Word from Scotland
by Sandy Shaw
We are reading in Romans Chapter 1 and we have reached verse 18 , where Paul is speaking about the wrath of God – a topic which many find difficult – normally because they have their own views of God rather than the Scriptural revelation.
We see something of this when we consider the Ten Commandments.
The first five Commandments are concerned with godliness - and 6 to 10 are concerned with righteousness - right relationships. God reacts to those who have broken His Law. People are not godly. They never give Him a thought - they don't worship - they take His Name in vain. That describes ungodliness.
They kill - steal - commit adultery - gossip - covet. That describes unrighteousness.
Jesus came saying - Love the Lord Your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength - that is godliness.
Love your neighbour as yourself - that is righteousness.
These are His rules and regulations to make life good as He planned it.
So - when there is sin and evil - a pure holy God reacts. If you do not react to sin and evil and vandalism, there is something wrong with you.
There is nothing wrong with God, so he reacts to man's vandalism.
Wrath is a revelation - a showing forth - an unveiling. God's wrath is something He reveals. People will see it and notice. It is an active thing - and has an effect upon men. God not only creates what is good but destroys what is evil.
His wrath is revealed. God reveals it from heaven and you can see and hear it.
How do we know God is angry? The rest of Romans Chapter 1 describes how God was angry with people in Paul's day.
What Paul proceeds to say in Romans Chapter 1verse 18f is so similar to what we are presently experiencing.
We have a list of things that are appearing in our society more and more - and His anger will be revealed more and more. Consider what we have done to His Law - and to His perfectly created world - and more and more so to His Holy Name.
The Bible says much about the anger of God - as well as the love of God.
Sometimes God’s anger is or can be a slow process - to a people or to a nation over a period of years. Sometimes it takes the form of a crisis in which God shows His anger completely.
Romans 2verse 5 speaks of a Day of Wrath - which is described in detail in Revelation. There are two kinds of wrath - one which shows now - and one which He will show and reveal in the future in one day.
When Paul preached and wrote, God was showing it clearly in the Roman Empire. Why is God angry?
See verses 18 to 23 . Men had given Him up - and had been led into idolatry.
The revolt begins in man's will - "I am not doing that - I am not going there - I will not bow down and worship Him!"
The first two downward steps of humanity were things they did not do - and not things they did! They would not glorify God. They would not give Him thanks. That sets you on a very slippery path - and you end up in a horrible slimy pit.
They claimed to be wise - but became fools! The first great sin is the breaking of the first Commandment.
Idolatry is a terrible sin because it is an insult to God.
How is God angry? Verses 24to 31 . When God gives men up that leads to immorality.
Verse 24,26,28 . Change your religion and you change your morals - not the other way around. Change your beliefs and you change your behaviour. Change your creed and you change your conduct.
Change your faith and you change your ethics.
Films, drama, newspapers, novels, television and radio - have all changed radically. This deterioration has arisen as a consequence of a weakening of FAITH IN GOD - and what we believe - the fundamentals - repentance and faith.
What many people are doing and how many people are living - GOD IS AGAINST!
God will never tolerate or condone sin - He will deal with it - judge it - forgive it - release you from its hold or power over you - but He will never tolerate it.
It is because men have given God up and worshipped idols that God gave them up.
Society takes off the brake - and moral rot sets in. The law cannot control it. Moral standards go down and down. If a man gives up God, his behaviour is affected.
God gave them up - three times it is mentioned. "Lord - never give me up - I may complain - I may not understand YOUR dealing with me - but please, O Lord, never give me up."
They were given up to LUST and DEFILEMENT. Paul is describing homosexuality here.
The truth of God is revealed. The Gospel - the wrath - and the truth of God are all revealed.
But the world has turned down God's Holy Truth - and has crucified God's Beloved Son. Our concern is – and must be - to ensure that we are right with Him - and right with others.
“Lord God – never give me up – never give up on me – no matter what I say or do – come and rescue me and save me. Protect me – preserve me – from being conditioned culturally. Keep me rooted and grounded in Your Holy Word – Your infallible and authoritative Word. Keep me within the safety and security of the teaching and light and truth of Scripture – through Jesus Christ, our Shepherd. Amen.”
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Alexander 'Sandy' Shaw is pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship in Nairn, Scotland. Nairn is 17 miles east of Inverness - on the Moray Firth Coast - not far from the Loch Ness Monster!
Gifted as a Biblical teacher, Sandy is firmly committed to making sure that his teachings are firmly grounded in the Word.
Sandy has a weekly radio talk which can be heard via the Internet on Saturday at 11:40am, New Orleans time, at wsho.com.
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