Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
It always amazes me, the more someone removes themselves from God the more important it is that they proclaim that they are wise!
One of the main secular humanist websites is called http://www.the-brights.net/, because they think that only people who are removed from God are bright! Professing themselves to be bright, they became idiots!
The more people remove themselves from God, using the four step remove-yourself-from-God programme outlined in verse 21 (stop glorifying God, stop thanking God, imagine vain things, let darkness in your heart) then they have to start bragging on their intelligence.
The word here in the Greek for profess is to allege or to say, but being aware that it is not true. It is used in Revelation 2.2:
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
These false apostles were saying they are apostles but deep down they knew they were fakes and imposters. The fake wise people who have separated themselves from God, they exalt their intelligence and their attributes. The natural state of man without God is always pride.
As soon as Adam separated himself from God (again, the same four steps: did not give God the weight He deserves and listened to a talking snake over His maker; failed to thank God for all the trees he could eat; imagining himself wise without God; and letting the darkness of words not from God in his heart) he clothed himself.
That is what people do without God: they clothe themselves. They dress themselves up – it might be in science, in culture, in popularity, in esoteric knowledge, in religious rituals, but they dress themselves. They are then proud of their dress and will do anything to hold onto it.
When God found Adam after Adam sinned, God clothed Adam himself with the skin of a sacrifical animal. Adam could not boast in these clothes, could not show them off, could not talk about how he earned them.
No all he could do is glorify God and thank God for such a wonderful gift of clothing.
This is such a powerful picture of us. We separate from God clothe ourselves with all sorts of things – our job, our family, our popularity, our talents, our intelligence. We are like Adam dressed in leaves – we think we look beautiful, but if we really look closely we are just dressed in leaves! We might assert that we are intelligent, wise and talented – but deep down we know that we are in need of someone to clothe us, to care for us, and to redeem us from our sin and our nature!
Then God approaches us – not to judge us, not to destroy us – but to clothe us in the righteousness of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God.
We have a choice – we can wear the robes of righteousness and acceptance that God provided for us through giving up His only begotten Son to die for us at Calvary. Or we can hold on to our leaves, and our pride, and our sense of achievement.
But we cannot wear both. Every human on this planet has one choice – the most important choice of their life.
Realize that all your achievements and works are foolish, filthy rags and strip off and wear the clothes that God Himself has crafted for you.
Or hold on to your achievements and pride and professing to be wise reveal yourself to be a fool.
Life or death. Blessing or cursing.
Your righteousness or God’s righteousness.
Praise yourself for your works or praise God for His works.
The choice is yours.
Glory and freedom,