Romans 1:18-32

May 3, 2020 // By:Dave // No Comment

The Godless

Bertrand Russell has said that he felt Jesus had one character flaw “belief in eternal punishment of man called hell”. How can a humanitarian belief and endorse eternal punishment for temporal offenses ?

Paul states in verse 16-17 that the righteous of God is revealed from faith to faith in the Gospel.  Then moves into a second expression of god’s righteousness.

  

Justice of the law (the Law of God)  

God’s wrath

He does not stop by simply saying that those who do not live by faith (faithful living) are unrighteous; but takes the time to establish their status.

He builds a case of guilt like the well trained prosecutor in court.

this is required because if evidence is not collected or presented correctly, it can result in mistrials, or the legal system finding the defendant not guilty when they should have been found guilty.

Our culture has stepped a long distance from the evidence presented here. 

But it leads to the same conviction it did 2000 years ago. 

Paul lists three types of guilty people:

  1. the godless (1:18-32)
  2. the moral (2:1-16)
  3. the religious jew (2:17-29)

God’s wrath is revealed in three ways

  1. great white throne judgement (1 Thess 1, Rom 2:5)
    1. prosecutor but no defense
    2. accusation but no debate
    3. judgement with no jury
    4. sentence with no appeal
    5. punishment with no parole
    6. prison with no escape
  2. provisional wrath (Rom 13)
    1. our judicial system is God’s minister of justice
  3. permissible wrath
    1. God gives people what they want (and the consequences that come with it)
    2. abandoning them to their own desires

C.S. Lewis says “two types of people

  1. those who say to God, Thy will be done,
  2. those to whom God says “thy will be done”

the charge is as follows:

Your honor, the defendant is charged with:

  1. suppression of the truth of God
  2. worshipping creatures (including himself) rather than his Creator
  3. perverting the natural order of things for lustful reasons and committing acts of degradation (and inciting others to commit these same acts of degradation)

17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

 

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,

27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,

30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,

31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;

32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

the wrath of God is coming and here are the three things that provoke it:

  1. suppression of the truth of God
  2. worshipping creatures (including himself) rather than his Creator
  3. perverting the natural order of things for lustful reasons and committing acts of degradation (and inciting others to commit these same acts of degradation)

suppression of truth 18-21

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

Psalm 19:1-4

2 Pet 3:3 “… in the last days there will be scoffers walking after their own lusts…”

2 Pet 3:5-7 “…willingly ignorant … leading to the judgement of ungodly men…”

for example:

scientists, astronomers, have been aiming radiotelescopes out into space for decades now. Do you know what they are listening for ?  regular patterns in radio emissions from space. 

They are listening for order in the chaos … 

order indicates intelligence.

(because order does not come out of chaos by itself)
something indicating order requires a source of order, a designer, a Creator.

order proves intelligence.

worship the creature rather than the Creator

23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

impurity always results right after rejecting God.
(the only source of purity is God Himself, everything else, no matter how nice it may look, is impure  (filthy rags before the Lord)

Paul wrote this while in Corinth (sex was part of the worship of deities there)

Heb 13: 4   God’s purity spills over into all areas of life
impurity also spills over into all areas of life.

same body parts involved.   

what has changed ?

the mindset of the person and whether they 

use those body parts to worship God or worship their own lusts

25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Truth   λήθεια, alētheia, n.  [1.1 + 3291]. truth, truthfulness; corresponding to reality

a + letheia = uncovered, revealed reality. (letheia = hidden, concealed)

God puts in the effort and work to reveal Himself to His creation and this same “intelligent” creation turns the other way and says “I dont see anything”

exchanged one source of purpose for another.

what is our purpose ? (what is our reason for being, for doing, what do we worship?)

we are created to worship something,    it cannot be avoided.
(understanding this depends upon your definition of “worship”)

serve, sacrifice for, devote oneself to, gives us reason and purpose

I’ve seen:

marriages fall apart because one or both parents worshipped their children.

other marriages fall apart because one member worshiped their spouse’s happiness rather than the pleasure of God Himself.

churches fall apart because people worshipped the building rather than using the building

pastors destroy their ministry by worshipping money

perverting nature for lustful reasons

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,

27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

homosexuality is not just a word, it is an act. (a willful choice to unite two members of the same gender, completely contrary to nature)    then to insist on calling this act normal.

the primary purpose of sex is procreation (be fruitful and multiply, make lots of kids)
(God make is pleasurable , that’s cool … we can have sex just for fun, but it was meant to make more little creations that would someday worship their Creator)

homosexuality cannot procreate. It’s not natural.

Once this “normalicy” is established in a culture, it opens the door to other acts becoming established as normal.

pedophilia legalized

surgical modifications without parental consent

birth control to minors without parental consent

ostracization of those who disagree

penalization for those who disagree

removal and elimination of any and all obstacles to satisfying lust.

(and these are just social issues centered around sex/gender)

society itself degrades once worship of Creator is torn down as good.

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,

30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,

31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;

32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

  1. God says yes, I do it. God says “no” I don’t do it.
  2. saying “I was born this way” does not justify any behavior
    1. I was born with a propensity to punch someone who pisses me off (but that doesn’t mean I am justified in acting out such a base impulse)
    2. I have other impulses every day that I must keep in check because they are wrong
    3. recognize that everyone has a brokenness, sin- nature, impulse control in pursuit of purity of mind and heart used to be considered basic as well.
  3. giving in to our carnal impulses transitions our worship from that of our Creator to ourselves, the creature.
  4. Joshua 24:14-15

14 ¶ “Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.

5 “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

I have heard many say that God is going to judge America.

I have heard Billy Graham say “if God does not judge America, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.

According to Romans 1, I would say that God has already judged America.
He has given the people of this country over to their will.

America has chosen it’s god. and the God of everything seems to have said “thy will be done.”  

How many are still inside who are willing to say “God’s will be done”?

 

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