For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
I do not know how “devotional” this morning’s thoughts will be, but I hope they will strengthen your faith. I have always been blessed with a vivid imagination. As you read Romans 1:14-32, picture walking down Main Street and looking in a storefront display window. In that window, God has salvation on full display, ready and available for who will come in and ask for it.
- What God Has Offered – Romans 1:16-18
Romans 1:16 is one of the most recognized verses concerning the gospel. It clearly tells us that if believed, the gospel will bring salvation to us.
Romans 1:17 teaches us that in the gospel we see the righteousness of God revealed. By believing the gospel and trusting Christ, we are given the righteousness of God.
Romans 1:18 teaches us that in the gospel we see the wrath of God revealed. I believe that Romans 1:18-32 is just as much a part of the gospel as Romans 1:16-17. Because of the wrath of God, I need a Savior. Because of sin, I need a Savior. Because of my inability to be righteous on my own, I need a Savior.
- What Man Exchanged – Romans 1:23,25,28
Imagine with me walking into a store and telling the shop owner what you do not like about his product and how you would change it. That is what we see here in this passage. Mankind has been given by birth and through creation a clear witness of God’s existence. We are “without excuse.” But… mankind did not like what God revealed to them about Himself so they started negotiations to exchange some things.
A. They changed His glory as Creator to the glory of what was created – vs.23
B. They changed the truth of God into a lie – vs.25
C. They changed their knowledge of God into no acknowledgement – vs.28
- What God Gave Them Up To – Romans 1:24,26,28
Three times in Romans 1 we see the phrase “God gave them up/over”. Please note: God did not give up. He gave them up. If He gave up we would not be saved by the grace of God. Notice the negative progression described in these three verses.
A. Exchanged glory results in uncleanness – vs.24
B. Exchanged truth results in vile affections – vs.26
C. Exchanged knowledge results in a reprobate mind – vs.28
We all know that sin begins in the mind and heart before it is manifested in actions. In these three verses we see the results of sin from the outward manifestation and result to the very foundational roots. It is like looking at an apple with a bruise on the outside that once you start trying to cut it out, you discover that the core is rotten.
I will leave you with this. I believe the only proper perspective we can have on our world today comes from the Bible. In Romans 1, Paul is giving a history of mankind and their rejection of God. He is also writing about the current times in which he lived. As you and I read this passage, we see a description of our world today. What is the common denominator? The only answer and solution for man’s sinful condition is the gospel. The only way to receive the gospel is to accept it by faith as a free gift from God. There is no negotiation and there nothing to exchange. The gospel will either be accepted or rejected. I hope you have chosen to accept it. It is the power of God unto salvation.