Without Excuse - Romans 1
The book of Romans is written by Paul and is full of theological teachings, some of which many today will find hard to accept. There are a few things that we have to remember when we are reading Romans and any book of the Bible.
Firstly, is that truth is true because God is the standard of truth. This is why people will say that “Truth doesn’t care about your feelings.” Truth doesn’t change as time passes because God doesn’t change. Also, truth doesn’t change just because the world’s perspective changes.
Secondly, we have to realize that sound theology doesn’t depend upon personal preferences. You might like different worship music than I do, but that doesn’t mean that one of us is wrong in our theology of worship. Along the same line, a theology of sin has nothing to do with our personal moral standard; instead, a theology of sin can only be developed through careful study of the scripture; which will reveal God’s standards to us. Many people, and even some pastors, are allowing their personal moral standards to be above scripture and are actively changing scripture to fit their moral perspective. We must avoid being under the teaching of such pastors.
Some of the things that Paul writes about may not sit well with you. That is the purpose of the word of God to convict you of your sins so that you may repent and turn to God for salvation. In the book of Romans, Paul is not trying to point fingers and say that he is better. Many times Paul admits that he and all Christians were once among those that lived in sin. It is only by the grace of God that we have been able to return to a rightful relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. Even still, no mere human has or will reach perfection this side of eternity.
After some introduction verses, Paul doesn’t waste time and gets right to the point. Starting in verse 18 he tells us that God has revealed His wrath against sinful humanity because they have rejected God. He goes on to say that creation teaches us about God but we have rejected the testimony of creation.
“since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.” Romans 1:19-20 HCSB
( https://www.bible.com/72/rom.1.19-20.hcsb )
These verses show us two things:
1. Creation is enough for humankind to know that God exists. Although knowledge of a
creator God is not yet enough for salvation it should cause us to seek for God. We
also have the promise in scripture that if we seek after God we will find Him.
2. Nobody will have an excuse for their rejection of God.
Paul goes on to say that humanity has exchanged the truth of God for a lie. Believing that other things are a god, or in rejecting God altogether. They have also turned and become amoral in their thinking and actions.
“And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong. They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. Although they know full well God’s just sentence — that those who practice such things deserve to die — they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them.”
Romans 1:28-32 HCSB ( https://www.bible.com/72/rom.1.28-32.hcsb )
Remember that Paul was writing this about the people of his time but it reflects what we are seeing in our modern society. Especially the last verse, “….they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them.” Just turn on the news or talk with other people and you will see that this is true. Our society needs a spiritual revival, our hearts have been turned to the lust of the world and we need true repentance. We must turn from the things that God calls wicked to live a life of righteousness with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Our Society needs a spiritual revival, our hearts have been turned to the lust of the world and we need true repentance.
What we need to remember is that God did not set us as the judge of other people. Jesus is their judge (John 5:27) and their deeds judge them. We instead are to be the voice of hope, and love. We have to show proper love to those that are not within a right relationship with Jesus so that their hearts might be turned back to God. The proper love that we are to show them is not judging them for their wrongs, but at the same time is not applauding or celebrating their sins either. “Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.” 1 Corinthians 13:6 HCSB. We can still show love and not support or agree with what God declares as sin. An area that we all (the church) need to do better.
The only way that we can be faithful witnesses of the love and grace of God; is by remembering that we too were once in the same position as they are. We should be humble and gracious in our witness because we have not and are not perfect in our own lives, but this does not decrease our responsibility to be faithful to the word of God.