Romans 1: 17 – 18
For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith. The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness…
We are living in a remarkable time. Arab states are experiencing revolution; kings of the earth are in turmoil; many ‘rich’ nations are on the edge of a double dip financial crisis; not to mention the recent riots on the streets of cities across the United Kingdom.
One thing the riots revealed here in the UK was a dire issue of generational sin. Ultimately, we cannot blame the State, nor the Government, but we as the Church have the key role to play in stemming sinfulness, that is past on from generation to generation. ‘You are the salt of the earth, the light of the world…’ said Jesus to His followers. Have we forgotten what Christ has invested in His people?
I do not believe in generational ‘curses’, as I do not see them mentioned in Scripture nor are they inferred. But what is clearly portrayed in Scripture (see Exodus 20) is a generational iniquity that comes because men turn toward idols, rather than the living God. In other words, God allows those who turn to idols to be ensnared by the thing they create for their own gain, and its power gets worse generation after generation. What is one man’s vice, can become his son’s bondage, and even become another further generation’s stronghold. This is clearly set forth in the life of Israel, with the sin of Jeroboam and the subsequent evil done by most kings thereafter in generations after. Yet the Bible always ultimately attributes the start of the decline of Israel at the feet of Jeroboam each time a later king falls further into wickedness.
In Romans 1 and 2, Paul conveys his amazing worldview of man, sin, God’s righteousness and wrath, and where we as God’s people fit into this situation. Paul conveys an iniquity that is revealed as God’s wrath to generations that have turned to idols, producing in humankind ‘unnatural desires’ and all kinds of wickedness.
But Romans is far from a hopeless letter of condemnation, with some good doctrine for the Church. We often make Romans out to be a manual on ‘justification by faith’, but not for Paul, nor should it be for us. (Though those precious truths are contained there.) Rather, it is God’s way of setting forth a crisis that has affected the cosmos, the world & its history, and mankind. A crisis that can only be met through a ‘Son of David’, who is also ‘Son of God’. He will come to intervene in this generational iniquity, bring an end to sin and wickedness, and bring many other ‘sons to glory’. This people are described by Paul as ‘obedient to the faith’ and recipients of ‘grace for apostleship’. They are righteous by faith in the living God, who not only covers, but imparts and regenerates by His life in them! We then are created in Him, to do good works, as Ephesians says.
Let me be clear, as Paul is: Believing in justification by faith does not save us. Believing in Jesus the Christ, does save us and makes us righteous in everyway as we submit to Him.
For Paul, this apostolic people, with faith in a perfect and righteous Christ, are to meet the dilemma head on – by seeing a revelation of God’s righteousness through the advent of Jesus, and the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus.
In Romans, not only has a physical God-man brought about a violent end to sin on the cross, (Romans 2 – 6) but has also created a new race of Spirit people (Romans 7 & 8), where generational iniquity no longer abounds but His righteousness and grace are revealed through a Jesus-generation of sons. They like their father Abraham, are no longer of idolatrous origins or wickedness, but are ‘sons’ of faith & righteousness.
If this is the remarkable power of the Gospel then why aren’t we proclaiming it? If the world and the generations are in a desperate state, what are we going to do? Jesus was sent as the perfect Son to intervene and destroy the works of the devil. Yet we remain in our ‘churches’ , inviting people to come! Yet Romans 1 is clear: ‘we have received grace for apostleship… for obedience to the faith’. This means we have a reason to ‘go’; a reason to be ‘sent’; a reason to proclaim!
So then, who is responsible for the present wickedness in the land? Well humankind is – yes. But more so, the Church is certainly responsible for the increasing tide of wickedness. As sons of God in Christ, we can intercept this wickedness through the Gospel and its power, and see a generation transformed, renewed and righteous by the Blood and Spirit of Jesus.
Can we see revival for an entire generation? Absolutely, if we become as believing Abraham, and more so like our Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Christ.
Andrew Yeoman, is a resident of Wales. He is Snr. Leader at Swansea Valley Bible Church, and a School of Ministry based in South Wales, UK; he also leads another church plant and the Europe Ablaze Missionary Society. He is the author of “Jesus Ministry,” which is available on Amazon.com.
Possibly Related Posts