As I start off with this series on the Romans Road, I am reminded of a big mess called Sin. Yeah, we will get to the Biblical concept of sin here in a little bit, but what I am actually talking about takes place in the post-apocalyptic world of Final Fantasy X. JRPGs (Japanese Roleplaying Games) are known for throwing in a cacophony of world views into their content, and that includes ideologies from Judeo-Christian beliefs. (If you would like to read an article I wrote on the subject some time ago, click on this link). The hit series of disconnected storylines and worlds, Final Fantasy, is a perfect example of all of this taking shape. In Final Fantasy X, the world of Spira is being consumed by a monstrous mistake, and that creature is called Sin.
In the story, the young protagonist Tidus is enjoying a game of blitzball (underwater…water polo), when the creature first rises from the depth and blows everything to bits. Tidus is saved, but he awakens in the far off future to see that his home and world have been utterly laid to waste by Sin, which still roams the surface of the planet looking to cause more destruction. This monster has no conscience or aim, it just seeks to destroy that which was once so beautiful, and that is exactly what happens until Tidus and his band of friends is able to crawl inside of it and stop it from its source.
Sin, the monster, is very much like sin itself. You see, according to the game, Sin came from the actions of a corrupt, yet powerful entity known as Yu Yevon. Many within Spira believed him to be a god, but, in all reality, he was more like the devil. Yu Yevon tricked the populace in believing that Sin could be swayed by their actions, but the truth is that Sin didn’t care whether a person was good or bad, it would destroy anything that came into its path. It would take something more to quench the monster’s thirst, and that was the sacrifice of a very special person.
In the very beginning of our own world, all existence was utterly perfect. God considered what He created to be “good,” and ergo it was perfect in every sense of the word. There was no death or decay, just perfect harmony between all creation and the Creator. His ultimate creation, which is the human race, began as perfect reflections of God himself. They had all of the emotions and spiritual nuances of their Creator, and along with that, they had free will. This free will was instated by God when He told Adam and Eve that they could eat from any tree in the garden, save for one, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was the only way to sin against God, and the devil, that crafty serpent who slithered around the garden at the time, knew just how to exploit the situation.
Many of us know the rest of the story. The serpent seduces Adam and Eve into taking a bite from the forbidden tree, and sin is introduced into the world. Along with that came the consequences of sin, which God spells out very well to his creations in Genesis 2:16-17:
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
Sin brought death into the world. This is the first acknowledgment that we must come to when walking along the Romans Road. Mankind was once perfect and right, but the monster known as sin came into the world because of the foolish response of people towards temptation. God is far too holy to be around the corruption of sin, so everything that is tainted by it must die, and that includes people. When looking at the beginning of the book of Romans, this is what it says:
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
Many people say that they have an excuse for not wanting to follow the Lord and dropping their lives of sin. Perhaps they were wounded by someone within the church, or maybe they are jaded by all the hypocrisy. Many feel as if there is not enough “evidence” to believe that they are sinners in need of a Savior. This Scripture that begins the Romans Road shows us that no one has an excuse, because God can be seen in the incredible expanse of His creation. Along with that, we can see how messed up the world is and know that a monstrous force called sin is ravaging the ideals and philosophies of this age, and because of that, we are all subject to God’s wrath.
The sad truth is that everyone deserves to receive the wrath of God. We are all sinners, and the fact that we are presently being preserved from that wrath must mean that something has happened to hold back God’s anger. Just as the monster Sin was calmed by the sacrifice of summoners in the world of Spira in Final Fantasy X, so too is the wrath of God satisfied by the sacrifice of a perfect substitute, which is Jesus Christ. But we will discuss more of that as we continue down the Road.