Creation and Conscience
“For what can be known about God is plain to them, for God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things which have been made. So they are without excuse.“ – Romans 1:19-20
“For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the Law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.” Romans 2:14-16
Christ! The name which creates the title of the unique day, Christmas; the nativity-focused 24 hours at the end of Advent Season; the day when the Word came in the flesh from Mary’s womb. The birth of Jesus Christ stands at the center of history. Within time there is only “Before Christ” (BC) and “In the year of our Lord” (Anno Domini-AD). This virgin birth divides the entire history of man. And why wouldn’t it?
When I witnessed for Christ on the beaches of Southern California in my college years, I heard from one sun-bather after another the notorious question of unbelieving-skeptics: if Jesus Christ must be believed and received for one to receive salvation what then of all those people in history who have never even heard His name?
This is the question of every person who questions the validity and exclusiveness of Jesus Christ. If they don’t even bother to question, they simply default to complete obliviousness of the matter. But unbelieving humanity has more than enough revelation to never be oblivious.
What of this claim? Are there millions, perhaps billions who can never be saved because they are cut off by their personal “circumstances” from the name and knowledge of Jesus Christ? Does such really render God revealed in Scripture a liar and unjust Judge?
If a court of “final resort” were to hear the case of God being charged with injustice, who would be the primary witnesses to testify in His defense? Based on Romans, chapters 1 and 2, Paul proposes chiefly two: creation and conscience.
He answers every person with the question of God’s alleged injustice in this epistle. He concludes that humanity is without excuse for not acknowledging God. They live, breathe, and see in a creation which declares His glory. And the souls of all have a conscience with the Law of God imprinted on it. Some of you may exclaim that such is unprovable, but the Creator says it is so. And in the final say, so do you!
The creation in which we live shows His nature and declares “I am!” Conscience is created by the Law of God being spread on every human heart. He says, to those who deny any knowledge of God’s written Law, that their own conscience is a law they innately know; a law they, nevertheless, break repeatedly. God will one day expose the willful workings of their hearts and minds to their own consternation. Self-damnation will be manifestly fulfilled.
Creation speaks to all Who its maker is. Conscience says He wrote His Law on their hearts in making them in His own image. They are, consequently, without excuse! At the Great White Throne Judgment the truth will unavoidably be known by them. Their mouths will be silenced in offering any mitigating defense, as the awareness dawns of having repeatedly turned away while falsely denying evidence of God and His truth.
Christmas itself, the celebration of Jesus’ birth, is universally known around the globe. Eyes dulled and consciences seared recount stubborn hearts and minds to look, consider, and believe what they see and hear, whether Christmas or other celebrations of the Messiah.
Man may not believe what is also stirring in the minds of his neighbors, because he has not the omniscience to read their thought processes and emotions. But God sees all men’s hearts, and He is always holy and just with them.
This Advent Season cast your eyes into the night sky and consider the amazingly glorious heavens; look around you at the equally beautiful planet on which you live and move. It reflects the glories of the One who was before it all came to be; the very One who made you! He is without any doubt a faithful God and Savior.
“What child is this, who, laid to rest, on Mary’s lap is sleeping? Whom angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping? This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing: haste, haste to bring him laude, the babe, the son of Mary.”
(1st verse of Traditional English carol adapted by William Dix, “What Child Is This,” 1865)
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