Summary: Men suppress the truth about God and lost their only true bearings in life, become futile in their thinking and darkened in their hearts. The result is ungodliness and unrighteousness.
Why do we need the Gospel? Why do we need Jesus to save us? What’s wrong with us? Why the need to be rescued in the first place?
• These are important questions because unless we understand our plight, we will not appreciate the Gospel. It won’t be good news to us.
• Jesus: "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (Mark 2:17 NIV)
• In other words, we are all sinners. We are sick with sin and in need of a doctor who can cure us of it and make us whole and righteous.
But the sick needs to know he is sick, only then will he finds a doctor for a cure.
• Some are ignorant, not knowing they are sick. They think they are fine. They are sinners in need of salvation but think they are fine, like the Pharisees.
• These are those who think they can cure themselves, believing that by their good deeds and self-efforts, they can be good.
• And then there are those who are not willing to find help. They are living in denial. They do not want to admit they are in need. Their ego is stopping them.
The Lord wants us to know the truth because only the truth can set us free. (John 8:32)
• We do not want to live in ignorance or in denial, pretending that we are well when we are not.
• We do not want pride or face-saving stops us from admitting our need.
• Deny the problem and nothing will be done. The virus will stay with us and we are going to live with it, for the rest of our life. Call sin a sin and you will have hope.
The first step to any recovery - from sin, sickness, bad habits or any addictions - is to ADMIT that we are powerless and in need of help.
• Then we will seek Jesus and experience the power of God for the salvation of our soul, to all who is willing to trust Him.
Paul explains in the next section - from Rom 1:18 to 3:20 – this sickness we have, the problem of sin in humanity.
• It is not a guilt trip. Paul is not trying to make us feel guilty about ourselves.
• He is giving us the true diagnosis of our real condition in the sight of God.
• Like a doctor holding up our MRI scan or X-ray and giving us a report of the state of our health.
18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
God has given us evidence of His presence, in nature and creation.
• His unseen attributes of “eternal power and divine nature” have been made visible by the things created.
• Although this is a natural revelation - general in nature and not like the special revelation of the coming of Jesus Christ – it is enough to reveal God.
• Paul says it is plain to them, God has shown it, and He can be clearly perceived. They are without excuse.
Psalm 19:1-2 “1The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. 2Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.”
• If we examine creation, we will see the marks of the Creator. We are without excuse, Paul says.
When Paul and Barnabas were on their first missionary journey at Lystra, they healed a crippled man and the people wanted to make them gods – Acts 14.
• Acts 14:15-17 15“Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”