Jew and Gentile
Restored to Israel
Slaves to Sin
Slaves to God
Slaves Serving God
Life by Faith
Service by Faith
Modified from Irving
L. Jensen's excellent work "Jensen's
Survey of the NT"
FOR SINCE THE
CREATION OF THE WORLD HIS INVISIBLE ATTRIBUTES: ta gar aorata autou apo
(John 1:18; Colossians 1:15; 1Ti
1:17; 6:16; Heb 11:27) (Ro 1:19; Deut 4:19; Job 31:26, 27, 28; Ps
8:3; Ps 33:6, 7, 8, 9; Ps 104:5,31; Ps 119:90; Ps 139:13; Ps 148:8, 9, 10, 11,
12; Mt 5:45)
Listen to Mp3s by J Vernon McGee
AN ILLUSTRATION OF NOT
"SUPPRESSING" (Ro 1:18-note) THE TRUTH OF CREATION: By way of
introduction to Paul's inspired discussion in Romans 1 describing God's
gracious revelation and man's great rebellion against the Creator and
His clear truth of
the Creation, it might be enlightening to read what
(1642-1727), one of the greatest minds to ever live, had to say about
this subject. The mathematical and scientific discoveries of Sir Isaac
Newton are "astronomical" to use a pun! Some of the most notable
achievements include the invention of calculus, discovery of the laws of
motion and gravitation, and construction of the first reflecting
telescope. And to the surprise of many truth suppressing modern
scientists (not all of course!), Newton was a man of genuine, devout
Christian faith and he spent a great portion of time studying Scripture
with a special interest in prophecy. For example, Newton wrote...
I have a fundamental belief in
the Bible as the Word of God, written by men who were inspired. I study
the Bible daily.
This next comment relates
especially to Romans 1...
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. (Ed: "Amen!")
At the time of his death, Sir Isaac Newton left more than a million
words of notes on, you guessed it...the Bible! Six years after his
death, Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of
St. John was published. Not only was Isaac a great scientist but also a
dedicated student of the Bible.
Dear Lord, by your Spirit may his tribe increase in these last days for
the glory of the King of kings. Amen.
(gar) is a subordinating conjunction which Introduces the
explanation of how God made a knowledge of Him evident to all mankind
(Ro 1:19). Whenever you encounter a
term of explanation
like "for" (>7000 uses in NT - not all are explanatory but most
are, especially at beginning of a passage), ask God to enable you to
recognize that small conjunction as an invitation, an opportunity to
pause and ponder the passage in the power of the Spirit by asking the
always asking at least one - "What
is the text explaining?"
which will "force" you to examine the previous passage(s) (the
As you prayerfully yield to and depend on your Teacher the Spirit to
guide you into all the Truth (1Cor 2:12-16, 1Jn 2:20, 27, Jn 16:13), you
will be amazed at the insights and illumination He will reveal to the
eyes of your heart! And as you practice this simple discipline of
slowing down and "chewing your food" (Mt 4:4, Lk 4:4) instead of speed
reading the text, you will begin to experience the blessed fruits of
In other words what you are doing by pausing to ponder the passage is
you are musing on the passage, "chewing the cud" (Hebrew idea of
meditation) and in effect carrying out a "mini-meditation" so to speak."
Hodge writes that...
This verse is a confirmation and
amplification of the preceding, inasmuch as it proves that God does
manifest Himself to men, shows how this manifestation is made, and draws
the inference that men are, in virtue of this revelation, inexcusable
for their impiety. The argument is, God has manifested the knowledge of
Himself to men, for the invisible things of Him, that is, his eternal
power and Godhead, are, since the creation, clearly seen, being
understood by His works; they are therefore without excuse. -
Commentary on the Epistle to the
Romans - Online
(ktisis) refers to bringing something into existence which has
not existed before. The act of causing to exist that which did not exist
before, especially God's act of bringing the universe into existence (cp
It is notable that ktisis always occurs in the New Testament in
connection with God’s creative activities (see note below regarding use
in 1Pe 2:13).
Something founded, i.e., of a city,
colonization of a habitable place.
Word Study Dictionary: New Testament)
(1) The act of creating, creation,
God's creative action (Ro 1:20)
(2) In the passive sense as the equivalent of the thing
created whether animate or not. The result of a creative act or that
which is created. Of individual things created (Ro 1:25, He 4:13,
Ro 8:39). The sum total of all that has been created (Mk 10:6, 13:19, Ro
8:22, Col 1:15, Col 1:23, 2Pe 3:4, Rev 3:14). Of every genuine believer
who is a new creation (created by the Spirit, Ro 3:3) in Christ (2Co
5:17, Gal 6:15).
(3) An institution, ordinance,
ordering, authority - as that which is established ("created") by God in
which authority is entrusted to human beings. A "system of established
authority that is the result of some founding action...the act by which
an authoritative or governmental body is created." (BDAG).
Comment: John MacArthur
comments on ktisis meaning "institution" as used in 1Pe 2:13 - "God has
created all the foundations of human society—work, family, and
the government. Peter designated society human not as to its origin, but
as to its function or sphere of operation. The apostle’s intent was
therefore to command submission to every human institution
because every one is God ordained. Believers submit to civil
authorities, to employers (1Pe 2:18-note;
and in the family (Ep 5:21-6:2). In the latter two areas, the motive is
also for the Lord’s sake (Ep 5:22-note;
Eph 6:5, 6-note;
Col 1:22, 23-note,
19x in the NT - Mk 10:6; 13:19; 16:15; Ro 1:20-note,
Ro 8:20, 21-note,
Ro 8:39-note; 2Co 5:17; Gal. 6:15; Col 1:15-note, 23-note; He 4:13-note;
He 9:11-note; 1Pe 2:13-note; 2Pe
Re 3:14-note. The NAS translate
ktisis as created thing(1),
creation(14), creature(3), institution(1). There are no uses in the
ktisis, originally foundation,
describes in a broad sense rather the process of becoming and coming
into being, resulting from a decision of the will.
to the act of creation or the thing
that was created. Another form of the word found in the New Testament is
the verb ktizo, which originally meant to build or found. In
classical Greek, it also assumed the meaning of colonize, or bring into
being. The noun ktisma also denotes the results of creation.
In the Greek papyruses of the New Testament period, all three forms of
the term are used. Ktisis (creation) is the regular term for the
founding of a city (Moulton and Milligan). The noun ktisma
(created thing) does not occur until this period. It is always used in a
concrete sense. It is used to refer to the foundation of the world. The
verb ktizo is used to refer to the founding of a city, the
establishment of friendship, or the creation by God of heaven and earth.
The verb ktizo is used sixty-six times in the Greek Old
Testament. Of these, sixteen times it is used to translate the Hebrew
barah (to create out of nothing). It is also used to express a variety
of related terms. Its basic meaning is to express the "basic act of will
behind the bringing into being, foundation or institution of
In the New Testament ktizo and its cognate words occur
thirty-eight times. The vast majority of these uses refer to the
creation of the world as an act of God (Mk 13:19; Re 10:6-note)
or of things that are part of that creation, such as meats (1Ti 4:3).
Several passages, however, speak of the new creation, which is brought
about through faith in Christ. Because of sin, people must be restored
in order to fellowship with the creation. Even the inanimate creation
"groans and travails" waiting for the restoration (Ro 8:22-note,
author's translation). The past, with the old person, is canceled out by
the cross, and the new person is put on, like a clean garment. The
nature of the new person is described in Colossians 3:10-note.
It is "renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him."
The purpose of this new creation is also described. Eph 2:10-note
says, "We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto [for the
purpose of] good works." (author's translation). God's purpose is
fulfilled in this kind of obedient life. Our lives are to be an offering
of thanksgiving, holy unto God. James said that God has begotten us
"with the word of truth, so that we might be [infinitive of purpose] a
kind of firstfruits of his creatures" (ktisma, Jas 1:18-note).
Individually the believer is a "new
creation," but not only that, he is part of a larger creation brought
about by the cross. Christ has "abolished in His flesh the enmity" in
order to make (ktizo) in Himself one new man out of two. The new man
spoken of here is, of course, the church, which is created by bringing
both Jew and Gentile together in Christ to make one new body (Ep 2:15-note).
Finally, Paul made it clear that human works and ceremonies are
powerless to save. He said, "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision
avails anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation" (ktisis, Gal
6:15). There is no renewal without being "in Christ" (2Co 5:17).
Reformation of the old person is inadequate to save. The old person must
be destroyed and a new one created. Human beings may make things, but
only God can create. It is He who reforms the believers and makes them
anew in the image of Christ (Col 3:10-note).
Faith, repentance, conversion, and regeneration would not be possible
without the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of persons. On the
other hand, when individuals have received Christ and the Spirit of God
has recreated them, it is just as impossible that the effects of that
change never issue forth in good works. (Salvation
Word Studies by Gerald Cowen)
Our response to God's natural
(general) revelation can be one of two ways, one being desirable and the
other being detrimental to the well being of our soul. We can be drawn
to worship the Creator or we can be drawn to worship the
creation itself. In short, man was made to worship something. If we
refuse to worship God, the only alternative is that which is "no god",
i.e., idols which come in many varieties. Moses warned...
And beware, lest you lift up your
eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host
of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve
them (Ed: Don't miss it -
Worship first, then service! Corollary, you will serve what you worship
so be careful what you worship!),
those which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the
whole heaven. (Deut 4:19 )
(kosmos) describes an orderly arrangement and here refers to the
order of the universe. The Greeks used kosmos to refer to the universe
from the fact of its perfect arrangement. It was used in this case as
opposed to the Greek word chaos which was used by the Greeks of
the first state of existence, the rude, unformed mass out of which the
universe was made. Thus the Greeks believed that the original state of
the universe was one of chaos which is in line with the theory of
evolution and the so-called "big bang" theory, which has been "exploded"
by Creationists and believing scientists, even though this theory is
still held to tenaciously by the majority of the scientific world.
(aoratos from a = without + horáo = see) is that
which cannot be seen with physical eyes. That which cannot be seen or is
imperceptible by the sight.
By the invisible things of God
Theodoret says we are to understand creation, providence, and the divine
judgments; Theophylact understands them to refer to his goodness,
wisdom, power, and majesty. Between these interpretations the moderns
are divided. The great majority prefer the latter, which is obviously
the better suited to the context, because the works of God are expressed
afterwards by poiemata and because the invisible things are those which
are manifested by his works, and are explained by the terms “power and
on the Epistle to the Romans)
Here are the five NT uses of
aoratos -- Ro 1:20; Col. 1:15, 16; 1Ti 1:17; Heb 11:27. There are 2 uses
in the non-apocryphal
- Ge 1:2; Is 45:3.
article on Invisible...
This term is used as an attribute of
God in every biblical occurrence except Col. 1:16, where it refers to
ranks of unseen angels and other spiritual powers. That no one had seen
God at Sinai is stated in the OT (Ex 34:20; Deut. 4:12), and, in spite
of God’s special self-disclosure to Moses (Ex. 33:18, 19, 20, 21, 22,
23; Nu. 14:14), it became axiomatic in Judaism that no one had seen or
could see God in this present age (SB, II, 362f; cf. Mt. 5:8). The
influence of this concept is reflected in the Johannine writings, with
their emphasis that “no one has seen God” (Jn 1:18; 5:37; 6:46; 14:9;
1Jn. 4:12), and in the Pauline tradition as well (Rom. 1:20; Col. 1:15,
16; 1Ti 1:17; 3:16). The use of aóratos in the context of a doxology
(1Ti 1:17) and in an adjectival clause with the pronoun “who” (“who is
invisible”; Heb 11:27) shows that “invisible” was one of the ascriptions
to God used in early Christian liturgy
G. W. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised. Wm. B.
nature's invisible God.
In (Psalm 19:1-6)
David writes that...
1 The heavens are telling (LXX
= set out in detail) of
the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring (LXX
= proclaiming openly)
the work of His hands.
2 Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words;
Their voice is not heard.
4 Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their utterances to the end of the world.
In them He has placed a tent for the sun,
5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber;
It rejoices as a strong man to run his course.
6 Its rising is from one end of the heavens,
And its circuit to the other end of them;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.
Note the repeated emphasis in Psalm 19 - "telling",
"declaring", "pours forth speech", "reveals
And the extent of this clear proclamation - "all the earth", "end of the
world". Observe that in the opening verse of Psalm 19, David
writes that "The
telling (LXX translates
the Hebrew word for "telling"
with the verb
anagello in the
= the heavens are continuously announcing in
detail) of the
In short anyone
who has ever looked into the glittering night sky or at a radiant
red-orange sunset has no excuse to not believe in God! But humanity today prefers
Hollywood or computer video games to seeing the "things" of the glorious
God in the heavens. Beloved, when was the last time you walked outside and gazed at
the moon and stars made by our Creator?
“The heavens declare the glory of
God.” But humanity today prefers Hollywood’s “sound-pictures” to seeing
the “things” of the glorious God in the heavens,—beholding His works,
and hearing their speech. How long since you have gone out and gazed at
moon and stars, made by the blessed God, travelling in such quiet glory,
beauty, power, and order? Men know, if they care to know, that an
infinite Majesty made and controls this. (Romans
Did you observe the paradox in Romans 1:20? invisible things which are visible!
This state of things has been true since the creation of the universe.
The eternal power and Godhead of the Creator have been since that time
and are now understood by the things that have been made, namely, the
material creation. Man, reasoning upon the basis of the law of cause and
effect, which law requires an adequate cause for every effect, is forced
to the conclusion that such a tremendous effect as the universe, demands
a Being of eternal power and of divine attributes.
wrote that God...
...has never left himself without a
witness. His existence and perfections have ever been so manifested that
His rational creatures are bound to acknowledge and worship Him as the
true and only God” (Commentary on the Epistle to the
ALL CREATION IS
AN OUTSTRETCHED FINGER
POINTING TO GOD!
The Heavens reveal the power of God
To everyone living on earth;
But then the good news of the gospel must come
From those who've experienced new birth.
POWER: e te aidios autou dunamis:
(Ro 16:26; Ge 21:33; Deut 33:27; Ps
90:2; Isaiah 9:6; 26:4; 40:26; 1Ti 1:17; Heb 9:14)
Eternal (126) (aidios
from aeí = ever, always)
means everlasting, having infinite duration, lasting or enduring
forever, existing or continuing without end.
God's Attribute - Eternal
this context speaks of God's power which has no beginning and no
end, even as God Himself is without beginning or end! Although aidios is
not used in the following verse, the idea is the same...
Deuteronomy 33:27 The
eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting
arms (cp "eternal power"); and He drove out the enemy from before
you, and said, 'Destroy!' (cp Is 9:6 Eternal or Everlasting Father)
Aidos is used elsewhere in the New Testament only in
Jude 1:6 (twice in the apocrypha - 4 Ma 10:15; Wis. 7:26).
Jude 1:6 And angels who did not keep
their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in
eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.
Both the unchangeableness and omnipotence of God (see discussion
omnipotence) are here in view, as
exhibited in creation. The Creator, who made all that we see around us
and constantly sustains it, must be a being of awesome power.
article on Eternal...
ETERNAL - e-tur'-nal (`olam;
aionios, from aion): The word "eternal" is of very varying import, both
in the Scriptures and out of them.
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word `olam is used for "eternity,"
sometimes in the sense of unlimited duration, sometimes in the sense of
a cycle or an age, and sometimes, in later Hebrew, in the signification
of world. The Hebrew `olam has, for its proper New Testament equivalent,
aion, as signifying either time of particular duration, or the unending
duration of time in general. Only, the Hebrew term primarily signified
unlimited time, and only in a secondary sense represented a definite or
specific period. Both the Hebrew and the Greek terms signify the world
itself, as it moves in time.
2. Aion, Aionios:
In the New Testament, aion and aionios are often used with the meaning
"eternal," in the predominant sense of futurity. The word aion primarily
signifies time, in the sense of age or generation; it also comes to
denote all that exists under time-conditions; and, finally, superimposed
upon the temporal is an ethical use, relative to the world's course.
Thus aion may be said to mean the subtle informing spirit of the world
or cosmos--the totality of things. By Plato, in his Timaeus, aion was
used of the eternal Being, whose counterpart, in the sense-world, is
Time. To Aristotle, in speaking of the world, aion is the ultimate
principle which, in itself, sums up all existence.. In the New
Testament, aion is found combined with prepositions in nearly three
score and ten instances, where the idea of unlimited duration appears to
be meant. This is the usual method of expressing eternity in the
Septuagint also. The aionios of 2 Cor 4:18 must be eternal, in a
temporal use or reference, else the antithesis would be gone.
In Ro 1:20 the word aidios is used of Divine action and rendered in the
King James Version "eternal" (the Revised Version (British and American)
"everlasting"), the only other place in the New Testament where the word
occurs being Jude 1:6, where the rendering is "everlasting," which
accords with classical usage. But the presence of the idea of eternal in
these passages does not impair the fact that aion and aionios are, in
their natural and obvious connotation, the usual New Testament words for
expressing the idea of eternal, and this holds strikingly true of the
Septuagint usage also. For, from the idea of aeonian life, there is no
reason to suppose the notion of duration excluded. The word aionios is
sometimes used in the futurist signification, but often also, in the New
Testament, it is concerned rather with the quality, than with the
quantity or duration, of life. By the continual attachment of aionios to
life, in this conception of the spiritual or Divine life in man, the
aeonian conception was saved from becoming sterile.
4. Enlargement of Idea:
In the use of aion and aionios there is evidenced a certain enlarging or
advancing import till they come so to express the high and complex fact
of the Divine life in man. In Greek, aiones signifies ages, or periods
or dispensations. The aiones of Heb 1:2, and Heb 11:3, is, however, to
be taken as used in the concrete sense of "the worlds," and not "the
ages," the world so taken meaning the totality of things in their course
5. Eternal Life:
Our Lord decisively set the element of time in abeyance, and took His
stand upon the fact and quality of life--life endless by its own nature.
Of that eternal life He is Himself the guarantee--"Because I live, ye
shall live also" (Jn 14:19). Therefore said Augustine, "Join thyself to
the eternal God, and thou wilt be eternal." (Phrase "eternal life"
in NAS - Mt 19:16, 29; 25:46; Mark. 10:17, 30; Lk 10:25; 18:18, 30; Jn
3:15, 16, 36; 4:14; 5:24, 39; 6:27, 40, 47, 54, 68; 10:28; 12:50; 17:2,
3; Ac 13:46, 48; Ro 2:7; 5:21; 6:22, 23; Gal. 6:8; 1Ti 1:16; 6:12; Titus
1:2; 3:7; 1Jn. 1:2; 2:25; 3:15; 5:11, 13, 20; Jude 1:21)
- words derived from the stem duna— all have the
basic meaning of “being able,” of “capacity” in virtue of an ability)
refers to inherent ability, the power or ability to carry out some
function, the potential for functioning in some way, the power residing
in a thing by virtue of its nature. It conveys the idea of effective,
productive energy, rather than that which is raw and unbridled. God's
dunamis has always existed.
From a paper by B B Warfield in Jan,1889 on Darwin's arguments against
The history of the drift by which Mr. Darwin was separated from faith in
a divine order in the world, divides itself into two well-marked
periods. The first of these, which was completed at about the time when
he reached his fortieth year, ends with the loss of his Christianity.
During the second, which extended over the remainder of his life, he
struggled, with varying fortunes, but ever more and more hopelessly, to
retain his standing at least as a theist. At the end of the first he no
longer believed that God had ever spoken to men in his Word; at the end
of the second he more than doubted whether the faintest whisper of his
voice could be distinguished in his works. He was never prepared
dogmatically to deny His existence; but search as he might he could not
find Him, and he could only say that if He existed He was, verily, a God
that hides Himself.
For an interesting article on whether
Darwin's had a so called deathbed conversion (click
NATURE: kai theiotes: (Acts 17:29; Colossians 2:9)
from theos = God) usually refers to performance that one might
properly associate with a divinity. Theiotes emphasizes the divine
nature and properties or the whole of that which goes to make up our
idea of God. In a sense theiotes is a good summary term for the
attributes which constitute deity, signifying the sum-total of the
Theiotes describes the quality of theos and corresponds
more to Latin divinitas from divus, divine. It refers to the quality or
characteristics pertaining to deity and thus refers to divinity, divine
nature or divineness.
could be translated divine majesty and is seen supremely in Jesus Who
uniquely bears the divine image (cf. 2Cor. 4:4; see Heb 1:3-note).
He is God’s full revelation in human form (see Col 1:19-note;
The wonderful truth of the gospel is that fallen mankind, through faith
in Christ, will share Christlikeness (cf. Heb 12:10-note;
1Jn 3:2). The image of God in humanity (cf. Ge 1:26,27) has been
the Divine Personality and theiotes the Divine Nature and
The Greek word translated “Godhead”
needs some study. It is theiotēs. We will compare it to theotēs (also
translated “Godhead” a.v.) in order to bring out its meaning more
clearly. Theotēs is used by Paul in Colossians 2:9
where he speaks of the fact that in our Lord “there is permanently at
home all the fulness of absolute deity bodily” (in His incarnate state).
St. Paul is declaring that in the Son
there dwells all the fulness of absolute Godhead; they were no mere rays
of divine glory which gilded Him, lighting up His Person for a season
and with a splendor not His own; but He was, and is, absolute and
Commenting on the use of theiotēs in
Romans 1:20, he says,
St. Paul is declaring how much of God
may be known from the revelation of Himself which He has made in nature,
from those vestiges of Himself which men may everywhere trace in the
world around them. Yet it is not the personal God whom any man may learn
to know by these aids: He can be known only by the revelation of Himself
in His Son; but only His divine attributes, His majesty and glory … it
is not to be doubted that St. Paul uses this vaguer, more abstract, and
personal word, just because he would affirm that men may know God’s
power and majesty, His divine power (2Peter 1:3) from His works; but
would not imply that they may know Himself from these, or anything short
of the revelation of His eternal Word. Motives not dissimilar induce him
to use to theion rather than ho theos in addressing the
Athenians on Mars Hill (Acts 17:29).”
Godhead expresses deity (theotēs).
Theiotēs is godhood, not godhead. It signifies the sum-total of the
Thus, through the light of the
created universe, unsaved man recognizes the fact that there is a
supreme Being who created it, who has eternal power and divine
attributes, a Being to whom worship and obedience are due. This is the
truth which unsaved man is repressing. Herein lies the just condemnation
of the entire race, since it has not lived up to the light which it has.
This, Paul says, renders man without excuse.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
Vine notes that theiotes
used here only in the New Testament, is
associated in meaning with theotes, Godhead, which is used only
in Colossians 2:9
(see note). There is, however, a certain distinction in meaning and
accordingly the former is here translated “divinity” and the latter
“godhead.” The difference in the words is appropriate to the respective
passages. Here Paul is speaking of the revelation which God has given in
nature of His divine attributes. Man can thereby know certain facts
about Him, such as His divinity, but cannot know God personally. Such
knowledge can come only through the Son of God (cp. Jn 17:25 with
Jn 1:18). In Colossians 2:9
Paul is speaking of the absolute Godhead of Christ,
the fullness of which dwells in Him, and not of an external revelation
of His divine attributes. Hence the suitability of theotes, deity, in
that verse. (Vine,
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
CLEARLY SEEN: kathoratai (3SPPI):
Paul connects the observing of the
mighty and beautiful things of the universe with the consciousness of a
personal God. Human science, through its telescope, observes the vast
courses of the stars, moving with amazing accuracy in their orbits, but
often counts it a mark of wisdom to doubt whether an intelligent Being
exists at all! But, “the undevout astronomer is mad,” as said the great
Kepler. No really great scientist today supports the Darwinian theory;
and many,—and some of the most prominent scientific men are saying,
There must be a God, a Creator. (Romans
from katá = down or an intensifier
+ horáo = see and perceiving) literally means to look down, see
from above, view from on high. The meaning is then generally to view or to consider. The idea is to acquire definite
information with focus upon process of perception but associated with an
intellectual apprehension. It means to behold
fully, distinctly apprehend clearly see and discern clearly. This is the
only NT use.
Here are the other
uses of Kathorao in the
LXX-- Ex 10:5; Nu 24:2; Deut 26:15; Job 10:4; 39:26.
indicates they are continually on display to be (passive
--continuously beheld fully, distinctly apprehended. It is not as if God
gives rebellious, truth rejecting mankind one brief peak as His glorious
REVELATION OF GOD
GENERAL & SPECIAL
(1) General revelation =
God's self-disclosure through the created world as in Ps 19:1 (cp Ro
(2) Special revelation =
God's disclosure of Himself by an act of direct revelation,
specifically in His written Word as in Ps 19:7 (cp Heb 1:1,2-note,
2Pe 1:20, 21-note)
An Illustration - Bill
Bruster, former pastor of the First Baptist Church in Abilene, tells
of a young student from Nigeria named John who attended his church.
Bruster asked him how he became a Christian. John answered, "When I
was a little boy, running around in the bush country of Nigeria, I
knew there was a God. I would stand among the trees and look up at the
skies at night and know that someone made this world. I knew there was
a God, but I didn't know what to call him. One day Josephine Skaggs, a
Southern Baptist missionary, came to our village to teach us children
how to read. She taught us how to read the Bible. There I discovered
the name of the God who had revealed himself to me through the trees
and the stars." We can know of God through this general revelation.
However, to know God required special revelation, God's revelation in
history and specifically God's revelation in Jesus Christ. (Quoted by
What is general revelation and special
Watch a 2' 20" video by
International Standard Bible
(scroll down for discussion)
The Bible - The Written Word of God
- J. Hampton Keathley, III
Bibliology - Greg Herrick
(simple synopsis - revelation, inspiration, inerrancy, etc)
We have here an oxymoron, literally a
pointedly foolish saying; a saying which is impressive or witty through
sheer contradiction or paradox. Invisible things are clearly visible.
to this revelation as natural or general in contrast
to the Scriptures which are classified as "special revelation"
God’s natural revelation of Himself is not obscure or selective,
observable only by a few perceptive souls who are specially gifted. His
revelation of Himself through creation can be clearly seen by everyone.
is that no one has an excuse to say I see
no evidence for a Creator, for a God. It takes a deliberate act of one's
will to observe the design we see in creation and not
acknowledge a Designer. Conscience and Creation is enough
evidence to condemn every man. The people who should be shouting the
loudest are scientists and doctors who look into the telescopes and
microscopes. They see the design and order and plan. When you go to the
art gallery and a beautiful painting, you may not necessarily know the
name of the artist who painted it but you are certain from the beauty
and form and design that the artist was clearly a master.
Adrian Rogers tells of a
man who owns a trucking company in the south where part of the hiring
process is a lie detector test on which one of the questions is “Do
you believe in God?". They have observed that even avowed
atheists who answer this question "no" are shown to be
liars by the lie detector!
The stars in their
courses proclaim the great Creator's power
Forever singing as they shine,
The Hand that made us is divine. (Joseph Addison)
Napoleon, on a warship in the Mediterranean on a star-lit night, passed
a group of his officers who were mocking at the idea of a God. He
stopped, and sweeping his hand toward the stars, said,
Gentlemen, you must get rid of those first!
George Washington Carver (1864-1903) chemist and educator wrote
Nature is an unlimited broadcasting
station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we only will tune
UNDERSTOOD THROUGH WHAT HAS BEEN MADE: tois poiemasin nooumena (PPPNPN):
Spurgeon writes that...
Men who never heard the gospel can
see God in His works if they open their eyes. There is written upon the
face of nature enough to condemn men if they do not turn to God. There
is a gospel of the sea, and of the heavens, of the stars, and of the
sun; and if men will not read it, they are guilty, for they are wilfully
ignorant of what they might know, and ought to know. (Ed:
Of course, they still need to hear the verbal Gospel proclaimed.)
(noeo from noús = the mind, reflective
intelligence, the organ of mental perception and apprehension) has the
with a basic meaning direct one's mind (nous) to a subject.
comes to denote a
clear perception, a full understanding, and careful consideration. It
means to grasp or comprehend something on the basis of careful thought
and thus to perceive, apprehend, understand or gain an insight into.
It means to perceive with reflective intelligence and is distinguished
from the mere act of seeing because it represents perception of the mind
consequent upon seeing. It means to think over a matter with care and so
to think about carefully and to consider well.
present tense indicates
that this understanding is continuous and so continuously available to
all who have eyes to see and ears to hear. The grandeur and wonder of
nature give ample, eloquent testimony to the eternal power of God. The
creation delivers a clear, unmistakable message about God’s person which
everyone can understand. Paul's point is they saw and they knew!
used 14 times in the NT...
Matthew 15:17 "Do you not
understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the
stomach, and is eliminated?
Matthew 16:9 "Do you not yet
understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and
how many baskets you took up?
Matthew 16:11 "How is it that
you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning
bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees."
Matthew 24:15 "Therefore when
you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel
the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),
Mark 7:18 And He said to them,
"Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand
that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him;
Mark 8:17 And Jesus, aware of
this, said to them, "Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread?
Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart?
Mark 13:14 "But when you see
the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the
reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the
John 12:40 "He has blinded
their eyes, and He hardened their heart; lest they see with their eyes,
and perceive with their heart, and be converted, and I heal
Romans 1:20 For since the
creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and
divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood
through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
Ephesians 3:4 (note)
And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my
insight into the mystery of Christ,
Ephesians 3:20 (note)
Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask
or think, according to the power that works within us, (Comment:
In this use the idea is to form an idea about something, think, imagine)
1 Timothy 1:7 wanting to be
teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either
what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident
2 Timothy 2:7 (note)
Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in
Hebrews 11:3 (note)
By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word
of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are
Noeo is used 23 times in the
Septuagint (LXX)(1Sa 4:20; 2Sa 12:19; 20:15; Job 33:3,
23; Pr. 1:2f, 6; 8:5; 16:23;
19:25; 20:24; 23:1; 28:5; 29:19; 30:18; Is 32:6; 44:18; 47:7; Jer.
2:10; 10:21; 20:11; 23:20)
What has been made
from poieo = to do or make) means
what is made and refers to the product or workmanship, a work, or
a work piece, workmanship. Poiema is used figuratively in its
only other use in Ephesians 2:10-note.
It denotes the result of work, what is produced as contrasted to
poíēsis which is the act of making, the doing itself and not that
which is made. He who does the making is poietes, the doer
or poet (think of God as the poet and Creation and Men as His
See Related Discussion:
Poiema in Ephesians 2:10
In myths poiéō denotes
the creative activity of deity. Zeus creates all things, including
heaven and the gods.
Poiema as you might imagine
gives us our English word poem.
God has written two poetic masterpieces so to speak, the first being the
and the second being the re-creation of redeemed men as
His workmanship (poiema), created in Christ Jesus
for good works. (Eph 2:10-note).
is used 27 times in the
(Judges 13:12; 1Sa 8:8; 19:4; Ezra 9:13; Neh 6:14; Ps 64:9; 92:4;
143:5; Ecclesiastes 1:14; 2:4, 11, 17; 3:11, 17, 22; 4:3, 4; 5:6;
7:13; 8:9, 14, 17; 9:7, 10; 11:5; 12:14; Is 29:16)
The psalmist writes...
Psalm 143:5 I remember
the days of old; I meditate on all Thy doings; I muse on the work
= poiema) of Thy hands.
Here are a few other uses
in the Septuagint...
Ecclesiastes 1:14 I have
seen all the works (LXX
= poiema - referring to man's works) which have been done under the sun,
and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has
made everything (LXX
= poiema - "all the things which He has made are beautiful")
appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so
that man will not find out the work which God has done from the
beginning even to the end.
Consider the work (LXX
= poiema) of God, For who is able to straighten what He has bent?
Ecclesiastes 12:14 For
God will bring every act (LXX
= poiema) to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or
Isaiah 29:16 (note this is the
English translation of the Greek Septuagint and not the NAS translation
as in the verses above) Shall ye not be counted as clay of the potter?
Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Thou didst not form
me? or the work (LXX
= poiema) to the maker, Thou hast not made me wisely?
Commentary) writes that...
This is God's greatest poem: the epic
'Twas great to call a world from naught;
'Twas greater to redeem.
The two wondrous poems of creation and redemption are celebrated in
In chapter 4 the enthroned and crowned saints worship Christ as Creator.
In chapter 5 they adore Him as Redeemer.
The very stars in the heaven are,
Forever singing as they shine
The hand that made us is divine.”
Men cannot charge God with hiding
Himself from them and thus excuse their irreligion and their immorality.
The Universe is
John Piper writes that...
Creation is God's
poiema- Work of Art --What does He do to make
Himself evident? He made the world. He created - like a potter, or a
sculptor or a poet, except He created out of nothing. In verse 20, when
it says that God is "understood through what has been made," the words
"what has been made" stand for one Greek word (which you will all
recognize), the word
poiema. It's the word from which we get "poem."
The universe and everything in it is God's work of art. What's the point
of this word? The point is that in a poem there is manifest design and
intention and wisdom and power. The wind might create a letter in the
sand, but not a poem. That's the point. God acted. God planned. God
designed. God crafted. He created and made. And in doing that, Paul says
in v19, God made himself evident to all mankind. The universe is a poem
about God. (Reference)
SO THAT THEY
ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE: eis to einai (PAN) autous anapologetous:
(Ro 2:1,15; Jn 15:22) (Acts 22:1)
So that (eis) -- Vincent
writes that the...
sense is rather purpose. The
revelation of God’s power and divinity is given, so that, if, after
being enlightened, they fall into sin, they may be without defence.
excuse (379) (anapologetos
from "a" = without + apologéomai = apologize)
means "without apology", with no excuse and with no (legal) defense.
(The only other use is in Romans 2:1).
To make an excuse is to
try to remove blame from one's self or to make an apology for some
"miscue". Often the
one making excuse makes special effort to mention the "extenuating"
circumstances that led to the "miscue", but no such exceptions will be allowed by God in the day
of Judgment of unrepentant men and women (Ro 2:1, Rev 20:11, 12, 13, 14 - see
Man in continually
holding down the truth about God (Ro 1:18) renders himself without a defense for
his action. God holds all men responsible for their refusal to
acknowledge what He has shown them of Himself in His creation. There is
only One Advocate, the Lord Jesus Christ (1Jn 2:1, Jn 14:6), Who Alone can step in to defend such blatant disregard for
truth which is so easily seen by all.
Mark it down as a fact - Even
those who have never had an opportunity to hear the
have received a clear witness about the existence and character of
God—and yet they have suppressed it. If a person will respond to the
revelation he has, even if it is only the revelation of God in nature
("natural revelation"), God will provide some means for that person to
hear the gospel.
explains how no man can say that God did not give them opportunity to
receive Christ writing that...
Men are judged and sent to hell not
because they do not live up to the light evidenced in the universe but
because ultimately that rejection leads them to reject Jesus Christ...if
a person lives up to the light of the revelation he has, God will
provide for his hearing the gospel by some means or another...Because
the Ethiopian eunuch was sincerely seeking God, the Holy
Spirit sent Philip to witness to him. Upon hearing the gospel, he
believed and was baptized (Acts 8:26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34,
35, 36, 37, 38, 39). Because
Cornelius, a Gentile centurion in the Roman army, was “a devout
man, and one who feared God with all his household, and gave many alms
to the Jewish people, and prayed to God continually,” God sent Peter to
him to explain the gospel. “While Peter was still speaking, … the Holy
Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message,” and they
were “baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:2,44,48).
Because Lydia was a true worshiper of God, when she heard the gospel,
“the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul”
(Acts. 16:14). (MacArthur,
J: Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Press
Years ago the Trans World Radio dropped transistor
radios into the jungle. It wasn't until several years later that
missionaries finally reached these isolated tribes only to find that
some of these pagans had become believers thru the message broadcast on
the transistor radio! God wants none to perish but for all to come to
repentance (2Pe 3:9-note).
If a man or woman does not suppress God's truth but in fact seeks Him,
it is God's responsibility to provide a witness either in His Word or
through a missionary sent to that person to proclaim the good news of
Jesus Christ. This truth addresses and refutes the argument of so many
as to "what about those who have never heard".
Men had the light, and that from God.
His eternal power and divinity were, from creation onward, plain to men,
from His works. Napoleon, on a warship in the Mediterranean on a
star-lit night, passed a group of his officers who were mocking at the
idea of a God. He stopped, and sweeping his hand toward the stars, said,
“Gentlemen, you must get rid of those first!” Men secretly believe there
is a Power above them, and that their evil deeds deserve the wrath of
that Power. In sudden peril, they scream like the guilty wretches they
are, “God have mercy!” Knowledge of God, though not acquaintanceship
with Him, lay behind Pharaoh’s words, “I have sinned against Jehovah and
against you” (Ex 10:16); and behind the words of the Philistines in 1Sa
4:7,8, 5:7, 8, 11; and the proclamation of the King of Nineveh (Jonah
3:7, 8, 9). (Romans
John Calvin said
"It is a person’s duty to seek God, Who comes
to meet us in such a way that we can have no excuse for our
ignorance. Surely nothing is more absurd than that people should be
ignorant of their Author, especially people who have been given
understanding principally for this use. And we must also note the
goodness of God, in that He so familiarly introduces Himself, that even
the blind may grope after Him. Because of this fact, the blindness of
people, who are touched with no feeling of God’s presence, is even more
shameful and intolerable. For God has not darkly shadowed His glory in
the creation of the world, but He has everywhere engraved such marks
that even the blind may know them. Therefore we see that people are not
only blind but blockheaded, when, being helped by such excellent
testimonies, they profit nothing."
the very Heathens, who have only the light of nature, and are
destitute of a revelation, have no colour or pretext for their
idolatrous practices, and vicious lives; nor have they, nor will they
have anything to object to God's righteous judgment against them, or why
they should not be condemned. (Gill,
John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible)
No Excuses Accepted - Derek
was a drug abuser who came to Bill and Joanie Yoder for help. After they
had spent hours answering his questions from the Bible, Derek said, “It
seems to me that it would be pretty cheap to come to God after all I’ve
done and say to Him, ‘Well, God, how about forgiving me?’ It would be
different if I could say that I hadn’t known any better when I did the
things I did. But I knew that the things I did were wrong, not just
after I did them, but as I was doing them.”
Derek had hit on an important truth: We do not have a valid excuse for
our sin. God holds us responsible because through conscience He has
revealed His moral laws to everyone in the world. While creation
declares God’s power and majesty (Ro 1:20), conscience echoes His law
loudly enough so that no one can plead ignorance (Ro 2:15).
Bill and Joanie explained to Derek that our only hope for release from
the guilt that our responsibility carries with it is this: God offers
forgiveness as a free gift through faith in Jesus Christ, who died in
our place on the cross. Late one evening, Derek accepted God’s
Until we are willing to own the sin, we cannot own the forgiveness. God
accepts no excuses.— Dennis J. De Haan
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
My sin, O Lord, defies Your Word,
It scorns Your holy name;
I will not make excuse for wrong—
Christ’s blood is all I claim. —DJD
If you make an excuse for sin,
your sin will not be excused.