January 12, 2018

Science Points to God. Faith Follows Him.

Romans 1:13–20

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13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers,1 that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians,2 both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

The Righteous Shall Live by Faith

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,3 as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”4

God's Wrath on Unrighteousness

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,5 in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.


[1] 1:13 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters
[2] 1:14 That is, non-Greeks
[3] 1:17 Or beginning and ending in faith
[4] 1:17 Or The one who by faith is righteous shall live
[5] 1:20 Or clearly perceived from the creation of the world

Science Points to God. Faith Follows Him.

Central Truth

Fundamental attributes of God have always been apparent, but living by faith goes far beyond merely recognizing the obvious.

Devotional | Romans 1:13–20

In the verses we have covered this week, belief and faith (verses 16-17) are followed by perception and understanding (verses 18-20). You could say the passage juxtaposes faith and science. Our culture teaches us that...

In the verses we have covered this week, belief and faith (verses 16-17) are followed by perception and understanding (verses 18-20). You could say the passage juxtaposes faith and science. Our culture teaches us that we can choose to believe a fairytale (faith), or we can believe the facts (science). This dichotomy, it turns out, is a lie—from the father of lies, no doubt (see John 8:44).

Paul confirms what would be clear to everyone if, “by their unrighteousness,” they did not “suppress the truth” (verse 18): God has “shown” everyone “what can be known about God,” so that it “is plain to them” (verse 19); specifically, “His eternal power and divine nature” have always been “clearly perceived . . . in the things that have been made” (verse 20). The NIV translation refers to these “invisible qualities” of God as “being understood from what has been made.”

Perceiving the material universe to gain understanding? Sounds like science to me. Unbiased science points directly to God, and it always has.

Science says the universe began at a finite point in the past from a diminishing small dot of nothingness with no known material cause. We now know the DNA programming in the simplest life forms is more complex than your coolest computer app. Nanomachines in organisms are more sophisticated than any nanotechnology intelligent humans could ever hope to design. Come on, folks. There is a Being of incomprehensible creative power, who transcends space and time. That's God!

Then what’s the role of faith? It’s paramount. The gospel of Christ is what holds the power to save believers. Eternal glory in the presence of God does not await all who acknowledge the facts and believe God has “eternal power and divine nature” (verse 20). Read James 2:19 to learn what even the demons believe. We must receive Christ as Lord (Romans 10:9; John 1:12) and “live by faith” (verse 17).

Study science, history, and philosophy, and prepare to be awed by the attributes of God. Then consider the true gospel of Christ and respond in faith.

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Bio | Scott Breedlove

Julie's husband. Dad to six. Patent litigation lawyer. Science is cool.

Romans 1:20 is one of my favorite verses ever. It speaks to recognizing God by studying creation. My decades-old walk with Christ has had its ups and downs, but when my eyes were opened to the testimony of the historical and scientific evidence about the truth of Scripture, my faith bounded forward.

With my wiring, the way to my heart is through my brain. (My stomach is a close second.) So the evidence grew not only my understanding, but my faith, as well, making my relationship with Him more intimate.

Discussion Questions

1. What nagging doubt about Jesus and His gospel do you keep tucked away in the dark recesses of your heart? Expose it to the light by writing it down, praying about it, talking with trusted Christian community, and researching it with an open mind and heart. If you are exploring Christianity, consider attending Great Questions on Monday evenings at Watermark Dallas or Plano. No question is off-limits.

2. How do doubts impact your ability to live by faith? How might they impact your ability to look out for the interests of others, give generously, serve sacrificially, and worship authentically?

3. God is perfect. Does that mean He requires a perfect faith? Or faith in a perfect Savior? James 2:22 tells us Abraham’s “faith was made complete by what he did.” (James 2:22, NIV) See Genesis 12:10-20 and 20:1-18 for a glimpse of how imperfect Abraham’s faith was.

4. I have loved getting a glimpse of the intelligence and creativity of the Designer in Stephen C. Meyer’s books Signature in the Cell and Darwin’s Doubt. And Lee Strobel’s books investigating claims about Jesus and the Bible were eye-opening for me when I first read them many years ago. In the “comments” section, share what extra-biblical books have pointed you toward the God of the Bible in exciting ways.

37 Comments available

William Breazeale 5 months ago

“unrighteous suppress the truth”…never truer a saying has been said. Even in the redeemed sinner’s life, sin blots out truth from your mind and heart, making you focus on all the wrong things!

Mike Nemec 5 months ago

More than a Carpenter

Allen Kernen 5 months ago

A Case for Christ and A Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by Frank Turek, The Universe Next Door by James W. Sire, Spiritual Depression by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Battling Unbelief by John Piper, My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain by Matt Chandler, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Kathy Hempel Cox 5 months ago

More than a Carpenter and The Case for Christ

Andi Guevara 5 months ago

What an amazing reminder to take the time to enjoy God’s creation. Looking at nature always reminds me of God. The beauty of it all. I recently heard a new song by United “So will I”

Lynnette Simm 5 months ago

I watch a movie called the Genius Code that helped me see the Big Bang within scripture. Just wanted to share it.

susan jordan 5 months ago

How refreshing to address straight on the questions of doubt, and how those doubts affect my ability to live by faith. I will take these to the Lord in prayer, and to my friends with honesty. I also recommend ‘How Now Shall We Live’ by Colson.

Patti Robertson 5 months ago

and learning are passions for me, and two particular favorites are ‘The Pursuit of God’ (AW Tozer) and ‘God’s Passion for His Glory’ (John Piper)

Patti Robertson 5 months ago

25 years ago as I was working on a degree in Human Biology and Chemistry, I remember one professor who made the bold statement that it was impossible to be a scientist and believe in God. I found the exact opposite to be true- the more I studied science, the more evidence I found for a divine creator. Reading and Lear

Scott Breedlove 5 months ago

Great comments, friends! Seems like we have a consensus on some useful reads. Y’all are fantastic and an encouragement to me.

Alma Barber 5 months ago

The more I look at scripture references on God’s creativity and design, look at excerpts of books mentioned, videos-such as the one Amy Stephenson shared, The more my mind is blown. Then I look in the mirror, and my mind is really blown! To think that the God of the universe, the one who created the heavens and the earth and everything in it, created me (?) and the biggest wonder of all, is that I am alive today-when I should be dead. That in itself, is enough for me to believe that He truly is a God of wonders. “What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?” Psalm 8:4

David Green 5 months ago

Greg Koukl’s new book, “The Story of Reality”. And Tim Keller’s, “The Reason for God”.

Randi Stratmeyer 5 months ago

The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson really opened my eyes to how much we need to realize that avid has already done what needs to be done and it is our job to just pray through and be obedient. He said, I have delivered the city to you, now do this… Joshua did exactly what Gid told him to do and the Lords promise was fulfilled. The Lord cannot lie. His promises are true. It is our job to trust that. Yesterday, today and forever.

Eric Couch 5 months ago

Wow! Great devotional ascot and very thought provoking. Thank you for sharing what God is teaching you and the questions He put on your heart. Doubts of faith really do impact all of our life, actions, reactions, service and worship. Our lived-out authentic belief in God impacts literally everything we say, do and think. Thank for the reminder. God is so very good to us.

Greg Jones 5 months ago

Study science, history, and philosophy, and prepare to be awed by the attributes of God. Then consider the true gospel of Christ and respond in faith.-That is a great conclusion paragraph, it caused me to have this thought. Discretion is not the ability to know, anything different is wrong. Discretion is the ability to know something right in a different way. In the gospels Jesus expanded what had been taught to fit the example of life he taught, His life. It was a different way of looking at what was right, this new Way required faith.

Autumn Zevely 5 months ago

Speaking of science… I read healing oils of the Bible. The science behind each plant made for food and medicine is evidence enough. The fact that we BOTH have frequencies. That they “bleed” to heal from external predators and our blood cleanses our wounds. I read it to study more about essential oils, but gained a deeper understanding of why God created some of the things we can use to bless us and others for that matter.

Michael Scaman 5 months ago

God is perfect, yet he makes images of himself fallen and tarnished. Good creations but broken and need redemptions. God’s images of Himself in the world is a fallen broken person and the redemption of people, the meaningful resolution, the ultimate cause of death and suffering is not seen in science but the scriptures. By the way… I love how monkey’s in South Africa hunt shark eggs as explained by atheist Sir David Attenborough but the wonder and glory of God having monkeys hunt shark eggs was completely lost on Sir David

stanley rose 5 months ago

Signature of God, a book that runs the odds and numbers. Was fascinating to me years ago to read that. Can’t remember the author’s name.

Michael Scaman 5 months ago

Modern science may sometimes ‘deal off the bottom of the deck’ playing assumptions of naturalism, a commitment that only natural explanations are acceptable explanations and rule God out by assumption. Naturalism is a faith of sorts and not inherent to science. Nothing in technology, agriculture or medicine of significant tangible benefit to mankind rests on goo to you via the zoo evolution or naturalism.

Michael Scaman 5 months ago

Science is a loaded word. The scientific method was made by theist Francis Bacon and the scientific revolution was propelled by a faith belief the world was orderly and discoverable and should be explored for the glory of God. We have a clear atmosphere on earth and sitting between two arms of the milky way we can see out into the universe and our stars as well, a planet designed for both life and discovery to the glory of God

Scott Jones 5 months ago

Great devo. Before I was a believer I noticed the inconsistency in the way geologists use different radioactive series for different date ranges. Then in my graduate work I cam across the rate equation for radioactive decay. It is a first order differential equation of the initial value type. That means to solve it, one must know the initial condition. All that dating is based on little more than ASSUMPTIONS. Now that I am a believer, as Ray said, I continually find that scientific facts are consistent with scripture.

Jennifer Farrell 5 months ago

Thank you Scott for this morning’s devo! It really encouraged me. I can relate to how your brain works. I recently watched Netflix’s Case for Christ on Lee Strobel’s journey to faith and even though I knew the story it really made it come alive. Enjoyed it. God bless you and your family! I only have 3 kids and feel like my hands are full.

James Rener 5 months ago

Thank you Scott for this Devo. Have a great day, to all.

Hope Harris 5 months ago

Thanks Scott, for your Devo. I am always in awe when I consider the Genesis account of creation. Before God spoke the world into being there is only a picture of chaos and a void. Nothingness! At the dawn of creation there was no structure, no lines of demarcation, no defining boundaries. Chaos has a tendency to frustrate, overwhelm and instill fear within humans. God spoke into the chaos and mountains formed and the oceans roared. Most importantly every part of creation had order and purpose. Disorder was replaced with order Through creation and the created order, we see God and we are without excuse… I am thankful the gospel restores order to my disordered life. Through the gospel I am give meaning and purpose.

Michael Macomber 5 months ago

Great devo Scott. A church I used to attend hosted the Institute for Creation Research for a summer. It was awesome to see how science actually pointed to God, and was shocked to see that I hadn’t learned it in any science class. This was the beginning of my walk, and scales coming off my spiritual eyes to see how the culture really was.

John Onufrock 5 months ago

Appreciate your clear and well presented words. A book I find very helpful is “The Reason for God” by Timothy Keller

amy stephenson 5 months ago

Thanks for the devo. More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell helped open my eyes to the veracity of scripture esp. compared to other works of history. The volume of manuscripts and the proximity of their writings to the actual events dwarfs anything else in ancient history. Also this video posted by Francis Chan about the awesomeness of the universe blows me away also. https://youtu.be/3Ya12I036lg

Ben Hewett 5 months ago

Scott, I appreciate how you mend faith with science. Science has provided many pieces of the bible puzzle and faith provides the perfectly fitting remaining pieces to complete a puzzle picture pointing straight to our Lord Jesus. The book: I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist was a great read on the subject.

Elizabeth MacLean 5 months ago

Thank you for such a thought provoking devotional! Q4- I have read Mere Christianity recently and it has strengthened my faith imensly! Q2- Loved this question because it made me really think that if I have any doubts about Christ and that God Word is truth then it will affect the way I live for Christ. If I doubt he ever came then I may not give my all to others when I serve just as he did. If I do not believe that God is outside of time and always present and able to see all then my life will not be worship to him. It will worship me and what I want.

Linda Aland 5 months ago

In verse 14, Paul notes that he is under an obligation to preach the gospel to the “wise and the foolish.” Today’s devotional reminds me how foolish I was to have never heard the gospel message - and what it meant - although I had heard it at least once a week when I watched Billy Graham on TV with my Jewish dad. A dynamic speaker and a clear presenter of the gospel, Billy Graham could make it so simple and easy to understand the message of grace in trusting Jesus. But, I foolishly heard words that never made it from my brain to my heart. Yet, I realize God had a plan to use those messages when I finally trusted Jesus 26 years ago. Through age and circumstances, I wised up and was compelled to accept that free gift of salvation. Hallelujah!

Trey Collins 5 months ago

Great devo today, especially the part about the intricate design God demonstrates. God has created something so intricate and brilliant that it demands a Creator. May that strengthen and encourage our faith today. Praying for you this morning Scott!

Brett Bruster 5 months ago

One of the best books around for studying the evidence for the truth of the claims of Scripture is I Don’t Have the Faith to be an Atheist by Frank Turek and Norm Geisler. Also, recommened is The Reason for God by Tim Keller.

Christopher Hyland 5 months ago

Scott, loved your comment about how knowing about God’s existence - knowing His divine nature and Godhead is not sufficient. We must respond to that knowledge in faith by putting our trust in the visible image of the invisible God - Jesus Christ

Sue Bohlin 5 months ago

Scott, I loved loved loved this: “Our culture teaches us that we can choose to believe a fairytale (faith), or we can believe the facts (science). This dichotomy, it turns out, is a lie—from the father of lies, no doubt” You’re singing Nancy Pearcey’s song about the false splits or dichotomies of fact/value, public/private, and sacred/secular. Now I’m reading her book Love Thy Body, which highlights the false “body/person” split. Thanks, too, for your references to Steve Meyer’s books—it was so cool when he came to Watermark! My husband Ray says it has never been a more exciting time to be a believer than now, when just about every scientific discovery keeps ratcheting up the evidence of an Intelligent Designer. Men (and women) truly are without excuse.

Ted Mattos 5 months ago

Happy Friday all! Scott, thanks for today’s devotional. Q3 - I don’t think God expects anything perfect from us, because He knows we are flawed. I think, however, that He does want us to perfect (the verb) our faith… always striving to strengthen it. I also believe that can only be done by the urgings of His Holy Spirit. Have a blessed weekend, all!

Lindsey Driscoll 5 months ago

Scott, great devo that reminds us science reflects the majesty of Godoir creator. In reading verses 1:16-17 this week I commented about people in my life it is hard to be unashamed with. Thank you Lord that you gave Paul these words. Paul was obligated, eager, and unashamed of his faith. And then he points out that creation makes God’s qualities clearly seen. Lord, when i fond it hard to share the gospel, remind me that your creation tells the story of who you are. I can start there. I can share how Great you are God but pointing out your creation.

Hugh Stephenson 5 months ago

Q3 - what a great example Abraham is of an imperfect man with an imperfect faith who had faith in a perfect God. In my ACTS prayer method, after my prayers of Adoration, comes my Confession. Its way to easy to get bogged down in going from the perfect God I adore to confess what a worthless and hopeless sinner I am. Both are true - but many times I get too focused in my imperfections rather than His perfection. I call this the goodness of God and the badness of Hugh. This can easily lead me into “working harder” at my sanctification. The path is right but my focus can be wrong. Recently, I am spending more and more time in Thanksgiving as that clearly shows me what my perfect God has done for me - and that it’s all a gift and not on my merits.

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