Romans 1:20-27

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

Text: Romans 1:20-27

Aim: To show that man lacks the righteousness of God and therefore needs to be saved.

THE WRATH OF GOD

INTRODUCTION:

In Romans 1:1-7 we have noted the author of Romans, in verses 8-15, the occasion, and in verses 16-17 the theme. That theme is the gospel of Christ which is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.

Verse 18 begins a new section of Romans. In Romans 1:1-17 we have the introduction to Romans. In Romans 1:18-3:20 we see man's lack of righteousness.

We see that the pagan Gentile lacks the righteousness of God in 1:18-32.

We will also see that the moralist, whether Jew or Gentile, lacks the righteousness of God.

We will furthermore see that the Jew lacks the righteousness of God.

Finally, we will see that all humanity lacks the righteousness of God.

We have already seen that -

I. GOD'S WRATH IS AGAINST SIN - 1:18

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.

We have also seen that -

II. GOD'S REVELATION GIVES HUMANITY AN ADEQUATE OPPORTUNITY - 1:19

Romans 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

We see next that -

III. HUMAN SIN IS DELIBERATE - 1:20

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.

For introduces an explanation of verse 19.

The invisible things of him is the unseen things of God the Father.

From (i.e. from the time of or since) the creation of the world

Are clearly seen (i.e. are noticed or are clearly seen). There is an ongoing perception of these invisible things of God the Father.

Being understood is being continually perceived (or apprehended)

By the things that are made (i.e. by the created things - including humanity).

Even = that is or in other words

The things that are clearly seen are His eternal power (i.e. His might, His strength, or his force which has no beginning or end) and His Godhead (i.e. His Divinity or His Divine nature).

One wonders how someone could perceive the divinity and power of Almighty God and yet choose to worship idols, but that is what these people have done. As a result they have been rendered without excuse by God. The action of are is continuous. They are at all times or continually without excuse or inexcusable.

What does this do to the idea being espoused in some circles that God would not condemn to hell someone who has never heard the gospel? It shows that this idea is wrong.

Not only is human sin deliberate, but we see also that -

IV. HUMAN SIN DEVELOPS PROGRESSIVELY DOWNWARD - 1:21-32

Romans 1:21-32 - 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.

Evolutionists say we are getting better and better. However

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.

Because that is simply because.

When they knew God is simply having known God. It has been translated as indicating time. It might instead indicate concession and be understood in the sense of although they knew God.

They glorified him not as God indicates that humanity did not give God His proper glory.

As the God of the universe, God deserves to be treated properly. Part of that treatment is to glorify Him as God, which means to give Him His proper place and the respect He deserves and to worship Him in the manner He desires.

Furthermore, God deserves to be thanked for Who He is and for what He has done. However, these people who suppressed the truth in unrighteousness neither glorified Him nor were thankful toward Him.

But humanity became vain in their imaginations, i.e. empty-headed (or worthless) in their reasonings.

And their (i.e. humanity's) foolish (i.e. senseless) heart was darkened. The spiritual light they had enjoyed was no longer available to them.

Humanity, however, they did not think of themselves as having their foolish heart darkened. In reality, they were professing or asserting that they were wise -

Romans 1:22 Professing (i.e. asserting) themselves to be wise, they became fools (i.e. foolish).

The deception of their minds began to show itself in their practice. Humanity became idolatrous -

Romans 1:23 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.

Changed is exchanged.

The glory (i.e. majesty) of the uncorruptible (i.e. incorruptible, immortal, or imperishable) God. He is the eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent God and is perfect in every way. He is holy; yet, He is filled with grace, mercy, and love.

What they exchanged the glory of God for was an image (i.e. a likeness or a copy, but it is not the real thing itself) made like to corruptible man (i.e. perishable humanity - subject to decay, subject to death, subject to destruction, or mortal) humanity, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts (i.e. four-legged animals), and creeping things (i.e. reptiles).

Humanity had the glory of the incorruptible, immortal, or imperishable God; and they exchanged it for the likeness of an image of something that was corruptible. It was the glorious God that they forsook in order that they might worship a likeness or a copy belonging to an idol.

This idol was not even a representation of God. It was a representation of man, i.e. of a human being who was subject to death and decay.

Man did not stop with worshiping the image which was a representation of corruptible man. He also went so far as to worship the likenesses of the images of birds, and of four-footed animals, i.e. quadrupeds, and of reptiles. When man forsakes God in his mind, it is not long before he forsakes God in his practice as well. What do you suppose is happening today in the United States of America. We have forsaken God in our minds. No wonder we have such atrocious practices in our society!

Wherever you find idolatry, you will also find immorality. They go hand in hand. Humanity became immoral -

Romans 1:24 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves.

Wherefore means therefore or for this reason.

God also gave them up is God also gave them over (i.e. handed them over or delivered them).

God is the One Who gave them up. They started the process, but God finished it.

Also emphasizes the fact that these idolaters were not the only ones who did something. God also took action, and His action was in reaction to theirs. They started the process, but God finished it.

Unto uncleanness (i.e. unto immorality) means that God judicially abandoned them to immorality.

Through the lusts (i.e. desires or cravings) of their own hearts may mean any of the following:

1. By means of the cravings of their own hearts, indicating the means by which God gave them over unto uncleanness.

2. In the cravings of their own hearts, indicating the sphere in which this dishonoring took place.

3. Because of the cravings of their own hearts, indicating the reason God gave them up.

Of their own hearts suggests that deep within themselves they desired to commit these sins. They were rotten in their innermost beings, and this rottenness made its way into their practices. God granted their wish.

To dishonour their own bodies between themselves means in order that (or with the result that) they treat their own bodies shamefully (or insult their own bodies) by engaging in immorality among themselves. God never intended human beings to engage in immorality, but humanity chose to do it.

Romans 1:25 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.

Who is such ones who or all those who and refers to those persons who have been suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.

Changed is exchanged.

The truth of God into a lie is the truth about God for a lie.

The truth is the specific truth about God's eternal power and divine nature; but they exchanged this truth for a lie. Lie is the lie in the Greek text; so it is a specific lie or falsehood; but what lie is it?

It is the specific lie about the idols and the likeness of images mentioned in the chapter. Instead of the true God, they chose the lie.

And worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

They worshipped (i.e. showed reverence to) and served (i.e. they did religious service to) the creature (i.e. the thing created) more than the Creator.

More than is used in the sense of rather than because they did not give any glory to God at all.

The Creator is described as who is blessed forever. It is a reference to God the Father. He is blessed throughout all eternity whether they recognize it or not.

Amen is a formula appearing at the end of a doxology meaning truly or so be it.

Why would anyone want to serve something that had been created rather than the One Who had created it, One, indeed, Who is blessed forever? We may wonder, but they did it. They confused the Creator with His 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.

For this cause is because of this

God gave them up (i.e. the ones who suppressed the truth in unrighteousness) unto vile affections (i.e. dishonorable passions).

Once again, it was not just anyone who abandoned them; it was God, the God of heaven. It was a decision based upon God's righteousness from which there could be no appeal.

It is to sexual passions of an unrespected sort that God gave them over.

For even their women (i.e. their females) did change (i.e. exchange) the natural use (i.e. relations or functions, especially of a sexual nature) into that which is against nature

These females did something so awful that Paul does not even grace them with the term women due to its sexual aberration.

Paul is not speaking of some use of females as cooks, dishwashers, housekeepers, nurses, secretaries, etc.; rather, he has reference to their specific sexual use. In other words these females exchanged the natural sexual use, apparently of the male, for something which was contrary to nature.

This is lesbianism rather than adultery because of the word translated likewise in verse 27 and because of two little particles translated and. Verses 26 and 27 should be viewed as parallel. In verse 27 just as the males left the natural use of the female and burned in their lust one unto another, male with male working their shameless deed, so in verse 26 the same thing is implied with regard to the females. They left the natural use of the male, and burned in their lust one toward another, female with female working their shameless deed.

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 recompence of their error which was meet.

And likewise is and similarly, and so, or and in the same way. Likewise shows that the males and the females were sinning in the same manner, i.e. by engaging in homosexuality.

The men is the males. As was true with the females in verse 26, Paul does not even grace these sexual perverts with the term men.

Leaving (abandoning, either in the sense of after they left or because they left) the natural use of the woman which refers to relations or functions, especially sexual functions, that are in accordance with nature.

Of the woman is of the female and means the natural sexual use which belongs to the female.

Burned (an intensive form, meaning that they were intensely inflamed) in their lust one toward another.

They were intensely inflamed in the sphere of their passions, which means that their passions were inflamed. Their burning lust was directed one toward another, i.e. unto one another. The object of the desire of these males was other males.

Men (i.e. males) with men (i.e. males) working that which is unseemly (i.e. the shameless deed). The use of the with shameless deed makes it a specific shameless deed. This is a euphemism for (i.e. a kind way or a more pleasant way of saying) the homosexual act in which these males were engaging.

And receiving in themselves (i.e. in their own persons) that recompence (i.e. penalty) of their error which was meet.

Of their error = stemming from their delusion, deception, or deceit

Which was meet = which was necessary for them to receive. It was a fitting retribution for their sin.

What does this passage indicate regarding same sex marriage? It shows it to be wrong.

To Be Continued