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Monday, February 24 2020

Contributor: Alex Alajiki

INTRODUCTION:  Apostle Paul’s Epistle to the Romans is adjudged to be the “chief book” of the New Testament, the “purest Gospel”. It deserves not only to be known word for word by every Christian, but to be the subject of his meditation day by day, the daily bread of his soul.

Calvin said of it ‘when anyone understands this Epistle, he has a passage opened to him to the understanding of the whole Scriptures.’ Coleridge pronounced Romans ‘the most profound work ever written!’ Meyer considered it ‘the greatest and richest of all the apostolic works.’ Godet referred to it as ‘the cathedral of the Christian faith.’ … Gordon H. Clark recently wrote of Romans that it is ‘the most profound of all the epistles, and perhaps the most important book in the Bible …’ Hamilton, in his recent commentary on Romans, calls it ‘the greatest book in the Bible.

Last week we studied Romans 1:24-27. We focused on the plight (or what would be) of those who refused to repent of their wrongdoings despite knowing the truth about God’s righteousness. We understood that Sin is any human conduct that displays Satan- in-nature (SIN) 1 John 3:9-10 NKJ. “Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. 10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother”.

 A sinful person who is unwilling to repent will be ABANDONED by God to continue in their ways, without any caution and will suffer the consequences of their sinful lifestyle. Rom.1:26-27 “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.”

This week, we are focusing on Vs 28 to 32;

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.”

  1. Absence of God’s Knowledge; Rom. 1:28

As people did not see fit to acknowledge God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do things that are not fitting. The expression to see fit to acknowledge God is literally “they did not approve to have God in their knowledge.” The word “approve” (ἐδοκίμασαν, edokimasan) means “to test,” “to examine,” “to come to a conclusion based on evidence.” And the idea of knowledge (ἐπιγνώσις, epignōsis) 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 made the conscious choice to dispel him from their thinking. But since we are instinctively religious we cannot go from God to nothing, for that would be impossible, but instead from God to idols. At least the latter makes no moral demands on one’s conscience and life. God gave them over to a depraved mind, literally, an “unapproved” mind, in order to do things that are not fitting, i.e., things not in accord with the will of God expressed in the created order. Such is the divine response to rejection. We disapprove of God in our thoughts, so he gives us over to disapproved thinking!

  1. The Products of Depraved Minds; Rom.1:29-31

The list of moral vices suggest that the condition of these people is deplorable and worthy of the most severe judgment. We must remember that it is to these people that the offer of salvation in the gospel is extended: For all have sinned and are justified freely. (Rom.3:23-25). The list is;

1. All unrighteousness, 2. Sexual immorality, 3. Wickedness, 4. Covetousness, 5Maliciousness, 6. Full of envy, 7. Murder, 8. Strife, 9. Deceit, 10. Evil-mindedness, 11. Whisperers, 12. Backbiters, 13. Haters of God, 14. Violent, 15. Proud, 16. Boasters, 17. Inventors of evil things, 18. Disobedient to parents, 19. Undiscerning, 20. Untrustworthy, 21. Unloving, 22. Unforgiving, 23. Unmerciful

     

              3. Supporters and Promoters of Evil; Rom.1:32

“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.”

In conclusion, Paul says one more word of condemnation. He says that even though people know such moral vices are wrong, they not only practice them, but congratulate others who do so also. Paul is not saying that encouraging others to sin is necessarily worse than committing the sins themselves. Instead, he seems to be arguing that we are as equally bent on damning ourselves as we are on delivering other people to damnation. The knowledge Paul is referring to here is undoubtedly that to which he has already forcefully made reference in Rom.1:19, 20, 21, and 28.

People know via their conscience, which itself is sparked through God’s creation, that such sinful behaviour will result in ultimate punishment. But, says Paul, even though they know this firm decision of God, i.e., his immutable decree to punish sin, they continue in it nonetheless. The knowledge of this decree is not through the Mosaic Law, but rather through God’s truth implanted in the conscience (Rom 2:14-15). We must remember that the Gentiles were without the revelation of the law. Therefore, Paul must have in mind here the universal revelation in the conscience. Such revelation is certainly enough to condemn, although it is not enough to save.

Culled from: https://bible.org/seriespage/4-study-and-exposition-romans-118-32

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 02:09 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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