Construction of message.
No 1 – Quote No 1.
No 2 – To rectify this dreadful situation
Men have tried: Education – Prosperity – Art – Culture
These have ended in utter failure.
No 3: Men and women are in pursuit of these, etc.
Romans 1 consists of two great revelations
1. There is the revelation of God’s love. V1-17
2. There is the revelation of God’s wrath. V18-32
V. 18 This wrath will be revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men suppress the truth.
Human ungodliness: ungodliness is inexcusable. See V 19:20
Human unrighteousness: ungodliness is sin against God—unrighteousness is sin against man as well as God. V. 21-27
Human unbelief: God’ wrath is expressed against those who suppress of stifle the truth. V. 28-31
The whole world is guilty before God.
The Heathen—the Hypocrite—The Hebrew: Romans 3:23
Man refuses to see God in creation—their foolish heart became darkened. In their human wisdom they became “morons,” people of low intelligence.
The next step down from atheism is idolatry. Note the degenerating process. Men worshipped men. Hitler—Mussolini—Mao—Stalin. Football stars—actors—actresses
In India the cow—the crocodile—the cobra.
The result of this rejection of God and His Son Jesus Christ are described in V 24 thru 32.
V24-God gave them up to uncleanness-lust-and to dishonor their bodies between themselves.
V26-God gave them up to vile affections.
God is allowing woman to burn in their lust one toward another-Lesbianism
God is allowing homosexuals to pursue their awful conduct.
God obliterated Sodom for the same sin,
The Scripture say that those who indulge in the horrendous vices are receiving in themselves the due penalty of their sin.
V. 28-God gave them over to a depraved mind to do those things which are against nature. The result of having restraint removed, and being given up, and let go of by God, the sins mentioned in Vs. 28-32 run rampant throughout our society.
God’s final verdict on this sinful scene is found in the 3rd chapter.
John says that the whole world lies in wickedness = the wicked one.
Paul says the wages of sin is death—physical—spirited—eternal—separation from God eternally.
But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Wages—gift. Eternal death—Eternal life.
“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.”
“Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness.” Numbers 21:5-9 He lifted up the serpent for a sinful, disobedient people. When anyone was bitten by a serpent, he had a choice. He could humble himself and by a simple act of faith, look and live, or he could refuse to look on the serpent of bronze and die.
See Isaiah 45:22
“Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth. For I am God and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:22.
“There is no other God beside Me—a righteous God and a Savior. There is none except Me.” V.21
“Even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.” Just as the serpent in the wilderness was the only means for the healing of Israel, so the death of Jesus Christ is the only means for the New Birth.
The only way to appropriate the regenerating powers of God is by faith in the vicarious death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
To be saved a sinner must come to Christ and believe that:
1. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures
2. That He was buried. This is proof of His death. He was in the grave three days and three nights.
3. That He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. This is the Gospel that saves.
But it is powerless to save the sinner until he believes. Romans 1:16
The means of the New Birth is found in that:
1. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,” to be the only means of the New Birth.
2. Jesus came into the world to become the only means of the new birth.
3. The Holy Spirit came into the world on the day of Pentecost to convince men of their need of the new birth. A personal faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the only means of the new birth.
Every “born again” child of God has a threefold proof of the new birth—proof that he is a child of God.
This threefold proof:
1. “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.” V1 1 John 5
My faith is in Christ—that He is God—is evidence that I am a child of God V. 10-13.
2. Everyone who loves is born of God. 1 John 4:7-11
We are to love our fellow man with the love of God. We are not capable in the flesh of doing this—we must let God love man through us. This is the outgoing proof of the New Birth.
3. “Everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.” 1 John 2:29
If you are born of God, you will make a practice of doing what is right at all times and at all costs. This is the outward proof, etc.
Let us consider the eloquent and strange-looking remedy. It was God’s answer to a deadly and desperate situation. Even as the cross of Christ is, in an infinitely vaster sense.
In that old-time camp of Israel men were stricken, suffering, perishing, and “much people died.”
Note where this serpent of brass was raised. It was not raised in the Tabernacle—nor among the tents of the priests—nor was it in charge of the Levites.
It was to be put on a pole outside the Tabernacle apart from all ordinances, sacrifices, and priestly administrations.
Salvation came to stricken man and women through the uplifted serpent. Salvation comes to men and women today through the upraised Christ on the Cross.
Salvation is not lay priests, confessions, communion, or church ceremonies of any kind.
The people who were bitten were snake-poisoned, fever-racked—dying. There was only one remedy to cure men and women of the fatal sting. They must look to the upraised brazen serpent.
So today the human race must look to the Christ of the Cross. it was not the pole but the serpent that saved. So today it is not the Cross but Christ. Neither is there salvation in any other.
The Roman Catholics say that there is “no salvation outside the Church.” The Mormons believe the same—Jehovah’s Witnesses believe this to be true.
Salvation is only to be had in Christ.
We must come as a penitent sinner, we must accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. We must come to Calvary for pardon and cleansing.
The serpent was lifted up in a place where all could see it. There was no healing for any Israelite who was bitten apart from looking at the serpent.
The directions that God gave to Moses were short, clear, and easy. “Look and live.”
The message of “look and live” comes to all sin-sick, conscious stricken, heart-weary, troubled, seeking souls.
Look to Jesus uplifted on the Cross.
The mystery of the Cross may be fathomless—the measuring of it may be profound, but the message to all mankind is clear and plain. “He that believeth on the Son has life.”
There on Calvary’s Mount the Lord Jesus is uplifted before the gaze of all mankind—that wondrous Cross on which the Prince of glory died. “For God so loved the world, etc.”
The Brazen Serpent. Its appointment. Its all-sufficiency. Its appropriation.
It was prescribed by God Himself. The Cross is the God-appointed way of man’s salvation. Self-righteous persons may resent it—Religionists may resist it—Impenitent sinners may refuse it—Prejudiced unbelievers may reject it.
But the Cross stands “towering o’er the wrecks of time,” erected by a mightier hand than Moses—erected by God Himself.
A “serpent” cast in “brass,” and the raised high upon a pole displayed the fact of divine judgment against sin.
This was the only remedy. They were all victims of the one plague—all were to find cure in the one way.
This one way was for the high, the low, rich and poor, learned and illiterate. “No other name given among men, etc.”
The serpent was made of brass, it was a remedy that lasted. We read of it seven hundred years later, in the reign of Hezekiah.
It is so with the Cross—there is a finality in the atonement,--there is continuity of efficiency—there is infinite wealth of pardoning grace—there is endless strength of healing virtue flowing from it.
The All-Sufficiency of It
It was not the only remedy, but no other was needed.
“It came to pass that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.”
The remedy was all-sufficient in that it availed no matter the seriousness of a person’s condition. It was all-sufficient no matter how many times a person had been bitten.
When we “look to Christ” no matter where we have come from, “out sins are forgiven us for His name’s sake” 1 John 2:12. We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1—our guilt is completely cancelled, Romans 8:1, the Holy Spirit quickens is into new spiritual life. Ephesians 2:5, Romans 8:2.
At the point of believing we become saved—forgiven—reconciled—justified.
The cure offered to a bitten Israelite was equally available to all. No degrees of availability. So with the forgiveness from Christ it is to “whosoever will.”
The message to every sin-sick, guilt-burdened, habit enslaved sinner is to “Look to Jesus.”
The Appropriation of it
It was he who looked at the serpent was saved. “When he looketh upon it, shall live.” All that a person had to do was “look.” He did not have to pay for it—nor work for it—nor earn it—nor merit it—not wait for it—not did he have to pay for it.
All he had to do was accept it.
Salvation comes to us by believing. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.