“Blogging the Institutes” is my on-going attempt to paraphrase John Calvin’s work, the Institutes of the Christian Religion. You can find out more about the series in the Introduction. For all the posts in this series, check out the Master List.
Truth is Shining, We’re Denying
God displays so much evidence for His existence in creation. It shines out into the world like the sun. Because of our sinfulness, we’re blind to it. Although the evidence presses in upon us, clamoring for a response, it is insufficient in itself to lead us to the right path. Surely, God’s creation does sometime provide very clear evidence to us, yet we often don’t allow it to have its full force before we shut it down and don’t believe it. The author of Hebrews says that this physical world makes the invisible spiritual world, in a sense, visible. But, he adds that it is by faith we understand these things (Hebrews 11:3).
God is indeed revealed by His creation, yet we won’t have the spiritual “eyes” to see Him unless we are enlightened through faith by God’s work in our hearts. The apostle Paul says that we can know God through His creation (Romans 1:19). He doesn’t mean, however, that mere human wisdom can comprehend God from creation. Rather, the revelation of God in creation renders us inexcusable before God’s judgment (Acts 17:27). Although Paul says that God is near to all people, in another passage he says that God’s nearness does not save anyone. God, Paul says, “In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:16-17).
God gives evidence for Himself often. With various acts of kindness He wins over people. Unfortunately, many people still follow their own ways which are filled with deadly errors.