Read - Romans 2:14-15
Message - Alan Burke
As we have worked through the book of Romans we have been confronted with how it is not that we do not know God but that we suppress the truth of him by our wickedness (1:19), for God since the creation of the world has made His invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature clearly seen, having been understood from what has been made so that we are without excuse (20). We know God by our nature, none of us, that means not one can claim a defence of ignorance, to try and some how to give excuse, for it is made clear that we are without excuse.
And today we learn that it is more than simply creation declaring the glory of God so that we are without excuse, as God makes Himself known in General revelation but it is also that we within know the truth, it is known as immediate revelation. Now while you may scratch your head and wonder what that is, immediate revelation is the teaching of scripture that tells us within us all we have been given by God, the knowledge of Him and His law so that everyone knows what is right and that which is not right.
While there are some would say today that there no such thing as moral absolutes, no objective grounds for preferring the moral values of one person or another or one culture and the next, viewing each are right and as valid as the other. Well if you want to take that view fair play to you, you cannot complain that I or anyone else treats you unfairly, they are doing what is morally right in their own eyes, and you can’t complain when someone nicks your wallet if there are no such thing as moral absolutes.
But we all know there are moral absolutes, we know it to be true. This is what we are reminded here, for God has given us His immediate revelation. For every human being who has ever lived, every man woman and child has a standard, some moral sense, some light of nature by which they are able to distinguish right and wrong. We see that in acts of civil virtue, as those who have never heard the law or gospel live morally, they take care for their children, they refrain from stealing, while they do not obey the whole law for they do not love the Lord God with all their hearts minds and strength, they are able to do these things because the law is already written in their hearts.
In every human heart, God’s law is there, no matter how primitive the culture and it bears witness to the fact that man is born with some sense of moral awareness. We all have some built in understanding of what is right and wrong. God gives us this, he has written it on the hearts of all. The requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness as Paul says, their thoughts accusing and even defending them (v15). Conscience that means those who have not got the law written, those who were in Paul’s day gentiles by birth, outside the covenant community, who didn’t learn the Ten Commandments by wrote, well they still have a clear understanding of when killing is murder and when it is not.
Today we disregard the immediate revelation of God, now we see in our schools and universities, hospitals, the civil service, business, employers, politicians, increasingly turn their backs on how God has written his law on our hearts and not content to live in their sin, they approve of those who practice such things and celebrate them! Not only that they are repeatedly though whatever means possible trying to change that which we know inwardly to be true, the pervasive narrative that we must not only submit to but approve and affirm ourselves. If the schools have failed, the first day for the university student is a barrage where they attempt to drum it into you, the daily emails in work with pronouns and messages from the equalities officer. Not every culture has been privileged to posses a clear knowledge of God’s inspired and revealed will but they are still without excuse for the moral law is written on their hearts. As the preacher in Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us that God has put eternity into mans heart, for all people throughout the ages and all will stand before Him the one who ill judge in truth (Rom 2:2)
Q100 What doth the preface of the Lord’ s prayer teach us?
The preface of the Lord’ s prayer, (which is, Our Father which art in heaven, (Matt. 6:9)) teacheth us to draw near to God with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father, able and ready to help us; (Rom. 8:15, Luke 11:13) and that we should pray with and for others. (Acts 12:5, 1 Tim. 2:1–2)