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Romans 1:18-25 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, {19} because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. {20} For the invisible things of Him are clearly seen from the creation of the world, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: {21} because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. {22} Professing to be wise, they became fools, {23} and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man; and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. {24} Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, {25} who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

264. hamartano,   prop. to miss the mark (and so not share in the prize), i.e. (fig.) to err, esp. (mor.) to sin.--for your faults, offend, sin, trespass.

Understanding God

The Third Step of Alcoholics Anonymous is,

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

This is dangerous. What do you say to someone who tells you, "I understand God to be a loving God who allows me to get drunk and beat my wife if I 'need' to." Here's what you say: "That is a delusion. You are lying to yourself and rebelling against the truth."

Then why does A.A. insert those italicized words: "as we understood him?" Because many church-leaders and parents have taught their parishoners and children that God approves of child-molesting priests and abusive parents. Many have been told of a "God" which is not the true God.

All human beings are created in the image of God. There is no such thing as an atheist, because all human beings know that God exists. Read Romans 1:18ff in your Bible. If we are being honest with ourselves, we will be honest with the God we know deep down exists. We will not take refuge from personal responsibility behind images of God which have been given us by authorities to justify their own sinful behavior.

God is known by His Law

Central to the 12-steps of A.A. is acknowledging our violation of God's will:

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

When we have restored the damage caused by our sins, we seek to make God's will a habit in our lives:

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

"Shortcomings" is a Biblical concept.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 3:23

One of the Greek words most commonly translated "sin" in the New Testament means "come short," or "fall short." The 12-Steps tell us we must search out our shortcomings, confess them, and make amends.

But to say "I have missed the target" presupposes a knowledge of the target. And knowing the target is the same thing as knowing God. If we confess that our adultery is a shortcoming, and we ask God to remove that shortcoming, we have said something about God "as we understand Him."

Our program of a "searching and fearless inventory" is designed to help us know God by knowing His Law.

For further study, find out why we must worship God's Law, if we are to worship God.

Learn about the Sovereignty of God.

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Taney County, MO
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