The Berean Expositor
Volume 17 - Page 120 of 144
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"He Whom the mind alone can perceive; Whose essence excludes the
external organs, Who has no visible parts, Who exists from eternity
. . . . . Whom no being can comprehend. "
How can we account for the revolting idolatry of Hindooism to-day, with its
millions of gods of inconceivable ugliness and sensuality, in the face of this testimony
from their own religious literature? Rom. 1: 19-32 provides the one and only answer.
Among the Babylonians there was the tradition of "the only God," and a correct.
rendering of Isaiah 66: 17 gives it prominence. Spurrell's translation reads :
" They who sanctify themselves, and purify themselves, after the ordinances of Achad in the midst of the
gardens, Who eat swine's flesh, and the reptile, and the mouse."
Achad means" The Only One," and is used in Deut. 6: 4, as here, without the article,
of the" Only Jehovah." The Babylonians, when they intended to assert the unity of the
Godhead in the strongest possible manner, used the word " Adad" (see Macrobii
Saturnalia). Mallet's Northern Antiquities reveals much the same testimony in Icelandic
Mythology. God is there called:
" The Author of everything that existeth, the eternal, the living, and awful Being: the searcher into concealed
things, the Being that never changeth," attributing to this deity" an infinite power, a countless knowledge, and
incorruptible justice."
What blight was it that settled upon mankind, turning this primitive knowledge into
myths, distorting and twisting primal truth until it became servant and witness to the lie?
Rom. 1: 21-28 supplies the answer. This answer is manifold, but it begins with this simple
statement, "They glorified Him not as God." .
The glory of God.
The glory of God underlies both creation and redemption. It is the great factor in the
nature of sin and of hope. The glory of God is a topic of great importance in the epistle to
the Romans. First let us notice the testimony of the verb doxaso (" to glorify"). Rom. 8:
30 uses it of the redeemed, and 11: 13 uses it where Paul" magnifies" or literally" glori-
fies" his office. This leaves us with three references, viz., 1: 21, 15: 6 and 9. These
references are full of teaching when seen together. Rom. 1: 21 reveals the Gentile failure;
Rom. 15: 6 and 9 reveal the Gentile's blessed reconciliation. What they failed to do by
nature, they will do by grace. Let us put the passages together :
" They glorified Him not as God" (1: 21).
"That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God" (15: 6).
"That the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy" (15: 9).
Thus by this very first item, and its use in Romans, the glorious theme of the epistle
is set forth. In Rom. 1: we are to read of the setting aside of the nations, but in Rom. 15:
we read of their blessed and happy restoration. Turning to the word doxa (glory) we learn
from Rom. 3: 23 that it is essentially connected with sin. "For all sinned, and are coming
short of the glory of God." Faith that emphasizes the fact of resurrection" gives glory to