The Road Through Romans Idolatry

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We are walking through the Book Of Romans verse by verse in this portion of Lillie-Put. We have had many discussions on the first twenty verses of the book. If you would like to do some catching up, those discussions can be found on THE ROAD THROUGH ROMANS PAGE.

Today we continue with the passage where Paul lays out his doctrine of original sin. The idea that man comes into the world with a natural bent towards evil is not a popular one in today’s world. That said it is a biblical idea which means it is truth. We learned from verse 20 that creation points us to God so that men are with out excuse for their sinful behavior. Verse 21 through 23 continues on from there saying,

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Rom 1:21-23 NIV

With these verses Paul looks back from his time to describe what history had demonstrated up to the first century. That is: the truth of God was laid out before men in the creation; Men recognized the truth but chose to explain it away; They used human wisdom to  “prove” that what was true about God was not true; Then they made up their own traditions and gods and mythological stories.

We think we have advanced beyond the ways of ancient man. Really, we are only repeating the same mistakes dressed up in new clothes. Creation still shows us God’s invisible qualities; Men can recognize those qualities but have chosen to explain them away using the enlightened ideas of humanism. We are not propagating idolatry after the old fashion. Instead of making gods out of wood and gold we are elevating our own race to godhood. We declare that we are gods in process become ever more enlightened.

And so just like the ancients we profess ourselves to be wise and become fools. 

 

The Road Through Romans: Without Excuse

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The Road Through Romans is a discussion that is taking a look at every verse in the Book Of Romans. To be honest I am not sure this epoch of time has enough left in it for us to finish the discussion, but we will plod along until the age changes or the end of the book comes… whichever comes first.

If you have missed any of our previous discussions (and they are legion) you can find them on THE ROAD THROUGH ROMANS PAGE

We have been discussing verse 20 of Romans chapter 1 which says,

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

We have spent the better part of the last twenty posts on TRTR discussing those invisible attributes. I think I was actually taking so long getting through those qualities of God because I didn’t want to face the last four words of the verse.

People are without excuse!

We finished with the final invisible quality of God over a week ago and I have been unable to face writing what has to come next because this part of the good news is hard to take in.

People are without excuse!

There is a power in the world working overtime to convince us that there is no God or that if there is a God, He is some distant far away being who set the world to spinning and then walked away. Yet the creation itself tells us, if we will look at it, that not only is there a God but He knows us and desires relationship with us.

At the end of time no one will be able to excuse themselves for not knowing God by saying “There was no way I could have known about God.”

To them God will say,

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

In other words the problem is not that nothing in life points people to God. It is that in spite of the fact that creation screams out about God, people would rather believe anything else.

 

The Road Through Romans Omnipresence

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Today we come to the conclusion of our discussion on the “invisible attributes of God” as outlined in A.W. Tozer’s book The Attributes of God, and referenced in Romans 1:20

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

If you have missed any of our previous discussions they can be found on THE ROAD THROUGH ROMANS PAGE.

Today we are speaking about the OMNIPRESENCE of God. That is the quality of God being everywhere at once.

Here to help us understand this a little better is Buffalo

Which of God’s attributes is the most difficult for you to fathom?

 

The Road Through Romans Graciousness

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We have been discussing the attributes of God for the last several weeks. Romans 1:20 says

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

If you have missed any of our previous discussions they can be found on THE ROAD THROUGH ROMANS PAGE.

What do we mean when we say God is gracious? Watch this.

The Road Through Romans: God’s Goodness

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Yesterday we acknowledged that God is eternal in nature. We came to this in our study through Romans 1:20.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

If you have missed any of these discussions you can find them on THE ROAD THROUGH ROMANS PAGE.

Today we are discussing the goodness of God. What do we mean when we say God is good?

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. Ge. 1:31

He loveth righteousness and judgment; the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. Psalm 33:5

 

The Road Through Romans: Eternal In Nature

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We are currently doing a study through the Book Of Romans verse by verse. We have been stuck in verse 20 of chapter 1 for some time as we study the invisible qualities of God using A.W. Tozer’s book, The Attributes of God.

If you have missed any of these discussions you can find them on THE ROAD THROUGH ROMANS PAGE.

Helping us today to understand the eternal nature of God is Pastor James McDonald. God being eternal is not about God having a long life. God being eternal means He has no limits in expanse or in time. He can focus on everything and everyone at once while being in and out of time all at the same time. It means He can accomplish anything at any time in any place under any set of circumstances because He is without limit. He never runs out of power or strength or resource. He is eternal.

Eternity just blows my mind! How about you?

 

The Road Through Romans: Mercy

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As we have walked our way verse by verse through the Book of Romans, we have come to verse 20 of chapter 1. We have hovered over this verse for some time now as we learn about the invisible qualities of God. We are using A.W. Tozer’s material from  The Attributes of God to work from.

If you have missed any of these discussions you can find them on THE ROAD THROUGH ROMANS PAGE.

Let’s move on to our discussion of the quality of mercy.

 

Mercy is the quality we depend on to even be able to stand before all the other qualities of God. Except for His mercy we cannot partake of anything else in His divine nature. Let me ask you, where in the creation do you see the quality of mercy being displayed?

The Road Through Romans Immutability

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In these Road Road Through Romans Posts we have been discussing the “invisible qualities of God” from Romans 1:20.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

To help us along the pathway we are referencing A. W. Tozer’s thoughts from his book , The Attributes of God.”  In his book Tozer discusses 18 attributes of God he sees in the Scripture. You can fund those attributes listed HERE.

If you have missed any of our previous discussions they can be found on THE ROAD THROUGH ROMANS PAGE.

Today we are discussing the unchanging nature of God or his immutability. Let’s hear some thoughts on this attribute directly from A.W. himself.

 

 

I see God’s unchanging nature, in counterpoint to the rest of creation’s changeability, reflected in the mountains. The picture at the top of the page was taken at the Middle Lake just outside of Kilkenny.

My daughter and I were headed up to Moll’s Gap. We stopped as an autumn storm began to sweep down from the mountain across the lakes. The clouds rolled in fast chasing boaters and fishermen from their afternoon recreation. Then the lightning began to flash and the wind began to howl. The whole world was changed in an instant

Within a half hour the storm passed, leaving the world wet with dew and filled with the scent of clean rain but for it all the mountains had not moved. The stiff rocks barely registered that a storm had ever been there at all.

It may be a poor reflection in nature but there it is anyway, the changeability of a storm facing the unchanging nature of a mountain. What lasts for a moment loses power when it is tossed against the surface of  a thing that never changes or moves. God is more unchanging than those mountains. He is a rock that will never fail in the face of any storm this world may throw against Him. At least so says Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,

an ever-present help in trouble.

2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way

and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

3though its waters roar and foam

and the mountains quake with their surging.c

4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy place where the Most High dwells.

5God is within her, she will not fall;

God will help her at break of day.

6Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;

he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7The Lord Almighty is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8Come and see what the Lord has done,

the desolations he has brought on the earth.

9He makes wars cease

to the ends of the earth.

He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;

he burns the shieldsd with fire.

10He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.”

11The Lord Almighty is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress.

The Road Through Romans: Justice

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Today we are talking about the justice of God using Romans 1:20 as our spring board.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Justice is one of the invisible qualities of God as described by A.W. Tozer in his book The Attributes of God.

I don’t think there is a better time to address this characteristic of God’s justice than as we begin Holy Week.

So just what is God’s justice?

We see the justice of God written into the very fabric of the universe. Newton’s third law teaches us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That is justice. You reap what you sew.If you put garbage in you get garbage out. We get that in every other area of life. Why do we think it is different in the area of spirituality? God is just. Our only hope is that God’s character of mercy will work alongside His character of justice and that is the glory of the cross. God’s justice was satisfied in the mercy of Christ’s cross.

If you have missed any of our previous discussions on this topic they can all be found on THE ROAD THROUGH ROMANS PAGE.

The Road Through Romans: God is Self-Sufficient

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We have been exploring the Book Of Romans verse by verse for some time now and for the last 13 sessions in this series we have hovered over Romans 1:20 exploring the invisible qualities of God. We are using A.W. Tozer’s, The Attributes of God, as a jumping off point for our discussions. If you have missed any of the previous posts they can be found on THE ROAD THROUGH ROMANS PAGE.

Today we  are discussing God’s self-sufficiency. This is the idea that while we need God, God does not need us. He is everything He needs. The creation is dependent on the Creator but the Creator is not dependent on the creation.

This makes perfect sense and is reflected in nature by the relation of men to their own creations. If an artist paints a canvas, that canvas is entirely reliant upon the artist for what it becomes. If however the canvas is destroyed in a fire, its destruction does not change the artist into a non artist because it was destroyed. The art does not make the artist. The artist makes the art and the artists does not require anything from the art in order to remain artistic.

Some people think that God created us because he NEEDED worship or fellowship. But this is not true. God may find that an appealing attribute of His creation but He does not NEED worship to be God. He would be God still if not one angel or person ever lifted their voice in praise to Him again (I shudder to think what would happen to angels and people if that suddenly happened but God would have no worries).

 

That said we must realize that God alone is self-sufficient.Self-sufficiency is a quality of God and not man. We were made with limited sufficiency not all sufficiency. The idea of becoming totally self-sufficient is not a godly idea. It is not even a possibility. We were made to need God. We were made to seek God when we have a need not to try and figure it all out ourselves.

I would love to hear your thoughts.