TEXTS: Rom. 1:25; 1 Tim. 6:13; Php. 2; Jer. 23
1. The word “creature” in Romans 1 is referring to the material world, what we consume, and to particular ways of viewing and perceiving the world. A person’s affections can be misguided which will result in them worshiping creation (or the creature) over the Creator.
2. It is not a sin or inherently evil to enjoy and partake in the good things that are present in this created world, but we must exercise caution about making those good things ultimate in our hearts and lives.
3. The God of the Bible was known as the “God of the desert.” His people remembered and knew how their ancestors had spent generations wandering in the desert. As a result, they were enticed by the preeminent idol that is present in the Old Testament–Baal. Baal was viewed as the deity responsible for providing fertility and prosperity. God’s people allowed their desires for creation to disorder their affections.
4. The path to abundant life requires that we seek first the Kingdom of God and have rightly ordered affections. Just like God’s people went after the prosperity of Baal in the OT, we can wrongly view the spiritual world and live as if our religious activity guarantees us something in return from God.
5. We will be tempted to fear the world and what the future holds. Although some of that could be considered frightening, believers should be fearful (or primarily concerned) about false doctrine, worship, and teaching. The latter is far more dangerous to the health of our souls.
6. God is untamed; He only works according to His will. Our faith, and even our prayers, don’t change God.
TALK TO EACH OTHER:
1. How does one examine their affections? If our affections are wrongly ordered, what could be some signs of this in a person’s heart and life?
2. If prayer doesn’t change God, what is the purpose of prayer? How should we view and understand this vital practice?
3. How would a believer know if they have turned a good thing into an ultimate thing? How can one discern if they are simply enjoying what God has provided and made or if they have turned something good into something ultimate? Where does one cross the line?
4. How does something similar to Baal worship show up in the present evangelical world and culture? How do God’s people repeat this tragic folly today?
TALK TO GOD:
Pray as you feel led concerning the following areas:
- Wisdom as we examine our affections
- Seeking first the Kingdom of God