Summary: TO GRASP THE POWER OF GRACE AND WHAT CHRIST DID, WE MUST UNDERSTAND HOW HOPELESSLY AND HELPLESSLY BOUND BY SIN WE WERE BEFORE GRACE RESCUED US
Romans 1:18-32—Humanity: Under God’s Judgment
18. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
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:
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.
22. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23. And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25. Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
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:
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 recompence of their error which was meet.
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;
29. 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, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
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.
To see the need for salvation, you must see that everybody is lost
I. The Gentiles are condemned (Romans 1:18-25)
A. Romans 1:18, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness."
1. How does Paul use the stylistic device of "antithetic parallelism" to put forth the doctrine of the universality of sin?
a. Antithetic Parallelism: (1:17) the righteousness of God is revealed leading to salvation vs. (1:18) the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness leading to condemnation
2. How is the "wrath of God" revealed?
a. The righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel
b. The wrath of God is revealed in the unrighteous works of people
c. The wrath of God is the divine reaction against sin (when God's righteousness comes into contact with sin)
d. The wrath of God's manifestation can promote salvation -- i.e., Christ's crucifixion
3. What did the German poet Schiller have to say about the judgment of God?
a. "The history of the world is the judgment of the world"
b. The consequences of sin serve as a punishment of sin (i.e., AIDS)
4. Does Paul view ignorance of sin as an excuse for sin?
a. asebeia (alpha privative + sebeia, like God, == ungodlike) not just ungodly
b. Ungodlike -- it is not just their behavior that is unlike God but their very essence is unlike God
c. They suppress the truth of God
1) Suppress [katecho -- (kata-intensify, + echo-have, = suppress, grasp, hold on, hold down or suppress something that is trying to surface)]
2) They are deliberately holding down God's revelation (God's response to this is wrath)
d. Sin is not a matter of ignorance but depravity
e. These evil people are not satanists, but everyone outside of Christ
B. Romans 1:19, "Because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them."
1. Why does Paul emphasize the concept of "revelation" here?
a. Paul points to General revelation -- the revelation of God in nature (not verbal but conceptual)
2. For what ways has God revealed Himself?
a. Every person gets this revelation, although it is not salvific
b. It manifests the wrath of God because they suppress the revelation because they are asebeia (ungodlike)
c. General Revelation is A and the cross is Z. If you reject A then you are ungodlike and there is no need for you to go to B
d. No one has embraced A
e. Don't despair that so few are saved, but rejoice that some are saved