Romans 1-2, Psalm 133
Paul's letter to the Romans is so powerful and so clearly lays out the core doctrines of the Christian faith that many call it the Christian Constitution. In the first 3 chapters he clearly presents the case that none of us are good, but without Christ would all be condemned before Him. He then clearly states the case as a lawyer would showing that Jesus is the only one who can justify us or atone for our sins in the next 3 chapters before going on to the process of sanctification following this showing us how to set our lives apart and glorify God becoming more like Jesus. The first 2 chapters show us how without Christ we all stand condemned before Him. Many question the fairness of God, asking, "How can a fair God judge those who are at a disadvantage and have never heard the Gospel message? Paul lays out this case in Romans 1:18-32. In chapter 2:1-16 he goes on to show how those who think they are safe in their religion or their "goodness" are condemned. He goes on in 2:17-24 to highlight condemnation based on hypocrisy, followed by condemnation based on blindly trusting in and following religious rites in 2:25-29. Through this all his purpose is not to make us feel bad, but to open our eyes, bring us to repentance and our realization that we need something beyond ourselves. We all are in need of The Savior, Jesus Christ.
In his initial focus on the pagans or unbelieving world he writes in Romans 1:18-21, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened." Creation explodes throughout Scripture from the opening chapters in Genesis, to the comments made to Job in Job chapters 38-41, to Psalm 19, etc. Evolution represents terrible science yet has driven the multitudes away from God both in our schools and in the public mind taking the beauty of Creation and the clear evidence of God from millions. Darwin,the founder of the theory of evolution, himself stated in 1859, that in subsequent generations if a multitude of transitional fossils were not found, his theory would be proven false. To date every transitional fossil from the "Nebraska Man" highlighted in the 1925 famous "Monkey Scopes trial" with Clarence Darrow featured in the play and movie, "Inherit the Wind" to the now famous "Lucy" has all been shown to be either pure ape, pure human, or pure hoax. You could punch holes in the evolutionary theory on multiple fronts, from the Cosmos, Dating, the Complexity of Life, the Fossil Record, the transition from apes to man, even morals and emotions.
People prefer evolution and are more comfortable with it since belief in this allows people to submit to no one but themselves and to feel comfortable continuing along with their own rules following their own desires and feeling no guilt in the process. Our faith is not blind, but when we study the Bible and the facts surrounding it we have a tremendous amount of evidence to support our view. People will remain blind and deaf to God and feel no need to repent unless they see the reality of their own sin and their need to repent. Both John the Baptist and Jesus began their ministries preaching repentance (Matthew 3:2, 4:17). The message of condemnation that Paul initiates this letter may not be popular but is the starting point for a true relation with Christ. May we all spend some time reflecting on ourselves with clarity. When approaching others, may we never do so in a judgmental fashion but as Paul said in Ephesians 4:15, we are to speak the truth in love.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: