"For the wrath of God (ὀργὴ θεοῦ) keeps being revealed from heaven against all ungodliness (ἀσέβεια) and unrighteousness (ἀδικία) of men, who in unrighteousness keep trying to suppress the truth. For what may be known about God is plain (φανερός) to them, because God himself made it known to them. For his invisible attributes—his eternal power (ἀΐδιος…δύναμις) and divine nature (θειότης)—from the creation of the world are clearly perceived with the understanding (νοέω) by the things he created (ποίημα). So they are without legal excuse (ἀναπολόγητος). For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give thanks to him, but they became empty (ματαιόω) in their thinking (διαλογισμός), and their foolish (ἀσύνετος) hearts (καρδία) were darkened (σκοτίζω)." - Romans 1:18-21
Paul just spoke of the righteousness of God seen in the gospel of grace (Ro 1:16-17). Now he speaks of the wrath of God. The present tense "keeps being revealed" (v. 18) shows that the wrath of God is happening now. People try to suppress the truth of God, even though the existence of God and his divine nature are clearly seen all around us every day. We are without legal excuse, Our thinking has become empty, and our hearts darkened, because we refuse to glorify and give thanks to God.
These are sobering words, but so true. Our inclination is to reject God in our unrighteousness. Especially in my early 20s I tried to suppress the truth of God, and my heart was darkened. But God didn't give up on me and showed me the light of the gospel when I was about 24. Our culture generally has become empty in its thinking, and hearts are growing dark. We are paying the price for our refusal to humble ourselves and glorify God. But there is a still a chance for us to turn.
Father, may we stop and consider creation all around us, and may that cause us to consider you, the Creator of creation. May we honour you with the honour that is your due. May we realise our existence depends on you, every second of every day. May we admit our guilt and turn to Jesus, who has reconciled us to you through the gospel. In Jesus' name, amen.
- Jeff Coleman