Romans 1:18, 19
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.”
The Heart of the Root of Sin
Last week we spoke about the root of sin. It was defined as the lack of worshipping God or the void of finding value in God. We naturally find more value in things like coffee than we do in God. The week before we discussed that sin was anything done outside of the will of God. If one does not value God then why should they conform to His will? This week we are going to discuss the Heart of the Root of Sin, unbelief.
The word “believe” means to have confidence or faith in the truth. Another definition is to be persuaded of the truth or existence of a person, place or thing. Believing is to have faith in the reliability, honesty, benevolence, etc., of a person, place or thing. When we believe in something or someone we are saying that the person, place or thing is real. We are saying it exists. Believing is also having confidence that something or someone can provide for us something positive or negative.
We exercise belief every moment of everyday. We believe our beds will support us through the night. We believe that the floor underneath us will hold us. We believe the bridge we are going to cross with our 1,000 pound vehicle will stand. We believe if we stick our fingers in a light socket we will get shocked.
Believing in someone or something means that we trust that we will derive a benefit from the object or person we are trusting in. An example of this is, “I trust that my husband will take out the trash when he gets home” or, “I trust that my mom will always be there for me.” They have proven themselves over time that we can trust that these people will function in a certain way. We believe in them, rely on them and abide with them.
Let’s add the ingredients of worship and obedience to belief. We see a person, place or thing and we prescribe a value to that person, place or thing. This is based on what we think is going to make us most happy. We then obey that person, place or thing by orienting our life in pursuit of the object or the objects of our affections.
Example, some believe in the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox are real and some have determined that the Boston Red Sox will satisfy the longings of their heart. Those people are obedient to the Boston Red Sox by organizing their lives in order to achieve happiness from the team. We may spend money going to games, watch NESN every time the Sox are playing and buy Red Sox t-shirts in order to proclaim our affections for the team. It is worth their efforts in proclaiming the goodness of the Sox in order to educate others that others are wrong in thinking the Yankees are better.
It is fine for people to like the Red Sox. The example illustrates our issue though. Although it is fine to believe in the Red Sox our belief in the Sox should not supersede our belief in God. God and His attributes have been made evident to us throughout creation. How can anything exist without someone creating it? It just doesn’t happen by chance. It can’t! The Heart of the Root of Sin is that we suppress the truth about God and revere the Red Sox more than we do God. We believe in, worship and obey the Red Sox with greater passion than we do God. Replace “Red Sox” with anything created and you get the point. John Calvin says, “the heart is a factory of idols.” We believe in and worship money, sex, sports, cars and a host of other created things over the only one who can truly make us happy; our loving, compassionate, just, holy Triune God.
As a form of judgment, God has handed us over to those passions. The results are a world full of chaos and destruction as the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven. Ephesians 2:1 says that we are dead in our trespasses and sins. This means we can’t believe in God because we are dead to the reality of Him. We know this by the fact that we are all born knowing and seeing His creation but not seeing God in His creation. Next week we will discuss the consequence of sin in greater depth.
Sin is a hard topic to speak about but at the same time you should be rejoicing because you believe, if in fact you do believe!! This is the greatest miracle. As someone who could not see God for who He really is, you were made alive to Him through Christ by the power of His Spirit! Rejoice brother and sister as God has shown favor to you in an awesome way and has now oriented your life so that you will be made perfect in belief.