Another Reason for a Thankful Thanksgiving (#1)

With Thanksgiving just a week away, thankfulness is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. In God’s providence, I have also been spending a lot of time in the early chapters of the book of Romans as well. As I was recently reading through the opening chapter again, I was struck by something that jumped off the page at me for the first time. As Paul begins laying out his case for the depravity of man and God’s subsequent wrath against him, Paul starts by stating that God has actually made the reality of His existence known through creation, yet man has willfully chosen to deny it:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. ” (Romans 1.18-20)

But the thing that gripped my heart as I continued reading was the following:

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, …” (Romans 1.21a)

This begins a downward-spiral, which Paul goes on to describe in the remainder of this chapter, leading ultimately to the degradation of true religion and right morality in a society. However, it all begins with withholding honor and thanksgiving from God.

It is interesting to note that those whom Paul is describing in verse 21a are not staunch atheists. On the contrary, Paul describes them as those who “knew God.” So, those who ultimately rejected God and His self-revelation in creation began with at least some degree of knowledge about Him. [NOTE: In the context here, I do not think that Paul is using the term “knew” in a salvivic sense. Rather, he seems to be describing those referred to in the preceding verses who knew something of God through His self-revelation disclosed in creation (also known as “general revelation”), yet lacked the fuller revelation of the salvation offered through God, the Son, only fully disclosed in God’s Word (also known as “special revelation”).]

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About Elizabeth

I am a sinner, saved by grace striving to increase in the knowledge of my Savior and His precious Word each day. The reader should know that there are a few presuppositions with which I approach this blog: 1) I believe in the biblical gospel, which basically purports that all mankind is born under the curse of sin (due to the sin of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden). Therefore, man is separated from God and can have no relationship with God because He is perfectly holy, not even able to look upon sin. Unfortunately, God is also perfectly just and must not only separate Himself from sin, but must also punish it. In order to reconcile man to Himself, God, the Father, sent God, the Son, down to earth to live as a man and take our sins upon Himself on the cross. While on the cross, God, the Son, bore the full weight of the wrath of God, the Father, against our sins in order that we who believe in Him might be set free from the curse of our sin. God, the Son, Jesus Christ, died as a propitiation for our sin in order to appease God, the Father's, holy and just character, redeem us from sin, and reconcile those who believe in this gospel to God, the Father. 2) I am primarily writing to those who already believe in this biblical gospel. In other words, this blog is not focused on evangelizing the lost, but edifying believers. 3) I believe that the Christian Bible is the very word of God. Therefore, it is completely inerrant, infallible, sufficient, and authoritative in the life of a believer.
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