Great and Precious Promises

We read in 2 Peter 1:3-4,

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

To properly understand the promises of God, and their significance to us, we must first look at what God requires of us. We will look at a few passages in the Old Testament first.

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart.   Deut 6:5-6

And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?  Deut 10:12-13

Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.  Deut 12:16

Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, I house if Israel?  Ezekiel 18:31

Under the Old Covenant God required His chosen people, Israel, to fear and obey Him. He gave them the moral law engraved upon two stone tablets, as well as civil laws to govern their daily lives, and the ceremonial laws to govern the way they worshipped God. Provision was made for for the covering of sins committed unintentionally, or in ignorance. This was the sacrificial system found within the ceremonial law. 

It is interesting to read that even under the Law, God desired the hearts of his people. He wanted them to love and serve Him with all of their hearts and all of their souls. When they turned from Him, he desired that they would turn and repent, have a change of heart, and come back to Him, and he would pardon.

God’s requirements of us are basically the same today. While the old ceremonial system has been done away with in Christ, He still holds us accountable to the moral standard as found in the Law. A few passages in the New Testament will show this.

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one hot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Matt 5:17-20

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.  Matt 7:12

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.  Matt 22:37-40

 The command to love our neighbor is also found in Leviticus 19:18. Paul states that the one who loves another has fulfilled the law (Romans 13:8-10). The commandment to be holy as God is holy (Leviticus 11:44), is also repeated in 1Peter 1:13-16. We are called to be holy in every aspect of our lives. There are numerous other scriptures that would serve to show us the same, but these make the point that God holds us to a moral standard that is not an option. A standard that man on his own cannot live up to.

Laws and commands are just that. They point us to what is required, but do not enable the performance of duty. A commandment may come with sanctions for disobedience, yet at best an individual will struggle to obey out of a sense of duty, fearing the penalty of the law, but not actually loving the law giver. In reality this is no obedience at all, as it violates the greatest commandment to love the Lord with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength. The obedience rendered is selfish in it’s motive.

In Hebrews we read that if the first covenant had been faultless there would have been no need for another (Hebrews 8:7-8). The covenant could not ensure obedience because the people were disobedient already. The passage goes on to say that God found fault with the people themselves. Paul agrees with this concept when he states, “what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh…” (Romans 8:3). Paul gives us the illustration of the individual struggling under the law in the seventh chapter of Romans. He knew what was right, agreed with what was right, and desired to do what was right. However obedience to the law was another matter. An individual striving to live under the law will meet with failure over and over again, as he is dominated by his sinful nature.The law was a shadow of good things to come, but in itself it could not make the worshippers, that is those offering the sacrifices, perfect (Hebrews 10:1-4).

Now let’s look at some promises that God has made concerning His commandments.

And the Lord thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and all thy soul, that thou mayest live.  Deut 30:6

And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, I will cleanse you. A new heart also I will give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements and do them.  Ezekiel 36:25-27

Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith the Lord: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it on their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.  Jeremiah 31:31-34

In reading these promises we see God promising to enable His people to do what He requires them to do. These promises answer the commands almost word for word in several instances. 

These are the promises pointing towards the New Covenant when God would place His Spirit within the hearts of His people. Transforming their rebellious hearts into soft and submissive ones. Instead of a selfish effort at obeying a law written on tablets of stone, the law will now be written upon the heart. Obedience will be given willingly and even joyfully, as it will be given out of love.

These promises given to Israel under the old covenant are for all who surrender their lives to follow Christ under the New Covenant. The passage quoted from Jeremiah is repeated in Hebrews 8:7-13, and 10:16-18, showing the superiority of Christ and the New covenant to that of Moses and the law.

The promise of the Spirit

On the day of Pentecost when the 120 received the Holy Spirit in the upper room Peter rose up and stated that what had just occurred was that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel. That in the last days God would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh with prophecies, dreams and visions, and signs and wonders as the result (Acts 2:16-21; Joel 2:28-32). There are other Old Testament passages promising this as well.

Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful fieldbbe counted for a forest. Then judgement shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness  remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.  Isaiah 32:15-17

For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.  Isaiah 44:3

And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh: that they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.  Ezekiel 11:19-20

And then we have the words of Jesus recorded in the gospel of John,

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. ( But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.). John 7:37-39

Jesus had more to say on the coming of the Holy Spirit as recorded in John 14:12-26, 15:26-27, 16:7-15. He would come as a comforter, an abiding presence, as the Spirit of truth, as a teacher, to bear witness of Christ, to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgement, and to glorify Christ.

God desires an obedient people, and more than that, a people who serve Him because they love Him. He has provided everything we need for life and godliness, as we read previously. The law brings a curse. It demands rigid obedience, and we are all guilty of breaking it before we decide we will try to keep it. There is a better way!

Christ hath redeemed us from the course of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.  Gal 3:13-14

There is hope for those struggling with sin. Victory has been provided through Jesus Christ. We find forgiveness and grace to now live in victory.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  Romans 8:1-4

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.  Gal 5:16-18

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.  Gal 5:24-25

Under the New Covenant we are born of the Spirit (John 3:5-6). It is the Spirit that makes us a new creation (2Cor 5:15; Titus 3:5-6), and sanctifies us (1Peter 1:2). As believers in Christ we are now led by the Spirit into a life of righteousness as He makes us more and more like Christ.


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The Impartiality Of God

In this fallen world, we often see those in authority turn a blind eye to justice. Human beings are often partial, showing favoritism to certain people for various selfish reasons. We often lose heart when we see justice perverted, but we can take heart in the fact that God is an impartial judge, and will make the right judgement. Their are no favorites with God in this respect.

For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward. (Deut 10:17)

Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts. (2 Chron 19:7)

We can turn to the New Testament and see that God is consistent. He has not changed, He is still impartial in His judgement.

Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. ( Acts 10:34-35)

Who will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath. Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; but glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; for there is no respect of persons with God. (Romans 2:6-11)

These verses show us what God desires of us. He desires us to live right, to serve Him. Clean hands and a pure heart go together. They cannot be separate. A pure heart will produce good works, and dirty hands are a sure sign of a heart that is not pure. There are many who claim the name “Christian” but are not living in keeping with that name.

Peter writes,

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear. (1 Peter 1:15-17)

This is an admonition for us as believers. We must not allow complacency to set in, nor must we give way to temptation, but we must be ever so diligent to pass our time upon this earth in the fear of the Lord. This is not a legalistic dread that drives us to obedience with a whip, but it is a holy fear, the knowledge of who God is, who we are, and how must we relate to Him. He who is holy has called us to be holy in how we live our lives. All that we do is to be pleasing to God.

Peter goes on to state that we were redeemed by Christ’s precious blood. With this in mind, how could we be so careless as to fall back into the world.

Broken And Contrite

A key element of saving faith is that of repentance. It has been said that true faith is preceded by repentance. I would agree with that, as the Bible teaches that we have no confidence to approach God as long as we harbor sin within our hearts. (Psalm 66:18)

John writes this, 

Beloved, if our hearts condemn us not, then have we confidence towards God. (1 John 3:21 KJV)

So an unrepentant individual cannot excersize real faith as long as he retains sin in his life. A guilty conscience will always stand in the way. 

Brokenness is vital to repentance. Without being crushed by the guilt of sin, and grieved at offending God, an individual will never truly turn from their sin and submit to God through Christ, by faith. Many feel the guilt of sin but their remorse has more to do with the fear of punishment. Paul writes of this in his epistle to the Church in Corinth,

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. (2 Cor 7:10 KJV)

It is important to understand what godly sorrow is. Jesus calls those who mourn, blessed. They are blessed because this is the pathway to the nearness of God. We read in the Psalms, 

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be if a contrite spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psalm 51:17)

Broken and contrite hearts are hearts that are crushed. The idea is that of being ground up to powder. Such and individual is humbled. They approach God with no self justification, with no self seeking, but with sorrow filled hearts they cast themselves upon His mercy. A heart filled with sorrow in this way will turn from sin because it is against God. 

We see many accept Jesus so they can avoid hell and go to heaven, but they have dry eyes and hard hearts. They do not sorrow over their actual sin; over the fact that they are rebels fighting God, and as a result have grieved the Father’s heart. They make a confession, but it amounts to little more than self seeking. They have made God a means to their own happiness. This is the sorrow of the world that leads to death. 

The Bible tells us that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble, 

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. (James 4:6-10 KJV)

This passage of scripture plainly shows us the importance of real repentance. It is vital that we let godly sorrow work in us a true repentance whereby we approach God in true humility, and find reconciliation through Christ.

Obedience

And the apostles said unto the Lord, increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. But which of you having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come in from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. (Luke 17:5-10 KJV)

In response to Jesus’ teaching on forgiving those who offend us, the disciples were overcome with the enormity of their responsibility, and cried out, “Increase our faith.”

Jesus’ reply teaches us that it does not take enormous faith to obey, in fact if our faith is only the size of a mustard seed we can accomplish great things. 

He then goes on to teach us that as His servants obedience is our duty, it is the least we can do. A master expects this from a servant, an employer likewise expects his employees to do what their job requires. In the same way we are to obey our Lord Jesus Christ.

We often pray for strength and willingness to obey, and this is not entirely wrong, as we do need God’s help in our battle against sin in this world, and he encourages us to seek Him for grace in time of need (Heb 4:16). Yet we often substitute prayer for obedience, waiting for a sudden burst of heavenly energy, or for God to somehow make us obey. This is a subtle trap we must endeavor to avoid. 

God does not command us to do that which we are unable to do, and therefore it is only reasonable and right that we do as He commands. Often it is our own unwillingness, our selfish wills desiring to gain mastery that stands in the way of our obedience. Yet God is faithful in strengthening our hearts, and establishing us in our walk with Him. We can depend on His grace to give us all we need as we obey Him from day to day (2 Peter 1:3-8; 1 These 5:23-24).

Submission

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and he shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto  him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:30-38 KJV)

God had chosen Mary to be the one to bring Jesus into the world. This was an awesome thing, to be called of God in a manner such as this, but submission to the will of God in this matter also came with serious consequences that no doubt Mary considered. 

As an unwed mother, what would those around her think? She would be considered an adulteress. People would look down upon her, she would be treated with contempt. Perhaps even put to death, as adultery was punishable by stoning in those days.  What about her betrothal to Joseph? She was engaged to marry, but upon discovering her pregnancy would Joseph put her away? He would have every right to do so, as he would consider that she had been unfaithful to him. 

In spite of all these things we see Mary humbly submit to the will of god for her life. It is the same with us today as well. What is God calling you to do? God calls us to do things for Him, to go through things that perhaps are difficult. Obedience to the will of God is not always easy. Our comfort zones can be stretched, we may look foolish to those around us. Following Christ may cost us friends and family, or our reputations in the eyes of the world. But will you, like Mary, be faithful and submissive in spite of it all?

The Word Became Flesh

It is imperative that we have a correct understanding of Christ. To go beyond the revelation of Jesus Christ as found in the scriptures is to believe in another Jesus (2 Cor 11:4). 

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is in the world. 1 John 3:3 KJV

For many deceivers are entered into, the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in  the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 2 John 7-9 KJV

In previous posts we have looked at the scriptures that pertain to the deity of Christ. In this post I would like to explore those passages that deal with His incarnation, His becoming flesh. In John’s gospel we read a passage that reveals Christ’s divinity. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made (John 1:1-3 KJV). This is referring to Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God by whom the worlds were made (Heb 1:2). This passage also shows us the human side of Christ as well. We read on, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace an (John 1:14 KJV). This is the mystery of the incarnation, Christ becoming flesh, entering this world as a baby, living among mankind, to someday offer himself for our sin. 

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Phil 2:5-8 KJV

Theologians have pondered and argued for centuries what it meant for Christ to empty Himself. We may not understand how it was possible for Christ to empty Himself and come into this world as a human, but it does not negate the fact that this is indeed what happened. The gospel accounts show us that He was born of the virgin Mary. We read of the shepherds and wise men, the lowly stable. This was Jesus Christ, God become flesh, dwelling among men. People stumble over the concept of Christ being both God and man, yet this is what we clearly see presented in the scriptures.

In Romans we read, “Concerning his son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:3-4 KJV). 

Paul also writes this, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Tim 3:16 KJV).

These passages clearly reveal Christ’s divinity as well as His humanity. Jesus Christ is indeed God in the flesh. Jesus often referred to Himself as the Son of Man. Numerous passages throughout the gospels plainly show this.  In Galatians 4:4 we read that when the fullness of time came, God went forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law. He came into this world to deliver us from our lives of sin. 

The writer of Hebrews has much to say about Christ’s humanity. Concerning His birth we read this, “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, and let all the angels of God worship him” (Heb 1:5-6 KJV). 

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb 2:9 KJV). 

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil. And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Heb 2:14-18 KJV). 

It was necessary for Christ to take on flesh, so that He could set us free from sin and death.  Jesus faced the same temptations we all face, yet without sin. Therefore, He is qualified to be our faithful high priest. We can confidently approach Him to find grace and mercy in time of need (Heb 4:14-16). 

Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him (Heb 5:7-9).

While divine, Jesus, the Son of Man, lived in this world in a body of flesh and blood. He faced the same situations, trials and testings, that we all face on a daily basis. Yet instead of falling, Jesus overcame. He set an example for us, and much more than that, He became the author of eternal salvation, the only one fully qualified to be our Savior. There is not one man on this earth who is qualified to reconcile us to God, but Jesus Christ. We have our own sin to pay for. How can anyone else redeem another? We read that there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time (1 Tim 2:5-6 KJV).

Again, it is vital to our faith and salvation that we have a correct concept of who Jesus is. Which Jesus are we following? Are we following one that conforms to our ideas, a Jesus who is how we would like Him to be? Or, are we following the Jesus who is revealed to us in the scriptures. Jesus warns us of false Christs (Matt 24:23-24). We would do well to make sure we know and follow the real Jesus.

The Root Of Moral Chaos

The world seems to be out of control. Common sense has been cast aside as we see society plunging deeper and deeper into gross immorality. The line separating things that were once clearly defined as right or wrong has been blurred. What has always been good is now declared evil, and what has always been evil, is now accepted as good.

Many of us mare shocked at what we are seeing in our lifetime; things we thought we would never see. However, there is a reason for this plunge into moral insanity, a root behind this problem. the answer lies within the heart of man, and what he does with the revelation of God to himself. We read in the ancient Jewish writings, 

Surely vain are all men by nature, who are ignorant of God, and could not out of the good things that are seen know him that is: neither by considering the works did they acknowledge the workmaster; but deemed either fire, or wind, or the swift air, or the circle of the stars, or the violent water, or the lights of heaven, to be the gods which govern the world.  (Wisdom of Solomon 13:1-2 KJV)

Indeed, The heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 18:1).  The above quote attributed to Solomon is not considered divinely inspired, yet it rings out the same truth that we read in Paul’s epistle to the Romans, namely that God has revealed Himself to mankind through that which He created, and man in his foolishness has rejected that revelation.

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. (Romans 1:18-20 KJV)

Without ever reading a Bible, going to a Church, or listening to a sermon, we have still received sufficient knowledge of God through His creation, to be without excuse before Him. God’s invisible attributes, His power, His divinity, are all clearly seen through creation. Mankind knows deep down in the very depths of his inner being, that God exists. 

Sadly, the response to this revelation of God is one of rejection. We read further on that,

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. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (Romans 1:21-25 KJV)

  • When they knew God they did not glorify Him as God.
  • They were ungrateful.
  • They became vain in their imaginations.
  • Professing to be wise, they became fools.
  • They exchanged the glory of God into that of an idol.
  • They changed the truth of God into a lie.
  • They gave worship to the creation instead of the Creator.
  • They did not like to retain God in their knowledge (vs. 28).

All of this had its consequences however, as God allowed them to progress deeper and deeper into depravity. we read that He gave them up to the lusts of their own hearts. Jesus tells us that it is out of the heart that evil flows (Mark 7:15-23). Man rejects the knowledge of God because of his sinful heart. He does not want to acknowledge the God that he will one day face, rather choosing instead to cling to his sin, and serve a god of his own invention. This is what the atheist does, what the evolutionist does, and what those do who serve any of the countless false gods and religious systems that have existed down through history. 

For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as theyn did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:26-32 KJV)

It is safe to say we can look around us and see these very things permeating society as a whole. Sexual immorality is rampant, homosexual marriage was once unheard of, now it is widely accepted, even applauded by the majority of society. The debate over transgender issues is also something that seems to have suddenly gained momentum, to the surprise of many. But it goes beyond sexual sin to other issues as well. Issues such as honesty, hatred, murder, covetousness, malice, divisions,  a lack of understanding, a lack of natural affection. There are multitudes of God haters in our world today, and just as many inventors of evil. And to top it all of, their are those who look upon all of this, and give their hearty approval to it. This is the result of a people rejecting God, and in turn, being given up to depravity. It is a total breakdown of society. 

This is what lies behind the moral insanity that we are witnessing today. It is not something new, it has been like this throughout history. People have always turned their back on God, choosing to serve a god of their own making. Nations have been given over to evil, waxing worse and worse. Kingdoms have risen, and kingdoms have fallen, because they have refused God. 

Yet God in His mercy reaches out to fallen humanity. We read that He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) The answer to this moral crisis is found in Jesus Christ, as we one by one repent of our sin, and surrender our lives to follow Him. Then we find victory from this bondage, as the one whom the Son sets free, is free indeed. (John 8:36)