Part 8 – The Lord Has Revealed Himself – People Are Thus Without Excuse
The wrath of God is a pure, holy, and just anger or indictment against the blatant rebellion of fallen mankind. The idea that God is holy and man is unholy is so repugnant to fallen man that not only does he rebel against the Holy God, but fallen man spiritually suppresses or denies or buries the truth of God’s holiness and man’s sinfulness because it is too painful to address or acknowledge.
But the question naturally arises: How can fallen man deny or suppress the reality of God’s holiness when so many haven’t actually heard the Gospel. This will be explained in greater detail next Sunday, but what Paul is telling the Romans here in verses 19-22 is that the Lord has already revealed Himself to every single human being on the planet through the mighty and perfect works of His hands – His creation. Through the Lord’s creation – the universe, the skies and stars above, the earth we walk upon, the intricacies of our marvelous bodies – the Lord’s creation speaks forth His glory to every human and this is done, not cognitively but spiritually. And because of the godlessness and wickedness of fallen man, he has buried or denied this truth.
This revelation of the Lord to all people – so that all people are without excuse – is what theologians call natural or general revelation. Again, the creation proclaims the glory of God (Psalm 19) and man hates that revelation.
The Lord specifically reveals His omnipotence – His great power that created all things – and His divine nature – His attributes of holiness, goodness, grace, and love. But again, man refuses to acknowledge the Lord God because that would mean he would have to admit that he is a sinner and wrong – and nobody wants to do that. The only reason we are able to come to faith – are enabled to repent and trust Christ – is through ‘special revelation’ – the Lord in His sovereign providence and eternal decree speaks life into the sinner and ‘reveals Himself’ to the point that the sinner is now redeemed, forgiven, repurposed, brought to spiritual life – all by God’s grace through Christ alone.
So, the challenge to all of us boils down to these four simple points:
1. Since the Lord is the One who saves, we need to pray for others – Ephesians 1:18-19
2. We need to be prepared to give an answer for the hope we have in Christ – 1 Peter 3:15
3. We need to live for Christ and show the world that we are serious about Him – 1 Peter 2:12
4. If you don’t know Jesus, then you need to come to Him.