|From the TeachingtheWord Bible Knowledgebase|
Part two of a series. Read part one.
The Bible speaks of the believer's present certainty of salvation, and confident future expectation of glory, in terms of seven incorruptible things. Four of them have to do with God's own nature. Today we consider the first - the incorruptibility of God Himself.
Many in today's post-evangelical church worship a corruptible - and in fact, corrupted - god made after their own image. He is a god who will put up with anything and everything - all of the corruptions of the world they have brought into the visible church, now including such horrors as homosexuality and so-called transgenderism - and not condemn them as sin.
He is, as they see it, also a god who will smile benignly from his throne and tap a grandfatherly foot as those who claim to be Christians gyrate to the Devil's music and sing its empty lyrics in a so-called worship service. Likewise, he will not be offended that they have removed the offense of the Cross from the church's message.
This is not the incorruptible God of the Bible and the one true Gospel. Their god cannot save - only the incorruptible God of Scripture can.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is 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 suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man-and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 1:16-25)
The principle basis of the believer's present salvation and future glory is the fact that we have an incorruptible God. In Romans chapter one, Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit ties the incorruptibility of God to the righteousness of God, to the power of God, to the attributes of God, to the universe created by God, and to the Gospel of Christ.
All of these are inextricably linked. That is the kind of God we have - the God who says, "I am the Lord, I do not change" in Malachi 3:6. The God "in whom is no variation or shadow of turning," as we read in James 1:17. The God who says, "I am the Lord, and there is no other. There is no God besides Me," in Isaiah 45:5.
Only an incorruptible God could truly be God. That is why no other god is the true God. And only an incorruptible God could truly save.
A World of Idols and Idolaters
But we live in a time when people worship many corruptible gods. Religious idolatry is not a relic of some past era of human ignorance and unsophistication. It is a present and pervasive evil. It is still prevalent around the globe, whether in the false splendor of Roman Catholicism or the crude worship of jungle animism. All of it is paganism. All of it is the worship of false, corruptible gods.
Probably the world's greatest worshippers of false gods are the Hindus of India. They have over 330 million gods and goddesses, about eight for every Hindu family. The Hindu religion teaches the sanctity of animal life while devaluing human life. And so, while many Hindus live in abject poverty, and in some parts of India female babies are still left to die at birth, the animals among them are protected at all cost. India's 830 million Hindus have roughly 150 million cows to worship. And they allow monkeys, rats and other pests to eat and damage their crops. All in the name of a false, idolatrous religion.
But let us never think that in the "educated" Western world we are any less idolatrous. We live in a generation that worships man and the material. Today, increasing numbers of people say they reject the supernatural and are therefore "godless." That is, perhaps, the ultimate deception. Even the person who embraces naturalism is an idolater, Romans one tells us - worshipping and serving the created order rather than the Creator, and worshipping and serving man as the pinnacle of that order.
We live in a day when, more than ever, men worship "corruptible man." Whether it is the idolizing of a rock star or sports figure, the worship of intellect, or bowing before the altar of human government as the answer to all problems, postmodern men are just as much habitual idolaters as the tribesmen of the Amazon. We have merely coupled idolatry with education and affluence.
"You Turned to God from Idols"
By saving us through His Son Jesus Christ, God the Father has freed us from the idolatry of corruptible things to serve the one true and living God. He "has delivered us from the power of darkness, and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love" (Colossians 1:13). May Paul's commendation to the Thessalonian believers also be true of each of us:
For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything. For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:8-10)
But every day of our Christian lives, we must be careful not to fall into the trap of idolatry of any kind. We need to live according to the truth, which we find only in God's Word.
We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1 John 5:19-21)
Next: God's Incorruptible Word
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