Can You See the Invisible?!
By Bobby Blakey on July 3, 2022
Can You See the Invisible?!
By Bobby Blakey on July 3, 2022
Well, I got problems. Anybody else got problems at church here on a Saturday night? Anybody want to say amen to that? Are you saying amen to I got problems or you're with me in the problems? Because I got so many problems, sometimes it seems like my problems have problems. We got financial problems, we got health problems, relational problems. We got a big problem with America right now. I don't know if anybody else feels like that. But I remember when I used to pray, God bless America. And then I remember when I started praying, God, revive America. And now I'm just praying desperately, God, will you save America? Because I see people turning away from God. And see, when I see problems … I don't know how you respond to problems, but I have this idea that when I see something that's wrong, and I know it's not right, for some reason, I want to get defensive. For some reasons, like, I want to solve this problem. And if I see something that seems foolish, or something that seems dumb, it's almost like I want to go say, well, that's foolish, and that's dumb, and make it make sense America, like, what are we even? What are we even doing around here? And so, you can feel this heavy weight, you can feel this pressure rising, like we got so many problems, what are we going to do about it?
What if our problems are actually all on schedule? What if our problems are actually a part of the plan? And what if the problems aren't meant to be solved, but they're meant for God to save. So, I want you to turn with me in the Bible to Romans chapter 1, where it is going to describe the problems that we have in America by a man writing about the city of Rome almost 2000 years ago. And it is perfectly going to describe us here on the Fourth of July weekend, 2022. So, this is Romans 1:19-23. And we're going to see the problem that we're having, and then we're going to see what we can do, or what we can't do, but what God is ready to do about our problems? So, out of respect for God's word, I'm going to ask if we would all stand up for the public reading of Scripture. This is our texts that we're going to be studying. I want to welcome everybody sitting outside or watching online. Will you please open your Bible, go to Romans 1:19-23? This is the very Word of God. This is what Paul wrote to teach the gospel to the believers in Rome. And this deserves our full and undivided attention. Please follow along, as I read starting in verse 19.
“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because 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 that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.”
That's the reading of God's word. Please go ahead and have your seat. And this is now our seventh sermon from Romans chapter 1. It's going to take us 10 sermons to get through Romans chapter 1. So, if you start doing the math, everybody, we're going to be here for a minute. All right? 10 sermons a chapter, that's 160 sermons, it would take us, that's like three years’ worth of preaching. So, we're going to be here for a minute. We're trying to make sure we don't miss anything. Because in verse 15, he said he wanted to go to Rome to preach the gospel. And in verse 16 and 17, he gave us two reasons. He's unashamed of the gospel, one, it's the power of God to save people, two, it's how the righteousness of God is revealed through faith in Jesus Christ. Then we saw that to people who don't respond to the good news of Jesus with faith and experience that power and receive that righteousness, well, what is revealed from heaven to them is not the righteousness of God, but the wrath of God. The wrath of God is already presently being revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. And when they commit unrighteousness, they hold down, they hold back the truth and then verse 19 says, the truth that is being held down on a massive level all across America, really all across the world at this present hour, is what can be known about God; that's the truth we want to get to.
The study that used to be the center of all studies theology, that used to be the ology of all ologies was theology, the study of who God is. Well, what can be known about God? It's plain to them because God has shown it to them. So, this the immediate context here the reality, that there is a God, that is the truth that is being held down, that is being suppressed. And so, he says here in English, it reads like what it can be known about God is plain, because God has shown it to them. And the Greek that's the same word, and you could translate it manifest or evident, one's an adjective and one's a verb. It's saying, hey, what could be known about God has already been manifest. You want to know how it was manifest? God made it manifest. So, there's already evidence about God, and God made it evident, and the way that God has already made himself known that everyone should know him, it says in verse 20, is through creation. Now it's going to say something really interesting here in verse 20. Something that is so important for you and me to understand about God is that God, it says, His invisible attributes, and then it gives us two specific things to think about. One is eternal power. And the other is His divine nature. That God has a power that's outside of space and time and eternity, and that he is divine. He is God. He has a kind of nature that is not like ours in our human nature. He has divine nature, but you can't see this eternal power, you can't see this divine nature, because they are invisible. This is something that maybe many people don't understand about God. Something that we want to have very clear in our thinking is that God does not have a body as we do. God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit. And in truth, when the Bible says that you have been made in the image of God, what it means is that you are a spiritual being, it means that you are a soul. That's what it means.
And so, let's get this down. If you're taking notes, we got a handout here. I would love for you to take some notes, jot down some things with us, God is invisible, but seen in Creation. That's what we're discovering here in verses 19 and 20, that you can't see God. But when you see what God has made, when you look at His creation, you can see that He must have eternal power, and He must have a divine nature. So even though He is invisible, and He dwells in unapproachable light and immortal glory, and no man, no living man can really even see God and all of His radiant splendor, even though He's invisible, well, you can see Him in the things that have been made in His creation. And some of the things you can know about Him is that He's in eternity. That's why the book begins, “In the beginning, God created the heavens in the earth,” because He is outside of that, and He is the cause and the Creator and designer of all of that. He is eternal, and he has some kind of divine nature to his being that is different than us. And notice what it says there in verse 20, His invisible attributes, the things you can't see about Him, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, they have been clearly perceived, they have been according to sight. The invisible God can be perceived according to sight is the idea. How? Well since the creation of the world, and the things that have been made, and then here's where we start to get to the problems. So they are without excuse. The overwhelming evidence that this planet that you and I live on, had to be created. We'll see it's observable, is the idea. It's so evident. It's so manifest, that people who can't see there must be a God by looking at creation they have no apology, they have no excuse. They have no good reason for not seeing that there is a God. Even though God is invisible. You can see him in the things that have been made. Can I get an Amen from anybody on this? Okay now, the problem is, this is where we start wanting to get defensive. This is where we start wanting to say, Yeah, and it's not right. The people aren't seeing God. Next time I hear somebody take God's name in vain, next time I hear people start talking about random chance mutations, I'm going to get angry because why aren't they seeing what is evident, that there is a God? Well, it goes on to tell us why they're not seeing what is evident about our invisible God because it says here in verse 21, that although they knew God so they have this knowledge of God, there is an understanding of who He is, but they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks to Him. And then here's three different ways to say the same idea. They became futile in their thinking, their foolish hearts were darkened, claiming to be wise they became fools. So instead of saying, Yes, I can see that God clearly designed the world, look at how the sun rises, look at how babies are born, whether you want to go study the stars, or whether you want to study our cells, there are so many amazing things, even just about all the different kinds of living creatures, the kinds of different habitats there… I mean, some of us are better at science than others. But a great study of science will reveal to you that we have an awesome Creator. That's what you'll see when you study the world that He has made. And we want to think that we have a smarter way, a more wise way that we know better than that there is a God who made all of this and in our knowledge that puffs us up in us finding a better way than God. Well, notice how it says here, three things happen. One, our thoughts become futile, our hearts that are foolish are darkened. I mean, it says we have foolish hearts, and then we became fools. And then verse 23 says, there was a change, we could have been beholding our God and worshipping Him in all of His glory as our Creator, but we made a change instead of the glory of the Creator, we changed it for the perishable image of the creation.
So, we're not beholding God and trying to worship Him, even though he's invisible, and we can see him through what he has made. No, it says here in verse 23, we've exchanged the glory of the immortal god for images, resembling ourselves, mortal man, and “birds, and animals and creeping things.” So we're not seeking after God. Instead, we're seeking to find life in the creation, rather than in the Creator. Now one of the things we really need to understand as we're going through Romans chapter 1, and go back to verse 18 with me because we've been going through this a little bit, but we've got more sermons coming on Romans 1. Notice that it says “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” Okay, so that's the idea in Greek Anthropos anthropology, the study of human beings, the study of mankind. So what Romans one is describing, is the progression that's going to happen in there or them, it's going to say. Okay, now this is important that you and I pick up on Romans 1, what Romans one is saying, because I've already had many people going and making conclusions that Romans 1 is not saying what Romans 1 is saying that they and I think it applied to Rome at the time that Paul wrote this. And it applies to us here in America, at the time that we're reading and studying this together. “They” is a culture, it's a nation. “They” is the way of the world in a group of people. And God is going to give in verse 24,26, and 28, God is going to give them up notice every time it says God gave them up, God gave them up, God gave them up, in verse 28, to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. What I've already heard people here at our church doing is applying everything it's saying about them to an individual person. This is not talking about individual people, this is talking... The reason we're calling this May God save America is it's talking about our whole culture, our whole country of people who don't believe in God. It's not talking about your family member who doesn't believe in God, or your neighbor down your street, that person, that individual is a part of the “They”. So, it's not like that person got given over up three times to these things. No, this is expressing what's happening in our culture at large, and I can already see that if we go and apply what we're reading in Romans 1 about our whole country or the whole world we're living in and we start trying to nail one person about it, you're going to get… that's not going to work out, you're going to miss apply the Scripture and you go in and probably hitting your neighbor with a good dose of Romans 1 is not exactly the application we're looking for. All right? So that “they” here, that's the whole system. That's all the evil that's the whole group of people that we call America today.
Let's get this down, if you're taking notes, They are in denial and seek the Creation. They are in denial and seek the creation. God is invisible but you can see him in his creation. Well, they're not looking for God, they're not seeking God, they're not going to give honor to Him and give thanks to Him. They are denying God, they are actively in denial against what is true. What is evident, what is known about God. Right now, they are denying God and they're seeking for all of the life, for all of the joy, for all of the happiness that God intended for His creation to have. When we find Him. Well, they're seeking it not in the Creator, but tragically in the things that have been made in the creation. And so, they're completely missing the point; therefore, we in America have problems. That's what this passage is about. This passage is not telling you, hey, so you need to go really get angry about this. So, you need to go really let your neighbor know about this. This passage is just telling you how it works down here on planet Earth. This is how it is. Wow, when I realized that I didn't have to come here tonight. And I didn't have to say, if you don't believe that God is the Creator, open your eyes. Right? Like, I'm just going to, like passion you into seeing the glory of God here tonight, right? And if you really are turning away from God, and you're seeking other things, you're seeking idols, you're seeking like making yourself the center of the universe. How foolish of you, right? When I realized that's not this passage isn't telling us to go in and preach it. It's just saying, that's what's going on all around us. This is explaining, this passage is explanatory. It he's not yet gotten to what you should believe or what you should go and do in the book of Romans. He's just saying, this is how we got where we are today. And when you realize that what he says is going to happen, that people are going to deny God as Creator, and they're going to go seek life in the creation. That's what's going to happen. It says in Romans 1, you're like, oh, wow, that's exactly what's happening right now where I live. Oh, the Bible is actually this … there's comfort to be found in knowing that all of our problems have already been explained to us. And our problems here in America are happening right on schedule, just like they did in Rome, just like it's happened in so many nations of the world throughout history. And so, we do not need to … and this is what people do, okay … from this passage, let's go debate creation with everybody we know that's what some people do. And after this sermon, that’s what some people will do is, let's go, we're going to have an apologetics seminar right after this, everybody will be going through the ontological argument, we'll be going through the cosmological argument. And everybody leave here tonight and go debate somebody that there is a Creator. See, this passage isn't telling you go argue with people that there's a Creator, it's telling you, they're not going to see that there's a Creator. So, if you want to go argue with people, you're going to end up very defensive, and very frustrated, because they have exchanged the truth about the Creator for a lie, and they are seeking out the creation. They have already become futile in their thinking. They have already had their foolish hearts darkened, and they are already gone down the path of creation. That's what this passage is saying. It's explaining to you why they don't worship him as the Creator because key word that we want to zero in on here in verse 23, they've “exchanged the glory of the immortal god for” here's the word “images, resembling mortal man and birds and animals, and creeping things.”
So how do we reverse this? This curse that is upon us? How do we get people to see God as Creator and to stop turning away from Him to worship the creation? Should we go as many do, argue about God being the Creator? Or should we go confront our culture and tell them what fools they really are, and get frustrated, and get angry and think, why can't America make sense? Why can't they figure it out? Or should we perhaps realize we don't need to get so upset about our problems? Because they're being explained to us right here. They're not going to see the invisible God. They're not going to worship him. They're going to go after the image of other things. See, the reason there is this problem is so that you and I can share with people the good news of Jesus Christ.
Go with me to Colossians chapter 1. I need everybody to see this here in Colossians 1:15. Okay, this is what we should do about the fact that we people don't worship God as the Creator, and that they are turning to images of the creation. Well, Colossians 1:15 is an awesome statement about who Jesus is. And this is what we need people to see. Colossians 1:15 says, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” Anybody want to say Amen to that right there? Okay? The Bible is telling you here tonight, Romans 1 is explaining it to you, how's it going to work with the people who don't believe. They're not going to come and join us here at church, because we prove to them that creation has already been made manifest, it's already evident, they already know, nothing left to prove. But even though it is evident, they're turning away from it. And what are they getting into? “images of mortal man, birds, animals, creeping things?”
Well, this is what we can show them, we can show them Jesus – Jesus is the “image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation,” and fact. By Him all things were created in heaven, and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions, or rulers or authorities, all things were created through Him. And for him. He is before all things. and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church, he is the beginning of firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. So, he's given us one of the great theological series of verses on Jesus. This is great Christology here. This is the study of the Christ, who Jesus really is. And what he's doing here in Colossians, is he's saying, Well, the thing that we can do about what's so wrong with the world, the way that we cannot try to solve the problem that people don't see God and turn away from Him. But we can see people get saved out of that problem, if we share with them the good news of Jesus Christ, because Jesus is the one who opens people's eyes so that they can see the invisible God and worship Him. That's how it's meant to work. And so, look what he's saying. Go back to verse 4, when he talks about their faith, Paul's always thanking God for people's faith. Colossians 1:4, he says, “since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in Heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth.” Hey, we heard how it happened there, you guys heard the word of truth, “the gospel, which has come to you,” and everybody should underline this, circle this, this will help you think about your problems right here, “as indeed, in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras,” who had gone and preached. And now Paul's writing, a follow-up to Epaphras. He’s going there and preaching the gospel. Here's good news for everybody. Here's what we can do about all the problems we have in America, the problems that are worldwide in all of the nations is we can have the gospel bearing fruit and increasing, the more people we tell about Jesus. The more people will see the invisible God turned back to Him and worship Him as our Creator, can I get an amen from anybody on that? This is the remedy. So, people are arguing with people about who God is, even though the Bible is telling us they're not going to see it, but we keep arguing with them. And then we get frustrated at foolishness. Why can't they see it? Why aren't they getting it? Know what the scripture is saying is when you go and preach Jesus, and in fact, we should go and preach Jesus all over the world, the fact that he is the image of God, the Son of God, the Anointed One of God, that He died on the cross to pay for our sins, that He rose from the dead. And if you want to really celebrate freedom, he who the Son sets free is free, indeed. We go tell everybody that good news. Then some of those people who are looking for the image in the creation, they'll see the image of the invisible God and Jesus, and they will join us in worshiping. Please don't try to solve America's problems. Preach Jesus and watch God save America. That's what we're here to do. And, and so let's think about what it says in verse 15. Let's really think this through in verse 15. When it says He is the image of the invisible God, if God cannot be seen, and God has spoken in his creation, and if the heavens are truly declaring the glory of God, if the creation is already making it manifest that there definitely is a God, but people aren't seeing that, and they're turning away. Well, Jesus is the image of the invisible God. Jesus is the one that God sent to speak to us, to show us he is the Word of God. And “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
Let me ask you a question. Has there ever been anything created that Jesus didn't create? Jesus created everything. Jesus is right there with the Father. Jesus has eternal power. Jesus has a divine nature, and people may not see God as the Creator, but they can see God through Jesus. Let me just take a moment to turn you to 2 Corinthians chapter 4, I really need everybody to see this key word of image, okay, they're not seeing God through the creation. They're over here looking at the image of the creation, they've become foolish about the Creator, and they're seeking out life in the creation through the image of the creation. 2 Corinthians 4:4, helps explain why they can't see God through the creation, why they can't see God to worship Him as the one to whom all honor and thanks are due. Well, it says here, 2 Corinthians 4:4 “In their case,” again, the they, the them, the group of people, “In their case, the god of this world” – Who is the god of this world, everybody? Satan! He “has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light.” Okay, now, what specifically is the thing that's going to open their eyes? What specifically is the thing that's going to turn them around to the light of the gospel, of the glory of Christ? Who is the key word? What is it everybody? Satan. Okay? You go argue everybody creation as much as you want. I don't think Satan's blinded people from that they're already not seeing it. You go tell America, how liberal, how foolish. whatever word you want to use, you go start going off on your rant about America, and how we're doing things that don't even make sense anymore. I don't think Satan's blinded anybody from that. You go tell people about the image of God through Jesus Christ in the light of the gospel. That's what he doesn't want anybody to see. That's what he's covering up. We got problems. But the first thing we need to admit around here is a lot of us are getting defensive, and getting argumentative about our problems. And there ain't nothing we're going to do to make people see God's the Creator, or make them stop being foolish, unless we preach Jesus as the image of God.
Point number one, Jesus is the image you need to see. Jesus is the image, a Greek word icon. Jesus is the image that you need to see. You want to do something about what's going on in America. Start sharing at the Fourth of July barbecue. Come join us on Main Street, Huntington Beach. We got we got these flyers, we're going to be handing out to people, we're going to Hey, you want to flag for the parade? Yeah, well, we want to tell you about Jesus Christ, we're going to be spreading his name on the streets, because that's going to do something about what's happening in this country. And so, I just want to strongly encourage some who are here tonight, who are very frustrated with our fellow Americans, you're very frustrated at their ungodliness, you're very frustrated at their unrighteousness, your wrath is not going to turn anybody to worship God. But you share in Jesus Christ, you saying to people, Hey, there's somebody who's out there blinding you. And you know what he doesn't want you to see. He doesn't want you to see that Jesus, that God sent His one and only Son, to come down here to seek us out and save us see that it was always going to be problems. That was always the plan. The problems are right on schedule, there was always going to be a holy God in heaven, and sinful people here on Earth. And instead of worshipping Him as the Creator, they turned away and worshipped idols worship themselves. They tried to find life in the image of the creation, that was always the problem so that Jesus could show up to seek and save the lost. It's all been a setup for Jesus. And some of us are so bothered by the problem that we're forgetting. We've got good news of great joy. That's for all people that there has been born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And he will turn many … he'll turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children. He'll take those who are blind and he will open their eyes to see he'll take people who believes who are atheists, and then they think evolution is the answer. And they're looking at all these things that don't have God and when they see Jesus, they will fall on their knees and worship their Creator.
Ah, because Jesus is the one who is the image of God. He is the one who reveals God to us. Yes, we have problems in America, but the gospel is coming right on schedule, and Jesus is still saving more souls. How are you doing in speaking about that? How are you doing it, looking at Jesus yourself, and then sharing Jesus with as many people as you can, lest we forget that we were all once fools who couldn't see God even though it was obvious in the creation? Can I get an Amen from anybody on that one? Look at Colossians chapter 1, go back to it with me because there's more we’ve got to say about Jesus here. But look where it goes here in Colossians chapter 1. After this rich Christology about Jesus being the image of the invisible God, Jesus is the one who's going to reveal to us who God really is. Well, after that, it says in verse 21, after that, that rich section on Jesus that we'll get back to, it says “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds.” Yeah, you used to be against God in your own thoughts. What made you believe? Was it somebody getting frustrated and calling you a fool? Was it getting into debates about where the world came from? Or did your eyes get opened because you heard the gospel of Jesus Christ? See, so it says, let's just remember we were once “hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,” and God has now reconciled in order Jesus here, he has now reconciled in His body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the what, where's the hope everybody? It's in the Gospel. It's in the Gospel, it's not in common sense. That's not where the hope is. America is not going to get its common sense back. No, no, every next time you're like, oh, there goes common sense. Common Sense, rare these days. That's what we say at my house all the time. Common Sense, wow, it's worth a lot more than it used to be, you know what I mean? And we say stuff like that all the time. Anybody else talk about it, it seems like there's a shortage on like, common sense is caught up in the supply chain right now, I don't know where it went. Where the common sense go? You can go get frustrated, you can go preach common sense. You can go teach common sense, to your blue in your in the face, what's going on, where's their hope, what's going to bring, change what's going to turn people back to faith, the hope of the Gospel, it says, Don't shift from the hope of the gospel that you heard, and then look at this, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven. This was always the plan. You're living in the church age, you're living in 2022, you're living in the last days before Jesus comes riding on the clouds and establishes an everlasting kingdom. And there was always supposed to be God who everybody could see. But everybody was blinded from seeing, and you're out there preaching Jesus. And that's how their eyes get open. This is all happening according to plan. And here we are. And the question is, are we participating in the plan? are we complaining about the problem?
Jesus is who's going to give us hope. So, look at verse 15 again, because it says that he is the image of the invisible God. He's how we're going to see this one that's immortal, that's dwelling in unapproachable light. Jesus has come to show us, the Father to reveal him to us. And it says here, the firstborn of all creation. Now, that does not mean what some people have misinterpreted to mean. That Jesus is like the first one who got created like, like when you think of a firstborn, you think of your first child that was born. So, a lot of times when we hear firstborn, we think of sequential order. And firstborn here means more like praise place of prominence, like Jesus is the one who's like got the place of prominence. He's the one who's going to inherit, that's really the idea of firstborn, like the one who's going to inherit everything from the Father is the firstborn. That's the right of the firstborn, and Jesus, He is the one who's going to inherit all creation. All creation, is someday going to see who Jesus is, and every knee is going to bow and every tongue is going to the way that everybody's going to come back to common sense and see that there's a Creator is when Jesus Christ is revealed to them. He's the firstborn of all creation. And I can prove to you even here in the text, that firstborn doesn't mean the first one to be created. That is a false teaching that is out there about Jesus because look down at verse 18, where it says that Jesus is the head of the body of the church. He is the beginning. He first born from the dead. Now let me ask you this. Was Jesus the first person to ever rise from the dead? No. Did Jesus actually rise people from the dead before he rose from the dead? Did other people in the Bible rise from the dead even before the time of Jesus? Okay, so we're not talking about first in sequential order. We're talking about how Jesus says in Revelation chapter 1, that He is the Living One, he died, and behold, he is alive forevermore. See that right there. The fact that Jesus voluntarily laid down his life on the cross, the fact that Jesus has eternal power, and divine nature, and yet he as the image of the invisible God is willing to lay down his life and die as one of his creations, to save us from our sins for our sake, he lays his life down. And then he shows his eternal power and his divine nature, when he rises from the dead right there in the death and resurrection of Jesus, you keep preaching that you're going to have some people have their eyes opened, you're going to have some blind people who will now see, okay, if he died for me, and he rose again to give me new life, that's how they might see who God really is. It'll happen through the person and work of Jesus Christ. That needs to be the focus of what we are talking about. Do you see as we go through Romans 1 we're seeing there's wrath of God against unrighteousness and godliness, people are turning away from God is the Creator into foolish thinking, the answer to all of this problem that is being explained to us is the gospel that he's going to keep developing in the book of Romans that we're seeing here in Colossians 1. Look at what it says in verse 16, by him by Jesus, all things were created, that's in heavenly things and earthly things, visible things, and invisible spiritual things that we don't even see, that we don't fully grasp or understand whether it's thrones or dominions, or rulers or authorities, all things were created through Him, and for him. So, Jesus is before all things. He's the Eternal One, before the beginning of space and time. And then he is the one now by the Word of His power of holding space and time.
So right next to Colossians 1, if you're taking notes, you should write down John 1 and Hebrews 1, it's really easy to remember John one Colossians 1 and Hebrews 1 and in both John and Hebrews. It starts in chapter 1, verse 1, these are some of the riches statements of who Jesus is in all of the Scripture. And it'll make it very clear that Jesus is the one right now sustaining the universe by the Word of His power. Jesus is even right now, at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Jesus is the one making the sunrise, he is the one holding it all together. That's who's doing it. It's an active lordship over creation by Jesus. And verse 18. He is the head of the body of the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead than in everything, he might be preeminent. That's the idea. We need to talk about Jesus, first, Jesus in the middle, and Jesus last. That's how we're going to see God save America. He is the one who's supposed to be getting the glory, getting the honor getting the recognition, the preeminent one, verse 19, “For in him in Jesus, all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.” What an amazing story, that the invisible God rejected by his creation, since his one and only Son to take on a human flesh, the invisible eternal power and divine nature of God now, walking among us as a man, living a perfect life, dying in our place, rising again, that is the message that we need to share. Verse 20, “through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” See, if you're waiting for people to turn to God, you're going to keep on waiting.
God is the One Who grants people repentance to turn to Him. God is the one who reconciles people to himself. And the way that God is going to turn the hearts of people to come and worship Him as their Creator is when He reconciles them through the blood of His Son who died for them on the cross. Jesus is the way people will see God. Jesus is the image that they need to see.
And now let's go back to Romans one. And let's really think about this explanation of what happened through the lens of seeing Jesus. And let me just say here today, if you do not worship God as your Creator, and you are trying to find life in the things that God has made in the creation, in the image of the creation, I'm here to tell you, there is so much more to life than what you have experienced up to this point. And I'm here to tell you that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. If you look to Jesus, if you were to put your faith in Jesus tonight, that is what would really change your life. And it's happening. I mean, I love being a part of this church. I love getting to share the gospel up here on a regular basis, because I'm up here a lot, preaching, people then come to me, and they ask questions, and they share what's going on in their life. And just I am seeing God change people, people who are out living lives for themselves, and God is changing. And they exchange the truth of God for the lie. They worshipped, not the Creator, but the creation, and God is the one changing them back to Himself. But it's happening through the good news of Jesus. And if you want to have a changed life, I'm here to tell you, Jesus is the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE, and he will open your eyes to see the glory of God as you trust in the gospel.
So, we want to talk to you about that, and Brad, he'll be out there afterwards at the Compass Connect table. He would love to talk to you, if you want to really have your eyes, if you want the blinders to come off, and you want to really see who God is, you need to look to Jesus. That will be the answer. And that's why I'm so excited to invite everybody to pick up one of these calendars and read Luke with us. If you didn't get one on the way, get it on the way out, because we're going to read about a guy who went and he studied all of the written sources, all of the eyewitness testimonies, and he wrote a very orderly and thorough account of the life, death, even a thorough account of the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus. And so, we will see who Jesus is, that is where the power is. But let's go back now to verse 23. And let's work our way back through this text, if I could, can see God through Jesus through the gospel to all of my brothers and sisters who have been saved. Well, what that means is we don't have to exchange the glory for the things that are going to perish, for the image of the creation. We don't have to become futile or foolish. Our hearts don't have to be darkened. But instead of turning away from God, the good news is for all of us who have faith in Jesus Christ, we can turn from foolishness to glory.
Let's get that down for number two: Turn from foolishness to glory. That's what we're able to do. We can put off thinking the way of America, we can put off thinking the way of the world around us, we can put off thinking that life is about me. And now I can really see, through Jesus, that life is about knowing God and giving him the honor and thinks that he deserves because I wouldn't have life without God being my Creator. And I won't even get to see the God’s my Creator without Jesus being my savior. And those are two reasons to see glory every day for the rest of my life. I have an awesome Creator who gave me life. And I have a wonderful Savior who saved my life. And so, I should be one of the people who is basking in the glory of God who is saying, let's behold our God, because I can actually see him.
Go with me to Psalm 14. And turn with me to Psalm chapter 14, where it describes this foolishness. And we know that Paul is thinking about the Psalms when he describes the people turning away from God, and then with sin, where we all fall short of the glory of God, because eventually enrollments three, Paul is going to give us the greatest hits of Psalm one liners that destroy self-esteem is that's what we're eventually going to get. We're going to get to eventually the most unselfish steamy sermon you've ever heard in your entire life. When we get to Romans chapter 3, where it says things like there is no one who does good, no, not one, no one seeks God, like everyone has turned aside, all have lost their way, all of us like sheep have gone astray. And so, Paul, he has so many quotes that describe how people don't see God, and they turn away from God. And he's quoting them from the Psalms, for example, Psalm chapter 14, “The fool says in his heart, ‘there is no God.’ They are corrupt. They do abominable deeds.” So, this is how it works. I don't acknowledge who God is, I don't honor him. I don't give Him thanks. And that then allows me to go and do things in the image of the creation, things that God doesn't want me to do, things that God is not okay with, things that God has actually commanded not to do. Why go in and they are corrupt. They do abominable deeds. Underline it, circle it. There is none who does good. There. How many people are good people naturally in America? How many of those people we got according to this verse right here. So, here's what I'm trying to say to some of my brothers and sisters in the Lord. Tonight. I'm trying to say, why are you there for so upset when people aren't doing what is good? Maybe you need to change your expectations. When the Scripture is telling us, they're going to turn aside, they're going to go and evil way, they're going to be corrupt. They're going to be abominable deeds. Hey, guess what? Guess what? Forecast, everybody! America 2023 worse probably than America 2022. That's the direction it's headed. Because nobody's doing good. And God sees it clearly. Look at verse two, the Lord looks down from heaven, on the children of man to see if there are any who understand any who seek after God, they have all turned aside. Together, they have become corrupt, there is none who does good, not even one. The thing that people don't understand is that even though they're not seeing God and worshiping Him, God is still seeing them. And God sees them for who they really are. God sees through our skin and bones, He sees into our souls that are made in His image, God sees the person that He made you to be inside of your body is the real you. And what God knows about you down to your core is you would never seek God, if Jesus didn't seek you. That's how it works.
And that's how it is for everybody. That's what it's saying that this is the thought that is driving. Paul is just beginning an argument here. This is his conclusion. This is where he's getting this argument from, that people are turning aside. How many people are turning away from acknowledging God is their Creator? All! All are turning aside there is none, not even one, verse three says, because it knows you're thinking, Well, I don't know. I thought grandma was a pretty good person, right? You got no, I think, no, not even one. Look, first for have they no knowledge, all the evildoers, who eat up my people as they eat bread, and do not call upon the Lord, there they are in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous, and it and it keeps going on from there. But this is the Psalm where people are in their foolishness, turning away, acting like there is no God turning away and doing whatever they want. That is the way of every single person until you meet Jesus. And the good news in Jesus is now you can turn from that foolishness, and you can turn, and you can see who God is. Because this is what I want to encourage everybody here to do. If we're living in a whole world that can't see God, even though it's obvious, it's evident, it's plain, he's shown it to us, and look at the world that God has made. If you can see that there is a God through His creation, then you should go and give him honor and give Him thanks for the world that He has made. You should be doing that. In fact, go over just a few Psalms to Psalm 19, go over to Psalm 19. See, if Jesus has come to save us and through Jesus, we can reverse the curse and instead of turning away from God, we can now turn back to God and we and Jesus can can show us that He came from heaven to seek and save our souls to give us eternal life, which is that we would know the only true God through His Son Jesus Christ, that He said, Well, now we can look at passages like this. And we can say the heavens declare the glory of God. And the sky above proclaims His handiwork.
I mean, here's something I would love for everybody to do this week. To continue this worship service is I would love if you could if you could just set aside some time to go and watch the sunset. Can I ask everybody here to do that? At least once Okay. This week’s homework assignment, everybody write this down. If you're taking notes, he's making me watch us on that, right? I'm not making you I'm just, I'm just asking you Okay? Will you please go watch a sunset? Okay, because what you can see, hey, and there's going to be people there, you'll see they'll walk by they won't notice the sunset, or they'll stop. And what do they put in the way of the sunset? completely ruining the glory behind them? What? It's a selfie with the sunset. Everybody, right? No, but you just go. Don't put yourself in the way of the sunset. You just go and watch how the whole like, like, it's a room. Like there's lighting. Just watch how the whole color changes. Watch how it's like colors like cotton candy, or this color orange sherbet. How it just starts, the whole sky starts changing. And I'd encourage you go down by the ocean, since we live here. Since we're paying for it, we might as well check it out. I'd encourage just watch as the sun goes down, just watch how the light dances on the water. Just watch. Just feel the breeze, feel that there's like air conditioning that nobody's paying for. Like, where does all that power come from? Like, there's a breeze blowing, the sun setting. birds are flying in the sky. And worship that this was all gloriously and wonderfully made. And every single night, right on schedule, you can look it up. And they will tell you it's so easy to find out exactly what time the show is on. When you realize how much of our life we waste watching devices in the image of the creation, or special effects that they're trying to make is awesome. As the world we live in, right, and now you just go and behold it for what it really is. And just thank God that you can see it for what it really is. When I look at the ocean, I was driving by the ocean today. To me the ocean looks so vast, it just the fact that I can't see to the end of it. The fact that I've been out there on a boat, I've flown over it, I mean the ocean is just so massive. In my mind, I don't even want to know everything that's underneath the surface. I mean, how deep it goes, how wide it is. And just to think that when I look at the ocean, and I behold our God, that he could scoop up all the waters of the earth in the hollow of his hand. That is worship. That is who He really is. So why are we getting so frustrated with everybody who's not seeing it? The question we should be asking is are you seeing? Are you seeing who he is? Are you seeing how awesome he really is? He made you to enjoy it. He made you to see it. He made you to be overwhelmed with his glory and to respond with, you are an awesome God! He made you to behold His glorious splendor. And once Jesus opens your eyes, like when that sun starts to hit that water, and when those colors if it's one of those beautiful days, where it just radiates the splendor of the glory of God. I mean, do you want to talk about a moment we don't need music. We don't need each other. We just need to see who He is.
Point number three. Let's get it down like this. You need to worship God as your Creator. I mean, there is a song that is playing every night. At sunset. There is a a song that is playing every time that it rains. I mean, I know the fireworks are going to be a big deal. Where are you going to see the fireworks it's Fourth of July in America. People are already shooting off fireworks, your neighborhood might be full of people, unless you live in a city where the fireworks are illegal then it's amazing how everybody abides by that law. Have you seen that? Have you seen that? Fireworks are going to be a big deal. I remember one time I was watching a firework show. And it was a I mean it was you know, whenever you see fireworks, people are just shooting money into the sky. Does everybody realize that? I mean, a real good firework show is tens of thousands of dollars of explosives being blown up in the sky. And here they are. You got red ones. You got blue ones, you got white ones, and there is an impressive pyrotechnic display taking place in the sky and my family and I, we were watching this fireworks and it's Ooh, and it's an Aah. And it's a Whoa. Right? And we were not in California; we were on the East Coast and we're watching these fireworks. We were actually in a boat at the time moving away from the fireworks thinking this is so cool. We can see this, and then a thunderstorm began. And the fireworks are like these little poppers down here. And this bolt of lightning goes from heavens and smacks the earth. And there's a rumble. And there's a shaking, and it's like you guys get together for fireworks like thunder and lightning from the heavens. He's got store houses of snow he gives life to the earth. Through the rain, where were you when He created the world? Where were you when He formed everything, when he spoke it into existence? Job's thinking, God, we got problems down here. God, I don't think you know what you're doing. Where were you? Have you considered what I have made? Like, before we get so frustrated with everybody that seeing our Creator, we got to ask ourselves, do you see our Creator? Do you see glory? Do you see radiant splendor has Jesus opened your eyes to the power of the gospel so that you can actually worship God? Can you hear what the heavens declare this is Psalm 19, verse 1. The heavens declare the glory of God. And the sky above proclaims His handiwork, day to day pours out speech, and night tonight reveals knowledge there is no speech, nor are there words whose voice is not heard, their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them, he has set a tent for the sun, the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, like a strong man runs its course with joy. It's rising from the end of the heavens, and it's circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from him. See the sunrise, see the sunset, see the heavens see the light filling the earth, know that the whole earth is full of the glory of the Lord and worship him as your Creator. So this is what we can see, we can see that people are not going to worship God, people are going to turn away from God. But if they could see the image of God, the invisible God, if they could see it in Jesus dying for them, and rising again, that is the way that us we will turn from foolishness to glory, and we will be able to worship Him for who He really is. Because we've been saved by the gospel of Jesus, it's only in the name of Jesus, that anyone is going to see God and worship Him. That's what we need to, to share this Fourth of July so that God may save America, let me pray for us
Father in heaven. I just I come to you to confess that Father, we have so many problems, and we think that we're going to do something to solve. We somehow think that us getting angry about people not worshiping you, or us getting angry about people's foolishness is going to somehow turn people to you are going to talk some sense into them. Father, I pray that you would open our eyes, to see that the only thing open in anyone's eyes is the light of the gospel of the glory of Jesus, who is your image and we praise Jesus, for being the image of the invisible God, we praise Jesus as the firstborn of all creation, we acknowledge that nothing has ever been created that Jesus did not make. We worship Jesus even now as the one who's upholding the universe by the Word of His power. And Father, we confess that we have been thinking people need to get their act together, when the only way anyone's going to turn to you is through the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the righteousness that is revealed to them from faith. So, God, let us see that we can keep complaining about the problems. Or we can preach the name of Jesus. And we can see you save more people. And I pray for my brothers and sisters that we will not get frustrated by the foolishness. But we will get focused on your glory. I pray for everybody here. That they wouldn't think fireworks are the big show, but that they would worship you as our Creator. I pray that we would invite everybody here to be hold our God, to see how you hold the oceans in the hollow of your hand, to see how you spoke everything into existence, to see your power in the thunder and the lightning in the rain. To see the beautiful rainbow, your promise of mercy upon us. Let us be the people who see you for who you really are, the invisible God, who see you by our faith in the name of Jesus and let us worship God, I pray that this week the people of this church will worship you as our Creator more than we ever have before. And let it all be because we've seen you through the name of Your Son, Jesus, we pray this in his name. Amen.
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