Three Witnesses For God

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Romans 1:16-22 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools …

Word Study Several times in our focal text tonight the Apostle uses the word “FOR”, the Greek conjunction γάρ gar. We see the word in verses 16, 17, 18, 19 & 20. The conjunction gar is used by the Apostle as if he were a Lawyer defending God in a courtroom, presenting evidence to the jury. You can render the word “for”, though in a judicial context you could use it’s stronger definition of “truly therefore” or “verily, as the case stands”.

Ancient Rome had and prescribed worship of many gods and goddesses. To name just a few, they had Jupiter (aka Zeus), the King of the gods; Juno (aka Hera), the queen of the gods; Minerva (aka Athena), goddess of wisdom and arts; Neptune (aka Poseidon), god of the sea; Venus (aka Aphrodite), the goddess of love; Mars (aka Ares), the god of war; Apollo, the god of light and music … I could continue on and on. Rome was a melting pot, just as is America. As people were conquered and brought into the Roman Empire, they were allowed to bring their gods and goddesses with them.

In Rome, just as in America today, there were “gods many, and lords many” (1 Corinthians 8:5). As the Apostle opened his letter to Rome (America), he wanted the Church at Rome to know that it had to resist and stand against all other gods and goddesses – that there is only One God, the God of Scripture. There is only One Messiah, Jesus Christ.

God warned His Old Covenant Church, Israel, against idolatry. God told His people:

Jeremiah 10:1, 3-5 Learn not the way of the heathen …. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. 4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. 5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.

The false gods and goddesses are but man made idols. They are fashioned by craftsmen, and shaped by imagination. These idols are “upright like a palm tree”, but cannot speak nor move. “They cannot do evil, nor can they do good”. The Psalmist said:

Psalm 115:3-8 … our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. 4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. 5 They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: 6 they have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: 7 they have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. 8 They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.

The idols look like gods or goddesses, but are nothing but a figment of man’s (and woman’s) imagination. People might ask, “What’s the harm in following the false god or goddess, the idol?” The Psalmist says:

They that make {idols} are like unto {idols}”

When you make and worship an idol, you waste your time, and your life. The idol has no power to stand with you in hard times. The idol has no power to lead you through the valleys. The most honest idolater I ever heard of was the mythical Conan the Barbarian, who believed in the god Crom, a god who did absolutely nothing for his followers. The God of the Bible is not imaginary, but real. He has left three witnesses that the Apostle focuses on for the Romans.

God Is Real, And Has Placed His First Witness
In Our Own Personal Creation

The Bible teaches us that God has made us in His image and in His likeness:

1 Corinthians 11:7 … a man indeed … is the image and glory of God:

Genesis 1:26-27 God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion27 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them

Every person is made in the image of God. We were created to love by a loving and eternal God. We are His workmanship. The Prophet said:

Isaiah 64:8 But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

We did not make God. God made us. He is the First Cause of all life. As our Maker, He has left His fingerprints on us. Our focal text states:

Romans 1:18-19 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

That which may be KNOWN of God is MANIFEST (or REVEALED) in them”. God has left His mark on our souls. Every person, from the time they reach an age where they can reason, knows that there is a God, a Creator of all that we see. God has given us all an internal witness that we are created beings. That internal witness is what we call “the conscience”. Every person is born with a conscience. We are born intuitively knowing what is right, and what is wrong. A child, playing with other children in the sandbox, intuitively knows it is wrong when another child comes up and takes his toy. Why? Because the knowledge that theft is wrong is imparted to the conscience of a person by the loving God Who created us.

The conscience – our sense of right and wrong – can be hardened or over-ridden. We see evidence of this in American life, and the loss of morality in our nation. What has largely caused this hardening and confusion of the conscience? Technology. Mass media. There was a day when Americans knew, by their conscience, what was right and what was wrong. It was wrong to steal, wrong to kill, wrong to sexually abuse someone. But television has hardened our conscience. We have seen so much bloody and sexually charged television that we no longer blush. Gone are the days when television hinted at what went on in the bedroom. Now all is opened up to see. What is the problem with this?

When people no longer blush, but have hardened their conscience to where right is wrong and wrong is right, then that nation is not far from destruction.

When God caused Israel to fall under the armed might of ancient Assyria, they stayed in captivity for 70 years. When God allowed Ezra to lead Israel back home to Jerusalem, the people, rather than learning from their suffering, returned to following the old gods and goddesses of Canaan. When Ezra heard this, the Bible says of Ezra:

Ezra 9:3-10 when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonished. 4 Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat {astonished} until the evening sacrifice. 5 And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God, 6 and said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens. 7 Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day. 8 And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage. 9 For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem. 10 And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken thy commandments

I wish I had time to preach all of this beautiful prayer that Ezra said, but I cannot right now. There are so many other things that God has placed upon my heart. I do want to note that Ezra used the word BLUSH in his prayer to God (see verse 6). The word BLUSH is only found three times in Scripture. Once in Ezra’s prayer – and twice in Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 6:15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.

Jeremiah 8:12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.

Both verses in Jeremiah are nearly identical. God tells His nation that – because they have hardened their hearts, and calloused their conscience so much that they NO LONGER BLUSH AT ABOMINATIONS, that God shall cause the nation to fall. Beloved, when Rome fell, it did not fall because it was destroyed from without. Rome fell because it was destroyed from within. It fell because immorality and abomination increased. The people no longer blushed. That is what God warns of in our focal text. Read it with me again:

Romans 1:18-19 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

People know what is right and wrong. Yet they have ignored their conscience, and hardened their hearts to do that which God has said is destructive. Oh, that God would raise up national leaders who would return our nation to it’s moral foundation! God gave the Ten Commandments to Israel on written tablets because they had so far drifted from Biblical morality while in Egyptian captivity. Yet these commandments are actually written in our hearts from our creation. We know what is right and what is wrong, but have allowed peer pressure and mass media to infiltrate our souls, hardening us to the right and wrong.

We need to turn off the television and computer, and put away the social media. We need to open the Bible, and return to the God Who lovingly made us.

The early Church wrestled with the false prophets and false gods. The Apostle prescribed to the Pastor Titus to resist the false gods and their narratives, and any who might bring false beliefs into the body of Christ:

Titus 1:13-15 … rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. 15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

No one is blessed when we harden our conscience against God (see 1 Timothy 4:1-2). What each citizen does will eventually determine the state of our nation. We must seek out the God Who lovingly made us. He has said:

Proverbs 8:17 I love them that love Me; and those that seek Me early, shall find Me

Creation Itself Is A Witness That A Loving God IS

The Apostle speaks of the CONSCIENCE of a person testifying to the Biblical God, and now speaks of CREATION as a witness to our God.

Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Word Study The invisible God Who is, is clearly seen from the creation of the world. For those who will look at creation, it is impossible not to understand that there must be a Chief Architect, a Chief Creator of all that we see. I like the King James phrase by the things that are made. This phrase is actually just one word in the Greek, the word ποίημα poíēma, {pronounced poy’-ay-mah}. Poíēma means “the workmanship of”.

The creation you see around you is no random act of chance – the interaction and balance of nature is so precise that it cannot be accidental, but architectural.

Mark Yakich, a professor of creative writing at Loyola University New Orleans, and editor of the New Orleans Review notes:

{the word} ‘Poem’ comes from the Greek poíēma, meaning a “thing made,” and a poet is defined in ancient terms as ‘a maker of things.’”

The Apostle uses the word poíēma – or “poem” – to describe the creation that is around us, and of which we are a part. In a poem words work together to bring out a grand idea. In creation, all of creation works together to bring out a grand idea. What is this idea? It is that a loving God made us. We are not accidents, not even what the late Bob Ross would have called “happy accidents”.

The creation you see around you was deliberately made by a Loving God, the God of the Scripture. When we look at creation, we often see horrible things that cloak the poem that God originally wrote. You see, when God made Adam and Eve, He placed them in a perfect Paradise. The weather was so perfect that they had no need even of clothing. Food hung in abundance from trees and vines. This was the poem God originally wrote. But man decided to put his hand to the pen. The Bible tells us that:

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Adam was given the authority – along with Eve – to dominate the earth for God. Adam chose instead to follow the serpent’s (the devil’s) lead. A loving pen created the poem of creation. Man got hold of the pen, and marred the picture. Our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln said:

I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how a man could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.”

Man often brings damage to the ruin of God’s poem. It is God Who creates life, Who gives the mother the joy and responsibility of bringing forth that wonderful creation we call “baby”. The Psalmist, when looking at his own body, said:

Psalm 139:13-14 For Thou {O Lord}, {have created my innermost parts}: Thou hast {wove} me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

I could point to many fascinating things in nature that are surely the works of God – from honey bee to humming bird to a huge elephant. Yet nothing is as fascinating as the human creation. Did you know that:

  • The average adult heart beats 72 times a minute; 100,000 times a day; 3,600,000 times a year; and 2.5 billion times during a lifetime. Though weighing only 11 ounces on average, a healthy heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels each day.
  • In one square inch of skin there are 65 hairs, 9.5 million cells, 19 yards of blood vessels, 650 sweat glands, 78 yards of nerves with 19.5 thousand sensory cells at the ends of the nerve fibers.
  • Even the simplest human action – a smile or a frown – are very complex. You use around 43 muscles to frown, but only 17 muscles to smile.
  • Have you ever noticed your eyelids will shut when you sneeze? Try to keep your eyes on the road when you’re driving and sneeze. It’s impossible.
  • The human body is fascinating. In his book “Where Is God When It Hurts?” (page 15), Dr. Philip Yancey wrote: “The fingertip … can detect a mere 3 grams of pressure, but not until that pressure exceeds 300 grams will I be able to feel pain there! Why? … Fingertips must be incredibly sensitive to the slightest differences in touch.”

Evolutionary theory has been pushed through mass media and houses of education all around the world. Macro-evolution has been taught for years as settled science. Macro-evolution (not micro-evolution) teaches that mankind evolved from some primordial soup billions of years ago, through numerous stages, such as from cell, to fish, to land creature, to ape, to man. In the article “A World-famous Chemist Tells The Truth: There’s No Scientist Alive Today Who Understands Macro-evolution” we read:

Professor James M. Tour is one of the ten most cited chemists in the world. … He has authored or co-authored 489 scientific publications and his name is on 36 patents. Although he does not regard himself as an Intelligent Design theorist, Professor Tour, along with over 700 other scientists, took the courageous step back in 2001 of signing the Discovery Institute’s “A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism”, which read: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

God’s response to those who question His creation of all that we see is very simple. He says:

Job 38:4-6 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. 5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? 6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

I do not doubt the sincerity of the scientists who declare Darwinism to be true. But you can be sincere, and yet wrong. Creation is very clearly not an accident, but an intentional action by a loving Creator.

We have looked at the Conscience and Creation as witnesses to God. Creation and conscience are marred because of sin, because of mankind’s interference with God’s “Poem”.

The Clear & Final Witness Of God Is Jesus Christ

1 Corinthians 15:20-22 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Man can harden his conscience against God. The sin that is in nature because of Adam often gives a distorted view of the Creator. But there is One Clear Witness to the reality of God, and that Witness is Jesus Christ our Lord. God the Father sent His Son into this world for a specific reason.

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Jesus Christ came into the world – eternal God become perfect Man – to bring us to the God Who made us all. The Bible declares:

Galatians 4:4-5 but when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

God sent His Son into the world to bring us to His side. He wants to restore us to what we lost through Adam. Jesus Christ came to make us right in the eyes of God. The blessed Scripture says:

1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

God gave His Son as His Witness – and His Messiah. When we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, believing that He is the Messiah that we must receive as Lord of our lives, then we come into union with the God Who is, the God Who created us. The Apostle says:

1 John 5:9-12 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

God made us in His image to walk with Him, to be with Him daily, hourly. Oh Beloved, what joy there is when a soul comes to God by faith in Christ! Life begins to make sense when Jesus Christ comes into your life. In our focal text the Apostle said clearly:

Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

When a person surrenders his or her life to Jesus, believing in Him for salvation, then God enters the framework of your daily life. Salvation is all of faith in Jesus Christ. Believe that He gave Himself for you, and bids you to come to Him this very day. The thief comes to kill and steal and destroy. Jesus Christ came so that we might have life, and have life more abundantly (John 10:10).

May God touch your hearts with His Word and His Spirit. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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