November 29, 2023

November 29, 2023

Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
November 29, 2023

“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.”

Romans 1:1

I think we all would agree that we are living in a world that is becoming more and more strange. I refer to Dr. Karl Truman who has written that book, The Trial of Modern Self. In the shorter form of that very book he writes these words, “In dealing with identity politics from sexual revolution to gay marriage and gender issues, we are living in a strange new world.”

The Bible does speak of a judgment of confusion. Isaiah the prophet several times picks up that word confusion. Listen to what he says in Isaiah 45, “All of them are put to shame and confounded. The makers of idols go in confusion together.” We shouldn’t forget that the devil is also the author of confusion; plus man the sinner is responsible for his own confusion, because if you go back to Romans 1, we learn that man by nature is a truth suppressor. Once you reject the true living God, you will no longer understand yourself. Remember what Calvin says, “Man must first look into the face of God, or he'll never understand who he is. And if you don't know God, you will never understand who you are.” That's how it works.

But even Christians don't suffer like that, but we can suffer from what you could call ‘Spiritual amnesia.’ We can forget who God is and we can forget even who we are at times. One of the reasons why we need to constantly read our Bibles is to remind ourselves not only of who we are but who God is. And I do believe one of the best books, maybe the best book in the Bible to see who God is, is the book of Romans. It's about the gospel of God, isn’t that what it says in Romans one, it’s about the gospel of God. It’s about the gospel of Christ, but it's also about the gospel of God, that's the Triune God. If you run through the book of Romans, if you start chapter one and run right through to chapter 16, you'll see God again and again and again.

For example, Romans 1, we get introduced to the God who is a God of wrath, Romans 1:18, “The wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness.” We're also told in chapter one that he's eternal, Romans 1:20, “For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature,” not only his eternality but also his power. Romans 1:23, he’s incorruptible. In chapter 2 of Romans, we learn that God is good, long suffering, just, righteous. Romans 3, we learn that by justification by faith that God is forgiving. Chapter 4, God is a promise keeper. He made promises to Abraham and to David and he kept them. Chapter 5:6, God is loving, ”But God shows his love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5 again, “God is accessible, we now have access by faith.” God is a reconciling God. We learn from Romans 5 we have peace with God. You can argue from Romans 6 he's a liberating God, he's a delivering God, he has broken the chains of bondage of sin. When you come to Romans chapter 8, we learn that he is our father. He's a God who comes to us now as a father, not as a judge, but as a father, we can call him Abba Father. Go to Romans 9, “He has mercy upon whom he has mercy, he hardens whom he hardens.” We see God is a God of mercy, but he also is a God of judgment. He's also a God who is sovereign, He has mercy upon whom he will have mercy. “Jacob I've loved, Esau I've hated.” And then chapter 10 and chapter 11 you could say he's the God of the world; he's the God of universal grace in the sense of Jews and Gentiles. And then you come to the last part of Romans chapter 11 and Paul says a number of things here about God, but he breaks out in a doxology. Romans 11:33 “Oh, the depth of the riches and the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways. For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor, or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever.” So the Book of Romans introduces us to God, and you can get to know God in a wonderful way by studying the book of Romans.

And I think again, like Paul in Romans chapter 11, there should be this almost reflex response when you think of who God is in terms of praise and worship. We should never ever cease to be amazed that he saved a wretch like me or like you. I was blind, but now I see. And that should lead to adoration. Remember what that acronym of ACTS, A is adoration, we should always be adoring God in our praying. So let's go to God, praising him for who he is.