Read — Romans 1:21-23
Message Alan Burke
To summarise where we are, people are without excuse before God because He has revealed Himself, creation declares the glory of God. The thing is, even though people are without excuse, it is clear for all, they do not seek to glorify Him with their lives or give thanks. Today we pick up half way through Romans 1:21 because we learn the consequences of sinful rebellion is that ‘their thinking became futile their foolish hearts become darkened’. When we think of futile it is something of course, that is incapable of producing useful results, pointless. Well here the word when referring to futile thinking means that ones mind is given over to deceptive and meaningless thinking, a mind that has become worthless or foolish, a mind that is unable to think clearly or correctly. That is what has happened when people reject what God has made plain, for they have rejected Him, they have rejected the very truth.
The knock on effect of that is then given to us, that their foolish hearts become darkened. In scripture the fool is one who is not only stupid, they are also wicked because they deny what they know to be true. It is not that they fail to know God and then this is the result, it is that they know God but do not seek to live under his rule. When someone rejects God it is not only that their thinking is futile but that their whole life is shaped by it as a result and they become darkened. When we reject the wisdom of God and fail to understand the universe and all that is in it correctly, the human race has become unbearably connected and terribly ignorant. In a search for truth, the truth of God has been cast aside, the wisdom of man is foolishness in God’s sight, it is not the lack of intelligence but lack of moral understanding.
Think of the change of the accepted morality in the culture that surrounds us. Once things that were moral absolutes, that were almost universally agreed have gone, for some of us here the change is a stark one. We will think about this more next week, yet we in our wisdom have became fools for we thought that we could do it without God who preserves the morality of this world. The result has always been the same throughout the ages, it is demonstrated in individuals lives as well as societies, when we reject the truth of God, when we cast off what has been made know, we cannot live in a consistent way because no longer are there moral absolutes. When we reject God, God withdraws and the effects of sin in the lives of the individuals and a society increases. Because there is no such thing as neutrality within our hearts and it results in exchanging the Glory of God (23).
We are mistaken today if we believe that the human race is making progress, that it is improving itself morally speaking, instead since the beginning we have been on a downward spiral, we are refusing to acknowledge the true God, and instead we have degenerated to the stupidity and depravity that lead from the rejection of of the Lord God. We are by our nature made to Glorify the living God, when we throw off what we know about God, not seeking to Glorify him or give thanks to him then the result is that we turn to something else. Yet by the grace of God He calls sinners to repentance through Jesus Christ, and as we turn from our sin then we seek to glorify God, we seek to give Him thanks, and we as God’s people cannot but worship God, and we cannot but want to be with God’s people if we are His people.
Q72 What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?
The seventh commandment forbiddeth all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions. (Matt. 15:19, Matt. 5:28, Eph. 5:3–4)