Romans 1.18-25 – Can you not see?

Have you ever tried on someone else’s glasses? Sometimes they are really mild and maybe just for computers/tv/reading (like mine), sometimes they are just for fashion, and other times they are literally what allow people to see…they are so strong! In those instances it’s natural (but not overly kind) to exclaim something about the blindness of your friend and say something like “Wow, can you not see without them?!”.

If we take this and think about the world around us; the sky, the sun, the moon, the trees, the breeze, the ocean, the plants, the animals, the delicately balanced ecosystem, the fact that a few inches here or there closer to or further away from the sun would mean earth could not sustain life, when we consider things like this, it is a huge indicator of intelligent design – the world was made like this on purpose, for a purpose, by someone with a purpose. Can we not see this?

Romans 1.18-25 speaks of those who are not living by faith, and says that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. By faith this is what we are saved from, the wrath of God. God’s general revelation is then detailed in vv.19-23,

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 honour 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.

Psalm 19.1-6 also details God’s general revelation – that which can be known about God just by observing, looking, and seeing. Unfortunately some in Rome had taken their glasses off, so to speak, and despite this knowledge and even some theological knowledge (although they knew God), they started to worship creature over Creator; idolatry.

Possibly the worst part of God’s wrath is to be left alone, to be left to walk down this path away from Him, to be given over to the lusts of the heart. Exchanging truth for a lie means we participate in the lie (Genesis 3.5), exchanging truth for a lie means we exchange truth for idolatry, exchanging truth for a lie means we put our efforts into human resources for satisfaction, not God and His abundant resources.

For us, the heavens declare the glory of God, and this is far greater than anything we can conjure up ourselves, any glory we may produce. Apart from Him, apart from living by faith in Jesus we have no glory. God in his loving kindness has given us ample evidence that He is a part of everything; look out of the window and see the beautiful sky of a thousand blues, or listen to the birds sing, or watch the waves lap the shore. Watch a sunset or a sunrise and realise by whose hand this is possible. 

Point to ponder – take a moment today to appreciate God’s creation, enjoy His general revelation to you, and say thank you!

Worldview 1/4 – Origin

This is post number one in a mini-series of devotionals that all centre on the topic of worldview.

Everyone has one, whether we know it or not, and it forms and shapes our basic assumptions, opinions, actions, and conclusions.

A worldview to has to answer four big, basic questions, and today, number one,

Origin; where did I come from? What does it mean to be human?

Looking at other worldviews is not bad thing, Os Guinness said,

“Contrast is the mother of clarity.”

So in the spirit of contrast, some would say only materialism exists, there is no God, nothing spiritual, nothing supernatural. They would say that humans are simply physical, no soul or spirit.

How sad.

Others would say that the world was created by an all powerful creator, but, ultimately, this creator is unknowable. That must be very frustrating, never really knowing.

But, what does the Bible say? The Bible, in which we read the Word of God to us, says this,

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1.1)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. (John 1.1-4)

Humans are, at the most simple level, relational beings, we were made for community. As such, when most of us are assessing our worldview, deciding which lens we will look at the world through, most of us aren’t actually looking for a what, for pure empirical evidence, whether we know it or not most of us are actually looking for a who.

To define a truly Christian worldview, the only worldview that can consistently stand up to the deepest scrutiny, the only worldview that is airtight, internally consistent, corresponds to reality, and is liveable, to define this worldview, we must start with God.

God in Jesus. Jesus as God incarnate – literally God in the flesh – we must start with Jesus.

He explains the origins of everything, He defines the fact that as humans we have value. If we did not have value and a place in the origin of everything, then would God have given His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life?

C.S. Lewis said this on the Christian worldview,

“…if false, [it] is of no importance, and, if true, of infinite importance.”

So, origin, where do we come from, and what does it mean to be human?

The Word of God answers both; we are made by Him who set the foundations of the world, who spoke it into existence, and to be human means to be valued, and loved, by this same, real, personal, knowable God.

Next, the second big question, Meaning; is there purpose to life?