God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a 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 dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (ESV)
v.18 “…the wrath of God…”
God’s just anger at those who subvert or suppress the truth.
Our Lord said,
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” John 3:36
v.19 “For what can be known about God…”
The creation is and always has been a witness to the One Creator God, but men have always created gods in their own image and trust in the god of their own creation.
“What profit is an idol when its maker has shaped it, a metal image, a teacher of lies? For its maker trusts in his own creation when he makes speechless idols!” Habakkuk 2:18
v.20-23 “….without excuse.”
No man is without excuse, for God’s invisible attributes are apparent to anyone who has ever looked up at the stars and thought, ‘How can all this be?’ or contemplated the concept of infinity and thought, ‘Someone or something had to start this whole thing moving’. The Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle called this concept the unmoved mover or prime mover, a philosophical concept described as a primary cause or “mover” of all the motion in the universe. Aristotle describes the unmoved mover as being perfectly beautiful, indivisible, and contemplating only the perfect contemplation: itself contemplating.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
The One God’s ways are beyond us and His thoughts are beyond our comprehension, but He can humble Himself to think of us and our world.
The Psalmist wrote, “Who is like the Lord our God, who dwells on high, who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in the heavens and in the earth?” Psalms 113:5-6
Even though we cannot fully comprehend God He has made a way for us to know Him and to be reconciled to Him. Man is able to know the true and living God through the truth of His Word, that is, the Bible. The Bible reveals God’s character and His plan for mankind. It is through reading His Word that we come to a knowledge of the righteousness of God and that which He requires of us.
v.26-27 “…exchanged natural relations…”
These verses are obviously referring to homosexual acts. Yes it is a sin. Yes I have spoken with and know believers who are homosexual and for the most part they have confessed it as sin. And yes you can be a believer in Jesus the Christ and stumble with this sin as well as heterosexuals do with incest, adultery and any other type fornication, in the Greek transliterated porneia, where we get our English word porn from, and this should give us pause to think and repent of our sins. Thayer’s Lexicon defines porneia as; 1) illicit sexual intercourse. a) Adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals, etc. b) sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18 c) sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11,12.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality (porneia) sins against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18
v.28-32 “…they did not see fit to acknowledge God…”
This section harkens back to verse 18, where God’s wrath is poured out on all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, those who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. The truth of the Gospel of God. There was nothing that caused our Lord Jesus to be angry except those who suppressed the Truth.
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell you yourselves are!” Matthew 23:15
Remember what He said as He drove the money changers out of the Temple because they were just ripping off the people.
“He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!” Matthew 21:13.
May all who read this humble study of the Epistle to the Romans, and respond to the Gospel message, receive the grace and peace that comes from knowing the One God, His Word, and Their Wisdom.