Romans 1:18-25

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, January 26, 2015 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” (Romans 1:18-25)

Before you start reading this post, go read this webcomic. It’ll only take you a minute; I’ll wait.

I think that webcomic perfectly sums up the message of this week’s passage of the book of Romans. We are the blind men feeling the elephant, but we don’t just have to stumble around blindly trying to figure out God. The elephant speaks - God has revealed Himself to us!

Generally speaking, there are two types of revelation of God: general revelation, and special revelation. General revelation is what is described in the first part of our passage from Romans (verses 19-20 specifically) - we see God through the people and things He has created. We can see God’s character in nature, in the amazing complexities of the human body (check out some of Steve Risner’s posts for more on that), and in how this world functions. Every human being has access to all of that; there is no excuse for not seeing God revealed in what He has created.

Special revelation is where God reveals more details about Himself to us. The Bible is considered the best form of special revelation that we have, and that too is accessible to almost everyone. Many organizations today are working on making it more accessible to those who don’t have it translated into their native language yet, but I would guess that everyone reading this post has access to a Bible. You probably have a printed copy or two (or more) around your house, and if not there are many websites such as Bible Gateway where you can access the entire text of Scripture in many, many translations. So special revelation, too, is accessible to most people on the planet as well now.

So why does all this matter? To sum it up, God is God. If we acknowledge Him as God, great! If we don’t acknowledge Him as God, He is still God and He is still ruling over the entire universe.

The problem is that people think that if they don’t acknowledge God as God, then He isn’t God. This is as true today as it was back when Paul wrote this letter to the Romans in the 1st century. As Paul says, by this thinking “they became fools” (verse 22). They made created things their god, rather than God. People today may not worship images made to look like people or animals, but we do worship many other things than God - check out this post on idolatry for more on that.

Take a good, close look at the world around you and see what God has revealed to you. If that isn’t enough, read your Bible and learn more about the character of the living God. Remember, the elephant speaks; we have no excuse to not know God and to not acknowledge Him as the God of the universe.