Read: Romans 1:18-32
Key Text: For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.(Romans 1:21)
Reflection: Sin requires forgiveness if it’s death sentence is to be lifted from us. Paul paints a bleak picture of the human condition. He is clear in his belief that every human being has been stained by sin. ‘There is no one righteous, not even one.’ (Romans 3:10) ‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ (Romans 3:23) Sin is the curse we live under. Sin leads to spiritual death and separation from God. Our only hope is that God will forgive our wrongdoing and restore us to relationship with him.
In the first chapter of Romans Paul illustrates the awful nature of our predicament. First, God’s truth has been revealed to all people through Creation. The Creator’s otherwise invisible qualities have been made visible through all he has made. Second, we ignored that revealed truth and the God who it speaks of. Third, instead of worshipping God we have turned to a myriad of idols, or counterfeit gods (religious and otherwise) to whom we offer devotion that rightly belongs to God alone. In doing so we break the first commandment to have no other gods before Yahweh and confirm the truth that idolatry is the root of all sin. Fourth, seeing our choice, God gives us over to the full consequences of our sinful desires (v.24), shameful lusts (v.26) and depraved thinking (v.28). Apart from Christ, we are dead in our sins (Colossians 2:13).
Our sinful condition has been articulated by the term ‘total depravity’, which says that every person born is enslaved to sin and, apart from the grace of God, is completely unable to choose to follow God or choose to accept salvation as it is offered. Apart from the grace of God, and the forgiveness of sins that God’s grace makes possible, we are without hope. This is the bad and awful news that makes the Good News just so good.
Question: What do you believe is the biggest idol of our age?
Watch: A short video of Rick Warren and John Piper discussing the nature of ‘total depravity’:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_czkQ-3Vo1E&feature=related