Not So Random Thoughts 8

Matthew 22: 29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31 “But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: 32 ‘I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB ‘? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

If it is true that human beings are given over to sinful hearts and hardened hearts and that they are always suppressing the truth of God, then they are bad interpreters of Scripture and of the character of God. This also means that they are bad interpreters of what the Gospel is. When the true God of all creation and the God of Scripture are (is) distorted, the Gospel of God is distorted. When the interpretation of Scripture is distorted, out understanding of Christ is distorted and as such the Gospel of Christ is distorted. When our understanding of Christ is distorted, then our understanding of God who reveals Himself in and through Christ is necessarily distorted.

If all of that is indeed true, then the Gospel is always under attack from men who hate God and His Gospel though they may be very religious. We must never forget this and we must never underestimate the power of the hearts of men to distort the Gospel. But of course, that includes our own hearts. We must preach to ourselves again and again that our own hearts will always tend to water down the Gospel because our hearts long to water down God. We suppress the truth of God so that we can live as we please and do as we please. We suppress the truth of the Gospel of God in order that it will remain in our own power to do with as we please when we please.

We tend to think of the Gospel as something that God provides and men must respond to, which is not something that will upset men. Their hearts will not get upset with a God that loves them and has provided salvation for them and is earnestly desiring for them to do what they can do which is to believe. However, that is not the biblical view of the Gospel or of the Gospel of God. The true God is sovereign over all of His creation and all events and happenings. The heart that suppresses the truth of God is a heart that will suppress the truth of the Gospel of God and as such turn it from being God-centered to where it is man-centered.

While it may seem odd at first glance, one of the reasons that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against ungodliness is because of how men are suppressing the truth of the Gospel. For some bizarre reason we think that the Gospel is just a message about how men are to be saved and we don’t realize that it is at the heart of the truth of who God is. We are not careful with the Gospel because we are not careful with God Himself. In the Gospel men have “exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.” In the Gospel men do “not see fit to acknowledge God any longer” so “God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.”

Romans 1:18-32 is immediately preceded by Paul telling the people that he was not ashamed of the Gospel. The Gospel, according to Paul in Romans, was not something he was ashamed of because it was the power of God for salvation. In other words, the Gospel of God includes the power of God. The good news of God is that He has the power to save from Satan, sin, and self. The biblical Gospel is not how man has the power that is needed to finish up what God left for man to do, but it is about how God is powerful to save all by Himself. Man has no power in the spiritual realm because man is dead in the spiritual realm. The selfish hearts of men will always distort what is uncomfortable to them and twist it and twist it until it becomes something they can like. The true and biblical Gospel is not to the liking of fallen man even if s/he is extremely religious. The Gospel that is popular today is popular precisely because it has been twisted by fallen man and fallen man is not uncomfortable with it and may even choose it, but that is not the same thing as the Gospel of God which fallen man hates.

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