In Paul letter to the Romans he provides for us a biblical view of creation, which is our natural world, our human identity as it relates to God, human relationship and how it should be understood and culture. He shows us God’s love for all mankind, regardless of nationality or cultural background through His saving grace found in Jesus Christ. He grants salvation to all by faith in His son, with no favoritism or partiality. Man is incapable of saving himself, it is not earned through his works or good deeds, it’s only found by faith in Christ. It is essential for us today to have a clear and proper biblical understanding of our Creator, our relationship to Him and others, sin and its consequences and also our justification and redemption found in Jesus Christ.
The Natural World
Our natural world was spoken into existence by God and was perfect in its creation. The bible explains to us how the world was formed in Genesis 1:1-25 and God called His creation good. His purpose for creating our natural world and all that is in it was to worship and glorify Him. Our natural world is clearly a manifestation of His existence, sovereignty and power as stated in (Romans 1:20-21). There is general revelation of God’s creation, which speaks to everyone regardless of their culture and language and regardless of their access to Scriptures or the gospel according to (Psalms 19:1-6). God intended for man to subdue and take dominion of the earth, but man failed because of sin according to (Genesis 1:28). However, according to Romans 8:35-39, there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. This is comforting to know that in a world that has fallen and is extremely sinful, that we have an assurance and hope, which is found by faith in Christ Jesus.
Our identity originated in God, and in His image were we made (Genesis 1:26-27). We not only have a spiritual image but also a physical image as well. Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, meaning God with us, came in the form of a man to redeem mankind back to the Father. But, since the inception of sin, our physical and spiritual image has been marred and our fellowship with God was broken. We were born with an identity problem, because we are descendants of Adam and Eve who sinned, and their act of independence passed down from generation to generation.
In Romans 1:21-24, these people knew God, but their hearts and minds had become darkened and they reveled in wickedness. They thought of themselves to be wise, however they were fools. They even exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man, birds and animals and snakes. They distorted the image of their Creator and God gave them over to their sinful desires and the lust of their own hearts. Man will never fully understand his true identity until he comes to a saving knowledge of who Christ is and what He has done for him. Only then will his eyes be open and his new identity revealed.
Our human relationships with each other can be challenging because of sin and its tendencies to put strife between us. God intended for man and woman to be fruitful and multiply, to dwell in peace, love and unity. We are to love and forgive one another, and not stand in judgment against each other. Show kindness to our enemies even those who oppose God. For God is love. However, that changed after sin entered our world. Man began to do what was pleasing and right in his own eyes. Sin took man so far from God’s design that they exchanged their natural affections for each other. They abandoned their natural desire for each other to unnatural ones, although they knew these things were wrong. Therefore God gave them over to a reprobate mind to do what ought not to be done (Romans 1:26-32). Paul states in Romans 6:23 for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.
We can clearly see the culture of that time had completely turned from God even though they knew God. They rejected Him and lived life on their own terms and by their own rules. This is the mindset of our culture today. The early church culture also dealt with a lot of legalism. Some believe to be a Christian one must obey the laws of Moses, which I believe is in error. Our justification is in Christ and not the law. After the cross, the two nations of Jews and Gentiles are now one in Christ. The new covenant is to both the Jews and the Gentiles (Ephesians 2:11-22). There is much division in our world because of different worldviews and how one believes. In Romans, Paul teaches us our sanctification and justification is in Christ alone. The mercy and grace of God has been extended to all mankind regardless of race, creed, color or culture.
We have a responsibility to share the love of God with all cultures to bring them to a saving knowledge of God’s grace through Christ. In conclusion, Paul teachings help us to understand how God views sin and its consequences. His message also reveals God’s righteousness and forgiveness through Christ. Our natural world, our human identity, relationships and our culture has been given a glorious opportunity to be renewed and redeemed through the blood of Jesus. We should not conformed to this world, but be transformed by renewing our minds and share that revelation to others through the love of God. Therefore, having a proper biblical worldview are both essential and valuable to us and our world.