Honoring God

W. Terry Varner
December 8, 2013

An interesting text from the pen of Paul that is very current in describing our culture is: “For even though they; knew God, they did honor [glorify, KJV] Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:21, NAS).

Our culture is troubling in so many ways. People acknowledge that God is, but live as if God is not. People honor everyone, but God is dishonored by speech, actions, and attitudes. Perhaps, we live in one of the most unthankful ages in the history of our nation. Yet while many believe in God, there is an ever increase in those who claim and speculate that God does not exist. All that we hear is that man is the result of evolution. To top this thought, just this week, some in New York are claiming that monkeys are persons too! Made in God’s image? The last part of the above text describes their thinking—“their foolish heart was darkened.”

The Pre-Gospel Times Among the Gentiles. Romans 1:18-32 is an inspired description of the pre-gospel times among the Gentile world. The Gentiles, before the coming of Jesus ana the Gospel were not without evidence of the knowledge of God’s existence. Biblically, from the creation of the world, God provided evidence that He is. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge” (Psalm 19:1-2, ESV). What inspiration teaches is true: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20, NAS). These evidences that God is continues to exist to this present day so that no one today is without excuse. Our disobedience, rejection, and doubting God’s existence is without excuse or foundation.

“They Glorified Him Not as God.” What an indictment of the people before the time of Jesus and the Gospel. The knowledge they possess that God existed was of no benefit to them. They refused to love Him, adore Him, and stand in awe or reverence of Him. The Bible describes their actions as simply, “they glorified Him not as God:” Because of today’s advancement in knowledge and technology, is it not strange and difficult to comprehend that God being nonexistent? Instead of glorifying God who created man and all things, they glorify man as the final and ultimate authority for all matters. Modem man has created a multitude of other gods—naturalism, materialism, evolution, science, et al. Science cannot answer philosophical questions like, “Does God exist?” “Where did I come from?” “Why am I here?” “Where am I going?”

“Neither Were They Thankful.” This does not mean that they never were thankful for anything, but that they were never thankful to God for all of His blessings bestowed upon them. When they make man the ultimate authority in life, they remove God from being involved in life. Man is a peculiar being, especially when it comes to the attitude of gratitude. It is difficult to understand their unwillingness to be grateful to God for all His blessings. After all, God “did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17). Be thankful.

“They Became Vain in Their imaginations, and Their Foolish Heart Was Darkened.” They honored and recognized human wisdom as the ultimate authority and source of knowledge. There is no logic (common sense) without a sensible starting point. When men eliminate God they have no reasonable starting point. If God did not create the universe and all things in it, then any theory of origin is but a blind guess and wild speculation. The consequence is “one’s foolish heart becomes darkened.”

Let us glorify and honor God as the Creator and Preserver of man. The rightful Ruler of the universe. Jesus glorified God by finishing “the work You gave me to do” (John 17:4). Man is designed to glorify and honor God by living as God wants. Are you doing so?