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Sermon Slide Deck: "Idols of the Heart" (Romans 1:18-25)

Idolatry is the sin behind every sin in our life.
We must aim at the root, not simply the fruit.

This message was given on February 21, 2016 at New City Church in Calgary by Pastor John Ferguson. For more info, please visit:

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Sermon Slide Deck: "Idols of the Heart" (Romans 1:18-25)

  1. 1. Licensed to Kill Killing The Sin That Kills Our Joy “The Idols of the Heart” Romans 1:18-25
  2. 2. Licensed to Kill Killing The Sin That Kills Our Joy Romans 1:18-25
  3. 3. “Honestly, my thought in the medical room: I was sitting in the corner and was like, 'What am I anymore if I'm not this? Literally sitting there thinking about killing myself. In that exact second, I'm like, 'I'm nothing. What do I do anymore? No one [cares] about me anymore without this.” ~ Ronda Rousey
  4. 4. “The whole Bible is written as a full-scale assault on idolatry. Ligon Duncan, President of Reformed Theological Seminary
  5. 5. “The relevance of massive chunks of Scripture hangs on our understanding of idolatry.” ~ David Powlison, Author & Counsellor Christian Counseling & Education Foundation
  6. 6. “Idolatry is the most discussed problem in the Bible and one of the most powerful spiritual and intel- lectual concepts in the believer’s arsenal.”
  7. 7. Licensed to Kill Killing The Sin That Kills Our Joy “The Idols of the Heart” Romans 1:18-25
  8. 8. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed Romans 1:18-25 from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteous suppress the truth.
  9. 9. Wrath? Shouldn’t we just think of God as “loving?” After all, doesn’t the Bible say that God is love?
  10. 10. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed Romans 1:18-25 from heaven agains all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteous suppress the truth.
  11. 11. 19 For what can be known about God is Romans 1:18-25 plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
  12. 12. “I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that. My guess is that this cosmic authority problem is not a rare condition....” Thomas Nagel, The Last Word Prof. of Law & Philosophy New York University
  13. 13. 21 For although they knew God, the did Romans 1:18-25 not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their think- ing, and their foolish hearts were darken- ed.
  14. 14. “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the nations do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to the hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.” ~ The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:17-20
  15. 15. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became Romans 1:18-25 fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
  16. 16. Idolatry begins with the counterfeiting of God, because only with a counterfeit of God can people remain the center of their lives and loyalties, autonomous architects of their futures. Something within creation will then be idolatrously inflated to fill the God-shaped hole in the individual’s world. ~ Richard Keyes “The Idol Factory” “
  17. 17. An idol is anything we substitute for God.
  18. 18. “The greatest adversary of love to God is not His enemies, but His gifts…. They are your basic meat and potatoes and coffee and gardening and reading and decorating and traveling and investing and TV watching and internet surfing and shopping and exercising and collecting and talking. And all of them can become deadly substitutes for God.” ~ John Piper, Hunger for God
  19. 19. “The next person who phones is a reporter.  I tell him that I’m happy about the ranking, that it feels good to be the best that I can be. It’s a lie.  This isn’t at all what I feel.  It’s what I want to feel.  It’s what I expected to feel, what I tell myself to feel.  But in fact I feel nothing….
  20. 20. “...I spend many hours roaming the streets of Palermo, drinking strong black coffee, wondering what the hell is wrong with me. I did it — I’m the number one tennis player on earth, and yet I feel empty. If being number one feels empty, unsatisfying, what’s the point?”
  21. 21. ~ CS Lewis, Mere Christianity “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
  22. 22. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the Romans 1:18-25 lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among them- selves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator.
  23. 23. “Every one of us is, even from his mother’s womb, a master craftsman of idols.” ~ John Calvin Institutes of the Christian Religion
  24. 24. “The human heart is a factory of idols.” ~ John Calvin Institutes of the Christian Religion
  25. 25. “Idol Factory” by Douglas Williamson
  26. 26. Idolatry is the sin behind every sin.
  27. 27. “Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the Lord, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” ~ Jeremiah 2:12-13
  28. 28. “…the most basic question which God poses to each human heart: ‘Has something or someone besides Jesus the Christ taken title to your heart’s functional trust, preoccupation, loyalty, service, fear and delight?’ ~ David Powlison, Author & Counsellor Christian Counseling & Education Foundation
  29. 29. Diagnostic Questions * What do you love? hate? * What do you want, desire crave, lust for, wish for? * What do you fear? What is your worst nightmare? * Where do you find refuge, safety, comfort, escape, pleasure, security? * Whom must you please? Whose opinion counts? * What do you see as your rights? What do you feel entitled to?
  30. 30. Idolatry success approval image achievement materialism family relationship work ideology/politicsreligion irreligion independence comfort control
  31. 31. “Jesus must become more beautiful to your imagination, more attractive to your heart, than your idol. That is what will replace your counterfeit gods.” ~ Tim Keller, Redeemer NYC
  32. 32. “Little children, keep yourself from IDOLS. The Apostle John in 1 John 5:21
  33. 33. image credit: greebie flickr images courtesy of: images used for educational purposes Esther Lin, MMA Fighting