Summary: This is an on-going expository study of the Book of Romans, verse by verse
Book of Romans Study
Lesson # 4
By Rev. James May
Romans 1:21 – 2:1
Romans 1:21 Because that, 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.
Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
We ended last week with these two verses in which the Apostle Paul was explaining how that men and women have rejected God, denied his existence and as a result, they became unthankful and began to create their own vision of a god of their own making, or else chose to decide that there was no God at all.
As a result of the rejection of the only source of Truth and Light, which is the God of all Creation, then their understanding was darkened and they no longer have an unshakeable foundation upon which to establish their beliefs. Men would rather believe their own imaginations than to accept the truth of the Existence of an Omniscient and Omnipotent, Holy God.
Men became so convinced in their own deceit that they actually thought themselves as wiser than God, if he even existed.
But regardless of how “wise” they think they are; God call them fools if they do not believe and serve him.
David said in Psalms 14:1, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God…”
The voice of those who say that God is dead; that there is no God; that God is whoever or whatever you say he is; that all god’s created by man are the same; that all religions are the same and lead to the same end; those voices are the voices of the greatest fools among men.
These are the voices of the ungodly that will face the wrath of God.
Paul continues now in his explanation of how far man has gone in his attempts to rid his consciousness of the existence of God. With each passing generation, this attempt at erasing God from the interference he brings into the existence of man and all things only grows stronger.
Let me say that when we lose touch with the ideas and foundations that create freedom and understanding in the hearts of men, then we lose also the ability to remain free. Freedom must be based upon absolute truth and an infallible foundation, or it is soon corrupted and lost forever.
That’s what is happening in our national constitution, but even worse, it is happening in the Church as well. When we begin to conform to the imagination of God in our own minds instead of basing what we believe on the Truth of God’s Word, then everything else in our world comes crashing down eventually.
The freedom of salvation through the blood of Jesus; the freedom of the Righteousness that is given to us by the Righteousness of Christ; the freedom from the requirements of the Law of God that are fulfilled in Christ; the inheritance that we have in Heaven because of Christ; and the process of mediation between man and God that comes only in Jesus, are forever lost.
When we lose that because of our own vain imaginations and allowing ourselves to be deceived into believing that God is no more and that Jesus and the Cross are nothing but fairy tales to make men feel good, then we have lost everything.
Without Jesus, there is nothing but condemnation and judgment ahead. Let us beware lest these truths are stolen through our own vain imaginations, or by listening to the lies and deceit of those whom Satan will place in our path to draw us aside. That’s his job and he’s getting better at it all the time. Christians beware, lest your faith is destroyed and your eternal life lost. Listen to the Word of God, and not the voices of foolish men, whomever they may be. Let God be True and every man a liar!
Romans 1:23 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.
When men won’t believe the Truth of the existence of a Holy, Beneficent God, then they create in their own minds and hearts, a substitute. Very few men will refuse to exist in a “higher power”. Even the Atheist will have to admit that there is some Karma, or driving force that keeps all life moving. But instead of the True God, we begin to imagine our own gods.
We change that which is perfect in every way, without sin, without corruption; and in God’s place we make our own image.
Paul used the word “changed”, but let me say that whatever man decides about God, does not change anything of the reality of Who God is. God is the same yesterday, today and forever; and the Bible says that God changes not! So the only thing changed is man perception and believe, but not the reality of God at all. The only change is within the hearts of men.