Romans 1:21-27

Romans 1:21-27

Romans 1:21-23, Paul now itemizes the reason for His judgment. First, man willfully ignores God (Romans 1:21a).  Men can clearly know God both within themselves and outside of themselves: in creation and nature, in the earth and outer space. They can know that God gives them life and cares and provides for them, and that God runs everything in an orderly and lawful way, giving purpose and meaning to life.

Secondly men are universally guilty of ingratitude to God (Romans 1:21b). God deserves to be glorified and given thanks. But men did not glorify Him: did not worship, obey, or serve Him as God.  Thirdly in the process of time men become increasingly “futile” (“empty” or “vain”) in their imaginations, darkening their minds in an attempt to justify their immoral behavior (Romans 1:21c-22).

The more they reason the more corrupt and foolish they become as Paul states; Professing to be wise, they became fools.. Man becomes foolish when he makes his ideas, his opinions, his speculations the standard and the law of his life, instead of the will of God.  The foolish man makes man the master of things.  He found his standards in his own opinions and not in the laws of God.  He lived in a self-centered universe instead of a God-centered universe.

Finally the fourth reason for God’s righteous judgment is that the first three reasons leads to idolatry.  The glory of God is exchanged for images of human and animal forms.  The root sin of idolatry is that it is selfish.  A man makes an idol.  He brings it offerings and addresses prayers to it.  Why?

So that his own schemes and dreams may be furthered.  His worship is for his own sake and not for God’s. In this passage we are face to face with the fact that the essence of sin is to put self in the place of God.(1 Corinthians 3:19-20 NLT)  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, “God catches those who think they are wise in their own cleverness.” {20} And again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are worthless.” (Colossians 2:8, 23)

Don’t let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy and high‑sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world, and not from Christ. . . These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, humility, and severe bodily discipline. But they have no effect when it comes to conquering a person’s evil thoughts and desires.

Romans 1:24-27, The major point in this section of Romans is that when men persistently abandon God, God will abandon them. Even when God’s own people ignore and disobey Him, He may temporarily abandon them (Psalm 81:11-12).  Hosea speaks in much the same way about the unfaithfulness of the northern kingdom, represented by Ephraim, to whom God said: “Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone” (Hosea 4:17). When God’s Spirit came upon Azariah, He told Judah, “The Lord is with you when you are with Him.

And if you seek Him He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you” (2 Chronicles 15:2). The result is that God abandons man to his futile thinking, He allows Him to experience the consequences of his foolishness. The abandonment is described by Paul in three downward stages. Each is marked by the phrase, “gave them up” or “gave them over.” The sin of idolatry is followed by shameless immorality. This surrender took place in the desires of their own hearts. Because they left honoring God and listening to His voice, God gave them up to their own desires and shameful dishonor.

The second abandonment is a result of changing the truth of God into a lie, and God gave them up to their self-satisfying passions. Today’s homosexuals insist that these verses mean that it is perverse for a heterosexual male or female to engage in homosexual relations but it is not perverse for a homosexual male or female to do so since homosexuality is such a person’s natural preference. This is interpretation is unsupported by the Bible. The only natural sexual relationship the Bible recognizes is a heterosexual one (Genesis 2:21-24Matthew 19:4-6) within marriage.

All homosexual relations constitute sexual perversion and rebellion and are subject to God’s judgment. In Romans 1:27, we have the terrible results of men and women who accept the lie instead of the truth of God. He let go of them. Men and women fall into the very depths of immorality when they abandon the truth of God. Homosexuality should never be looked on as anything less than a degradation of man and a shameful sin. The fact that our society excuses it makes it no less sinful before God. It is a mark that God gave them up to vile affections.

The third and last stage of divine abandonment is found in Romans 1:28-32. The result of ungodliness against others, because of a deliberate choice on the part of man not to retain the knowledge of God, brought condemnation against their method of living. God gave them up to a reprobate mind—a mind condemned and rejected and worthless. Their rejection of God was deliberate and determined. If they had improved and increased their knowledge of God, it would have led to righteousness and the pleasure of God. Instead their reasoning faculties, intellectual and moral, were used for that which was not fitting.

Following this, in Romans 1:29-32 we have the moral condition of those whom God has given over to a reprobate mind: “filled with all unrighteousness,” manifestation of the forceful power of evil. Wicked passions lead to wicked acts and from this to wicked characters. We have the revelation of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ, and at the same time we have the revelation of God’s wrath against sin.

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