Saturday, May 16, 2009

Two Revelations and The Great Exchange

Romans 1:18-32 is an amazing passage. Words put down 1900 years ago read as current as the New York Times.

The first thing to notice is the 2 'revelations' in this passage:
vs 17- in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed.
vs 18- the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

vs 18 has the greek (gar) "For" at the beginning which seems to link these two revelations. The word for revelation here is the root "Apocalypse" which is the title we give to the last Book of the Bible- Revelation.

In Revelation, there are two kingdoms at war. You either belong to the Lamb and get the wrath of the Dragon. Or you belong to the Dragon and get the wrath of the Lion. Whose wrath do you choose?

When we see the wrath of God revealed, it should make us run to the gospel of the revelation of God's righteousness and great news of redemption.

Martin Luther did. When he read Romans 17, he wrote in 1517: "Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise through open gates"

We are going to see much more later in the passage. But instead of accepting the offer of righteousness through faith in Christ- we exchange the glory of God for his creation. We stop worshiping God or acknowledging God. But we love to consume and use His gifts and things. We exchange God's simple truths for sinister lies.

The wrath of God is not against our unrighteousness- but against our false religion where we serve ourselves and get deeply entangled with idols.

The new atheists in the bold darkness accuse God of being capricious and showing selfish, childish, temper tantrums. In great mocking tones they throw charge after charge at Him.

So is God at fault here? As we ignore Him, castigate His righteousness, and slander His truth?

In the next lesson, we will see the nature and clear evidence of God's wrath.

But let me end with a question: Of the two revelations, righteousness and wrath, which light do you want to live in?

Father, by and because of Jesus Christ, thank you for letting me live in the light of your righteousness.

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