God in the dock?

10 Aug

This weekend we continued our study of Romans. Going verse by verse, we are looking at Romans 1:18-32, mainly the wrath of God toward man’s sin. This week we looked at point two of the “Universals of God’s Wrath” regarding man’s sin to help us see just how good the “good news” of Christ is. The second universal is “God’s wrath is universally deserved.” Romans 1:18-23 tell us that God naturally gave all men the knowledge of His existence, but we have chosen to suppress it and have exchanged that knowledge for foolishness. Man has chosen to worship the creature rather than worship the Creator.

As the puritan Thomas Watson has said; “The chief end of man is to glorify God.” But man did not honor or glorify Him. This is the basic and natural function of man. Yet man did not get it right. We have no excuse. Man deserves God’s wrath. Man continues to search for the meaning of life, but his search will be futile. As Romans 1:21 (NASB) says:

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Man’s search, his speculations have become futile. And this my friends is the basis of idolatry, and deserving of God’s wrath. Pastor Pat gave as a nice quote from C.S. Lewis that fits this topic nicely and is the basis for my posting today.

Ancient man, he explains, approached God (or even the gods) as an accused person approaches his or her judge. But for modern man these roles are reversed. Man is the judge, and God is in the dock.

Modern man has God on trial. We want to see how He measures up for us. We sit in judgement of Him. Oh, how foolish we have become. We most assuredly are deserving of God’s wrath. This reality should cause us to shout and praise God for the grace of Christ and His substitutionary death. He took the wrath for us. But I am jumping ahead in Romans. That good news is described in chapter 3. More to come.

I will be posting the Romans series on my Sermon Audio page, but until then you can hear the entire sermon here.


6 responses to “God in the dock?

  1. Erik

    August 10, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Fantastic quote by Clive Staples Lewis. Modern man certainly does have the roles reversed and, with stunning arrogance, places himself in the judges place. This reminds me of what Paul states later on in the same book of Romans: “Who are you, O Man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does the potter have a right over the clay…” What a rude awakening some will have when they realize that they are NOT in charge.

  2. Nathan W. Bingham

    August 10, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    What a great privilege to be sitting under an exposition of Romans.

    Thanks for sharing some great thoughts Barry, very helpful as I myself am finishing up my next post on God’s holiness.

  3. barrydean

    August 10, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    When every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. What a rude awakening it will be for many. Thanks Erik.

  4. barrydean

    August 11, 2008 at 11:42 am


    It is truly a great privilege that I should not take for granted. We are so thankful to God for guiding us to OBC so that we can sit under the leadership there. We have grown so much.

  5. Really Robin

    August 13, 2008 at 10:03 am

    “God in the dock” really threw me off. I could not quite grasp what that meant, so I finally did some searching. “In the dock” is a Dutch expression meaning “On trial”. Makes much better sense to me now!

  6. Really Robin

    August 13, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Function: noun
    Etymology: Dutch dialect (Flanders) docke cage
    Date: 1586
    : the place in a criminal court where a prisoner stands or sits during trial
    — in the dock : on trial


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