Sermon – “There’s No Excuse For That!” Romans 1:19-21
The Silent Holocron usually dedicates Monday space to the sermon that will be preached the following Sunday. Since Stephen has been grossly negligent in posting his sermons, the next few will be “catch-up” posts until we get to Romans 2:12-16 or thereabouts, where Stephen is currently located.
What can be known about God is clear to them, because God has shown it all to them. God’s eternal power and character cannot be seen. But from the beginning of creation, God has shown what these are like by all the things he has made. That’s why those people don’t have any excuse. They know who God is, but they did not glorify him or even thank him. Their thoughts are useless, foolish hearts are in the dark.
With these verses, Paul continues his masterful offensive that ought to leave no doubt that everyone needs the Gospel. Having shown clearly that sinners suppress the truth, he then moves to a proposition that ought to surprise even the atheist:
Everyone Knows About God.
God has clearly shown us in creation that:
- God is the CREATOR
- God is ETERNAL
- God is INVISIBLE
- God is POWERFUL
- God is WISE
- God is ACTIVE
- God is GOOD
God also keeps the universe from blowing up!
Think about this short list for a moment. Even if you don’t believe in God, humor me and think about it for a moment. What would it take for someone to create our physical universe? What kind of Person would it have to be? Such a Person would have to be all the things listed above, and more. You could come up with this list all by your lonesome, without a Bible to tell you about it. I bet you could even come up with a few descriptors the Bible doesn’t use.
And just by the mere fact that you are able to conceive of the kind of Person it would take to create our physical universe, Paul forcefully declares:
You Have NO EXCUSE!
If you know all of these things, there is only one thing you must do: WORSHIP GOD. There is, quite simply, no way around it. If such a Person were to exist, you are quite frankly required to submit to Him. He made you and keeps the universe together in such a way that you are able to be alive. He has provided for your every physical need. You should recognize you have no rights whatsoever that were not first given by Him. You should understand that you have no room to talk or even to complain! You should thank Him profusely and offer yourself to Him gratefully.
The fact of the matter, sadly, is that even though everyone knows all of these things, no one wants to worship God. Everyone flatly refuses to worship God! Everyone, everyone refuses to recognize God for who He is. Every single person who has ever lived, is now living, and will live in the future refuses to worship Him. Why? Because we are ungodly people.
This failure to worship God despite knowing who He is, is a lot like hearing people who know sign language coming to a Deaf gathering but refusing to sign in a room full of Deaf people. It is a gross, profound insult. And to insult God is to sin. And, quite frankly, if you know sign language (or know who God is), you have no freaking excuse for not signing around us (or not worshipping God).
We Refuse to Glorify God
Because we sinners suppress the truth, we do not give God glory. We do not give thanks to God. When we do that, our thoughts become worthless and our hearts become foolish. Our hearts are “in the dark.” Some Bibles say that our minds become “stupid.” I love this word in this context. It makes a very forceful statement. No one likes to be called stupid. Yet that is exactly what it would be to refuse to sign at a gathering of Deaf people. That is exactly what it would be to refuse to worship God despite knowing who He is. Utter and total stupidity. The way the Bible says this makes it sound like ungodly people are “useless, foolish, and clueless.”
A saying comes to mind when I think of this kind of refusal. “Who died and made you God?” Indeed, what makes you think you have the right not to worship Him? What makes you think you are so much better than Him? Just knowing who He is ought to be a humbling experience. Instead, ungodly people rise up in complaint and stubbornness.
There is, quite simply, no excuse for that.
Why God Sent Jesus
God sent Jesus…
- Because you and I knew who God is, but tried to hide the truth. In contrast, Jesus knew who God is and proclaimed it!
- Because you and I did not want to worship God and give Him glory. In contrast, Jesus wanted God to be glorified in all things!
- Because you and I have become useless, foolish, and clueless. In contrast, Jesus was useful to God, wise, and looked for God’s plan in everything He did.
That That is why Jesus died on the cross. He died on the cross because we could not do these things, but He could!
Jesus, Our Only Hope
Because we are useless, foolish, and clueless, our only hope is for God to show us mercy. If God shows us mercy, He will change us into useful, wise people who know His will. And the Bible is very clear that God has shown us mercy by sending Jesus. Won’t you submit to His mercy today? Won’t you gain wisdom and purpose today? The Bible tells you in John 3:16-17 that
For this is how God loved the world: He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.