 too quickly we miss the wonderfulness of this truth.
Why did he mention “ashamed”? Remember the Greco-Roman culture that has a high view of honor and shame.
Romans 1:16 is the foundation of which we stand: It explains the Gospel, explain the people of the Covenant of God
It’s like Romans 1:16-17 we have two volumes of biblical theology of justification.
But we see Romans 1:18 as well.
If we authentically preaching the Gospel we will also give the bad news! The wrath of God is revealed already—in the mirror, the news and all around us.
The end of Romans 1:18 is so important, it reveals a universal conspiracy of humanity of suppressing the truth.
You don’t understand the fall until you understand the fall unless you understand the noetic effect of the fall
Noetic effect of sins is an epistemic sin, a sin intellectual in nature
Note the rational, intellectual acts from Romans 1:18 onwards
The problem is not with revelation but the preciever: It’s not we cannot but we will not see what is right before our eyes
Noetic effects explain why we forget things, why we don’t see life is one perfect logic and why we see things wrongfully
Again, suppression of Truth is important; it is important to understand who we are, why people won’t come to salvation and human intellectual endeavor
It is suppressed in unrighteousness
Where does this all leads?
We have two things said three times
1.) Exchange (v.23, v.25, v.26-27)
- There has never been people who came over in confession of being guilty of being an “exchanger…”
- What does it mean to exchange of God?
- An exchange for a horrifying idol
- An exchange for a lie
- An exchange for a natural function
- This here is an argument from lesser to the greater, it is progressive: horrifying idolàlieàunnatural function.
- Paul wants us to show us that the final exchange is the existence of homosexuality
- But we must be careful here: Paul is speaking here of all humanity and holding a picture of “them,” but rather we are talking about ourselves!
- Humans are all involved, but playing a game of “I won’t call your sins sins, if you don’t call my sins sins.”
- Think of social effort of intellectually excusing sin via psychological models, etc; think of political effort for homosexuality, etc
- We also mis-read nature: Is/Ought fallacy; also don’t forget about things as they are because it’s a fallen world!
- Don’t forget we commit these exchanges
- We must be thankful that sin doesn’t have full reign and that natural revelation restrain even sinners
2.) God gave them over (v.24, 26, 28)
- Here we see God is pro-active in giving us over to the identity that we want for our sins
- We must remember we can commit noetic, epistemological but also hermeneutical and homiletical sins
- Some say that God giving over means we have no more hope; but there is hope in the Gospel
- We do ourselves a disservice when we preach what is sins and the sins of others but we need to see that it is everyone
- It is God’s special revelation that reveal to us