“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God 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 hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:16-20).
Consider the teaching of this foundational passage of Scripture:
First, the gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16-17).
This teaches us that we must focus on the gospel. Apologetics are not enough. Winning arguments is not enough. We should answer every sincere question that people have, but we must always come back to the gospel, because it is the power of God unto salvation. By answering questions and refuting evolution and other false philosophies we can help people come to Christ. An example is the first friend the Lord gave me in Christ. Richard grew up in an agnostic home and was educated at the university. Somehow he found a little book refuting evolution. It was the first time that he was challenged about this teaching. He began to think that evolution might not be true and decided to read the Bible for himself. As he read, he realized that its teaching seemed to be true. Eventually he met some Christians and trusted Christ as his Lord and Saviour. He wasn’t saved through creation teaching or arguments against evolution, but these things prepared the way so he would consider the gospel.
Second, there is powerful evidence for God.
The evidence is the creation (Rom. 1:20). The evidence is also in man’s own conscience (Rom. 1:19; 2:14-15). This is why most Hindus we have met instinctively know that God is holy, even though the Hindu gods are not holy. There is a witness of God and a witness of right and wrong inside of man.
Even evolutionists refer to the human body as “miraculous.” The Internet is filled with this.
For example, the BioMedia Associates’ biology education website uses the term miraculous six times in describing the processes of the human body.
“The human heart is a muscular organ that is a bioengineering marvel. It works flawlessly, 24/7, throughout the lifetime of each individual. See how it delivers blood, a truly MIRACLE substance, to all parts of the human body through a vast network of arteries and veins. ... The human body needs to take in food and water found in the environment, and through an almost MIRACULOUS sequence of mechanical and chemical processes, it converts that food into nutrients that sustain all the body’s activities. ... There is no greater MIRACLE on the planet than the creation of a new life. Dr. Mark Reisman takes you through each stage of this MIRACLE, from the genetic basis of life, to the development of sex organs, to the formation of sex cells, to conception, to the emergence of the embryo, to the growth sequence of the fetus, and finally to the birth of a new human life. ... Touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight - the human body’s five major senses. They are senses that have evolved independently over millions of years but are brought together by our marvelous central nervous system into the most refined way of interacting with the environment of any species on the planet. ... The 206 bones of the human skeleton are a MIRACLE of bioengineering. Lightweight and incredibly strong, our bones give us the ability to walk upright, freeing our hands for precise manipulation of objects” (“New Series: MIRACLE of the Human Body,” www.ebiomedia.com).
Public Broadcasting Network’s video series on the development of the embryo in the womb was called “The Miracle of Life.” Yet PBS is very pro-evolution and anti-creationism.
Cotswold Grass Seeds web site talks about “the miracle of seeds.”
Evolutionists attribute “the miracle of life” to blind naturalistic processes.
But those who are not blinded by evolutionary fables know that the effect of a “design miracle” points to a designer capable of causing such a miracle.
The law of cause and effect (the law of causality) is based on common observation as well as scientific experimentation. It has been recognized by scientists and philosophers throughout history, from Plato to Hume. It says that every material effect must have a sufficient cause. W.T. Stace, professor of philosophy at Princeton, called this “the ultimate canon of the sciences, the foundation of them all” (A Critical History of Greek Philosophy). Dr. Richard Taylor wrote that “it is hardly disputable that the idea of causation is not only indispensable in the common affairs of life but in all applied sciences as well” (The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1967).
A miracle of design means there is a Designer and Builder. This is the law of cause and effect. It says that every material effect must have a sufficient cause. It has been recognized by scientists and philosophers throughout history, from Plato to Hume. This law is described in the Bible as follows: “every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God” (Heb. 3:4).
When we see a house, we know that it had a builder, and we know that the builder was capable both to design and to build it. We know that the builder must have been wise enough and strong enough and must have had the necessary tools and resources. Likewise, when we see a universe with perfect laws such as gravity and we see such things as the flying bird and the living cell and the human body and human intelligence, we know there must have been a Builder of sufficient wisdom and power to make these things.
The fathers of modern science understood this.
Isaac Newton, discoverer of the law of gravity: “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. ... Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance” (Principia).
Robert Boyle, the father of modern chemistry: “The vastness, beauty, orderliness, of the heavenly bodies, the excellent structure of animals and plants; and the other phenomena of nature justly induce an intelligent and unprejudiced observer to conclude a supremely powerful, just, and good author” (Works, vol. IV, p. 25).
Third, God gives enough evidence to prove that the Bible is true, but enough is left to condemn the willful unbeliever.
God gave man a will and a choice. We see this in Adam and Eve, and we see it throughout human history. Compare Matthew 13:10-16. Jesus spoke in parables in order to hide the truth from those who did not want to believe, those who had already rejected the light.
Harvard law professor Simon Greenleaf: “Christianity does not profess to convince the perverse and head-strong, to bring irresistible evidence to the daring and profane, to vanquish the proud scorner, and afford evidences from which the careless and perverse cannot possibly escape. This might go to destroy man’s responsibility. All that Christianity professes, is to propose such evidences as may satisfy the meek, the tractable, the candid, the serious inquirer” (The Testimony of the Evangelists Examined by the Rules of Evidence).
Consider the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:27-31). No amount of evidence will convince the willful skeptic.
Fourth, men suppress the truth because they love sin (Rom. 1:18).
This teaches that the main battleground is the heart and the will rather than the mind. Lee Strobel tells of a man who listened to the evidence for Christ’s resurrection and then said, “I believe that the evidence is clear that Christ rose from the dead, but I do not believe in Him because I do not want a new master.”
Fifth, spiritual blindness is the reason why men cannot see the evidence for God (2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:1-2).
It is like a blind man who cannot see the beauty of creation. The beauty is there, but he can’t see it. The only hope is the gospel of Jesus Christ. When the sinner receives the gospel, he is born again and he has spiritual wisdom (1 Cor. 2:14-16; 2 Cor. 3:15-17).
Believer friend, don’t be intimidated by blind people! You can see, don’t be discouraged by those who cannot. They look at the same evidence and say, “I don’t believe it.” But that doesn’t bother me! I do believe it, and I can make my own choices in life. I don’t have to follow the crowd.
Sixth, spiritual enlightenment comes by salvation.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
Only by salvation are we brought out of darkness into light (1 Pet. 2:9). Only by salvation is the veil removed from the heart (2 Cor. 3:15-16). Only by salvation do we receive the Spirit of God as our Teacher (1 John 2:20, 27). Many young people who grow up in Christian homes profess to believe in Christ and learn how to act like a Christian, but they are not born again. They have not had a life-changing conversion experience. They do not know Christ personally as Lord and Saviour. When they go off to a secular job or to secular college and hear the lies of the devil, they don’t have the spiritual wisdom and power to refute it, and their faith is overthrown. This is because they have intellectual faith but not saving faith. They are not anchored in Christ. They are like the crowd that “believed in Jesus” in John 2:23-24 and then turned from Him in John 6:66. In contrast, we have the example of Peter who refused to turn from Christ because he had saving faith (John 6:67-69). Those in John 2:23-24 “believed” in Christ’s miracles, but they did not receive Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.
This teaches us that our goal is not to win an argument about evolution. Our goal is to lead people to Jesus Christ. That is the job that God has given us. He has made us ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 2:20). Only when people are born again will they understand spiritual and supernatural things.
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