Universally accountable before God
Paul’s letter to the believers at Rome sets forth the Bible’s most comprehensive teaching on transcending truths from God’s Word. Paul begins with a clear description of humanity’s accountability. We are accountable to our God-given capacity to know God. We are also accountable to acknowledge our universal sin—a sin that has not hindered God but instead has suppressed what may be known about God. This suppression occurs, Paul says, because we are willing to allow it. We do not let God’s light expose the darkness of our sin.
Our capacity to know God is God-given—God Himself manifests it within us. The fact is God has created us with the intellectual and spiritual capacity to come to a foundational understanding that God is eternal and holds, within Himself, the power to create space, matter, and time out of nothing.
Because we are made in God’s image we have the God-given capacity to relate to Him—just as other species share unique relationships among themselves. As humans we have the unique ability to draw rational conclusions about reality, God and ourselves from our interactions with the natural world. Paul tells us that even if we have no Bibles or science books this God-given capacity is at play, by working within us an understanding of God and what He has made. Even if we have no Bibles or science books we can observe that there is a universal cause and effect to everything we see. This leads us to the logical conclusion that the natural world cannot create itself out of nothing. This awareness, in turn, leads us to conclude that there must be an eternal force—a supreme God—that began all things. Knowing this fact helps us understand how people like Enoch could walk in rich fellowship with God before there were Bibles, synagogues, churches, or temples. Ultimately, we know as much about God as we want to.
The scriptures conclude that we reject a supreme being—one we would logically be accountable to—because we are sinful and don’t want to face the logical, moral, and spiritual consequences of believing in God. Therefore we become fools who create philosophies and “gods” that validate sin as not being sin. We all can go through this process of developing false premises about God and ourselves to justify concepts that are otherwise impossible. A graphic example of this is the German-Nazi belief that the Arian race was the most pure and evolved race on Earth. Once people accepted this fallacy it made sense to purge “impure” lesser races and handicapped people. Murder seemed justifiable to further a purer race of humanity.
The communists under Stalin in Russia and Chairman Mao in China used the same concept to justify murdering millions of people. First they “established” that there is no God. Then, they determined that only by killing the current ruling classes would the world ever be able to find true social and economic equality. By suppressing truth it becomes possible to be at peace with sin in its varied expressions.
In our own lesser ways we all have suppressed the truth about God to establish a false belief system that justifies our own rebellion against Him. Let this be a solemn warning. Beware of our universal tendency to create gods that justify our fallen nature. Instead turn to God’s light. Through Christ, God’s light can both heal us and transform the darkness of our sin.
Created 7 months ago