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Too clever for God

The words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:22-23Romans 1:22-23
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.  

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are particularly aimed at those who invent their own version of God. Ignoring what God has revealed of Himself in creation, they devise their own model of God, basing it upon something from nature itself. However, the words of this text can also be applied to those who choose to deny the existence of God altogether! Why do they do so? In part because they are too clever to need God!

Professing themselves to be wise…

Here is a statement of man’s view of himself that motivates a rejection or perversion of God’s self-revelation. On the basis of what he knows; that which he is convinced is wisdom and scientific (science is quite literally, just ‘knowledge’); he refuses the God of Creation and of the Bible. Obviously pride is at work here! Arrogant, supreme self-c0nfidence in his own abilities makes men reject God as they do. Man is smarter than to need God! Atheists scorn that the concept of a God is for the weak-minded and illiterate; the invention of those who intellectually lacking.

…they became fools…

Here is the ultimate end of rejecting God, who is the only source of true wisdom. The man who rejects God is a fool! See Psalm 14:1Psalm 14:1
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

14 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. 1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.  

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. Despite his boasted wisdom God marks him down as a fool. No matter what intellectual gifts and talents a man may have if he refuses God he is a fool. He may have the highest IQ possible but still be a fool in spiritual matters in God’s estimation.

A process is to be observed here – becoming fools. The fool becomes a greater fool! Light and knowledge disappear from the society that rejects God. The advance of modern society has largely been the result of Biblical/gospel influence. Human ingenuity has always been most evident under the influence of Biblical truth and the fear of God. False religion and atheism has long had a negative impact on the advance of real knowledge and wisdom.

…and changed the glory of the incorruptible God…

The evidence of mankind’s folly – and that of any individual – is a modified view of God. More than that, the context goes on to describe the removal of Divine restraint and the outbreak of worse and worse sin. See Romans 1:24, 26, 28Romans 1:24, 26, 28
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; to retain: or, to acknowledge a reprobate...: or, a mind void of judgment or, an unapproving mind  

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. Men and their societies become morally corrupt when they abandon the truth about the incorruptible God. It is the truth about God that preserves man’s well-being and that of society. Societies that forgot God soon became decadent, immoral cesspools and choked to death on their own vileness and excess. Destroyed by the folly of rejecting God!

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