Paul’s Footsteps #235

Footsteps #235

In Romans 1 all the gentiles are lost, in chapter 2 all the Jews are lost and in Chapter 3 everyone is lost. Their real problem, he penned in Rom.1:18, was that they preferred “godlessness and wickedness” to what they knew about God and goodness. As a result, they had chosen to “suppress the truth by their wickedness” and are therefore without excuse (v20). The point here is that God has given every person some information about Himself and true goodness. Each of us, no matter how limited our knowledge, has a responsibility to live according to the information that God has provided.  

Even though the majesty of God’s creation and the intricacies of its inter-workings confront every person, most throughout history have failed to either glorify Him or give Him thanks for their bountiful blessings. Because of this, along with the deliberate rebellion pictured in Rom.1:19-20, Paul presents a dismal picture of the downward results of sin throughout the rest of Rom.1.  

In a “normal” world glorifying God in worship and our daily lives would be a natural expression of the human heart. But, in Rom.1:18-32, we are told we don’t live in a normal world. Since Adam and Eve, men and women have been interested in glorifying themselves more than God. A second privilege that each person has is to give thanks to God for His many gifts. Even though we live in a world of sin, we can be thankful for bodies that generally function well, for the miracle of digestion, for the love put in our hearts to deal with our children. Yet too often, once again, as Paul points out, people forget the Giver of all good things. 

 In Rom.1:21-32, Paul presents the results of sin in a series of downward consequences. First, it darkens people’s hearts and they become fools even as they proclaim their wisdom. Eugene Peterson translates vs22-23 insightfully: “When they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialised themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life”

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