The Sin Of Replacement (Romans 1:18-32)
We’ve all chosen to replace God.
I am so thankful to be studying the book of Romans as a church. This book has spoken deeply to my heart over the years – teaching me about grace and allowing me to experience freedom from my past in new and beautiful ways. Romans 1:18-32 especially speaks volumes about who we are in Christ and provides a challenge in thinking that change our entire viewpoints on sin if we let it.
I was raised in the church and have spent my life professing Jesus as my Savior. While this is a good story to claim as my own, I have at times allowed it to lead me into severe legalism and judgment. When I see people whose sins are more evident and public than mine, I tend to fall into the trap of pride. I think about how terrible they are and how innocent I am. I say to myself, “I would NEVER do such a thing,” and pat myself on the back for a life well lived.
I remember studying this particular passage of Romans and having that entire mindset wrecked. Why would Paul list anger next to murder? Why would he mention gossipers in the same breath as God-haters? Why would he talk about not obeying parents right before discussing a lack of fidelity? In my mind, these were not equal. I thought these sins were so far apart in severity that they didn’t deserve to be in the same paragraph, let alone the same sentence. Wrong. Paul mentions them together for a very specific reason – that we may remember that sin is sin. The severity of its nature is equal, and it’s all equally disgusting.
In Michael’s sermon this past Sunday, he discussed our common struggle with idolatry. This is at the core of what Paul is talking about – we’ve all chosen to replace God. This manifests itself differently in different people, but the central theme is exactly the same for all of us.
We are all broken and in need of a healer. We are all dead and in need of a savior. We are all far off and in need of a reconciler. Praise God he is the one who makes a way!