the invisible things about God
even His eternal power and divinity
Paul is being very careful here NOT to suggest the gospel can be understood in nature. He stresses the 'invisible' things about God, whereas Christ lived, died, and was resurrected in full view of the world. Those invisible things are the things which cannot be shown, only demonstrated. His power is eternal and therefore, mankind should see that there is an UNCAUSED power at work in creation. They should see His vast presence (omnipresence), His total wisdom (omniscience), His benevolence and His providence.
What would be the result of this understanding? Men should realize that God is GLORIOUS and INCORRUPTIBLE but instead they view Him as an image made like corruptible man and creatures (v. 23). There have, undoubtedly, been individuals here and there who did understand God as glorious. In fact, I believe the whole history of missions to so-called primitive peoples is one of God sending the Word of Salvation to places where at least a few have responded to His natural revelation. One young African man, later known as Samuel Morris, could not see God as explained by the pagan religious practices of his people. God sent a light, evidently similar to the one by which He guided the Magi to Christ, and Samuel followed that light over a hundred miles to a missionary outpost and was saved.
Skeptics love to ask about "those who have never heard" in order to try to discredit the gospel as unjust. But this passage rips the rug right out from under them! Those who have never heard are still WITHOUT EXCUSE. And, although the gospel is not provided in natural revelation, God will get it to whomever wants to hear.
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