The Evidence of God, Man’s Rejection, and God’s Response (Romans 1:19-28)

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The Evidence of God, Man’s Rejection, and God’s Response

(Romans 1:19-28)

Romans 1:19-27

“19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to tthe dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for ua lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to aa debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”

 

The Evidence of God

“19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

All men were born with the same basic needs: Food, water, clothing, shelter. And a God! We will all serve something. For most unfortunately it is themselves but we have all heard this. But I ask why is religion such a huge part of our world? In the past every nation that was not connected and had no form of communication had a religious system. Why? Because man has to believe something.  Through creation of nature his evidence is made known.

NO ONE IS WITHOUT EXCUSE.

Can anyone think of anything in nature that points to God? Or has anyone seen anything in nature that was just a “wow” moment?

 

 

 

 

Man’s Rejection

“21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”

Where is scripture do we see this?  The Fall in Genesis 3:1-7. This is the exact wording God uses in creation. Man, birds, and creeping things.

How did this exchange happen and pay attention to the wording.  This act is the start of our depravity.

  1. They did not honor God.
  2. They did not give thanks to him.
  3. They became futile in their thinking.
  4. Their foolish hearts were darkened Note it was foolish before it was darkened.
  5. Claiming wisdom, they became foolish how do we see this in the fall of man?
  6. They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling…, How did this happen?

God’s Response

Paul gives us 3 ways of God’s response to this action.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

How was this seen in Genesis 3?

They dishonored bodies among themselves because they {they were both deceived by the serpent} Avoiding the instructions God had given them. They obeyed that snake rather than God!

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

After the fall depravity grew darker and darker. Ever turned off the light in a room and had the glare still in your eyes. I’d imagine it was similar in the nature of it. They were around Light for so long that once they were in darkness the glare of God’s Glory was still present. As time grew like all things on this new earth, things started to decay.  This truly shares the depth of how dark and lost we are with out Christ.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”

Greek word for debased/depraved adokimos- means not standing the test. Commonly used for metals that were rejected by refiners because of impurities.

The natural man denies God and can not endure God, therefore they can’t receive God. Even though He has been revealed to him.

Imagine the evil that is in the world, a depraved mind is the source of that. And we are all born with that mind.  2 timothy 4:3 a time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine. Apart from Christ we can not endure the doctrine of scripture.

 

ROMANS PRO:

P: Pray for 6 minutes a day!
R: Read Romans 1. Last time Finish strong!

0: Examine the depravity of man in Romans 1:24-28. With the permission of your parents, : ) look up current events (News). Find an article and write how that article is a picture of God giving men up to ungodliness. This will be turned in next week. I’d encourage you guys to this because this will give you a foundation for viewing the world in a Biblical perspective.

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Observation of Creation

Observing God’s creation is a great way of worship and meditation. God truly has His fingerprints in everything He has created; it is absolutely amazing. Genesis 1 gives the account of the creation. In a mere six days God created everything. In the six days God created the heavens, Earth, light, darkness, skies, dry land, seas, vegetation, the sun, the moon, the stars, creatures in the water, birds in the air, land animals, and finally, mankind. After all of this, God rested on the seventh day. Studying the book of Genesis points to God in so many ways as the Creator, and births a greater appreciation of everything God has created by knowing the details of the six days of creation. God used the six days of creation to point to Himself.

Not to arouse a theological debate, but there are many theories in relation to creation. The Day Age Theory, the Gap Theory, and the Revelation Theory are the theories mentioned by John Phillips in his expository commentary “Exploring Genesis” (Phillips). Unfortunately, these theories compromise God’s power and simplify His nature to appease the weak faith of mankind. Nowhere in the Scriptures is it insinuated that the days are large time gaps, or that there is a gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, or even that the days were days of Moses as God revealed it to him. Why would God need rest on the seventh day if He were telling Moses His description of creation? If God created everything, is he not capable of having a detailed conversation? It is essential to note that the Bible is one hundred percent true; it is imperative to make this statement when discussing anything of Scripture.

Genesis 1:1-5 reads, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.” The first day God created the heavens and the earth, light and darkness. The Earth was His canvas that we can perceive and it was full of water. God’s first command recorded is in verse 3, where He demands, “Let there be light.” In one sentence God shined light on the entire world! Light travels at a speed of 186,000 miles a second or 700 million miles an hour (The UnMuseum). God created that by speaking one single sentence, and lit up the earth. After God created the light, He separated it from darkness. The light He called “day”, and the darkness He called, “night”.’ This was the first day.

The second day is found in Genesis 1:6-8, “And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.” Whether it is to admire the color, an odd shaped cloud, or to just be in complete awe of the endless panoramic view from a tall mountain or high building, everyone has took pleasure by looking at this great creation. It was always puzzling to think of the different colors of the sky. As a child I thought the color of the sky reflected God’s emotions. Although my innocence as a child would not measure up to the ideas of a respected scientist, I was correct in attributing the colors to God. The reason the sky is blue is because sunlight reaches Earth’s atmosphere and is scattered in all directions by all the gases and particles in the air. Blue light is scattered in all directions by the tiny molecules of air in Earth’s atmosphere. Blue is scattered more than other colors because it travels as shorter, smaller waves. This is why we see a blue sky most of the time. (Why Is)

It is odd how something as powerful as a beam of light can be shifted off course by tiny particles or invisible gases. This is a perfect example of how Christians should live their life. In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus says, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”(NIV) Even though God the Creator of the universe is our king, it is our responsibility as Christians to let His light shine through us by our actions. Noting that the smallest of particles can shift the light this shows the importance of daily biblical self evaluation as mentioned in Matthew 7:5. If the smallest speck is in our eye it will still affect the light. Of course, if we deny Christ altogether by our actions this would mean that there is no light at all. If there is darkness, there is no light. This simple Christian truth can all be seen in observing God’s wonderful sky which was created on the second day.

The third day of Creation is recorded in Genesis 1:9-13, “And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.  Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.” So on the third day God created dry land, seas, and vegetation. At first God created a big blue ball called earth, then applied light to the blue globe, and now He has created dry ground and vegetation for that ground. God is preparing a home for something special.

Only being six years old the first time I saw the ocean, I remember it very clearly. Seeing pictures and movies about the beach and the ocean can never compare to it true shocking view that can not be explained by words only experienced. Being on the road for several hours I was the only one of four children that had not fallen asleep. Excitement was the only thing running through my mind. The smell is what hit me first, the beautiful sulfuric salty smell. Then I knew I was near because I had never smelled anything like that. Riding in the backseat was tough because all that could be seen was tall buildings. Suddenly there was a gap between two buildings and I saw a brief glimpse of the dark blue horizon; it was absolutely breath taking. The saying has been said “as far as the eye could see”, but that never meant anything until I actually witnessed the ocean myself.

The sea is the heat regulator for planet Earth: it stops Earth from getting too hot or too cold. This is because of the remarkable properties of water in bringing about the transfer of heat by absorbing heat from the sun and sending it back into the atmosphere. The oceans are the biggest single part of a land, sea, air system that maintains life. Over 98.5 percent of all the water on Earth is in the sea (Barton). Over two-thirds of our planet is covered by the ocean. It is clear by observing the ocean that God has a purpose for everything He creates.

Once the seas were gathered, dry land appeared. The dry land houses the vegetation which would be “seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” (NIV) Trees play a vital role in our environment. There are many types of trees and vegetation inhabiting the planet, and nearly all used for different purposes. Trees were even used by Jesus to illustrate vital truths for His followers. God put a lot of science into the genetic code of a tree.

If something were to happen to eliminate all of the leaves and trees, our lives would come to an end. The leaf that God placed on the vegetation produces oxygen in a process called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis means “putting together with light”. Simply stated, the leaves absorb the sunlight and carbon dioxide and release oxygen and sugar. Humans need the oxygen to breathe, and sugar is used by the plants to make starch, fats, and proteins which is food for their survival. Vegetation and trees are overlooked but are easy to label the life stabilizer on earth (Tree)

There are so many different trees and so many different purposes. This is a great illustration of Christians. A key note to make when observing and studying the vegetation and trees would be it is impossible to grow at night. Like most things that live, plants also sleep at night. The reason this sleep is necessary is because it is impossible for any plant to grow with out sunlight. That can be seen in the Christians life. It is impossible for the Christian to grow unless they have Light in their lives, which could be translated a daily personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Like many trees, Christians are to be fruit bearing people. In Matthew 21:18-19 Jesus is quoted by saying, “Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. Why curse the fig tree? Certainly, it is not the fig tree’s fault that it had no fruit, is it?

Jesus mentions in Matthew 7 that a good tree can not bear bad fruit and a bad tree can not bear good fruit. Clearly Jesus mentions there are trees that bear good fruit, bad fruit, and no fruit. But for a fig tree not to bear fruit the conditions of growth would have to be closely explained to fully understand this particular passage. Ficus Carica, the common fig tree in Israel, require good quality soil that is well drained and requires protection from late frosts (Tree). A Christian desiring to be fruitful must take note of this text in verse 18 and 19. We are to bear good fruit that is pleasing to God. Unlike the fig tree we can choose what we set our roots in. Will we set our roots in a dry arid climate fully focused on self, or will be planted by the rivers of water meditating on the word of God day and night like David mentions in Psalm 1?

Another key observation to make when looking at vegetation in particular trees is the time is takes for growth. In our walk with Christ, the trend that sets in normally is one of haste and impatience in relation to spiritual growth and maturity. Americans are in this fast paced technological culture where everything has to be high speed, and anything that contradicts that speed is encouraged to be left alone. The cell phones, internet, plastic surgery, weight loss supplements are all fruits of a ‘now’ generation. Waiting is just not acceptable anymore. A lot of Christians would prefer their spiritual growth and maturity to be cooked in the microwave, but the mighty tree’s growth is not measured in minutes, but years. The tree can be a reassuring reminder for a Christian to relax and trust that God is guiding their growth just as He planned. All this is just an observation of day three of creation.

The fourth day of creation is found in Genesis 1:14-19: “And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.  God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.  And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.”

It has always amazed me the power of light. Nowhere on this planet will you find any darkness that is stronger or more powerful than light. Darkness is literally defined as the absence of light. (Merriam) Darkness has no place with light. When God made the sun, He put that in the sky to help warm and fuel the seasons of the earth. Then He strategically placed the moon just outside planet Earth so it could use its gravitational pull and create the ocean’s daily constant tides. The sun is such a powerful source of light, the only light the moon emits it the light from the sun. Even the moon is totally dependant on the sun in relation to the light it produces (McNab). The only light we can shine, as Christians, is the light that comes from the Father. Nothing good can come from us unless it is Christ shining through us.

The fifth day God created the living creatures in the water and the birds of the air. This is noted in Genesis 1:20-23, “And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

Note the command God gave the creatures, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” Thus far, this is the only audible command given to the creation. Part of this reason is to constantly replenish the earth. The Lord had a big plan when He created this planet and these creatures were to be a huge part of that plan. Birds and fish were used in scripture to illustrate key biblical truths.

Two aspects from Scripture come to mind when talking about the bird. The first would be the bird’s vital role in the flood. In Genesis 8 Noah sends out two types of birds to see if the waters have receded. The raven he sends out flies back and forth until it finds a place to land. The dove is sent out as well. Eventually through the birds Noah and his family knew when it was safe to leave the ark.

The second aspect that comes to mind when the bird is used in Scripture is Isaiah 40:31, “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” The mighty Eagle can have a wingspan of up to ninety inches that is seven and a half feet! (Alderfer) This verse in Isaiah gives the Christian hope in the Lord.

Studying through the Gospel it is clearly noted the role fish played in some of the disciples lives. Some of the disciples of Jesus were fishermen, but in Matthew 4:19 Jesus called His disciples to be “fishers of people.” (NIV) This plays a huge role in the way we see evangelism. Just as different fish are caught by different means so people are reached for Christ in different means. Christians should do everything in their power that is morally and biblically correct to reach someone for the Gospel.

Finally the sixth and last day of creation is written in Genesis 1:24-31, “And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.  God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.”

To witness the account on this day would have truly been mesmerizing. As mentioned earlier God created a big blue ball called earth, then applied light to the blue globe, and now He has created dry ground and vegetation for that ground. God is preparing a home for something. That something was man. God went through all this work and intricate detail to give us a home. But God’s great power did not stop after the birds and fish. The fingerprints of God can still be admired even by looking at man. His fingerprints are everywhere!

Land animals and man were the last of His creation. Everything God created, He gave to man to rule over them. The patterns and instincts of man and animal are all points to marvel at God’s glory and power. When observing God’s creation, it is impossible to overlook his fingerprint in everything, because everything is made up of atoms. The observation of the nature of the atom points to God more than anything else of His creation, because it lays out a model for the life of a Christian.

Matter is anything that takes up space and has mass. All matter, whether made of solid, liquid, or gas, is made up of the same basic structure. The atomic structure is made up of three parts: protons, neutrons, and electrons. The center of the structure, or nucleus, is made up of protons and neutrons, while the electron is constantly orbiting around the nucleus (King). This is the basic structure that everything God created has. Atoms are everywhere in everything.

The protons have a positive charge, the electrons have a negative charge, and the neutron that clings to the proton has a neutral charge. God has laid out a model for us in everything that he has created. Humans are the neutron, we are neutral. As Christians we are to cling to the proton, or Christ. The electron in the atomic structure orbiting the nucleus represents Satan. 1 Peter 5:8, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The smallest thing in everything carries a perfect model of how Christians should live their lives.

Genesis 1 accounts for everything God made from the creation of the earth to the creation of man. Whether it’s the detailed look into the science behind light, the complexity of a tree, or the atomic structure in everything, God’s creation should be admired. Everything under the sun should be given to the glory of God; nothing should be used to glorify man. Looking at science through the scope of biblical lenses is a form of worship, but once that science takes the precedence over God and robs from his power it becomes a sin. One hundred lifetimes could be spent in observation of this planet and other creations God has made and the surface of the mystery behind everything would not be touched.

Works Cited

Alderfer, Jonathan K., and Jon L. Dunn. National Geographic Birding Essentials. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2007. Print.

Barker, Kenneth L., and Donald W. Burdick. Zondervan NIV Study Bible: New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002. Print.

Barton, Robert. The Oceans. New York: Facts on File, 1980. Print.

King, Rita Mary., Frances Chamberlain, Q. L. Pearce, and W. J. Pearce. Biology Made Simple. New York: Broadway, 2003. Print.

McNab, David, and James Younger. The Planets. New Haven: Yale UP, 1999. Print.

Merriam Webster Dictionary. Springfield, MA: G & C Merriam, 1981. Print.

Phillips, John. Exploring Genesis: An Expository Commentary. Grand Rapids, MN: Kregel Publications, 2001. Print.

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“The UnMuseum – Speed of Light.” The Museum of UnNatural Mystery. Web. 14 Aug. 2011. <http:>.</http:>

“Why Is the Sky Blue? :: NASA’s The Space Place.” NASA’s Space Place :: Home :: NASA’s The Space Place. Web. 14 Aug. 2011. <http:></http:>.