When the Truth is Suppressed
Thinking about Romans 1:18–19.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. (Romans 1:18–19)
The suppression of truth is nothing new. We like to think that the things we experience today are new and nobody else has ever had to deal with these things before — but we are fooling ourselves.
Romans 1:18 begins a section where Paul discusses how the Gentile (non-Jewish) world had sinned.
The Gentile world had the truth about the Lord God.
Paul emphasizes that the Gentiles had the truth — but suppressed it. What could be known of God was “manifest in them.” God had shown it to them.
In other words — the Gentile’s problem wasn’t ignorance of the truth; their problem was ignoring the truth.
It was not that God failed to make known His will to the gentile world. The problem was that they suppressed that truth, stifled it to the point that it was at some point in time lost to the descendants of those to whom it was revealed. — Wacaster, Studies in Romans, 36
But the Gentile isn’t ignorant! He has and knows God’s truth. He stifles the truth he has. He stifles the truth he has by his ungodly ways. It isn’t knowledge he is in need of. It’s integrity he needs. And God, throughout history has been pouring out wrath on such ungodliness. — McGuiggan, Romans, 73
The Gentiles had sinned and needed the gospel of Christ because they had the truth — but they suppressed it and lived ungodly, wicked lives.
The Gentile world suppressed the truth.
The meaning behind “suppressed” is “to hold down” (Strong). Perhaps an excellent mental picture would be of someone pinned to the ground. They had the truth — but they wouldn’t let the truth up off the ground for others to see and know.
Why would someone suppress the truth?
- They don’t like what the truth says about someone else.
- They don’t like what the truth says about themselves.
- They don’t like what the truth says about some situation or circumstance.
Because they didn’t like the truth and had no intention of submitting their lives to the truth and making changes, they “held it down.”
We see this all the time in the world around us today — politicians have their own “truth” or “narrative” to rally their voting base. Media groups suppress stories that don’t fit their viewpoint. People won’t even listen to opposing points of view because it doesn’t fit with what they already think.
When the truth is suppressed, it affects more than just the person doing the suppression. It affects others who don’t know the truth because it has been “held down.”
Paul wrote about God’s wrath being revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of those who knew the truth about God — but suppressed it.
Christians ought to be people who value the truth above all else — especially the truth of the Lord God.
We must not be people who suppress the truth — such as the wrath of God against sin — and live how we want.
Those who have obeyed the gospel of Christ have committed to living according to the truth — according to the will of God. Also, they are not ashamed of the truth and proclaim the gospel to others.
Christian — you must value the truth above all else. Above all political party narratives, favorite media sources, traditions, or even preachers.