Tonight, we continue our study of the book of Romans. Last week, we looked at several terms that the apostle Paul used as he introduced himself to the Roman believers. We were able to get a glance into how Paul saw himself in Christ and therefore learned why he was so zealous for Jesus.
Since Paul has never seen the Roman believers face to face, he sets out on a quest to make known to them the depths of the depravity of sin and the riches of life in God. Falling away from God can be a quick process for some people. Disappointment occurs and they make a conscious decision to leave a life of faith and live for selfish purposes. But, in many, many cases, falling away from God happens slowly and occurs as a product of neglect or the slow erosion of systematic deception.
In the beginning, God released/revealed Himself in creation. He said, “Let there be light and there was light.” This happened before the creation of sun, moon, and stars. Through God’s release of Himself into His creation, He established the world to operate properly through the flow of His Lordship. In other words, the world is created to function properly only under the influence of the Lordship of Jesus. Due to this reality, God’s nature is revealed through creation’s response to His Lordship.
Verse 18 of Romans 1 reveals to us what happens when mankind begins to live life contrary to the Lordship of Christ. The Bible states that upon the occurrence of rebellion, the wrath of God is revealed from heaven. The wrath of God is the opposition of the divine character against sin and the expression of said opposition in a proper or fitting way. If it’s from Heaven, the opposition is made known through divine appointment; by an arrangement or events or communications that have their origin in heaven. This opposition is revealed upon the appearance of something called ungodliness and the unrighteousness of men. It is the neglect of the worship of God and iniquity towards men.
The Bible states that, by their actions and attitudes, these people are “suppressing the truth in unrighteousness;” to know the truth but to live in unrighteousness. Living in truth (freedom) releases the power of the truth (freedom) into our world. Living in sin releases the opposition of the divine character against sin through events or communications that originate in heaven! God is present and our actions release His character into our lives one way or another!
Verses 19-20 of Romans 1 reveals that so much might be known of God through what was created that mankind has no excuse for their crimes. It does not say that we can know God through creation but that we can see the reality of the invisible God through what was created. This revelation of the reality of God reveals enough to let mankind know that they are not in control of their own destiny and owe to God glory due to His name. The revelation of God came to Adam who is the father of Jew and Gentile. Both knew at least through oral tradition of the reality of God. His creation testified of His order, power, and existence. The problem came, not because of lack of knowledge but because of the desire of man to be his own god.
Verse 21 of Romans 1 reveals the start of the downward cycle of sin. Despite knowing God exists and having, at least a primary understanding of judgment against those who defy Him (verse 32), people ceased to live with the glorifying of God as their goal. How many today have fallen into this deception? They know God exists, they believe that He is some way holds sinners accountable yet they change their goal for living away from living for His glory. When you cease to live with the goal of your life being to glorify God, some things happen:
You cease to be thankful to God.
Your reasoning becomes flawed and futile.
Your heart becomes darkened.
Verses 22-23 of Romans 1 declare to us that to move away from a life goal of glorifying God means a move directly into a life of idolatry! Something fills the void left by God. Girlfriends, money, status, achievements, the praise of men, attention, gratification, etc.
What is the goal of your life?
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We have been studying the apostle Paul’s teaching regarding our liberties in Christ versus our responsibility to love the brothers. It’s interesting that I just said, “versus”,… Read more "Remaking God"