Summary: Since God made everything good – even sin – our job is less to “avoid bad” than it is to seek the good, and glorify God with it.
Title: It’s Best Use
Text: Romans 1:18-25
FCF: Since God made everything good – even sin – our job is less to “avoid bad” than it is to seek the good, and glorify God with it.
Why, do you suppose, that an all-powerful and all-loving God would let there be sin?
If he is both all powerful and all good, you’re allowed to wonder how it is that a good and powerful God could allow bad things to be.
Now, I know it’s easy to say, ‘free-will!’ and all, and you are right – it is a sign of God’s love that he lets us choose – but I still wonder, why does God create a situation where bad things exist?
In other words, why did he put the tree in the garden in the first place? He surely knew what happens when you put two young’ns in a room and said, “Do anything you want – just don’t do this!” I suspect Rachel and Jonathan have taught me all about the Garden that I’ll ever need to know.
But there is an answer, you know. And actually, the answer to the question: “Why would God create bad things?” is simple in the end. God doesn’t create evil things – he only creates good things that can be used in evil ways.
Take the Tree in the garden. It wasn’t “The Tree of Evil,” or “The Tree of Sin.” That Tree had a name – “The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” Who wouldn’t that? Who wouldn’t want to know right from wrong? Who wouldn’t want to be able to choose what’s better and what’s best?
Satan – the Father of Lies himself – was not lying when he told Eve, “You could be like God. If you eat, you will know what’s good and what’s bad.” And I can assure you, Adam didn’t eat ‘cause he was starving or because nothing else ‘schmecked. He ate it because he wanted to be like God.
The problem was not the Tree was evil. The Tree was good. It’s just that God had told them: “Guys, trust me on this. You need to wait. That tree is going to be great for you – you’re just not quite ready.”
But let’s face it. Adam and Eve and you and me: We don’t always trust God. We don’t honor his Word as superior to our own. We think we’re so wise, but in the end, we too become fools. We look at what made and we want it. We end up wanting it more than God; we end up wanting what he has made more than we even want him. And so, like Adam and Eve, we choose the created rather than the Creator. We turn to our own desires, our own lusts, and our entire world is darkened.
This morning, I want to clear up a few things about how sin works, and there is no better place to do it, then here in Romans. In 15 chapters, Paul is going to make a simple case – one you’ve probably heard before. He’s going to tell you that we’ve all sinned. We deserve God’s wrath, and hence deserve to die. But, God, who is rich in mercy forgives us, and even found a way to save us. Lifelong ministries are made out of explaining that argument, and since kick off is at 6:00 today, I’m even going to try to give all of that argument.
In theology classes, we always have a hard time discussing sin, because in the end you find out this fact – there is no such thing as sin. It’s like trying to describe darkness. There is no substance behind darkness. Darkness is nothing but the absence or lack of light. Sin is nothing but the absence or lack of God’s glory. We only know how that we don’t like sin, because we know how much better it is when we see God’s full radiant glory. And I for one want that.
But, I do want to try to give you an understanding of this. When it comes to sin, it isn’t God’s fault. He didn’t somehow set us up for failure. No, Sin comes about because of our failure to find no fault with God.
I want to stress to you this simple point: God didn’t make sin, God doesn’t set us up to sin, but by his nature God cannot abide sin, because it takes away from his loving perfection. Our purpose in life, as we’ll see, is to see that God made everything – and I mean everything – perfect. Even sin starts with a God-glorifying passion. The only question we have to answer is, will we choose to glorify God, or anything else.