“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the creator who is blessed forever!” – Romans 1:25
Sin can be described in many ways, but in Romans 1:25 Paul describes it as an exchange. We trade in the truth about God for a lie. At the heart of all our sin and struggles is this exchange. In that moment of sin we did not believe the truth about God and instead believe a lie. We chose to substitute out God and worship created things rather than the supreme Creator.
For example, people pursue sexual sin because they wrongfully believe it to be more satisfying than anything God can give them. People choose to hold a grudge or exact revenge because they don’t believe in God’s justice and so they feel compelled to get justice on their own. People choose to make wealth their source of security because they don’t believe that God can be trusted as a source of security. All sin flows out of false beliefs about God.
In Luke 8.22-39 we see two stories back to back which reveal that Jesus is sovereign and supreme over all powers visible and invisible, natural and supernatural. Whether it’s a hurricane or an army of demons, Jesus is unstoppable. Jesus is stronger, bigger and sovereign over all your problems.
But we don’t believe it, do we? When we have anxiety over the future, we don’t believe that Jesus is bigger than our uncertainty and so we feel vulnerable and insecure. We’ve exchanged God’s truth, “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you” (Matt 5:33), for the lie “God helps those who help themselves” (not biblical).
This is why it is so crucial for us to gather each week and be reminded of God’s truth. It is so easy for us to accidentally exchange the truth for the lie and believe that our problems are too big for God, that our sin is too evil for his grace, that our stain is deep to cleanse, our service too feeble, our faith too weak and our suffering unredeemable. As we gather and listen to God’s word we’re reminded of the truth again.
Jesus is bigger than our biggest storm, our biggest enemy, our biggest fear, our most painful situations, our deepest sin, and even death itself. As we journey through life, gripping Jesus hand, we’ll find ourselves saying with the disciples “who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”