September 20, 2021 - Romans 1:18-2:3
When I was a child, the thing that perhaps frightened me the most was when my father was angry. While he was a loving man, he also was capable of disciplining when we became disobedient. The reality was that my father possessed the strength to discipline and accomplish what he stated which often caused his eight children to stop and reconsider our actions.
Paul’s words to the Romans in this section of chapter one accentuates the ways of God and the guiltiness of man as they rebel. Paul begins this section in verses 18-23 with the statement that God has revealed to man His power, plan, and penalty for making Himself known to man. Paul declared that man is without excuse as God made Himself known to mankind and all have willfully chosen to pursue their own thoughts and direction.
In the perceived wisdom of mankind, many reject the wisdom offered by God and attempt to live their own lifestyle. This attempt to design and live differently from God’s standards led them to experiment and accept values and standards that God had stated would be damaging and detrimental to their wellbeing. Three times in these verses of 24-32, Paul states that God “gave them up, or over” (vv.24,26,28) to their uncleanness, lust and depraved mind. To emphasize this, Paul lists twenty-four different activities to demonstrate their level of rebellion toward God and concludes with the reality that they encourage others to do the same.
Paul’s conclusion is that they are deserving of death (v.32), but God is merciful and does not bring that punishment to mankind yet. Paul’s point was that God was aware and attentive to society’s attempts to be their own master, but they were not in control. He was and is still God and remains in control of His world!
Paul desired for the Romans to submit and recognize God’s authority in their lives. May we consider how far our world has fallen from God’s plan and pray for our families, church leadership, and community leaders in our present day society to submit afresh to God.