Unlimited: People Are Without Excuse
Apr 20, 2022 903
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse (Romans 1:20).
How is it that people who may not have access to the Bible or to the Christian message can still know God? This is the question that the apostle Paul is addressing.
Paul’s answer is that God’s visible creation clearly reveals God’s invisible qualities. By considering nature, people who do not otherwise know God are able to see and understand the power of God and something of his nature. It is impossible for me to stand under the starry skies at night and not to turn my thoughts heavenward.
People are without excuse
Through the means of creation, Paul is saying, the essential though invisible qualities of God are made visible and understandable to all. We will all be judged according to the light that we have received (Rom. 2:12; 3:19–20), and in this way, all are without excuse before God.
Later in his letter, Paul will refer to other means that people have for knowing God apart from the Bible and through other Christians. These include the conscience, as well as God’s supernatural power including through sending miracles, visions and dreams.
What Paul is saying is not that everyone will be saved, but that everyone has received some knowledge of God, and that we will be accountable for how we have responded to it.
One of the things that human beings are extremely good at is making excuses. All of us find it very easy to justify ourselves and make excuses for ourselves in every area of our lives. If we do it in other areas of our lives, we will tend to do it with God as well. Think very carefully: How do you make excuses in your life? How do you make excuses before God?