We have all fallen short of God’s standard. It does not matter how large a persons ministry is or how much success they have achieved; at some point every person has missed, and will miss God.
I believe that every person intuitively has a sense of right and wrong. If you look at our society it would seem otherwise, but God has put this knowledge inside of us.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:18-21)
The “invisible things” in these verses represent creation. Creation testifies of the existence of God.
God reveals Himself to mankind through creation.
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? (Romans 2:4)
Paul tells us that it is the goodness of God that draws us to Him! We are fallen creatures but still God loves us and attempts to draw us to Himself. This used to confuse me because we are unrighteous and He is righteous. How can a loving and holy being like God love us in our state?
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)
We gave all fallen short of God’s glory.
We have all sinned.
The penalty for our sin is death but still God yearns to draw us to Himself. Paul said it is His goodness that is calling to us.
Paul tells us that God’s Word (the gospel) is His power that enables man to experience salvation.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Romans 10:13-15)
God calls ministers to deliver the good news of His free gift of salvation. These ministers then are the messengers of His goodness that draws men and woman to Him.
The goodness of God leads men and women to God through the preaching of the Word. This Word imparts faith into the heart and that faith, when acted on, becomes the catalyst by which we are saved.
Looking back at Romans chapter one we see that first God’s goodness draws men to salvation but notice verse 18:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness… (Romans 1:18)
I want us to pay attention to the last phrase in this verse – “who hold the truth in unrighteousness”.
Romans 2:4 tells us that God’s goodness draws men and woman to Himself. We said that the vehicle through which this happens is the Word.
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17)
Jesus tells us that the Word is truth. In context then we could the last part of Romans 1:18 as “…”who hold the Word in unrighteousness.”
God’s wrath was poured out on Jesus and the penalty for every sin any of us has been committed. Minister’s are sent to deliver this truth. I believe that Romans 1:18 is talking about the wrath being poured on people who have heard the message of salvation and persist in their sins.
These people received the message of forgiveness and did not accept it. Jesus went to the cross and paid the penalty for their sin but they chose to reject His sacrifice. This is why the wrath of God was revealed in their lives. God is not judging them but they chose to reject the one He sent to stand in their place.
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (Romans 1:19)
So in verse 18 we see that the wrath of God is revealed and then in verse 19 Paul explains. He tells us that “God hath shewed it unto them”. I have heard people question this statement in regards to people who may never hear the Gospel message.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)
The message of salvation delivered through anointed ministers is God’s primary vehicle for drawing sinner to Himself. He is just though and we are told that creation reveals Him to mankind leaving us without excuse.
Every person is born with an intuitive knowledge of right and wrong and that there is only one God. There is not a single person who has lied that did not know it was wrong. There is not a single person who has stolen that did not know it was wrong.
There is not a single person who has committed any sin that did not know it was wrong. As a person chooses to ignore the voice of their spirit it will become fainter until they have “seared” it and are unable to hear it at all. The Bible calls this the “hardened heart”.
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron … (1 Timothy 4:2)
We will pick up with this last verse in the next post.
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