- Romans Chapter 16
- Romans Chapter 04
- Romans Chapter 09
- Romans Chapter 08 Part Two
- Romans Chapter 08 Part One
- Romans Chapter 07
- Romans Chapter 06
- Romans Chapter 05
- Romans Chapter 03
- Romans Chapter 15
- Romans Chapter 02
- Romans Chapter 01
- Romans Chapter 11
- Romans Chapter 12
- Romans Chapter 13
- Romans Chapter 14
- Romans Chapter 10
The book of Romans is probably the most important of the Epistles of Paul. Romans is not just a letter. It is like a novella, only nonfiction, or a primer, which is a book of elementary principles, or a dissertation, if you will, on Christianity. In it we will find everything we need to have church. It stresses salvation, vicarious atonement, repentance, praise, worship, evangelism, teaching, preaching, fellowship, and more—everything possible we may need to know about church. All of the major Christian doctrines and most of the minor ones are incorporated in the book of Romans. Use the book of Romans as a guidebook for everything you do in communal worship.
Paul was probably in Corinth when he wrote this epistle, after he left Ephesus. The date was around 58 during Nero’s fourth year as emperor of Rome. Phoebe carried the letter to Rome (Romans 16:1-2). The recipients were the church at Rome. The Epistle became a circular and eventually was ordained by the early church as Scripture. In fact, Peter says the Paul wrote scripture (2 Peter 3:15 and 3:16), so it may have been considered scriptural during Paul’s life. The Book of Romans was officially canonized by the church in the Fourth Century, though it enjoyed scriptural status from its beginnings.
Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
The first thing we see in this verse is that Saul of Tarsus addresses himself as Paul. Saul is a Hebrew word meaning to draw out, or ask for, or to be desired. The Israelites asked God through Samuel for a king, hence the name Saul, to be desired. Perhaps his parents desired a son and when they were finally blessed with one, they named him Saul. Why the shift took place from Saul to Paul is uncertain. There are theologians that claim that Saul was his Hebrew name and Paul was his Roman name. As a Roman citizen he would have had a Roman name as well as a Hebrew name. Another opinion is that it was a nick name, perhaps a term of endearment given by his parents. It means small or little. Perhaps his parents called him ‘little Saul’ (Σαυλος Παυλος or Saulos Paulos) and the name stuck. Apparently he was well known as Paul and that is why he addressed himself that way.
Next he says he is a servant of Messiah Jesus. Let us be frank. The Greek word is δουλος, doulos, or slave. Paul considered himself to be a slave of Christ. He considered all Christians to be the same. A slave does the bidding of his master no matter what. Paul was willing to do Christ’s bidding even unto death. Are you? Am I? We should be.
The next thing we see is that Paul was called. The literal Greek rendering of the word is invited. But the invitation that Paul was talking about was the divine calling or bidding of Christ to be His servant. Remember the calling of the Disciple Matthew. Jesus saw Levi the tax collector sitting at his tax collecting duties and simply said, “Follow me.” He invited Matthew to come with him, and Matthew could not resist the invitation. It was his calling. Paul was invited, and the calling became a passion. I can attest to that. God called me to be a preacher and teacher and that is my passion. I desire that above all else.
The office of Apostle is a calling that requires total involvement; an apostle is one sent forth. When Jesus sent Paul forth, Paul obeyed. His obedience caused him to be whipped, chained, imprisoned and eventually beheaded. But Paul continued to sally forth with the Gospel. His calling was so strong in his life that he was obedient to it even under severe duress, including his death.
In a sense we are all apostles for Christ, Who has sent us all forth to go and teach all nationalities, to baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We are sent forth to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and unto the ends of the earth. But the ones God gifted as Apostles had a difficult road in front of them, but nonetheless, they traveled it.
Finally, Paul was separated unto the Gospel. That means he was sanctified, or set apart to spread the Gospel. That was his main aim in life. Everything he did was to that one purpose—the spreading of the Gospel. The Greek word rendered Gospel is literally the combination of two words, one meaning good and the other meaning one who announces (a messenger). A literal rendering could be the announcement of good news or tidings that Jesus died to save us from our sins. Paul fully explains the term in the next few verses.
Romans 1:2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
I will list just a few such occurrences: Isa 61:1, Deut 28:8, Zec 12:10, Isa 44:3, Joel 2:28, and many others.
Romans 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
The Gospel is about the Messiah, Who is Jesus or Yeshua, the son of Mary of Nazareth, known as the son of Joseph, but in reality the Son of God. He was born of the virgin Mary into the lineage of King David (Mat 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-38) and Aaron the priest. Joseph, who was Mary’s husband and Jesus’ step-father was of the kingly lineage of David (Luk 3:31). Mary, the mother of Jesus, was of the lineage of Aaron the priest (Ex 28:1). Her cousins were Zachariah the priest and his wife Elizabeth, a descendant of Aaron (Luk 1:5). Thus Jesus was both priest and king through birth. The phrase “according to the flesh” indicates that he was born a man in the normal way from a woman.
Romans 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
By His resurrection from the dead He was declared to us to be the Son of the Living God. He was raised by the Power of God the Holy Spirit and now sits at the Right Hand of the Father, Who has given Jesus power over all creation. This is the antitype of Pharaoh giving Joseph all power over Egypt.
Romans 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
Paul and his associates had received the gift of salvation through the grace of God in Christ. Their calling as apostles was from the risen Christ as well. They obeyed their Lord and went forth to the nations to spread His Gospel.
Romans 1:6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:
The Roman Gentiles to which he wrote were included among all the Gentiles that had come to Christ.
Romans 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Romans that were saved by the Blood of Christ were God’s beloved, that is, they were a part of His family and set apart as Christians in a sinful world. A saint is one that is sanctified, that is, one that is set apart from sin and worldliness and set apart to God. Paul wished them grace and peace. A most common greeting among Jews, even today is, Shalom, which means peace. The Greek word for peace is eirene. Paul’s greeting was a combination of the Jewish greeting and a variation of the standard Greek greeting, chairein, meaning may you have joy. His variation was to amend the word chairein to charis, meaning grace. His greeting, then, means I bid you peace and joy or delight, or pleasure, or simply grace. He wanted all to have the peace and comfort that comes with salvation through Christ.
Paul was a Hebrew but this epistle was written koine Greek. The usual Hebrew greeting was “Shalom!” and still is to this day. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ is an equivalent of the greeting, “Shalom!” Shalom is not simply peace. It is a greeting that implies a wish completeness, soundness, welfare, peace, safety, health, tranquility, quiet, friendship, Godliness, and other similar things. It is a greeting of comfort. Paul’s greeting in Greek wishes his correspondents similar compliments.
Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
The Roman church, being situated in the capital of the empire, was well known throughout the empire. This was a work of the Spirit, for which Paul was thankful. The whole world was the then known world, and that included the Roman Empire and surrounding precincts. There were many places known outside the empire, such as present day Africa, India, China, and Southeast Asia. I have little doubt that Christianity was known in all the nations of Europe and Asia at the time. But generally speaking, the phrase, “the whole world” basically meant the empire.
Romans 1:9-10 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; (10) Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.
One might infer from these verses that Paul was preparing the Romans for the text of his letter-for its in-depth doctrine, difficult teachings, and sheer volume of knowledge the Apostle imparted to the Roman church in his letter. He wanted them to know that though he was writing a long and forceful letter to them, that he planned also to visit them and share much of his insight in person. He did, indeed, do this after his arrest and transportation to Rome. He was there under house arrest but was able to spend much time with the Roman church before his martyrdom.
Romans 1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;
The actual grammar and context of this passage softens the word “impart”. According to Robertson, the proper rendering in today’s English would be “share.” Hence the sentence would read, “I long to see you so that I may share with you some of the insight the Spirit has given me so that you may become stronger in the faith.”
Romans 1:12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
Or, “What I mean is that we may be encouraged by each other’s faith” (God’s Word Translation). Is this not the purpose of church; or at least one of the purposes? Hebrews really nails this:
And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:21-25)
Paul longs to be with this for this very purpose, to encourage them and to be encouraged by them to accomplish acts of love and good works and to spread the Gospel to those who have not heard it.
Romans 1:13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.
Paul wanted them to understand that he had often intended to visit them, but was “let hitherto”. What does that mean? Translating from the English of the King James translators, it means the he was hindered until now. There were several reasons he was “let,” the number one reason being that God was not ready for him to go there. There is at least one scriptural example of Paul being stopped from going to a place. It is in Acts 16:7: “After they were come to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.” Perhaps the Spirit stopped him from going to Rome, or, more likely, circumstances prevented him, for, in addition to other means, God also uses circunstances to show us his will. Paul finally made it to Rome after his arrest and his appeal to Caesar. But before that time, Paul had many travels to make and many souls to save.
Romans 1:14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
Paul was saying that he felt a great obligation, or debt, to go and preach the Gospel of Christ to the “Greeks and Barbarians,” which means the whole world—both the civilized and uncivilized as well as the educated and uneducated. His obligation to them was the fact that he owed them the opportunity to hear the Gospel. God had forgiven him much and he felt obliged to give others the same opportunity to be saved that he had been given. The debt he felt was because of his calling by the Holy Spirit. He was a slave to Christ and had a great burden within himself to preach Christ to all. We have the same obligation, which is to be ambassadors for Christ in all our activities. When people see Christ in us, that gives us the opportunity to witness to them.
Romans 1:15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
Just as I have a burden and debt to preach to the world, so, also, do I have the same desire to preach to you at Rome. Why?
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
What is the Gospel of Christ? The Greek word rendered Gospel is literally the combination of two words, one meaning good and the other meaning one who announces (a messenger). A literal rendering could be the announcement of good news or tidings. What good tidings does the Gospel proclaim? Let us consider what the Angel of the Lord said at the Nativity, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger (Luke 2:10-12).” The good tidings proclaimed by the angel were that a Savior was born, and the news that the Savior was born was for all people. Let us take it a step further.
This Savior that was born in Bethlehem and laid in a manger (a container that holds straw for livestock to feed upon) grew up and was crucified by the authorities. He was without sin and He died to pay for the sins of all people. The good tidings we bring when we present the Gospel are the tidings that A Savior was born into the world in humble condition, like most of us, and that He paid the price for our sins if we believe upon Him.
Are you ashamed of the Gospel of Christ? Apparently the world is. Mention the Gospel in a school or any government facility and you may be accused of bringing dissension, strife, hate, and bigotry into that place and that you have violated the First Amendment (which has been amended to falsely mean “separation of church and state” by the oligarchy of federal courts). Mention the Gospel of Christ on a street corner and you will be jeered, and possibly the police will be called to arrest you for offending someone. You may even be spit upon. Say “Merry Christmas” and some folks shake their heads in disgust. Many stores and government institutions, like schools, will not allow the word Christmas to be a part of their vocabulary. After all, that promotes “religion.” Actually these things promote Christianity, which is really what is under attack here.
Other religions and the practice thereof are acceptable. For example, it is acceptable to promote the Koran in our universities. Humanism is allowed in all public areas. Atheism has no restrictions against it. Yes, the preceding are all religions. And yes, Atheism and Humanism are religions. The preferred and authorized religion of the United States and most western nations is secular humanism. In some countries, like our neighbors to the North, a preacher can be accused of “hate crimes” for preaching the Gospel from the pulpit. Many consider the Gospel, which proclaims that there is only one way to heaven, to be hate speech.
Belief in the Gospel, that is, in the good news that Jesus died for your sins and provided eternal life for believers, provides salvation. Salvation is needed because the world is condemned to eternity in the lake of fire. When one believes in Christ, because of his belief, God grants him salvation from that condemnation. He receives forgiveness of his sins and eternal life in heaven because of his belief. Such power to save from condemnation is power that only God possesses. His power retrieves us from condemnation and provides us eternal life.
Jesus the Christ was born into the tribe of Judah; therefore, He was a Jew. It was to the Jewish people that He presented the Gospel. He went to the Jews with His proclamation of good news. A few Gentiles were saved, but Jesus came to the Jews. After His death and resurrection, some of the Apostles presented the Good News to Gentiles, but their ministry was mainly to the Jews. It was not until Saul of Tarsus became the Apostle Paul that the Gospel was preached to the Gentiles. The word rendered Greek here specifically referred to a native of Greek society and figuratively, any foreigner or non-Jew. Thus, the word Greek refers to all non-Jews, that is, to Gentiles. The Jews were the first to receive the Gospel. Then the people of all other nations heard the Gospel.
Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written. The just shall live by faith.
The Gospel is presented to one person who has faith in God through Christ. God imputes His own righteousness to the person of faith. Therefore, the person of faith is also righteous, or without sin, in God’s eyes. That person, based on his faith, imparts the Gospel to another who believes and has faith. That one imparts the Gospel to another, and so on, and so on, etc. Thus faith is imparted to others producing faith in them.
Paul quotes the Old Testament here: “…the just shall live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). A person is justified, that is, found not guilty of his sins when he believes in Christ. His faith has provided justification for his sins. His justification is because of his faith, thus, he is just and lives by his faith.
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Paul shows the wrath of God and the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men in the verses immediately following this one. These men hold down or suppress the truth because of their unrighteousness. It seems as though Paul was writing for the world today. This fits the unrighteous today. They suppress the truth. They don’t speak of it; they don’t publish it; they don’t teach it. The opposite is true. Falsehood is spoken, published, and taught. There are many examples of this.
One good illustration is the philosophy that since a God of love would not allow the sorrows that go on in the world, there is no God. (The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. -Psalm 14:1; 53:1) It seems truthful on the surface, but upon closer examination it is exposed as a lie. God is a loving God, but He is also faithful, just, jealous, holy, righteous, etc. He also wants us to love Him of our own free will; therefore He allows us liberty of conscience. Some abuse that liberty, causing much misery. It is man, not God, that is unrighteous and unloving. It is the flesh that rebels against a loving God. The flesh, at times spurred on by Satan, causes the miseries of this world. God does not cause it, but allows men to be able to choose to love Him or to choose not to. This allows some to choose evil. God does not choose evil for them, but allows them to choose evil for themselves.
It is like a father with adolescent children. Sometimes parents must allow their adolescents to make their own choices; indeed, sometimes the parents have no say in those choices. When as adolescent chooses wrong, the parent still loves the child. But the adolescent must suffer the consequences of his decisions. Sometimes the choices result in much evil, like the many mass killings (such as Columbine, the Fort Hood killings, etc) our society has endured in the last decade. Does that mean the parents do not love their children? No. But they still allow adolescents to make choices. God is the same way.
Romans 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them.
God is manifest in men, even the unrighteous. What does it mean to be manifest? The Greek word rendered manifest means apparent. Webster defines manifest as “plain, open, clearly visible to the eye or obvious to the understanding; apparent; not obscure or difficult to be seen or understood.” God is apparent to men. Put another way, all people have a consciousness of God. It is innate; we are born with it. Though born with it, many, if not most, still reject it. How has God shown Himself to us? Paul explains:
Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Creation shows the things about God that we don’t see with our physical eyes. But we do experience God metaphysically. (Metaphysical literally means “beyond physical or material form”, ontology being the branch of metaphysics that looks beyond the physical or experiential. Thus the supernatural, e.g. God, is technically metaphysical and ontological. Supernatural means “outside of nature”.) In other words, when you gaze into the heavens on a cloudless, moonless night, you are able to see the stars, and in a rural setting, you can even see our galaxy. It is awe-inspiring and sometimes overwhelming to try to understand the depths of the universe. I cannot do such a thing without realizing that this did not just happen. In my purely physical nature (or sinful nature, or flesh) I at least feel that there is intelligent design involved (spiritually I know that God created it).
Surely others feel that there is intelligence involved in its design. But many refuse to acknowledge that this intelligence is the God of the Bible. Nay, many refuse to acknowledge that any intelligence is involved. They prefer to believe that things just happened over time. That way they may reject God and salve their consciences at the same time. This refusal to acknowledge God is rejection of their innate understanding that God exists. It is, simply, rebellion. When men rebel against their innate sense that God exists they are without excuse. They have an inborn knowledge of God and they have the vast universe to prove His existence. When they stand before God at judgment, they will have no defense. There will be nothing they can say. They rejected Him of their own free will. They cannot even blame Satan. Though Satan may have helped them in their rebellion, they are ultimately responsible for their decisions.
Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Since we are all born with an innate sense of God in our consciences, and we have the evidence of the existence of God in nature all around us, we all know that God really is. Even the professing atheist has this innate sense of God. Admittedly, if one is an atheist long enough and rejects God often enough, his conscience is seared as with a hot iron and he may truly have lost his natural sense of God. But we will ignore those with seared consciences in our discussion, for they are few.
My personal testimony is that I was once a professing atheist and I will tell you that the inborn sense of God never left my conscience. Outwardly I rejected God and all things related to Him, but secretly I was not an atheist. I suspect that most atheists are similar to me, hence the cliché, “there are no atheists in foxholes”. God never let me get away from Him. He had plans for me. He used outside influences through my family to bring me back into fellowship with Him. Atheist, He has a plan for you as well, if you will allow Him to proceed in your life. Stop rejecting Him and rebelling against Him.
Even though God was manifest to them and they knew Him, they purposely did not recognize Him as God. To glorify means to praise, magnify or extol; to praise and honor in worship; to ascribe honor to God in thought or words. They did none of these things. They decided to reject God and to rebel against Him. They did not thank Him for His blessings upon them. Instead their reasonings became empty. Vanity literally means empty. But we use vanity to indicate self absorption, so they were so concerned with themselves that they totally rejected God. They reasoned they themselves were gods, and as such, were able to determine right from wrong in their own interpretation. This is the basis of situational ethics and humanist morality. These folks were of the “if it feels right, do it” crowd. There were fools, for “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalms 14:1 and 53:1). Thus their foolish hearts were darkened in the sense that they rejected the true Light, Who is God.
Lest you feel that we moderns are too enlightened to have suffered this malady, let me set the record straight. Though the Scripture and thus my remarks are made in the past tense, this applies to us in the present as well. This western world is chock full of situational ethics and humanist morality, and the vain imaginations of men and women never stop. Though God is manifest in all of our minds (except those with seared consciences), we modern humans also rebel against God and reject Him. Paul’s warnings still apply today, perhaps even more so that in his day.
Romans 1:22-23 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (23) And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Since these two verses are one sentence, let us take them together. Because of their refusal to glorify God, they became fools because of what Psalms 14:1 and 53:1 (above) state and for another reason as well. Paul said, in 1 Corinthians 3:19-20: “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God; for it is written, “He takes the wise in their own craftiness.” And again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.” Paul quoted Job 5:13 and Psalm 94:11, respectively. In another place, Paul said, “hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (1 Corinthians 1:20).
The world’s wisdom, which is the wisdom of men apart from God, is foolishness in the grand scheme. Though men consider themselves wise, if they reject God, they are fools. And it seems to work as an inverse equation. The more a man believes himself to be wise because of his intellect, education, knowledge, position, experience, wealth, etc., the more foolish he becomes. None of those attributes is inherently wrong, but to believe that one is wise because of those things he has himself accomplished, the more foolish he becomes. It is ok to have intellect, education, knowledge, position, experience, wealth, etc. Nevertheless, to ascribe those things to yourself, and refuse to acknowledge that God provided them for you, makes you a fool. I freely admit to being a fool in many of these things myself, before I trusted Christ as my Savior.
They became fools and ascribed the blessings of God to idols. They made images of animals, birds, fanciful things, and insects (yes, insects—some Egyptians worshiped the scarab beetle; ancient carvings, castings, and paintings of sacred beetles are found throughout Egypt) and said that those things were God. After molding them with their own hands they worshipped them, claiming them to be God.
Today’s idols are less conspicuous, yet they exist. The most obvious idol in the world today is the pursuit of money. Humans pursue money to the exclusion of God. Even Christians do so. Some professed Christian businessman can separate Christianity from business. These folks can cheat or lie to others in the name of business. When questioned about this, they simply use the excuse, “that’s business” with a shrug of their shoulders. That is because money is more important to them than God and this is idolatry. We make idols out of possessions, power, activities, etc. Even the church building is an idol to some. There are even those church-going folks to whom the physical plant of the church is more important to them than God.
Romans 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves
Behold! Those folks who rebelled against God and rejected Him were given over to their sins. It is as if God basically said, “Since you don’t want to do things my way, have it your own way and do it yourself.” God let them have their way. When he did, their sinfulness became steadily worse. This is a slippery slope. When God turned them over to their own reprobate minds, their sins got steadily worse. Through the desires of their own corrupt minds, they even perverted their own bodies as Paul explains further in verses 26-27.
Romans 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
You may have noticed that the popular culture, which we can see via the news media, movies, the record industry, our education system, and television programming, apparently glorifies evil and demonizes righteousness. According to the Bible, there is nothing new under the sun. Therefore, what we see happening in our culture has happened before. In fact, the demise of the Roman Empire can be attributed to nearly the same factors that are causing social decay today. They are the welfare state, a bloated bureaucracy, homosexuality on the rise, morals on the decline, etc. In Paul’s day, these same things were happening. Whatever was righteous was considered evil by the culture and vice versa. This was not new even in Paul’s day.
Check out Ezekiel 28:17: “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.” Lucifer corrupted his wisdom because of his own vain imaginations. Satan is the father of all lies. Corrupted wisdom changes the truth into a lie. The world has accepted the lie that all things from a righteous God are corrupt and all things from an evil world and from an evil being, that is, Satan, are considered good. A few examples:
- Homosexuality is good. Virginity until marriage is bad.
- Christians are evil and untrustworthy. Worldliness is good.
- There is no absolute truth and that is good. Anyone who professes to have absolute truth is evil.
- Abortion is good. Adoption is bad.
- Truth is hatred. Lies are loving.
Those who glorified not God have turned the truth into a lie and therefore have served humanity and not God. Humanism promotes the view that humans are basically good and can be molded into good citizens by the stimuli they have received during their life. Mankind can raise itself up by its own bootstraps and achieve salvation by its own actions. Thus men have been lifted up by men to be higher than God.
The Greek word rendered creature by the KJV is actually creation. So man worships the creation, that is, nature and not God. The popular culture believes that there is nothing outside of nature, especially not God, so nature itself is worshipped. Earth Day is an event celebrating the worship of the earth. Many Earth Day advocates call it Mother Earth, or Gaia, the mother goddess. So the popular culture today worships a goddess who is the actual planet Earth. People have turned away from God completely, no longer worshipping Him, but, rather, worshipping the creation.
Romans 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
God turned these rebellious men and women over to their own lusts. The logical result in turning against God is to do what God says not to do. Tell a toddler not to do something and he will do all he can to do what he was told not to. Tell an adolescent to do something and he will do his level best not to. That is human nature. Since men now worship the creation and humanity, human nature is considered righteous. God turned such people over to their own desires. The normal course of this is a rise in homosexuality. In Paul’s day Women had sexual relations with other women and men with other men as the next verse states. The same is true in our day.
Romans 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
This verse tells of men having homosexual relations with other men. They left sexual relations with their wives and participated in it with other men. Their sexual desire was for each other, that is, for other men. The Greek indicates that they did unseemly things with their procreative organs, meaning sexual relations with each other. God gave them over to their recompense, that is, the judgment for their actions.
Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
These men and women were turned over to a reprobate mind and their consciences were seared with a hot iron and they then had no conscience about doing the unseemly things mentioned here. They did not even know that the evil they were doing was indeed evil. They thought it was good. They did those things that were unfitting (not convenient). Does this sound familiar? It is the same today.
Romans 1:29-31 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, (30) Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, (31) Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
- Fornication; adultery and an unchastity;
- Wickedness; mischief
- Covetousness; insatiable lust
- Maliciousness; iniquity and desire of it
- Envy; jealousy
- Murder: taking an innocent life with malice (abortion is included here)
- Debate; strife for vain glory, and victory over others
- Deceit; lack of integrity, untrustworthiness
- Malignity; bad character
- Whisperers; gossipers and slanderers
- Backbiters; slanderers
- Haters of God; self explanatory
- Despiteful; arrogant
- Proud; of their natural knowledge, learning, eloquence and vain philosophy:
- Boasters: of themsleves
- Inventors of evil things; self explanatory
- Disobedient to parents; self explanatory
- Without understanding; foolish
- Covenant breakers; disregard of contracts
- Without natural affection; hateful
- Implacable; when once offended there was no reconciling of them:
- Unmerciful; self explanatory
Romans 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Men, who rebelled against God not only take pleasure in these sins, but the take pleasure in others committing these sins as well. There is only one cure for these things, and that is to believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior. When people do that, the Holy Spirit of God then empowers them to overcome their sinfulness, which includes all these things listed here. This will not stop the sinful nature for there will be times when Christians sin. However, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).