In the first study lesson from Romans, we learned how God has a solution for the impasse that we face because of sin. From studying John, we know it is Jesus. He, alone, is the key that unlocks our hearts. He is The One that transforms our lives where we experience abundant living. His Presence is what takes us from sinners in an evil world to first-class citizens in heaven, even as we walk on Earth! We live in the world but we are called to not be like the world. We live like Christ, who is light, in this darkened world of evil and sin.
Here’s a little refresher for you from studying John that highlights what I am talking about. In John 12:35-36, Jesus says, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.”
We are going to study the last part of Romans 1. We are going to study in detail what the impasse is because of sin. In light of all that is unfolding in the United States right now, we see how God’s timing is impeccable and how His Word is relevant for 2020. God wants everyone to wake up from their worldly slumber and arise. Go ahead and read verses 18-32.
While God is love, we see He also gets angry.
QUESTION: What is God angry about, see verse 18?
When we follow the ways of the world, we suppress the truth. We are made to follow Jesus and when we refuse to, we clog ourselves up with sin. What trips us up is that sin can disguise itself as good things and cause us to not have 2020 vision. We walk around blind. Look at verse 19, it says we know the truth. This is because God put it in our hearts when we were being formed in our mother’s wombs. Jump over to Romans 2:15 to see that our consciences bear witness to the fact that we do know truth.
QUESTION: How does God make His truth known to us, see verse 20?
God says we have no excuse to not know Him. If we lack knowledge, it is because we choose to not know. We choose to not worship Him or give Him thanks. This causes us to come up with our own ideas which God calls foolish.
QUESTION: What is the result of not choosing to see God, see verses 21-23?
Verse 24 reveals a harsh reality. God abandons people to their sins. Verse 25 says, “They traded the truth about God for a lie. So, they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator Himself.”
Stop here and take a moment to internalize verse 25.
QUESTION: How do we worship and serve the things that God created which causes us to forget the Creator?
We know He created work, rest, pleasure, to name a few. It is so easy to take the things of God and love them more than God Himself. Read Exodus 34:14 for why this is. What goes through your mind when you realize that God is jealous for you? He wants you to love Him first, above all else. Hopefully, this is causing you to make some changes in how you live your life.
QUESTION: God gives a few examples of what people will do when they choose to love the ways of the world in verses 26-27. What are they?
When we think its foolishness to acknowledge God, we lose sight and even our hearing. We give ourselves over to things that end up hurting us and those others around us in the end. We put ourselves in lose-lose situations.
QUESTION: What does God say in verses 29-30 that reveal who we become when we live for the world and not for Him?
We are seeing a side of God that most don’t want to acknowledge. We want to keep God as this fun-loving, genie-type god that gives us what we want and tells us he agrees with our choices. But He is not this way. Yes, He is love. He is full of grace and mercy when we choose to follow Jesus. But He is also a just God who doesn’t tolerate evil.
Remember free will, God does not force His love upon us. He let’s us choose whether we want to be His children or not. In these scriptures, God is showing us what life is like outside of His love.
QUESTION: From the current events that we see daily in the news, how are people choosing to live, acting like God’s children or children of the world? What effects are we seeing because of it?
QUESTION: What is the grim reality from living awry from what God wants from us, see verse 32?
2020 is proving to be the year, for the United States especially, in how people are not living with God’s 2020 vision. Our core values are being corroded by evil. We must awaken from our slumber and learn how to live again.
Praise God that we have wonderful, Good News! Jesus came to die and resurrect for our sins. All we have to do is repent of our sins and allow Jesus to change us from the inside out. We just have to believe and receive His amazing gift of life. From there, God transforms us into His Son’s image and we become beacons of light to help guide others home to Him.
Like I said before, we go from dead sinners to first-class citizens in heaven, while we still live on Earth. We become a part of the royal family where we are united in love. We are able to conquer the turbulent waters and rise above with God leading us on to victory in whatever we face today for we now have great hope in tomorrow.