Question: "How are God's invisible attributes clearly seen in creation (Romans 1:20)?"

Answer: In order to build the case that all humanity has fallen short of the glory of God and needs to receive God’s grace through belief in Jesus, Paul asserts that God’s unseen qualities are clearly seen in creation: “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20, ESV). God has made aspects of who He is evident to all humanity (Romans 1:19), so that no one has an excuse for unbelief. God’s invisible attributes, His eternal power, and His divine nature have been clearly seen in creation.

It is remarkable that something invisible—unseeable, by definition—has been clearly seen in creation. But God’s creation reveals His invisible attributes (Romans 1:20). God’s eternal power and divine nature are evident through what He has made. These qualities are understandable through observing creation, and no one has an excuse not to believe. Suppressing the truth is unrighteous (Romans 1:19) because God has made the truth of who He is obvious to all.

There are many places in Scripture where we are told to look to the creation to learn about God. In Job 12:7–9 we are told that the birds, the beasts, the earth itself, and the fish of the sea can all teach us about God and that He made them all. In His hand is the life of every living thing (Job 12:10). The heavens themselves declare God’s glory and proclaim the work of His hands (Psalm 19:1). Each passing day and night reveal knowledge (Psalm 19:2). As the Creator of all things, God has intimate knowledge of His creation (Isaiah 40:12), and He has revealed Himself in His creation from the founding of the earth (Isaiah 40:21). Isaiah exhorts us to look to the heavens to see God’s handiwork (Isaiah 40:26). The heavens’ very existence is a proclamation of God’s invisible attributes, His eternal power, and His divine nature.

The Bible draws a connection between God’s creation and God’s sovereign control. Since God created all things, He has authority over all things. The biblical account of creation provides the important foundation for us to understand who God is.

In order for readers to understand their need for the good news of Jesus Christ, Paul explains that all are accountable to God. All are guilty, and all who do not believe in Him are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. There are none who do good, not even one (Romans 3:12). Because God is the Creator, He understands what is needed to redeem humanity and all of creation. All have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), yet God justifies all who believe in Jesus (Romans 3:23, 38).

God’s creation reveals much about God. His invisible attributes, eternal power, and divine nature are clearly seen and understood in creation. We gain knowledge of who He is by examining His creation. When we observe the over 100 billion galaxies, we see the glory and might of God. When we study the intricacies of a living cell, we see the intelligence and skill of God. When we consider the 60,000 miles of blood vessels strategically placed in the human body, we see the wisdom and forethought of God.

God has also revealed Himself in the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16–17), and through them we understand that God has resolved our sin and guilt by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8–9). God’s invisible attributes seen in creation help us to know our need for God’s grace and where to look to find His provision of grace.