(Sorry for the late posting. Sundays are rough if I don’t get this done early)
Psalm 49-50 Romans 1
“Because they did these things, God left them and let them go their sinful way, wanting only to do evil. As a result, they became full of sexual sin, using their bodies wrongly with each other. They traded the truth of God for a lie. They worshiped and served what had been created instead of the God who created those things, who should be praised forever. Amen.” (Romans 1:24-25 NCV)
Romans was written by Paul before he visited Rome. He wasn’t dealing with specific problems in the church, since he wasn’t personally familiar with the church. He shared his beliefs, his theology, with the Roman church to strengthen them. They had heard of him and he had heard of them. As Paul began, he reminded them of why Jesus came to earth: the sinfulness of man. People were rebelling against God in every area of their lives and it was shown in many ways, especially the way they handled their sexuality. They were self-indulgent making sure that they received pleasure, perhaps without worrying about others. They traded God’s truth on righteous living for the lie of living however they wanted and they worshiped and served the created rather than the Creator.
It would be easy to think that Paul was talking about our world today. Society flaunts self-indulgence in all areas of life. Feelings have become more important than facts. The truths of God are ridiculed, while the world celebrates the lies that make them feel good. People know that they’re doing things contrary to God’s way, but instead of feeling shame, they applaud themselves and others. If you didn’t know Paul better, you’d think there was no good news. If you hadn’t read the book of Romans before, you might think Paul was without hope. Paul spent his time writing about the terrible shape of the world because he was setting the stage to explain why we need the Messiah and how God provided Jesus Christ to come as the Savior of the world. Jesus alone could solve the issues caused by sins. It’s only when we understand the depravity that sin sinks us to that we can understand the greatness and magnitude of the salvation God has given us. God gave us His great salvation for free. We could earn it. We didn’t do anything to make God give it to us. The salvation we have in Christ, the relationship we have from God comes solely by His grace and mercy. In the past, we used people for our own fleeting pleasure, now we experience God’s pleasure because of our commitment to Him. While the world worships the created, we worship the Creator who deserves our praise forever.
Lord, our world has exchanged Your truths for the lies that allow self-indulgence at the expense of others. Guide me to live in Your truth and share Your love and grace with others.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved