Friday, June 24, 2016

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday June 26, 2016

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(Ignoring GOD’s plain truth)
(Romans 1:18-32)

   Failure to give reverence to GOD will ultimately result in our failure to treat each other right as human beings made in the image of GOD. The reason why the gospel must be preached is because we, as human beings, continue to suppress the truth about GOD, and, the truth about ourselves.  In Romans 1:18-32, Paul shifts gears, from talking about the kind of relationship into which a person can enter into with GOD by faith, to the kind of wrath we can expect to incur if we intentionally ignore GOD the CREATOR, and choose to worship our own ideas and those things which are created by GOD.   
    To the biblical prophets, the wrath of GOD was a perpetual event that would only culminate, or peak, in terror and destruction in “The Last Day”, or coming “Day of the LORD”. Remember, in biblical times, whenever Israel strayed away from GOD too long, HIS wrath would come against them and whip them back into line with HIS thinking.  And so, we must understand that GOD’s wrath will always, even today, visit us before too long.
    Our human sinfulness is seen quite vividly through our wicked acts, but it is also seen in the way we view and respond to GOD day by day. When we publicly and privately approve things that we know are contrary to GOD’s laws, we show HIM disrespect and rejection. We reject GOD morally, for example, through homosexual and adulterous behavior. We reject HIM in our character through greed and wickedness. We also may reject HIM in our relationships by way of envy, murder, deceit, and malice.
    GOD’s generous offer of salvation is sorely needed by each of us, and, we do, after all, stand rightly deserving of HIS divine wrath and judgment instead.  Most of mankind has rejected GOD, because they simply reject the knowledge of HIM that is available to us through HIS Holy and divine Scriptures. It is very much incumbent upon each of us to pick up GOD’s Word daily, read it, and study it, so that we can come to understand plainly, GOD’s Will, and how that Will should play a role in our personal lives.
    We can all see, quite clearly, GOD’s invisible qualities of divine nature and eternal power, both through HIS creation, and through HIS Holy Word, and, GOD shared HIS “invisible qualities”, or, “divine nature” with us, when HE first created mankind, all those years ago (Rom. 1:20). Those invisible qualities, or, “Communicable Attributes”, that make up GOD’s divine nature are, Life, Personality, Truth, Wisdom, Love, Justice, and Holiness. Those attributes are what make it possible for man, out of all of GOD’s creation, to have a personal, experiential relationship with HIM, and thereby, we have no excuse for not knowing GOD (Rom. 1:20), or obeying GOD, even before we received the HOLY SPIRIT as Christians ( see Rom. 2:14).
    Remember, the HOLY SPIRIT, scripture tells us (Matt. 3:16, Mark 1:10, Luke 3:21-22, & John 1:32-34), did not come upon JESUS  until HE was around thirty years old, and HE had perfectly obeyed GOD up to that point, as a 100 percent human being, the same way that we are born. JESUS came to show us first, how it is possible to obey GOD in our natural born state, if we choose to. GOD did not trick us by sending us a “supernatural being” to show us how to live as a “human being”, under HIM, here on earth. HE actually sent JESUS here to function first as a 100% human being in order to show us that we, as 100% humans, can choose to live a life of total obedience to GOD, simply because HE had already placed HIS divine nature in us from the beginning of time.
    GOD is angry at our sin because HE knows that HE made us to do better, for HE made us in HIS OWN “spiritual” image. GOD wouldn’t have been angry at the people of the Old Testament for their sins, if they couldn’t do any better, or, couldn’t help but sin. GOD, from the beginning, made us to be like HIM, spiritually. We know this because JESUS says, “GOD is SPIRIT” (John 4:24) and therefore, this means that GOD doesn’t have a physical image.
    In Genesis 1:26, where GOD says “Let us make man in our Image” HE was not speaking of a “physical image”, but rather, a “spiritual image” consisting of those seven “Communicable Attributes” that I mentioned earlier. They are the “invisible qualities” that Paul speaks of here in Romans 1:20 that, make us look like the GOD WHO created us, spiritually. HE supplied us with those attributes so that we would be able to worship HIM, have a personal, experiential, compatible relationship with HIM, and, in fact, could be like HIM.
    We’ve all lived a sinful life since Adam, but it was because we chose to, not because we couldn’t help it, as most of us want to believe. And we want to believe that because, in our sinful minds, it gives us a palatable excuse to continue to do wrong. However, if we continue to persist in doing wrong things, then, GOD will eventually turn us over to our own shameful desires. And, at that time, our lives will become filled with all manner of wickedness, and we will even begin to invent new ways to sin, in order to enhance our pleasure (Vs 24-31).
    And, even though we are aware of GOD’s death penalty (permanent separation from HIM), because we have, by then, developed a reprobated mind, we will continue on in our sin, and even begin to encourage others to sin also (v. 32). The sin, and sometimes, amoral attitudes, that permeates our society today, and makes our lives so painful to endure, is nothing more than divine judgment on us for rejecting GOD, and choosing immorality over GOD. Our iniquities vividly express our sinful nature, a nature that is adverse to the nature that GOD originally gave us. And it automatically, brings about GOD’s wrath, and subsequent, divine judgment, not just on “The Last Day”, but also, in this day that we currently live in.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

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