Weekly Devotional 8-31-20 Rejecting God Opens the Door
Someone has said, “Where God is not, evil is.” This axiom is nowhere better addressed then in Paul’s letter to the Romans. He began by saying that he was not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ because it reveals the righteousness of God (Romans 1:16-17) and in the following verses he addressed what rejection of that gospel brings.
“18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20For 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, 21because, 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. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, un-merciful; 32who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
In another letter Paul writes, “9Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
We all fit somewhere in the above lists, and all of us were condemned and guilty of some or maybe many of these practices, but praise God when the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ shone in our hearts; we were brought out of, and away from those things, those sins. Notice once again what Paul wrote in verse 11 of the above passage, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
God has sent forth His Spirit into this darkened world and should one respond to the illumination He brings; God changes his heart. He cleanses him of his sin (his unrighteousness), sets him apart and imparts to him the righteousness of Jesus, His only begotten Son. God justifies him on that basis because Jesus paid the price of justification by sacrificing Himself on the cross of Calvary for his salvation and said justification.
There is therefore a great danger in rejecting the light that God has dispensed to all of mankind (John 1:4-5), but a great blessing comes to those who respond to it. “8He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:18-21).
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
Ascribed to by:
Lian Muan Kim
Koinonia Baptist Seminary- Yangon, Myanmar