#Day 4 ; Unearthing my beliefs

Romans 4: – Abraham’s walk of faith

Verse 1 – 8: – Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God? If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.  David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it: “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.” [NLT]

Reflections: – Most of us grew up singing “Father Abraham has many sons, I am one of them and so are you”. He is called out father in the first verse but he dug up a hard truth through his experience with God [There are certain things we can only fully understand through our own personal experiences]. Vs 3 is equally quoted in Gen 15:6. The righteousness associated with Abraham was as a result of his faith in God. Everything within him didn’t add up to what God promised to him. In Gen 12, God had already said Abraham was going to be made a great nation even when Sarah had been declared a barren woman. But in Gen 15 Abraham responded to God for the first time when God told him not to be afraid. I needed to emphasize this, Abraham was scared when God said he had a great reward. How often have we received a word concerning our lives and freaked out? Maybe looking at your current capacity, you’re unable to carry it through but it was this fear that led Abraham to ask God a couple of questions that prompted God to tell him his descendants will be too many to be counted. Childless Abraham with a barren Sarah believed God, he amplified God and his inability took second place. God was all that mattered in the equation. Just like in linear algebra, He was the X that needed to be found to complete the equation. Abraham was just the perfect candidate for God. He knew it wasn’t about his efforts cos of their present situation, he had nothing to boast of. Abraham wasn’t a perfect person, he was a sinner but the faith he placed in God by believing in Him is righteousness. It isn’t the sinner that is counted righteous rather the faith at work in them, this faith now transforms them daily into becoming Christ-like.

Verse 9-12: – Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness.  How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also,  and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised. [NKJV]

Reflections: – Paul definitely knew how to ask those questions that linger on in our hearts. All those who associate with Abraham apart from Christians practice circumcision. I’m wondering why the question popped up. Maybe the religious leaders at that time and even now were using it as a yardstick to measure the level of Christianity. Perhaps a class system was created; Christians without circumcision [Beginner’s class], Christian with circumcision [Mature class]. But Abraham’s righteousness came before his circumcision. Remember in Chapter 3 we respond to what God has done, the circumcision came as a sign of his faith in God’s acceptance of him. So now we have Abraham who is righteous both in the uncircumcised and circumcised. What this clearly says is ACCEPTANCE. Circumcision involves removing of the foreskin, Abraham still had it but God called him righteous. What is your own foreskin? Oh how God is waiting patiently for you to believe Ciin Him, to trust in His saving power. After you come to Him, your foreskin will be taken away.

Verse 13-18: – Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless. For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!)So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.”This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.  Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” [NLT]

Reflections: – God’s promise to Abraham was not in any way tied to his adherence of the law which involves human effort. It was going to be both a walk and work of faith. Although there was a promise from God, there wasn’t a step by step instruction on how it would come to pass, after a while Sarah advised him to help God by sleeping with her maid Hagar. It was still his seed besides his clock was ticking and so was Sarah’s, or maybe God was sleeping on the job or perhaps forgotten or just maybe they needed to speed up the time. But we forget the race isn’t to the swift, time is in His hands, our God is faithful and keeps His words. Can you put yourself in this scenario? Has HE promised, then let Him be God and do what He said. If God wanted Hagar to be part of the grand design, Abraham’s faith wouldn’t have been necessary. T.D. Jakes says if you have a shovel dig that “mountain” out of the way instead of using your faith. In essence we use faith when our human ability can’t achieve certain things. While Abraham’s faith is explored you might be thinking if it’s ever possible to get to the level he got in his walk with God. Don’t be mistaken, he was human just like us, while God was speaking to him about the blessings on him and his generations in Gen 17, he was busy thinking of Ishmael and after God had corrected him by saying the heir was going to come from Sarah, he didn’t just doubt it, he even laughed. But he went beyond doubting, in the face of contrary evidence he chose to believe God. We are constantly faced with doubt and belief; it’s entirely up to us to choose.

Verse 19 – 25: – And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.  He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,  and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him,  but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification. [NKJV]

Reflections: – Although Abraham had fathered a child by Hagar when he was 86, God spoke to him when he was about 100 years, coupled with Sarah’s infertility, it looked impossible. But his faith was strengthened the more cos he knew it wasn’t about him, he kept his eye on the promise. I’m pretty sure he was excited to see how God would pull such stunt, it’s like seating in a movie theatre, watching your life play out on the big screen but not knowing what the next scene will be like. The anticipation!!! He was fully, not partially convinced in God’s ability to fulfill the promise. Now that was what gave him right standing with God, he simply said to God I TRUST YOU. How reassuring to know we are giving such privilege of right standing with God when we believe in the One (God) who raised Jesus from the dead. Our sin led to His death and His resurrection leads us to right standing with God.

***End***

Loads of Love

JMAD

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#Day 3 ; Unearthing my beliefs

Romans 3 : – Riding on what He has done

Verse 1 – 8: – What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written:“That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged.”But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.)  Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world?  For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.[NKJV]

Reflections: – I have battled with this particular chapter cos’ of some hard truths in it, even Paul isn’t left out. It’s reassuring to know Paul wasn’t afraid to point out where he spoke as a human being, he needed to remind us Christians, it’s okay to ask those questions we encounter in our Christian walk. How often have we been taught we should never question God but looking through the Bible we constantly see men and women engaging in dialogue with God which sometimes involves questions… ‘Come let us reason together says the Lord’ Isaiah 1:18a. Now we are trying to uncover the truth behind the righteousness of God and Paul is asking if in the display of our sinful nature and unrighteousness God’s righteousness is brought to bear, why are we still judged for that since it’s an occasion for God to display it. To start with God is righteous, He doesn’t become righteous cos’ of our unrighteousness, it is who He is. A Doctor isn’t named one cos’ the sick visit him/her, neither should the Doctors be blamed for the sickness of their patients. The patients only highlight who they are and what they’ve studied for.

Verse 9 – 18: –  Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin. As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous—not even one…They don’t know where to find peace. They have no fear of God at all.”[NLT]

Reflections: – An emphasis was made on “us” and “them”. He had to highlight that both the Jews (custodians of the law) and Gentiles (those without the law) were both on the same boat. There is none who is righteous as long as you are on earth; the sinful nature abides in you. Not just the nature but under the power and just like it’s highlighted “ how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man” Matt 12:29. It’s a power tussle, we need a higher power to free us from sin, and self-will can’t get us there.

Verse 19 – 20: –  Now we know that whatever the Law [of Moses] says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that [the excuses of] every mouth may be silenced [from protesting] and that all the world may be held accountable to God [and subject to His judgment]. For no person will be justified [freed of guilt and declared righteous] in His sight by [trying to do] the works of the Law. For through the Law we become conscious of sin [and the recognition of sin directs us toward repentance, but provides no remedy for sin].[AMP]

Reflections: – I enjoy watching Australia declares, in one of the episodes a woman was found with a suitcase packed with food stuffs and fruits too. She hadn’t declared it and it was against the Australian law to bring in such, hence she attracted a fine. But on further interrogation they found out she was a first time flyer and committed the crime out of ignorance not to forget the tantrum she threw at the officers. The items were destroyed and the fine was cancelled cos of her ignorance. This was highlighted in verse 19, the law was given to place everyone on the same level and that no one will have an excuse to accuse God of being an unfair judge. It brings us to the end of ourselves, that edge of the cliff moment where we know we are helpless without a Hand reaching out to grab us. Our sin senses get activated once we hear or see “Do Not”, I don’t know why but it’s human nature. Take a cue from Adam and Eve, it was after the instruction “Do not eat” that the tempter came along.

Verse 21 – 26 : – But now God has shown us a way to be made right with Him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.  For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in His grace, freely makes us right in His sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when He held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for He was looking ahead and including them in what He would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate His righteousness, for He Himself is fair and just, and He makes sinners right in His sight when they believe in Jesus.[NLT]

Reflections: – But why did God give us an alternative through Jesus Christ in order to be made right with Him? Wasn’t the law good enough? The law that came through Moses by God gave us the only option of adhering to rules in order to earn our justification before God but not how to achieve it, but now even right now God is saying you are made right with God by placing your faith in Jesus Christ and believe in His death and shed blood. And this call is for everyone, it simply gives everyone an equal opportunity regardless of you or what you’ve believed in the past. You are declared righteous and no longer bound by the power of sin. This is the greater power, the Almighty God we need to tear down the strongholds of sins.

Verse 27 – 31: –  Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.  After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course he is. There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.[NLT]

Reflections: – By this act of sacrifice, human effort is eliminated cos it’s not about anything we’ve done. Rather its simply believing, this makes the message of Christianity different, difficult to understand by other religions and legalists, too basic to be complicated. God calls you to Himself even in your sinful nature and cleans you up cos of your faith in Him. While other religions expects you to cleaned up before coming. God doesn’t respond to what we do rather we respond to what He does. Isn’t it amazing and mind boggling at the same time? If we are made right with God by faith without obeying the law, what kind of lives do we live? Vs 31 says we only fulfill the law when we have faith. But why do I still need the law when I have been made right with God already? I am sure other chapters will answer the question.

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Loads of Love

JMAD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#Day 2 ; Unearthing my beliefs

Roman 2 – Beyond Religion and Works

Verse 1 – 4: – You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?[NLT]

Reflections: – But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done [MSG]. Chap. 1 explored the practice of hidden lustful desires. While Paul was writing about it, he had to remind the Romans especially the holier than thou who were quick to expose other people’s sins that they weren’t better off. I remember writing a post on the jail term issued by Nigerian lawmakers, and I said if they wanted to institute laws from the Bible or Koran they should go the whole nine yards. Let us not be selective in picking our laws. How often have we been quick to cast stones on others when God’s mercy has kept us from been stoned by others as a result of our sinful nature. God’s mercy is given to cause us to turn away from sin.

Verse 5 – 10: –But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile.[NLT]

Reflections: – While we are taking that mercy for granted, a time will come when we’ll be judged based on what we’ve done on earth. A set of people were mentioned – self-seeking, those who live for themselves. Remember the people in the previous chapter who refused to acknowledge God even when the whole creations points to Him. We have been redeemed at a price by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the life we live is no longer ours but we live for God. Have we yielded totally to God or are we still in control?

Verse 12 – 16: – When the Gentiles sin, they will be destroyed, even though they never had God’s written law. And the Jews, who do have God’s law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it. For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight. Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it.  They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.[NLT]

Reflections: – I have often wondered what would happen to those who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. Vs 12 says those who sinned without the law will perish without the law. How then will they know they’ve sinned if there was no law? Vs 14-15 explains it by saying though they don’t know the law, they naturally obeyed it without even hearing it by following their conscience and thoughts which either accused them or assured them they were on the right path. This throws light on Cain when he killed his brother Abel, Joseph when he decided not to sleep with Potiphar’s wife. The law wasn’t given by then. What is the state of our conscience? Do we still listen to the promptings on the inside? Or do we have a lot of clutter that we can’t hear anymore? Who are you when the door is closed behind you? Although no one sees and may never know what is done in secret, God sees and we all will be judged by Jesus Christ for the secret life we lived either good or bad.

Verse 17 – 24: – You who call yourselves Jews are relying on God’s law, and you boast about your special relationship with him. You know what he wants; you know what is right because you have been taught his law. You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind and a light for people who are lost in darkness.  You think you can instruct the ignorant and teach children the ways of God. For you are certain that God’s law gives you complete knowledge and truth. Well then, if you teach others, why don’t you teach yourself? You tell others not to steal, but do you steal?  You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples? You are so proud of knowing the law, but you dishonor God by breaking it. No wonder the Scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.”[NLT]

Reflections: – Let’s rephrase vs. 17 You who call yourself ____(fill in the blank spaces, I could help with some suggestions) Altar boy, Prayer group leader, Choir leader, Baptized Christian, Knight, Lady, Dame, Born Again, Christian Blogger, Bishop, Pope… the list is inexhaustible. You boast in these titles and your assumed relationship. This reminds me of the lyrics of the song Give Me by Kirk Franklin and Mali Music “Everybody’s got a title but do you know your name”. When we stand before God, do these titles still exist? I’m afraid No vs 20b says you are certain that God’s law gives you complete knowledge and truth but Kirk answers the question by saying we should humble ourselves and fall on our faces. Have we become so bloated with knowing the law that in the midst of it we’ve taken God for granted causing others (Non-Christians) to blaspheme against God? In simpler terms, have we misused the grace God has given us thereby living in sin?

Verse 25 – 27: – The Jewish ceremony of circumcision has value only if you obey God’s law. But if you don’t obey God’s law, you are no better off than an uncircumcised Gentile.  And if the Gentiles obey God’s law, won’t God declare them to be his own people?  In fact, uncircumcised Gentiles who keep God’s law will condemn you Jews who are circumcised and possess God’s law but don’t obey it. [NLT]

Reflections: – I was baptised at three months, confirmed and received the Holy Communion, became born again in my early 20’s, was Asst Sec Gen of a fellowship, taught bible class for teenagers. All of these things amount to nothing if i’m not yielded totally to God and i’m not better than some other person who hasn’t done any of these things but obeys God from their conscience. Let me illustrate it better. While i was undergoing my one year mandatory Youth Service, this truth stared me in the face. During one of our meetings, a friend who couldn’t make it asked me to write his name in the attendance register. This was totally wrong but everyone does it, besides it’s not a major thing. Meanwhile another giy in my group came dressed in the wrong attire and was asked not to write his name in the register. To my greatest shock he didn’t try to get his name on the list even when most of us who had been earlier warned did otherwise. When i found out, i was partly surprised and amused and I struck up a conversation with him. I assumed he was a Muslim cos of his name and maybe he was fasting cos it was the Ramadan period but he said he wasn’t a Muslim neither was he a Christian. He just did what was right. I’ll just leave it there.

Verse 28 – 29: – For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision. No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people. [NLT]

Reflections: – I am not a Christian cos of my bullet point of works or accolades rather I’m one who has peace on the inside with God as a result of God’s Spirit at work in me. This daily change on the inside isn’t dependent on the praises or admiration of men, neither do I desire to be in the good books of men at the expense of my relationship with God. Rather I daily seek to please God and go to bed everyday knowing He’s proud of me. Have we gotten to this experience?

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Loads of Love

JMAD

#Day 1 ; Unearthing my beliefs

It’s amazing how God’s word is really new and refreshing, I had read Romans 1 before but I got a different insight this time around. If you’re just visiting the blog for the first time, you can read up what led to this study here. The study will take the following format, a central theme for each chapter, analysis of the verses and a reflection.

Romans 1 – Good News and the Truth

Verse 1 – 4 : – This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News (Gospel). God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the holy Scriptures.  The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. [NLT]

Reflections: – Paul can be likened to our present day Pastor, Priest etc while we can’t all verify who commissioned them to carry out the message they bring to the world, Paul was chosen by God and his sole purpose was to speak of Good News. In order not to keep us guessing or getting into an argument of what Good News meant the next verse explained it as the Son of God. Simply put the Good News/Gospel is all about Jesus Christ. This is the crux of Christianity.

Verse 7 – 8 : – To all who are in Rome beloved of God called to be saints, grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ Let me say first that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in him is being talked about all over the world.[NLT]

Reflections: – Paul writes to the Romans about Jesus Christ as well as God the Father, for every time he mentions Jesus we read about God the Father. For he knows his only access to God the Father is through the Son Jesus Christ, even while he prayed he adopted the same procedure. How often have we sought help from the Father through other means?

Verse 9 – 12 : – For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers,  making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you.  For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established  that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. [NKJV]

Reflections: – He serves God in his spirit… but what of those who serve in the Church, the Choristers, Protocol, Evangelists etc. Don’t they serve God through their various works? Why didn’t Paul say God whom I serve with my body? Remember the conversation Jesus had with the woman at the well, He ended by saying they that worship God, must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Our service/worship stems from the spirit. Without that we are just displaying works of flesh, and remember the flesh is always in competition with the spirit. Sooner or later we will wear out if our service is from the flesh, it all becomes about us, rivalry and pride sets in. He went further to say he desires to be with them to impart some spiritual gift note he didn’t say gifts (just like the fruit of the spirit Eph 5:9), that they may be established. The spiritual gift from God is all encompassing, how much of it have we desired, just like in the harvests of 30’s, 60’s, 100’s. Do you have anyone writing letters to you? Have you become an Island? What kind of impartation are you receiving? While you may think the Romans only needed the impartation for their good, Paul says it was of mutual benefit. Iron sharpens iron. Have you been imparted with spiritual gift? If you have, what are you doing with it?

Verse 16 – 17: –  For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith [NLT]. As the Scriptures say,  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith “ [NKJV].

Reflections: – Why would anyone be ashamed of this Good News? If you’ve ever been ashamed, it’s time to analyze what you believe. For this is what makes us right in God’s sight, it transforms us. Notice he didn’t say the works you do rather the Good News which is Jesus Christ. Just when you’re wondering how, he says it is by faith. Hold on, I thought faith was only applicable to receiving great and mighty miracles from God, that mountain moving testimony but here Paul is saying our righteousness, right standing is by faith. Let’s hold that thought a bit

Verse 18 – 20: – But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them.  For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God [NLT]

Reflections: – This verse wasn’t written to the ignorant or unbelievers rather to those who already know God. Could this be written to Christians? Or better still those who have experienced the truth about God and probably given the mandate to share that truth with others. Are you a minister, apostle or preacher in the Lord’s house? Have you withheld the truth God Himself revealed to you from your congregation? You may not be heading a Church but you are putting an end, concealing the truth from people. What exactly is that truth? The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. Nothing was created without God, and all that was created was made for His pleasure and to bring Him glory. The entire world we see points to God, therefore we really have no excuse not to know Him.

Verse 21 – 24: – Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.  So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies.

Reflections: – The first verse reveals pride; they knew God but wouldn’t worship Him and were equally unthankful. Once again these are people who know God. They are the self-sufficient ones, the wise ones, maybe I could be one of them. When you think your wisdom has gotten you to the place you are now, and in that assumed wisdom you start to create a God that best suits your imagination. These imaginations lead to the creation of idols which can be in any form, career, spouse, accolades, wealth, fame etc. As a result of this God abandoned them, I think this is the worst state to live in. Gen 20 gave an account of how Abraham lied to Abimelech that Sarah was his sister that resulted in Abimelech taking her as his wife vs 6 says ‘’In the dream God responded to Abimelech, yes I know you are innocent that’s why I kept you from sinning against me and why I didn’t let you touch her’’. Imagine if God had abandoned Abimelech to fulfill his desires, it’s like a hedge around us, once it is removed the true evil intents of our heart gets to work.

Verse 25 – 28: – They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.  Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done [NLT].

Reflections: – Paul mentions the truth again; in this case idol worship was practiced. Remember idol worship isn’t just carved images. Whenever the issue of same-sex relationship is mentioned, most Christians refer to this verse and maybe while reading this, you are saying please tell them but a careful look at the verse above reveals these actions came from their inner lustful desires. When God abandoned them they practiced it. Question is, what is your own inner lustful desire and for a second imagine if God abandons you now, what act will you display?

Verse 29 – 32: – Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy.  They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.

Reflections: – As a result of the shameful things practiced their lives became filled with terrible things, and they started to invent new ways of sinning. But the terrible things they did are not too far from us, they are within us every day. Is there a correlation to out hidden lustful desires? To crown it all vs 32 says they know God’s justice for those engaging in it, they don’t just do them but give their seal of approval to those who practice them.

***End***

I didn’t think it would have been this long, but then again remember I said I wasn’t sure of what to expect. I hope you have started questioning yourself and your beliefs. Chapter 2 will be explored tomorrow by God’s grace.

Loads of Love

JMAD