Romans 1:16 ¶ 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. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 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. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 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.
Romans 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
Man is made in the image of God. Therefore to change that true concept of God has disastrous effect upon mankind. When we change the glory of the incorruptible God, (v.23), the result is that God gives the human race over to a change in their own identity, and therefore their relationship to one another. Homosexuality comes from a refusal of a society to ascribe to God the glory that is rightfully His!
Fallen man will imagine himself to still be the pattern and picture of God! For when God is silent in the matter of his sin, man assumes that to be God’s approval. Therefore he assumes he must be as God, defining good and evil for himself. Psalm 50:21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.
And is this not the very thing with which Satan tempted Eve? Genesis 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
But take careful notice of verse twenty in our text. It reveals that God has not left himself without a strong witness. For the things that are made so witness even of God’s eternal power and Godhead, that they render all mankind as inexcusable for their wrongful concept of God!
Consider Psalm 19 concerning this witness. Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
Not a single individual in the entire human race is excused from realizing the invisible things of God! Because there is not any language barrier that prohibits them from hearing Creation’s speech! There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. No matter what the ancient Chinese word was for the sun, or the various languages of the American Indian tribes words are for the heavens, God is manifest in them! Therefore all are without excuse.
For the Psalmist in verse five of his nineteenth psalm had a bridegroom, bedecked in his glorious clothing, coming out of his private chambers to participate in the wedding, revealed to him as he saw the sun come up. And we know that the Bridegroom is Christ! John 3:29 He that hath the bride (the church), is the bridegroom (Christ): but the friend of the bridegroom, (John the Baptist), which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. For the “s-u-n” reveals the “S-o-n.” For Jesus Christ is the center of the universe. He is the Light of the world. It is in his provided life and light in which we move, and have our being. (Acts 17:28)
Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Another saw the sun as those who loved the Lord. Judges 5:31 So let all thine enemies perish, O LORD: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might.
But there is the record of witness from those who actually saw and heard the Person of the Bridegroom himself. Therefore the Apostle John writes in 1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
And of the Apostle Peter we read in 2 Peter 1:15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. 16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star (the Sun, or Christ), arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
The scriptures reveal that no human being has ever, or shall ever, see God apart from our Mediator. Then they state what we can see. John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
For seeing the Son by the eye of faith brings life. John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
The Lord Jesus proclaimed that such spiritual vision was a very rare and blessed thing. Matthew 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
For, as has been stated, seeing the clear and proper image has eternal effect upon the soul of mankind. Beholding the true glory of God always changes one into that image! 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
For man’s fall into sin resulted in his coming short of God’s glory. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; But as that previous verse clearly states, recovery of man, changing him into the image of Christ, results only from beholding the glory of the Lord. And that is the difference between the religious professor and the true believer! The religious professor can memorize the scriptures and mimic a legal performance of them, but he cannot see the glory of the Lord in them. THAT is the chief difference between the tares and the wheat!
Those who have been given eyes to see the glory come to bear the image of the heavenly. Consider these verses: 1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
In the tares, Satan blinds their minds so that the glory of the gospel does not appear to them. 2 Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
But for the wheat (the believing elect), there is given the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. And this comes to them in seeing the Son by faith. 2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Seeing Christ as the image of the invisible God is that which makes us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Colossians 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
For those who only mind earthly things, are enemies of the cross and therefore shall never attain a heavenly estate. But those whose “conversation,” that is, ‘manner of life,’ is from a heavenly consciousness, their very bodies shall even be changed like unto his glorious body. Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) 20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
Remember that all creation so ‘speaks’ of the Lord God that everyone is rendered inexcusable for not worshipping Him. But also remember that every thing, every person, every circumstance, every color, every material in the entirety of the Scriptures also exclusively ‘speaks’ of the Lord Jesus Christ.
They are not primarily for the attaining of eternal life. Faith can only come by the Person of the Word! John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Pastor Gene Breed
August 29, 2019