Romans 1:16-32

The Death of a Society

Romans 1:16-32


Introduction: Review

What is the wrath of God?

John Stott – “The wrath of God is his steady, unrelenting, unremitting, uncompromising antagonism to evil in all its forms. In short, God’s anger is poles apart from ours. What provokes our anger (injured vanity) never provokes his; what provokes his anger (evil) seldom provokes ours.”

Against what is God’s wrath revealed?

v18 – the godless & unrighteous who have made a determined decision to live for self, not God or others, despite the fact that they know of God’s power & deity to rule & judge through creation (19-20).

 I.  Man’s Rejection of God (19-23)

Against whom is God’s wrath revealed?

1:18 – everyone; 1:19-32 – Gentiles; 2:1-16 – Moral people;

2:17-29 – Jews; ch 3 – every individual

How is God’s wrath revealed?

Future day of judgment

Present day law officials (ch 13)

Present day “giving them over” to their sin (1:24-32)

 II.  God’s Abandonment of Man (24-32)

      A.  Its ESSENCE (21-24)

Unbridled superstition & immorality with all its devastating effects.

      B. Its EXPRESSION (25-27)

As people exchange the true God for the lie that there is no God, so that they will not be accountable to Him, God gives them over to the shameful lust of homosexuality.  It is a sin that is ‘against nature’ or ‘unnatural’, that is, against God’s created order of heterosexual monogamy.

      C.  Its EXTENT (28-32)

 Job 21:14-15 – They say unto God, Depart from us for we do not desire Your ways. Who is the almighty that we should serve Him & what do we gain by praying to Him?
Prov 1:7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Prov1: 29 – They hate knowledge & did not choose the fear of the Lord

In v28 Paul shows that God’s judicial abandonment was not confined to a sensual form of degradation but extends to a defilement of their minds.

A play on words (v28). Two Greek words (verb & adjective) having the same root are used.
edokimasan (NIV – ‘they did not think it worth while’) (NKJ – ‘did not like to retain in their knowledge)  adokimon (‘a depraved or debased mind’).

They did not think God worthy of thought or attention, so God judicially rejected them as unworthy of attention or esteem. This led them to severe antisocial practices (29-32) which “filled” (controlled) them.

All these things (along with idolatry & immorality already mentioned) kill a society. All these things describe our society, especially v32 as people not only practice these things, but they get pleasure when others join in.

Man is not good. Man is evil. Every heart by nature has in it the seed to spawn all these sins, & we would be hopeless were it not for the amazing power of the gospel that saves us from God’s holy wrath (16).

1 Cor 6:9-11 – “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, or covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the Kingdom of God. But such were some of you and you are washed and you are sanctified and you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”