1. Chapter 2:1 Judgment according to Knowledge

The Therefore connects Chapter 1 with 2 and speaks to the Gentile’s sin – the problem is, however, that the Jew and other hypocrites somehow think he is exempt from God judging him in accordance with that same truth. Thus he thinks that when he commits the same sins he will somehow escape the judgment of God!

The apostle now warned them that they had indeed "practiced" the same things (v. 1). He seems to have been thinking as Jesus did when our Lord corrected His hearers' superficial view of sin (e.g., Matt. 5—7). Evil desires constitute sin as well as evil actions.

Jews who judge Gentiles hypocritically are without excuse since they practice the same sins and will also be judged by God in accordance with knowledge and the truth

The Jew who judges Gentiles has no excuse because at the same point at which he judges another he condemns himself. Why? Well, when he judges, he admits that such behavior is wrong, and worthy of just punishment from God, yet he himself knowingly commits the same sins

          Self righteousness exists because we minimize God's moral standards

  • Because we underestimate our own sinfulness
  1. Verses 2 & 3 Judgment according to Truth or Righteously

1Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Psalms 9:7 But the LORD shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment. 8 He shall judge the world in righteousness, And He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness.

          The first principle by which God judges is that He judges righteously (v2). He judges on the basis of what really exists, not what merely appears to be.

Paul’s point is that since God’s judgment is based on truth and not on any fudging of the grades for the sake of the “chosen” crowd, the Jew is equally held accountable to God. They cannot condemn others for their sins when they practice the same ones. The Jew of Paul’s day knew and approved of the fact that God’s judgment is in accordance with the truth, yet he failed to apply it to himself because, in his zealous criticism of obvious Gentile sin, he failed to similarly apply God’s revealed standard to his own life. Paul’s says that God’s impartial judgment extends to the covenant people as well. When it comes to God’s judgment against sin, we must all examine our lives, for we have a tendency to throw the first stone, all the while conveniently forgetting that we all live under the same rules that others do.



Romans 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,  23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (NKJV)

 The Ignorance in v 21, leads to Idolatry v 22, which leads to impurity v 23

The word wise is the Greek expression that describes a cultured and learned man skilled in letters. It is the word from which we get sophisticated, philosophy, and philosopher.

The word fool is the word moron which means one who has had the opportunity to receive the truth of God and has deliberately rejected it.

Psalm 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.

Mythology and idolatry have resulted from man's need to identify some power greater than himself and his refusal to acknowledge God as that power. Men and women have elevated themselves to God's position (cf. Dan. 2:38; 3:1; 5:23). In our day, humanism has replaced the worship of

individual human leaders in most developed countries. Man has descended to the worship of animals as well (cf. Ps. 106:20). This is perhaps more characteristic of third world countries.

"This tragic process of human 'god-making' continues rapidly in our own day, and Paul's words have as much relevance for people who have made money or sex or fame their gods as for those who carved idols out of wood and stone.

The expression God gave them over means that the process envisioned in 1:18-32 is not simply the natural course of events but an ongoing history directed by a sovereign God who makes decisions which affect people, societies, and cultures. The thought is truly a frightful one. It is reminiscent of Pharaoh turning his back on God and God hardening his heart (Exod 9:16; cf. Rom 9:17).

How can a loving God send men to hell?

He will only when men consistently reject God, then He will abandon them

If people really want their sinful lifestyles, then the awesome reality is God will give them over to it. As C. S. Lewis as aptly remarked, “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in hell chose it.” The point is, that although Paul is not talking about hell here, and indeed there is still hope for these people, there is nonetheless a continuum between their present existence and their future. If a person really wants God out of their thoughts, as these people most definitely do, Love has decided to provide a place in the end where they can choose to go and never have to think about him again.

God only gives men over after He has shown Himself to us clearly

God doesn't cause our downfall, the natural law of consequences does

God cannot abide in the presence of sin, that is why he abandoned his son (Jesus) on the cross at Calvary while He was bearing and suffering for the sins of the whole world

Verse 25 is a good definition of idolatry

To believe the lie--

2Thessalonians 2:9 -12 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10  and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

V 26 For this reason God gave them up Why ....... look back at verse 25

What God gave them up to

Vile Passions.. Homosexuality.. Even the women lusted for one another.

Paul shows the extent of the moral collapse by telling us first that the women who are usually the last to be affected by this kind of sin have fell totally and completely from any moral standards.

This is why Sodom and Gomorrah were judged

V28 God gave them comes to the point where he totally rejects any knowledge of God

He gave them over to a debased mind or reprobate mind in the Greek means not passing the test

Often used to describe useless, worthless, metals discarded because they contain too much impurities or trash in them.
God has tested man's mind and found it useless and worthless.

And the idea of knowledge always means “moral or religious knowledge” in the NT. The point Paul is making, then, is this: Men and women tested the idea of God and having concluded that he would destroy their freedom (after all, he is the powerful Creator who has a legitimate claim on all his creation) made the conscious choice to dispel him from their thinking.

These people no longer have the ability to know right from wrong

v-29-31 Paul now goes through a list of words that describe Shameful Human Character, Shameful Human Conduct and Shameful Human Conversation

In this world it is getting where more and more that right is wrong in the majority of people's eyes and wrong is right. Our leadership is just a reflection of our nation with our sins totally uncovered and in our face for the whole world to see.

There are two lessons in Romans 1

1.    Because all have sinned only the grace of God can keep us from living the way these people have in Romans 1

2.    The opposite of sin in Romans 1 is the power mentioned in v16 of the Gospel of Christ unto Salvation.



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, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes 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, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

 The reason for human guilt 1:18

The downward spiral of man from sin to idolatry is shown from verses 18-32

1st of all man knows God in verses 18-20

Next he fails to glorify God in verses 21-23

Then man changes the truth of God into a lie in verses 24-25

Lastly man rejects any knowledge of God at all in verses 26-32

The downward spiral of man from sin to idolatry is shown from verses 18-32

1st of all man knows God in verses 18-20

Next he fails to glorify God in verses 21-23

Then man changes the truth of God into a lie in verses 24-25

Lastly man rejects any knowledge of God at all in verses 26-32

Ro 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

The wrath of God is not some sudden outburst of anger or impulsive thing; it is a predetermined and rational act of a righteous God against sinful man.

It is revealed or more accurately constantly revealed. The word means to uncover to make visible or make known

God has revealed His wrath as well as His righteousness (v. 17) from heaven in the gospel.53 As Paul would explain, the unfolding of history also reveals God's hatred toward sin and His judgment of sin. The moral devolution of humanity is not just a natural consequence of man's sinning but also a result of God's judgment of sinners. The final judgment of sin will occur in the end times, but already God is pouring out His wrath against sin to a lesser degree (cf. Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:6). Paul described wrath as revealed from heaven because it comes from God who is in heaven.

"God's wrath is his divine displeasure with sin. We call it 'wrath' because it shares certain basic characteristics of human wrath. But because it is God's wrath it can have none of the sinful qualities of its human counterpart.

God has two ways he reveals his wrath

1.    Indirectly through natural consequences of violating his moral law

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. 8 For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

2.    Directly through his personal intervention or his decisive changing of events so that a price is paid for sin

·       The sentence passed on Adam and Eve

·       Sodom and Gomorrah

Deuteronomy 29:23  the whole land brimstone and salt, and a burnt-out waste, unsown, and growing nothing, where no grass can sprout, an overthrow like that of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger and wrath--

·       The Flood

2 Peter 2:5  and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;

 The wrath of abandonment which is removing all restraint and letting people go to their sins

Psalms 81:11 "But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would have none of me.12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.

This is what God is doing in this section of scripture:

The wrath of God is revealed against

The sinfulness of man

1st in Ungodliness which is a lack of respect, devotion and true worship of God

2ndly in Unrighteousness which is a result of Ungodliness means injustice toward other human beings

That is, their sinful transgressions against God and their corrupted behavior exhibited within human relationships. In short, all of human life is polluted with sin.

We see it in any attitude or action that is not loving. Together these two words show humankind's failure to love God and other people as we should, which are our two greatest responsibilities (Deut. 6:5; Lev. 19:18; Matt. 22:37-39). Verses 19-27 demonstrate man's ungodliness, and verses 28-32 show his wickedness. The "truth" refers to truth that people know about God (cf. v. 25). They suppress this truth by their wickedness.

Further, people suppress or hinder the truth  by their unrighteousness Here “unrighteousness” is not so much a general reference to the way in which they suppress the truth, but a reference to the sinful acts themselves which are used to hold the truth from one’s sight. Nothing could be more futile than to think that we can extinguish or destroy the truth through the means of sin. In the end, all we end up doing is confirming the truth.

The reason for his wrath is because of their

·       Unrighteousness is a lack of conforming to the law of God with our thoughts words and our deeds

·       Suppressing  revealed truth

But what truth do they suppress? Undoubtedly it refers to the truth about God, i.e., his power, authority, and the fact that we are accountable to him as Creator (1:19-20

Even though God has revealed Himself through their conscience, creation and God's word they still choose to resist and oppose God's truth so they can live in sin.

Whenever the truth starts to exert itself and makes them feel uneasy in their moral nature, they hold it down, suppress it. Some drown its voice by rushing on into their immoralities; others strangle the disturbing voice by argument and by denial.

Next we come to the age old question of is a person lost who has never heard the Gospel of Jesus

"Napoleon, on a warship in the Mediterranean on a star-lit night, passed a group of his officers who were mocking at the idea of a God. He stopped, and sweeping his hand toward the stars, said, 'Gentlemen, you must get rid of those first!'

Missionaries from all over the world testify that they find no atheists or people who do not believe in God even in the most primitive tribal settings. There is always a belief in a god whether it is a correct belief or not.

All of us have a conscience and a sense of morality whether we choose to obey it or not. We know wrong from right.

Why they are without excuse

Because, Even though they Knew God

1.    They did not glorify God.... Scripture constantly demands it

Lev 10:3 Then Moses said to Aaron, "This is what the LORD meant when he said, 'Through those who are near me I will show myself holy, and before all the people I will be glorified.'" And Aaron was silent.

2.    They were not thankful

3.    They became futile in their thoughts or in other words they tried to  find meaning in life by dreaming up ways to be satisfied without GOD

Therefore, to suppress the knowledge of God is to engage in the futility of idolatry.

4.    Their foolish hearts were darkened

John 3:19 "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

If man will respond to the light or revelation of God he has been given, even if he is in the middle of the jungle, God will crash a plane and parachute a missionary in to him so that he can hear the gospel and be saved.

Every one of us has a God shaped vacuum that we try to fill with things such as money, drugs, alcohol, love, power, or sex.

1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world.






Romans 1:14 I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. 15 So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."

 Flow of thought with the three I am statements

I am a debtor v14

So, because I am a debtor, I am eager v 15

I am eager, For or Because I am not ashamed v 16

Because I am not ashamed, why, it is the power of God v 16

Negatively I am not ashamed, Positively, I am eager to share the gospel

It is a debt to humanity he needed to repay and obligation, (he had been given a stewardship) and it is the Power of God to everyone who believes (He had a sense of conviction because he knew if the Gospel could change him it could change anyone.

1.             He was not ashamed of Christ, the person of the Gospel – even though Jesus was a Jew

  • Jews were a despised minority and Rome was a mighty and proud city

2.    The nature of the gospel is that it is the power of God ........without that power it is but a dead letter

3. The aim of the gospel is salvation, not ashamed because of the plan of the Gospel

4.             The gospel is for everyone who believes... Believes means an ongoing condition not a one-time event of belief. True faith is a way of life.

5.             Saving faith consists of three elements:

·       Mental - The mind understands the gospel and truth about Christ

·       Emotional - one embraces the truthfulness of those facts with sorrow over sin and joyfulness over God's mercy and Grace

·       A volitional or voluntary submission of the sinners will to Christ and trusts in Christ alone as the only hope of salvation.

V17 the revelation of God's righteousness - Better translated the Righteousness from God

·       The gospel is the revelation of God's righteousness through faith that He is just and holy and we are guilty sinners

·       Justification of believers means God absolves or removes the consequences of our sin which is accomplished by Propitiation

·       The gospel is the Propitiation or legal payment for our sins which is why Jesus had to die on the cross. The legal side had to be paid. There is no remission of sins without the shedding of blood.

 Salvation is of God's appointing, of God's approving and God's accepting

To cut off all claims to a righteousness resulting from the merit of our own works

Now Paul quotes Habakkuk 2:4 The just shall live by faith

This verse summarizes the Gospel

The Law was given to Moses in 613 precepts or rules of conduct

In the 15th Psalm they are reduced to 11

In Isaiah 6 ........Micah to 3 ........then again Isaiah reduces them to 2 and finally Habakkuk condenses them into 1 rule

The words " The just shall live by faith" are found 4 times in the Bible, Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38

God established Abraham as the pattern of faith in the OT and thus calls him the father of all who believe

OT faith was in a Christ to come and NT faith is in the fact that Christ has already come



Romans 1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established-- 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. 13 Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.

 1.    Paul wants to establish the Romans

V11For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established

“I long to see you!” This is the pastor’s heart in Paul the great missionary. Some of the saints in Rome were very dear to Paul, such as Priscilla and Aquila (Rom. 16:3–4), who risked their lives for him; “the beloved Persis” (Rom. 16:12); and others who had labored and suffered with Paul. But he also loved the believers that he did not know, and he longed to be able to share some spiritual gift with them. He was looking forward to a time of mutual blessing in the love of Christ.

Paul wanted to give them God's blessings through his preaching, imparting of knowledge that they would become rooted and grounded in the faith with deep spiritual knowledge so they would grow in service to the Lord Jesus.

1Peter 5:2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3  nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

2.             Paul wants to encourage the Romans and be encouraged by them

V12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me

He is thinking generally about God imparting a spiritual blessing (i.e., encouragement; cf. 15:4) to the church while he is fellowshipping with them in Rome. Through his presence with them and the blessing worked by the Holy Spirit the church would be strengthened in their faith, and fortified in their resolve to live obedient lives for Christ (6:12-14).

Shows the humility of Paul - none of us knows so much that we cannot benefit from others

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Paul was comforted by the strong faith of the Romans

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

3.             Paul was hindered from going to see the Romans

Ro 1:13 Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles.

Why is someone who wants to do the will of God sometimes hindered or stopped from doing it?

Four reasons we can be hindered

1.    Sometimes hindered from advancing to the next stage of God's will because the current stage is not complete or in other words God is not finished in this area yet.

Paul wanted to come before but he had been hindered or kept from doing by an unfinished obligation to preach the Gospel of God in Greece and Asia Minor

Romans 15:20-23 20 And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation, 21  but as it is written: "To whom He was not announced, they shall see; And those who have not heard shall understand." 22 For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you. 23 But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you,

2.    We are sometimes hindered by Satan

1Thessalonians 2:18 Therefore we wanted to come to you----even I, Paul, time and again----but Satan hindered us.

3.    We are sometimes hindered by a greater opportunity

One time Paul desired to preach the Gospel in Asia Minor (Acts 16:6-7) and he was prevented by the Lord because the Lord was opening the door into Macedonia Acts 16:9-10

Started first church in Europe the Philippian Church, it was a beachhead to allow him to go all over because of its strategic position.

God often shuts a door to open another one. Today we have the Epistle to the Romans because Paul was prevented from going to Rome when he desired to.

Re 3:8 "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.

4.    We are sometimes hindered because God is preparing us for the next work He has for us or God is preparing people’s hearts and minds and getting things prepared in the area He is leading us to go next.

What this means is no matter the hindrance God has work for you to do now wherever he has placed you. If God is not answering yes to whatever you are praying to be enabled to do then ask what you can do in the meantime to accomplish His will for your life. Do not just sit back and wait, continue to do whatever he has given you to do now and wait on HIM. His timing is perfect.

Concerning the expression “even as among other Gentiles,” Denney says, “Nothing could indicate more clearly that the church at Rome, as a whole, was Gentile.”

In the end it seems best to take “fruit” as a general reference to spiritual blessing and growth, more in line with its usage in 6:21-22.


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