Humanists Need God’s Righteousness
31 October 2021 AM – Romans 1:18-32 – Ro2021 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Last week we noted that only God is intrinsically righteous (i.e., completely sinless, faultless). On the other hand, all humans are intrinsically unrighteous sinners. Only God, through the Gospel can apply His righteousness to repentant sinners.
Is the human race really that bad? Many people are generally nice. Is God just in condemning all humans to hell? In Romans 1-3, Paul gives evidence that the humanist, the moralist, the religionist, and everyone else are all unrighteous needing God’s imputed righteousness.
Transition: In Romans 1:18-32, Paul gives us five evidences that humanists are unrighteous and needing His righteousness.
What is a humanist? According to the American Humanist Association, “Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism or other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good.” Humanism, the idea that man can get along just fine without our Creator God, is the prevailing philosophy of our day.
The first evidence that humanists are unrighteous is that …
1. They Repress Truth in Creation (v.18-20)
a. They hold back the truth by unrighteousness.
1) The word “hold” actually means to hold back, hold down, to hinder, to repress, or to quash.
2) They repress the truth by unrighteous philosophies, yet only the truth can set us free.
b. They are without excuse.
1) Every human can see basic facts about God in creation.
2) Visible creation reveals invisible things about God. Intricate design and function in atoms and cells demand a wise designer. Precise, complex detail in DNA, cells, and reproduction require an intelligent architect. Vastness of the universe and the might in nature point to a greater power. Order in orbits, tides, heartbeats, and breathing necessitate an orderly Creator.
3) Creation does not tell us about the revelation of God, but it clearly tells us that there is an eternal power and divine being who created all things.
4) The humanist who holds down this truth about the God of Creation does so without excuse. Those who wilfully repress this truth about God by their evolutionary philosophies are heading down the slippery slide to destruction.
God DOES exist. He is the Creator of all. We are all accountable to our Creator. These unbelievers need God’s righteousness.
The second evidence that humanists are unrighteous is that …
2. They Elevate Self above God (v.21-22)
a. They knew God from Creation (v.21).
1) God has placed in the heart of every human the ability to know about God from Creation. Evolution, in all its forms is a damnable philosophy.
2) Humanists do not give God glory for His Creation nor are they thankful for what God has done for them.
b. They exalt man instead of God (v.22).
1) They profess to be wise, but God says they are fools. True wisdom comes from God (Pr 2:6).
2) Humanists are wrong when they think that intelligent people do not believe in God. Let me illustrate, Isaac Newton (1642-1727), one of the greatest minds to ever live, believed in God and he spent a great portion of time studying Scripture. The mathematical and scientific discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton are astounding. They include the invention of calculus, discovery of the laws of motion and gravitation, and construction of the first reflecting telescope. Precept Austin
3) (Proverbs 16:25) “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.“
Those who elevate self above God truly are unrighteous and need God’s righteousness.
The third evidence that humanists are unrighteous is that …
3. They Exchange God’s Glory for Nature (v.23-24)
a. They glorify nature (v.23).
1) The word “change” refers to an exchange. They take the glory that God deserves and give it to things in nature.
2) Humanists trade the glory of the immortal God for an image of a mortal creature. Oh, they may not actually give glory to an image, but they elevate man, heroes, nature, and animals above the Creator. They post signs saying “save the trees”, “save the wedge”, “save the whales”, but they never say “save the unborn babies” or “To God be the glory.”
3) Humanists have a twisted focus.
b. Therefore, God gave them up to uncleanness (v.24).
1) Since they chose to glorify the creature, God let them indulge in their uncleanness or lustful pleasures.
2) They dishonour their human dignity with each other. They commit adultery and fornication, abort unborn babies, promote euthanasia, lust after pornography, eat gluttonously, tattoo their bodies and in a host of other ways disgrace their God-created bodies.
Truly, twisted humanists need God’s righteousness.
The fourth evidence that humanists are unrighteous is that …
4. They Exchange the Truth with the Lie (v.25-27)
a. They exalt the lie of evolution.
1) The truth is that God created all things in 6-24/hr days about 6,000 years ago. Satan’s lie is that evolution started all things with a bang, and then life evolved from slime to sublime by chance over billions of years (v.25).
2) Not only do humanists repress the truth (v.18), they also exchange it with the lie. The devil is the father of lies, and he is always ready to make his lies look better than God’s truth.
3) Believing that God did NOT make them, they do as they please.
b. Therefore, God gave them up to homosexuality.
1) Because they believe the lie and not God’s truth, God gave them up to disgraceful passions. He let them have their way.
2) Following the lie that God did not make man in His own image, both male and female nor ordain marriage between one man and one woman for life (Gen 1:27; 2:24) has led to all sorts of homosexual perversions which are against nature (v.26).
Though God gave them up to their perversions, God does not want any of them to perish. They truly need His righteousness.
The fifth evidence that humanists are unrighteous is that …
5. They Choose to Ignore God (v.28-32)
a. They push God out of their minds (v.28).
1) Note carefully this verse. A literal translation states, “They did not approve to have God in their knowledge.”
2) “Knowing God” did not pass their approval. They choose to ignore God completely. They remove God from textbooks, from education, from society, and from their minds.
b. Therefore, God gave them over to their wishes.
1) He literally gave them over to their unapproved thought [reprobate mind]. He said, “Okay, since you do not approve of knowing Me, live life your own improper way.”
2) This leads to the host of sins. (Romans 1:29) “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness [ill-will]; full of envy, murder, debate [strife], deceit, malignity [bad character]; whisperers [slanderers],” (Romans 1:30) “Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful [insulting], proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,” (Romans 1:31) “Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable [refuse to reconcile], unmerciful:“
3) They know God condemns such activity, but they do them anyway and are pleased with others who join them.
When a person turns his back on God and thinks he can live fine without Him, that humanist is heading down a steep slippery slope that leads him far from God and deep in sin. Sadly, we live in just such a culture. Is there any hope? Yes! Repentance and reception of the Gospel of God by faith. Then God will impute His righteousness on that repentant sinner.