Faithlife Sermons

The Responsibility of Knowledge

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Romans 1:16–21 KJV 1900
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. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 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: 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.
Here in this letter of Paul to the saints at Rome we are dealing with the gospel of God which concerns Jesus Christ His Son. That is, the good news news that the creator of the universe has made known to mankind. That good news is that there is a remedy for every problem that mankind has ever faced. When we look on facebook or turn on the radio or read the news paper or turn on the tv and watch the news we are inundated with bad news. And the God of the universe has spoken through His Son Jesus Christ and what He has spoken is not just good news it is the good news. It is the good news that fixes every bad news that you have ever heard. This Gospel is the most important message anyone could ever hear. Paul through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit tells us here that it is the power of God unto salvation full stop. That is salvation to the uttermost total and complete salvation from everything that we need to be saved from. Thats because it is the salvation of God from the root problem. Every bad thing every bad news that we hear on the news mediums are only symptoms they are not the problem..
Sin not a sin but Sin is the problem. Unrighteousness and ungodliness. God is angry at our sin. God is angry because we have suppressed truth.
Any truth that we have comes with a responsibility. The greater the truth, the greater the responsibility. And the truth that Paul mentions here is the truth about God as revealed in His creation. God has made Himself known through the general revelation of Himself in creation. That knowledge is general because it is universal knowledge. Everyone has this knowledge.
With knowledge comes responsibility. God has the expectation that with the knowledge which he has revealed about Himself not only should we except it, it should create a response in us. The very minimal response to the revelation of creation should be that we should glorify God as God and we should be thankful to Him.

They Did Not Glorify God

The first thing we learn about God is that God should receive Glory The heavens declare His Glory because He created the heavens and He created us so we should declare His glory. The word glorify means to honour or magnify Him. That is to highly praise Him and worship Him.
It is good to praise the Lord. It is our greatest joy to praise Him because it’s our created purpose.
Psalm 147:1 KJV 1900
Praise ye the Lord: For it is good to sing praises unto our God; For it is pleasant; and praise is comely.
The Psalm that David wrote for the priest so that they could sing and minister this before the ark of the Lord after they brought it back to Jerusalem from Abinadab’s house in Kiriath Jearim
1 Chronicles 16:23–29 KJV 1900
Sing unto the Lord, all the earth; Shew forth from day to day his salvation. Declare his glory among the heathen; His marvellous works among all nations. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: He also is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the people are idols: But the Lord made the heavens. Glory and honour are in his presence; Strength and gladness are in his place. Give unto the Lord, ye kindreds of the people, Give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: Bring an offering, and come before him: Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
The proper response, the expected response to the knowledge that God is God and He is the Creator of all things is that we glorify Him as God. But rather than giving God glory that is due Him we suppress the knowledge that was revealed to us. We say God did not make us or if we were created and there is a god then we will make our god to suit us.
Not only should we glorify God but following on for giving Him glory we should give Him thanks for all that He has done. But as we see in out text.

They Were Not Thankful to God

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful;
Psalm 95:1–6 KJV 1900
O come, let us sing unto the Lord: Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, And make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, And a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: The strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: And his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: Let us kneel before the Lord our maker.
It is the will of God
1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV 1900
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
But even having the knowledge of God and even though we were created for the purpose of glorifying God and giving Him thanks our sinful heart are hardened and we suppress the knowledge of God that we have and we chose not to glorify Him or give Him thanks. But we cannot suppress truth without consequences. With knowledge of truth come responsibility. Next we see the results of suppressing truth. They suppressed the truth about God that they had received and they did not glorify God as God or give Him thanks and so..

Their Imaginations Became Vain

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations,
Their imaginations are their internal thoughts their reasoning
they became futile empty even wicked as in the days of Noah
Genesis 6:5 KJV 1900
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
God created us and therefore He created our minds giving us the ability to think and reason. That ability was given to us for the purpose of understanding God. When we fail to use our mind for it’s created purpose then the use of our mind becomes futile empty vain. Our minds are for the purpose of knowing God but when we suppress the truth of God our ability to reason fades and become pointless.
what does it profit
Then the second result of not glorifying God and not thanking Him is that..

Their Hearts Became Dark

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.
Then comes the blindness.
Matthew 13:11–15 KJV 1900
He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Any light we once had, any truth we once knew, if we suppress it we will lose our ability to reason and a darkness will come over us and we will become blind to the truth.
2 Corinthians 4:3–6 KJV 1900
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
The gospel is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes. It can come into our darkened heart and shine the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But with knowledge comes responsibility. We’ve seen the the result of suppressing the truth of the general revelation of God but if your here this morning then you have receive the special revelation of God you have heard the truth of the gospel and with that greater knowledge comes greater responsibility. What will you do with truth this morning? will you suppress it or will you accept it and glorify God as God and be thankful for His wonderful salvation.
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