The book of Romans (the 6th book of the New Testament) has been called "The Constitution of Christianity" and "The Christian Manifesto." It is the most complete description of Christian doctrine in the Bible.
Romans 1:18-3:20 explains the universal need of righteousness and salvation. This lesson focuses on vs. 18-23, which tells us not only how every human being has defied God, but the foolishness of it. We are working from the King James Version today. The scriptures will be in boldface, so it can be differentiated from my explanations and commentary.
Rom. 1:18 - For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
This judgment is against ungodliness (failure in the religious realm) and unrighteousness (failure in the moral sphere; injustices against our fellow man).
We are people who repress truth in favor of unrighteousness.
Rom. 1:19 - Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them.
God has revealed / manifested himself to all of us. How? See the next verse.
Rom. 1:20 - For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made.
Because there is a creation, there is obviously a Creator. Every man understands that everything has a cause. Even people who reject their internal revelation that only God has the power to make Creation, understand that nevertheless there still must be a root cause for everything.
However they reject that truth in favor of a lie that allows them to avoid responding to God. But in rejecting God, they've already acknowledged His existence. It is, after all, not necessary to reject that which is not, nor even to ponder it.
Remember, sin is defined as rebelling against and rejecting God. We have all rebelled against or rejected God at some point in our lives.
Rom. 1:20, cont. - ...even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
The KJV note says God's creation reveals two things about him: his eternal power (divine nature) and Godhead (divinity; aka godhood; the state or quality of being God).
Look out your window and contemplate what you see. Not the manmade things, but the things obviously not created by human hands. I see trees, plants, soil, clouds, water, a bird...
Choose one... and contemplate its components, its structure and its purpose. Recognize how fully and clearly it accomplishes that what it is. Even the manmade things in my view are made out of materials God provided for our use. The metals which are formed into vehicles, the sand and potash which are formed into glass...
Now look at your own hands. Notice their complexity of design; and the mind-body connection that focuses their purpose. Are we the lesser part of creation? No, we are the crown. (See Heb. 2:7) Man was created with a complexity of mind and ability that fitted him to fully and clearly accomplish his purpose; stewardship over the earth (its species and resources), and in doing so, acknowledging and glorifying the Creator of all.
Rom. 1:21 - Because that, when they knew God (recognized Him as God),
they glorified him not as God, (rejected Him)
neither were thankful (for life and provision)
but became vain in their imaginations (arrogant in their own minds)
and their foolish heart was darkened (they settled for less than his glory).
Rom. 1:22 - Professing themselves to be wise (too intelligent for this unseen Creator nonsense) they became fools. (How?)
Rom. 1:23 - And changed the glory of the uncorruptible (does not decay) God into an image made like to corruptible man (liable to decay), to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. (See also verse 25.)
Which is more worthy of worship? The uncorruptible or the corruptible?
Everything has its own measure of glory. (See I Cor. 15:40-41.) But sinful man settles for the glory of the created things which are visible to him, rather than acknowledging the greater glory of the Creator.
Are you settling for less than his glory?