Romans 1:18

Condemned by God?

“God’s Wrath Revealed”

Romans 1:18

Introduction:

It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners (Mark 2:17)

Sin and Guilt are Universal (Rom 3:9) and so all are condemned by God (John 3:18, Mark 16:16), but it is against this dark background that the gospel shines brightly (Rom 1:17; 3:21).

 

I.  Man’s Condition (18a)

    A.  Godless

= lack of proper reverence for, devotion to, & worship of the true God

Rom 3:18 – There is no fear of God before their eyes

Jude 1:14-15 – God will execute judgment on all, convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds that they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against Him .

Rom 3:21 – although we know God, we do not glorify Him as God.

The ungodly want to remain in their godless ways so that they do not have to do what God says.

      B.  Unrighteousness

The first word means lack of reverence toward God, this word means injustice toward men.

And God is as indignant at man’s wrong treatment of his neighbor as He is at man’s wrong treatment of his Creator, and against both is revealed the wrath of God!

 

II.  Man’s Culpability (18b)

People know better (v19), but they deliberately suppress the truth all the time (present tense).

Jer 29:13 – if you will seek me with all heart you’ll find Me
John 3:19-20 – men loved darkness rather than light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, & does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed

 

Sinful men suppress the truth because they innately realize that such a God would hold them accountable for the sins they love. Therefore they are personally deserving of God’s wrath.

 

III.  Man’s Condemnation – “wrath of God”

       A.      The Definition of God’s wrath

Human anger is usually arbitrary & uninhibited — Divine anger is always principled & controlled.

Our anger is a spasmodic outburst, aroused by resentment & revenge; God’s is a continuous, settled antagonism, aroused only by evil.

Because God is holy He cannot remain neutral to sin.

Therefore, His holiness exposes sin & His wrath opposes it.

       B.  The Revelation of God’s Wrath

It was first pronounced in Genesis 3 when man & woman were cursed & driven out of Eden.

It was revealed in the reign of death throughout the world (Gen 5).

It will be revealed at the last judgment (Rom 2:5).

Rom 1:18 – It is being revealed (present tense).
                        In natural disasters (Rom 8:22)
                        In the deterioration of society (Rom 1:24, 26, 28)
In other words, the wrath of God operates not by intervening overt judgment against sinners,
but precisely by not intervening, by letting men and women go their own way.

Psalm 81:11-16 – “But My people would not heed My voice & Israel would have none of Me. So I gave them over to their own stubborn heart, to walk in their own counsels. Oh, that My people would listen to Me, that Israel would walk in My ways! I would soon subdue their enemies…. The haters of the Lord would pretend submission to Him, but their fate would endure forever. He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat; & with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.”

Woe to the people that God allows to run free in their sin! For with His restraining mercy removed,
sin takes its inevitable & destructive course.

 

Conclusion:

This is what every society & every individual can expect if they suppress the truth of God.

But our ungodliness & unrighteousness can be overcome by the Gospel, for upon Jesus the wrath of God was also revealed as He voluntarily took our sin & paid its awful price of wrath & condemnation on the cross.

And everyone who believes in him will never perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

But if you reject the Gospel:

Heb 10:28-29 – Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot…

So, says Paul,
Rom 1:16-17 – “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. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from
faith to faith…”