Psalm 14:1-3 - The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good. The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.
Some people proudly announce, "There is no God." They do not want a God to whom they must be accountable. Having "exchanged the truth about God for a lie," they set themselves up as gods or perhaps choose earthly things to worship (Romans 1:25b). God is watching these foolish choices, looking down from heaven to see if anyone is seeking Him. What does He see? "They have all turned aside ... there is no one who does good, not even one." The sin of idolatry against the First Commandment leads readily to sin against the rest of God's commands. The apostle Paul explains, "Since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness" (Romans 1:28-29a).
Seeing so much unrighteousness all around us, we are tempted to say, "Yes, that is just the way those people behave!" But before we descend too far into the judgment of others—and so setting ourselves up as "God"—Paul tells us, "In passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things" (Romans 2:1b). We are self-appointed judges caught in our judgment of others. The apostle uses these same psalm verses to show that all people are held captive by sin: "No one is righteousness, no, not one ... no one does good, not even one" (Romans 3:10b, 12b). In our rush to judgment, we conveniently overlook the statement that embraces us as well: "No one does good, not even one."
No one does good. From Adam and Eve onward, we, along with the whole world, are accountable to the one true God. We cannot muster up enough righteousness to save ourselves. There is nothing we can do to earn His favor, but God in grace acted to save us. There was one Man who acted in righteousness, one Man who did what was good, the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Jesus lived in perfect obedience to His Heavenly Father. God looked down from heaven on this one Man and said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17b).
Jesus, true God and true Man, took our sins of idolatry and every other transgression onto Himself. On the cross He was held accountable for our sins and suffered the penalty of death in our place. Looking down on us through the cross of His Son, God sees us as beloved sons and daughters with whom He is well pleased, because we are clothed in the gift of righteousness that is ours "through the one Man Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:17b).
THE PRAYER: Lord, forgive my sins of judgment against others. Help me to live as Your precious child. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. Is it easier these days to deny the existence of God? If so, why might this be?
2. Many intelligent people say there is no God. Would these people still be classified as fools?
3. How do you typically respond when someone tells you they don't believe in God or, perhaps, disparages you because of your faith?
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