This. Is. Us.
They knew God, but they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him. They became futile in their thinking; their foolish hearts darkened. They claim to be wise but act like fools. They exchange the truth about God for a lie; for worldly idols. They serve the creature and created things rather than the Creator. They did not see fit to acknowledge God.
So God basically said, “okay…if this is what you want, let’s see how it works out for you.”
And they were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. But wait, there’s more…envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. And not only do they practice these things, but they also approve of those who do.
We can look in condemnation at all these characteristics and charges pointing fingers at others, or we can look within and say, “me too.”
And Paul wants us to be very clear that the "wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men". We are hopeless, and we need a Savior. We can’t do it ourselves.
Morris says, “Unless there is something to be saved from, there is no point in talking about salvation.”
I often teach Bible study to teens, and I think the hardest thing to convey about the Gospel is why we need it. Teens feel invincible; they generally have people to help clean up the messes in their lives. They don’t fear the wrath of God. Most haven’t really faced tough times or the penalty of sinful behavior. And not to throw teens under the bus, adults aren’t much better at understanding it. We love Bible study and Jesus, but often don’t quite grasp our desperate NEED for Him outside of making our daily trials a little easier to endure and hopefully get a ticket into heaven. But it is so much more than that. We need His cleansing. We need His righteousness. The alternative is eternal devastation that we would justly deserve.
Paul boldly provides the thesis to Gospel message which is laid out so beautifully in the letter to the Romans I’m so excited for us to read together over the next 16 weekdays… “For I am NOT ASHAMED of the GOSPEL, for it is the POWER of God for SALVATION to EVERYONE who BELIEVES, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the RIGHTEOUSNESS of God is revealed from FAITH for FAITH, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” (Romans 1:16-17)
The righteousness of God is given to the sinner – to us – who put our FAITH in Jesus. The wrath of God we deserved was taken by Jesus on the cross. And if that weren’t enough, Jesus also gave us His righteousness, making us pure and able to approach God. As believers who put our faith in Jesus, when God looks at us, He sees Jesus. This is the Gospel. But if we don’t think we are sinners and if we think we can fix ourselves or we are “good enough,” we will never fully embrace it.
Am I ever ashamed of the Gospel? Even though some of my favorite things to do are study the Bible, pray for my friends, and have theological discussions, I admit that in unfavorable circles, I have shied away from it. When I try to do things in my own power, I shy away from it. When I think I can earn God’s favor, I shy away from it. God, forgive me when I am not bold enough or have faith enough to declare this truth which is not only good news but POWER and the only source of salvation and restoration. Thank you for your never-ending forgiveness and patience with me. Thank you for making a way for that which we could never accomplish on our own.
All 1 1 Corinthians 1 Peter 1 Thessalonians 1 Timothy 2 & 3 John 2 Corinthians 2 Peter 2 Thessalonians 2 Timothy Acts Colossians Ephesians Galatians Hebrews Info James John Jude Luke Mark Matthew Philemon Philippians Revelation Romans TItus