Romans: Worshiping the Creator

Romans: Worshiping the Creator

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 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. 21 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. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 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

When I first became a Christian, I studied quite a bit of Apologetics. We gravitate towards what we can relate to right? For me the world has always been about knowledge. How do you influence people to believe the gospel? With facts and irrefutable evidence of course! But here’s the thing all of creation and all of the law is already visible and known to humans. It’s not that people need more knowledge about creation proclaiming God, they need to turn their hearts back to Him. You can provide someone with all the evidence they need, but that doesn’t mean they will accept the message of Christ.

Can knowledge persuade people to believe the Gospel message? Sure. But more knowledge has to equate to belief and heart change. For how often does humanity take pride in their own wisdom? How often do we think we are too smart and self-sufficient to need a God? For we know the truth, all of creation testifies to the truth, but we traded it for a lie. We worshiped created things instead of the Creator.

We’ve set up different idols in our life and they may not be physical statues we worship, but they are us focusing on something or someone that has been created and taking our eyes off the Creator. Today they often look like: achievement, power, approval, fame, etc and when we don’t find what we’re looking for in our idols we turn to our sinful nature to fill in the brokenness instead. When our focus is only on what has been created, we cannot be fulfilled. Because what has been created was tarnished in the garden of Eden, now there is brokenness, separation, and incompleteness. Ever since that first bite of the apple, we’ve been making decisions that we thought would bring us what we want, but often they don’t. Just as Eve took her eyes off the promises of God and turned from truth to a lie – so do we, on a daily basis.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

Proverbs 14:!2

We think we know what we want, but our focus is so often on the wrong things. We need to turn to the ultimate truth of who God is and allow ourselves to be so captivated by who He is and let Him transform our heart and mind. We need to stop pursuing what we think is right and true and instead seek what God and all His creation proclaims – even when the truth challenges us and goes against our human nature. We need to humble ourselves before God, repent from our sinful ways and desires, and seek Him fully. We need to stop thinking we’re smarter than God because even our best thinking leads us to destruction.

That’s why at some point I realized that having an intellectual argument to the existence of God wasn’t a bad thing, but people need heart change in order to change their thinking. As this passage of Romans declares, the evidence is there. It’s not facts that people are missing, it’s turning from their selves towards the Creator. People need to become wrapped up in the story of redemption and love God has for them and not turn their eyes away. Just as it says in Jeremiah 17, when we place our confidence in our Lord – we flourish, when we trust our flesh – we become a wasteland.

This is what the Lord says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
    who draws strength from mere flesh
    and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
    they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
    in a salt land where no one lives.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17:5-9

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