Introduction:Theme of Romans – the power of the Gospel of Christ (1:16-17). Importance of the Gospel – it affects our salvation, sanctification, assurance, relationships & all of life. Rom 1-3 – The Need for the gospel. Rom 1:18 – universal guilt of all humanity who deserves God’s judging wrath.
Humanity does not evolve, they devolve & grow worse & worse with every generation. We all deliberately suppress the knowledge of God we gain from creation (vv19-23), & continue in unrighteousness (v18) so we are without excuse (v20) & stand condemned under God’s wrath (v18).
v18 – For the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven.
The present reality to God’s wrath is God giving men over to their sinful desires.2 Chr 15:2 – The Lord is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. 2 Chr 24:20 – Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord and do not prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has also forsaken you. Mat 15:14 – Let them alone, they are blind leaders of the blind and if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Psa 81:11 – my people did not listen to My voice & Israel did not obey Me. So I gave them up to their own hearts desires & they walked in their own counsels
This is not a passive form of judgment but rather God takes an active role in this abandonment.
(compare his abandonment of Christ on the Cross)
impurity/uncleanness – lit. the contents of a grave; rottenness, filth
This moral decay is in our hearts (24)
And it leads to the degrading/dishonoring (or impure use) of our bodies. = sexual sin
The sensuous nature that permeates our culture (sex before marriage, adultery, pornography, “living together”) is an outworking of God’s wrath upon it.
God’s restraints have been removed & we are reaping the results (STDs, AIDs, abortion).
Our society has been abandoned to the destructiveness of our sin.
The Reason: v25, they exchanged the truth of God for the lie
The lie = that God is not God & needs not to be obeyed or honored. (Idolatry, see Isa 44:20; Jer 13:25)
The false is substituted for the true, when God alone is to be blessed forever (v25).
God abandoned them not only to spiritual degeneracy & physical immorality, but to unnatural homosexuality
natural = according to nature, according to God’s created order.
unnatural = against nature, violation of God’s established order
The created order is recorded in Gen 2:24 & confirmed by Jesus in Mat 19:4-6.
Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Jesus lays out 3 facts: 1) God created humankind male & female 2) God instituted marriage as a heterosexual union 3) What God has thus united, we have no liberty to separate.
Homosexuality is a sin that goes against the natural order.
The mention of lesbianism first shows how far the cultural decay had gone.
Charles Hodge – “Paul first refers to the degradation of females among the heathen because they are always the last to be affected in the decay of morals and their corruption is therefore proof that all virtue is lost.”
But the men (v27) burned with this degrading passion.
inflamed/burned = to burn with intensity. (example: Sodom)
indecent/shameful = deformed, disfigurement, shameful
The Bible says this sin is abnormal & a manifestation of the decadence and the decline of humanity.
Like sensuality of v24, this sin also brings with it consequences (27b) – penalty
When a nation is dominated by sexual sin, it is a proof that it has been abandoned by God.
Conclusion: How should Christians react to these kinds of sinners?1st – We do not know whom God has given over to this wrath, so we cannot assume that anyone is beyond hope.
1 Cor 6:9-11 – Be not deceived, neither fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God. And such were some of you but you are washed, you are sanctified, you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus & by the Spirit of our God.
It’s not impossible to reach an immoral person with the gospel for it’s the power of God unto salvation.
Examples: Woman at the Well (Jn 4), Adulterous woman (Jn 8)
Since there was hope for the wicked city of Nineveh, there’s hope for America, but only if our churches preach against the moral corruption of society and the need for repentance which alone can stop the revelation of God’s wrath upon a society.
The Christian’s responsibility: preach the gospel to every creature (Mk 16:15)