06/14/17 - Romans 1

June 14, 2017

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped & served created things rather than the Creator... Romans 1:25

Sin is always a substitution of what We want for what God wants.

In grade school, any time you saw a substitute teacher in the classroom, you knew it was going to be an easier day.  Having a substitute usually meant watching a movie, having extra time to do homework, or spending the day having fun another way.  I always enjoyed having substitutes … until the regular teacher returned.  Then the homework doubled, and the class had to work extra hard to catch up with the lost day.

Every sin is a substitute.  It seems enjoyable at the time, but has a price to pay afterwards.  Sometimes the cost is more short-term than others, and sometimes the cost affects more than one person, but there is always a consequence later.  When we sin, we are choosing a shortcut that has a long cost.  The problem is often that the attractiveness of sin grabs our attention more than the cost attached to it.  If we could see the cost, we might more often avoid the sin.

Paul addresses the beginning of his letter to the Romans talking about the severity of substitutes.  In a culture rampant with sexual sin and immorality, Paul sees how people have swapped out their holiness for sin substitutes.  They have chosen the temporary satisfaction of sex over the longlasting security of marriage.  They have decided to swap the rules of righteous living out for the intoxication of sinful living.  And the result is an ever-declining death spiral away from God, and toward hell.

The Roman culture is not much different than America’s culture these days.  Our rapid decline is a result of a substitution plan – choosing to pursue selfishness over God, then money, then drugs & alcohol, and these days now using substitutes like living together, homosexuality, abortion, and euthanasia.  What appears acceptable and enjoyable continues its destructive consequences on marriage & families, leaving in its wake a terrible aftermath for the next generations. 

The only way to recover from sin is to stop the substitutes.  That means releasing all of the substitutes in our life and grabbing hold of the only pure alternative, Jesus.  Choose to eliminate the long term consequences and do your homework today – letting holiness provide a great result for generations to come.  Worship and serve the Creator, and pursue the Truth.

Or, expect to have a LOT more work to do tomorrow.

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