After lovingly greeting the Romans and assuring them that he plans to visit them and find mutual encouragement from each other ASAP, Paul spends the entire second half of Romans chapter 1 expressing God’s wrath on unrighteousness, providing multiple examples of what turning away from the LORD looks like, and warning against such evil. Paul does not take the neglect to honor God (despite knowing Him) lightly, and thoroughly affirms that God does not either.
It is abundantly clear that we are living in an age in which right = wrong and wrong = right, in a world where people are living not for the Father, but rather for their own selfish desires – even daring to call them “good,” and encouraging us to do the same. However, we know how God has called us to live, and what will lead to true joy and fulfillment.
“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God continues to live forever.” 1 John 2:15-17
Sadly, we are often guilty of failing in this regard in one way or another, as noted by Paul,
“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.” Romans 1:25
We constantly make the mistake of trading a relationship with God for the temporary satisfaction of giving into worldly temptation, worshiping possessions/desires rather than the One who provided us with them. But we are called to rise above the evil and temptation of this world, for there is nothing here that is worthy of worship except the one true God.
It is reiterated multiple times in these passages that there is no excuse for those who know God and yet choose to turn away from Him to live an ungodly life. The last verse of chapter 1 says: “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” I pray that we may have the wisdom and discernment to not fall for these false claims that evil is good, though we are surrounded by such lies everyday. Guard your hearts, that you may live in this world as a light, and not of this world, trapped in darkness.
- In what ways have you found yourself exchanging the truth for a lie, choosing the creature over the Creator?
- What’s a change you can make this week to keep God at the forefront of your life? How does putting God first in everything you do determine what your life looks like/how you spend your time?