Sunday, November 29, 2015

Just a Thought "94"

Romans 1:18-32 - God is fair in revealing his perfect wrath against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of the human race. In other words, in spite of people’s excuses, in spite of trying to shift the blame for people’s wrath-worthiness, Paul is presenting the evidence that all people of all time justly deserve the wrath of God, because all people are without excuse. It’s not what we deserve that is the issue, because all people deserve the wrath of a perfectly just God.

People glorify themselves by filtering everything they say and everything they do through that screen of self-protection, self-elevation, and self-gratification. No matter what we wish others to believe, we seek to satisfy self first and foremost. It is true of all of us, whether we like to admit it or not. People began their journey with unthankfulness, a lack of appreciation for the true God, and once on that road of a darkened heart, they traveled through such checkpoints as human reasoning and close-mindedness until their wayward course at it’s final destination brought them all the way to what God calls vile affections.

You see, vile affections is nothing more than idolatry at its logical conclusion: the end point of people replacing God with people. Things have not changed from the very beginning of time, we are at the same point today, or rapidly approaching it, that resulted in God giving up on the Gentiles way back in the book of Genesis. They knew about God, they chose not to keep him in their thoughts. The conscience has been present in people since the garden, and knowledge of the reality of God has been present as well.

That is Paul’s point, it is not just that people do these things, the problem is all people are wrath worthy, because all people have minds that are capable of doing these things given enough time or the right circumstances. Anyone of us here are capable of doing what anyone else in this world has ever done. Do you know what these vile affections that Paul is making reference to are called today? An alternate lifestyle. Obviously, unclean hearts, darkened minds attempt to take the shame out of it. The idea is, let’s just get on with life and accept it for what it is.

Romans 2:1 - Paul knew that the defense mechanism resident within the pride nature of the human heart would be instant in it’s response to protest the accusation of wrath worthiness. Paul knew the human heart would not only be quick, but that it would be ingenious in the pleas that it would offer as to why we are not wrath-worthy. Paul anticipated the reaction of the human heart given the sin nature disease. Paul anticipated that we would jump to defend ourselves. Paul anticipated that some people would be quick to defend other people.

Paul has done what any wise prosecuting attorney would do, he has been eliminating our excuses before we have opportunity to present them. No one has a self-defense plea that will successfully excuse them from being counted worthy of God’s wrath. No one therefore, will be able to escape the judgment of God by anything that they do. This is what Paul has been setting out to prove; the necessity of justification, the gift declaration of righteousness by faith.

Paul does not saying IF we do these things and IF we judge another then we are guilty. Paul is saying whenever we judge another we are automatically condemning yourself, because the truth is we do the same things, we may do them in a different way, but rest assured we do them. Anytime we condemn the coming shortnesses in others, we need to understand the reality of the fact that we are all in the same boat, we all come short in the righteousness department due to that indwelling sin nature.

We all come short of God’s measure of rightness. A person who is in the gutter, so to speak, oftentimes realizes the situation they have gotten themselves into, but a person who believes they are in a position to judge someone else; a person who has rationalized away their own short comings is one who is failing to recognize the sins of self.

Romans 2:2 - Paul begins with this statement in order to contrast God’s judgment with people’s judgment. God’s judgment is according to truth. No slanting of the facts to protect the guilty. No self-justification based on the convenience of the moment. No ethics geared to the situation at hand according to Paul, but God’s judgment is according to truth, our own moralizing standards set aside. The human race is guilty.

If we are pleading that some individuals do in fact measure up to God’s righteousness, Paul has just dispensed with that foolish notion. We all appear at different places, at different times within the list called: GUILTY. There is a short-coming of righteousness in the world, because there is a short-coming of righteousness in individuals, and that includes everyone. 

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