Romans 1:18-32 Without Excuse
Yesterday we looked at the greatest gift ever given; Jesus Christ. He was given to ALL people who would believe. Today we look at the why He had to come. Because man did not truly love and honor God.
How many of you have ever looked at a beautiful flower, inhaled its fragrance and simply enjoyed it? I know I have many times. My mother in law has MANY rose bushes in our yard that produce magnificent blooms. Regardless of their beauty, they are nothing compared to the One who created them in the first place. Each flower shouts of a miraculous Creator. I don’t see how anyone can truly look at a rose and doubt the existence of a Creator, God.
But that is exactly what Paul says man has been doing from the beginning. Man has been so wrapped up in the created thing that he ignores and even replaces the Creator with his love for the creation. The existence of God obvious but man doesn’t give Him credit or honor for His workmanship. Man literally becomes foolish in his pursuit to understand the created thing without considering its true source.
The thing then replaces God. That God will not tolerate. That is actually the basis for all sin. The burning desire and replacement of God with anything else. For Eve it was the knowledge of good and evil. For Adam it was unity with his wife. With Satan it was the desire for the worship of mankind. The love and devotion to God came AFTER these desires.
Have you ever heard of “gateway drugs?” That is a drug that seems mild in comparison to other drugs but once you convince yourself that it isn’t a problem you begin to consider other drugs not so bad either. Before you know it, you are using the worst of the worst, regardless of the consequences.
In reading Paul’s list of sins, idolatry seems to me to be a “gateway sin.” When the creation is more important than the creator all kinds of things become acceptable. Let’s take Paul’s example of sexual sins.
The human body is an amazing creation of God’s. Science is just scratching the surface of its complexity. We may be becoming more knowledgeable of its workings but we are never going to be able to create it from nothing as God did in the beginning. Yes, we are experimenting with resequencing DNA but we have to have initial building blocks to do that. God had only His words when He went to work on this amazing creation.
God created our bodies according to His plan and design. But when we let sin into the equation we corrupted that perfect design. Man then begins worshiping the human body, in our example, the sexual aspects of it. Those aspects take priority over all others and become distorted. New experiences are sought after and soon nothing is out of bounds. And as a result even more sin takes root in the heart and mind.
Paul tells us that God didn’t stop us from going down this road. “God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts” (verse 24), then “God gave them up to dishonorable passions” (verse 26) and finally “God gave them up to a debased mind” (verse 28). He gave us free will and we used it to its fullest.
By the end of Paul’s list we see that even the “lesser” sins that ALL of us have been guilty of at one time or another take their roots from the first sin of idolatry; valuing the created over the Creator. And ALL such sin is worthy of death. THAT is the reason we NEED Jesus. Even the sin of being disobedient to your parents made that list. Our sins have damned us and we NEED a Savior.
“But how could a loving God be so hard on us” you ask? Because of the one immutable standard. God is righteous and there is no shadow of sin in Him. When measured against that standard, anything less than perfect is unacceptable and worthy of destruction. Don’t get discouraged though because that loving God made a way for you and I to meet that standard and receive life. That is a little further down the “Romans Road” though.
Father God, I know I fall short of Your standard on a daily basis. Each day I have to turn back to You again and ask for Your forgiveness. I’m not out doing the sins man would count as big but to You all sin requires repentance. Help me Father to walk closer to Your standard every day. Help me recognize my own sin and work to eliminate it in my life.
Thank You Jesus for being my Savior. Without You I have no hope. But through You I have eternal life. I love You with all my heart. Please help me remember to always keep You first in my life.