"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse ..." Romans 1:18-20 (Read Romans 1)
Can anyone claim to have an excuse for his sinfulness and rebellion against the LORD God who both created and redeemed him? Can anyone claim, "I didn't know"?
The Word of God is quite clear when it says that mankind is without excuse for sin and rebelliousness. No one can legitimately say, "I didn't know."
Why? Because all of us have a natural knowledge of God written upon our hearts and God has clearly revealed Himself to us in His creation (cf. Rom. 2:14-16; Psalm 19:1-6). The Scripture says, "that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse."
But what happened to that natural knowledge of God? Though, deep down, people know the truth -- that they were created by an almighty and holy God and are accountable to Him -- they hold that truth in unrighteousness. "When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things" (v. 21-23).
People ignore and reject the truth which has been revealed to them. They turn away from the true God and reject His commandments. Instead of living for God and serving Him, they live in accord with their own self-chosen ideals and values. Their foolish hearts become calloused and darkened so they no longer even recognize the truth. They change the truth of God into a lie and worship and serve created things rather than the Creator of all things.
As a result of their rejection of the truth and rebellion, God gives them up to their corrupt desires. They reject not only the LORD God who made them but His purpose and design in creation. Even though they know, deep down, God's judgment upon their wickedness, they corrupt themselves and applaud others who do the same (Rom. 1:24-32).
While we may be quick to point the finger, the truth is that we are all guilty. We have all turned aside from the truth and followed our corrupt human nature (Read Romans 2). Though we know the truth, we often buy into the lies of the devil, the thinking of this world, and our own sinful longings.
And God's wrath is being revealed. His judgment is coming. The Scriptures warn us of what we already know, deep down. We have come short. We stand condemned and are guilty before God (cf. Psalm 130:3).
What hope do we have? There is only one hope, and that is in God's mercy and forgiveness for the sake of His Son, Jesus Christ, who fulfilled all righteousness for us and then bore the full punishment for all our sins when He suffered and died upon the cross and rose again (cf. Psalm 130:4-8; Rom. 3:21-26). Through faith in Christ Jesus, there is forgiveness and life!
O Almighty God, have mercy upon us and forgive us for the sake of Christ Jesus, who shed His blood to redeem us and win for us pardon and everlasting peace. Amen.
[Devotion by Randy Moll. Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible. More of Moll's devotional writings may be freely read at https://goodshepherdrogers.org.]