22
July
2015

ROMANS 1:22-32 PROFESSING TO BE WISE, THEY BECAME FOOLS

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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 over......man 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.