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Romans 1:20 & meaning...

For 

the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse.

Romans 1:20

Context

Romans 1 [13.] Now I don’t desire to have you unaware, brothers, that I often planned to come to you, and was hindered so far, that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. I am debtor both to Greeks and to foreigners, both to the wise and to the foolish. So, as much as is in me, I am eager to preach the Good News to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the Good News of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes; for the Jew first, and also for the Greek. For in it is revealed God’s righteousness from faith to faith. As it is written, “But the righteous shall live by faith.”[b] 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 of God is revealed in them, for God revealed it to them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse. Because, knowing God, they didn’t glorify him as God, neither gave thanks, but became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless heart was darkened.


Meaning:

  • Revelation through Creation:

The verse begins by emphasizing the visibility of the invisible attributes of God. Despite being unseen by the naked eye, the qualities of God are made evident through the created world. The intricacies of nature, the order of the cosmos, and the complexity of life all serve as a canvas on which God's attributes are displayed.

  • Everlasting Power and Divinity:

The specific attributes highlighted in Romans 1:20 are God's "everlasting power and divinity." The expansive and enduring nature of God's power, as well as the divine essence that permeates creation, become discernible through thoughtful observation. This recognition extends beyond a mere acknowledgment of a generic divine force; it points to the specific qualities that characterize the nature of God.

  • Being Without Excuse:

The verse concludes with a consequential statement—that the revelation of God's attributes through creation leaves humanity "without excuse." This phrase underscores the accountability of humanity in recognizing the evidence of a Creator. The clarity of God's self-disclosure in the created order is such that individuals are without a valid excuse for rejecting or ignoring the reality of God's existence.


Significance:

Theology of Nature: Romans 1:20 contributes to a theological framework that acknowledges the revelatory nature of the natural world. It suggests that the created order is not just a random occurrence but a deliberate expression of divine attributes.

Intellectual and Spiritual Inquiry: The verse encourages intellectual and spiritual inquiry. It invites individuals to engage in thoughtful observation and contemplation of the world around them, recognizing that the pursuit of knowledge and understanding can lead to a deeper awareness of God's attributes.

Responsibility and Accountability: The phrase "without excuse" highlights a sense of responsibility and accountability. The recognition of God's attributes in creation places upon humanity a moral and intellectual obligation to acknowledge the divine reality.

  • Personal Reflection:

Romans 1:20 invites personal reflection on the ways in which individuals perceive and interpret the natural world. It prompts contemplation on the relationship between the created order and the recognition of God's attributes.


Cross References:

Psalm 19:1-2: "The heavens declare the glory of God. The expanse shows his handiwork. Day after day they pour out speech, and night after night they display knowledge." This parallel Old Testament passage reinforces the idea that the created world serves as a testament to God's glory and wisdom.

Acts 17:28: "For in him we live, and move, and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also his offspring.'" This New Testament reference in Acts echoes the interconnectedness of humanity with God and emphasizes the intimate relationship between the Creator and his creation.


In Conclusion: Romans 1:20 serves as a profound declaration of the revelatory nature of the created world. It urges us to open our eyes to the intricate details of the universe, recognizing in them the fingerprints of a Creator. The verse underscores the accountability that comes with this revelation, challenging us to engage in thoughtful contemplation and acknowledge the divine reality displayed in the world around us.


PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible