Friday, May 31, 2019 -
The first chapter of Romans is so full of truth and so very applicable for our day and time. Our culture is actually very similar to that of Rome’s culture during Paul’s time. But Paul, as slave (doulos) of Christ, was set apart for the gospel of Christ, just as all believers should be (v. 1).
Paul provides us with many contrasts in this chapter, Christ’s spirit of holiness (v. 4) and the righteousness of God (v. 17), in contrast to the wrath of God, ungodliness and unrighteousness (v. 18). It is the gospel that gives us the power of God for salvation (v. 16) – the very same power that raised Christ from the dead (v. 4), giving us reason to believe – our faith (v. 17). The faith of the Roman Christians was actually world renowned (v. 8) so that everyone thought they knew God, but many who claimed to know Him did not for they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks to Him (v. 21). These people believe themselves to be wise, but in their own wisdom they become fools (v. 22) and so they allow Satan to darken their foolish hearts (v. 21).
They worship creation rather than the creator, exchanging the truth for a lie (v. 25), but God, in having revealed the truth to them, leaves them without excuse (v. 20). “Therefore, God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts, to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them” (v. 24). These people know the truth, but the reject it in an exchange for a lie (v. 25). Even to the point of falling for the lies of the world, that homosexuality is normal, when God says it is unnatural. One is not born that way (v. 26-27). Look at how many young people today from good Christian homes are falling for this lie of Satan! I can count a number of them I have known well.
And so many of these deceived people, because they know the truth deep in their hearts, God gives up to the depraved minds to do things that are not proper (v. 28). And thus they become “filled with ALL unrighteousness, wickedness, greed; full of envy, strife, murder, deceit, malice, they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, disobedient to parents, without understanding untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful” (v. 29-31). But verse 32 is the most indicting verse for many in the church, and many Christian parents who find excuses for their offspring’s behavior – those who do these things are worthy of death, but so have those who “also give heart, approval to those who practice them” (v. 32). This is all in the context of people who should know better!