Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. - Psalm 119:105

Bible Study Notes

Romans 1:18-32

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
Gentiles are without excuse!
Gentiles are without excuse

General Idea: The wrath of God is to be taken seriously, especially by those who reject Him. We need to understand God's Righteousness, as in He is absolutely Pure and Holy; while we are full of heinous sin, no matter how good we try to be. God is also a God of judgment; He has the right, authority and power to judge us as His creation. And we have no excuse because God has placed this knowledge we are to have within our conscience. Thus, when we reject God and follow our own needs and ideas we are in fact inviting His wrath and judgment upon us. We cannot think or say, "Hey, I did not know," because we do know!

1. There is No Righteousness by the Law! All have sinned, all are condemned! If all we do is live for ourselves we miss out on what life is all about, God and relationships that honor God (1:18‑3:20).

a. Heaven here refers to a Jewish circumlocution for God: As in God is very angry!

b. The wicked suppress God's truth and His character and that is what makes them wicked!

2. We have no excuse, God reveals Himself through His creation.

a. Beware of making idols that take you away from knowing Him. 

b. If you know God you must also glorify Him.

c. Greek Stoic Philosophers including "Cicero" also taught that God is reveled in creation.

d. Jewish Evangelistic Rabbi's who converted pagans to Judaism used this argument.

e. Idolatry was considered the last straw that "broke the camels back" which led Israel into sin and then captivity (Duet. 4:16-20; Psalm 106:20; Jer. 2:11).

3. When Adam fell, the Spirit left him immediately, not gradually! The wrath of God is to be taken seriously, especially by those who reject Him!

a. Beware not to ignore God; there will be an accounting for us all - judgment!! Beware not to live for the creatures and the created while ignoring the Creator!

b. Intellectual arrogance will lead to destruction; it is an extreme insult to God (1 Cor. 2:14).

c. We cannot know God unless we know ourselves, and we cannot know ourselves without first knowing God: hence why the cause is the Holy Spirit (Gen. 1:27; Psalm 51: Acts 14:8-18; 17:22-31; Rom. 1:18-23)!

4. Self-awareness leads to knowledge of God, which in turn leads to a higher understanding of ourselves. This is understanding our depravity and state in Christ.

a. When the focus is just ourselves we are lost, if it is just God, we become meaningless and worthless for Him to use, as the saying goes, "so heavenly minded, no earthly good."

b. This is the ultimate reversal of fortune to rely on our frail imperfect reasoning over God's pure perfection. God is righteous and He is revealed through His creation (Gen 3:4-5).

5. We have no excuse (Psalm 19:1)!

a. Man desires to seek the tangible; God is revealed in intangible ways, hence the making of the golden calf.

b. The Patriarchs all had dramatic face to face encounters with God, except Joseph, yet Joseph was the recipient of more divine interaction than all the other Patriarchs put together.

6. Theological decay turns into moral decay as an excuse to rationalize the sin.

a. If our view of God becomes distorted, so will our behaviors. That is to trade a truth for a lie, to rationalize our behaviors by attacking our very Creator and Savior!

b. "Ungodly" means not being in the right relationship with God.

c. "Unrighteousness" means not being in the right relationship with those around you.

d. We cannot have a good relationship with God and not with each other, or vice versa (Psalm 37:23; 1 Thess. 5:18).

7. God reveals Himself through creation (General Revelation), thus we have no excuse. His moral character and duty is in all human kind, it is encoded upon our heart, mind and soul, even without knowing Scripture.

a. All people have a natural desire to believe in religion, thus every culture of every time had a system of beliefs. However, our sinful desire is to seek fulfillment elsewhere including worshiping the creation over the creator (Isa. 44:9-20; Col. 3:5).

b. The idols that we create often turn out to be the ones we become. Thus, we corrupt the truth of God to please our desires, this is what idolatry is.

c. When we reject God we are destined to live life unfulfilled and frustrated.

d. Every human has a conscience to know what is good or bad, but not all know God!

i. Do not give into sin, especially sexual immorality (Lev. 18:22; 21:13; Gal. 5:19-21; 2 Tim. 3:1-7)!

ii. Do not exchange the truth for a lie.

iii. Do not worship the creation and forsake the Creator. Including slandering others and being arrogant!

e. Arrogance and Pride is a sin "on par" with homosexuality!

f. The media likes to glorify sin, such as fornication, stealing, lying to name a few, beware; garbage in is garbage out!

g. He may give us up to our sins, so we destroy ourselves (Gal. 6:7-8)!

8. The greatest judgment God can give and inflect upon us is for us to have our way (Jer. 17:9-11)!

a. God gave them over refers to "Penal Blindness" by some theologians, it is God's wrath to let us stew in our own decisions and sin and let the natural consequences play out that we set up for ourselves (Psalm 81:12; Isa. 6:9-11; 29:9-12; Jer. 44:25-27).

b. A laundry list of sin (see sin study for more on this). If you persist in sin, you will be given up to it.

i. This was a common Greek philosophical construct to have a vise list of wrong actions and behaviors to avoid at all costs.

ii. The Jewish list is in Leviticus 18 and Amos 1-2.

c. Remember pride is in the same sin category as homosexuality, it is also one of the seven things God detests (Job 41:34; Psalm 10:5; 18:27; 101:5; 131:1; 6:17; Prov. 16:18; 21:4; 30:13)!

d. The barrier that sin should be becomes the ignition for continuing in sin, as synergy, as an out of control fire.

e. Woe to those who know and turn their backs!

f. The same God of judgment gave us His Son and delivers us (8:32), so are you living your life in response to your undeserved salvation with gratitude? Are you sharing it with others?

Sin is serious, it is something we are not to just glance over thinking I am OK. Sin is something we need to do all we can to purge it from our life. In a pure sense you will never completely remove it; nevertheless, we are still called to try with all of our will and might. Even though Christ covers us, we are still responsible for allowing the Spirit and the disciplines of the faith to cleanse ourselves and in so doing we can be our best for His glory. Do not allow yourself or your friends and loved ones to fall into sin and trap themselves in its heinous clutches as it distorts and destroys! As a Christian who is coved by Christ's righteousness, we must be wiling to let go before we can hold on. Let go of Sin and Hold on to our Lord! Ask Him what you need to do and He will revel it to you, make sure you are in His Word and listening!

Questions:

  1. What is the best excuse you gave when you were caught doing something wrong?
  1. Have you ever met someone you considered righteous (besides the brothers i.e. The Righteous Brothers?) Have you ever considered yourself righteous?
  1. Have you ever seen something of sheer beauty that you felt you saw God through His creation?
  1. How would you answer someone that says, "what about the tribes people in South America who have never seen a white person let alone a missionary?
  1. What is the main problem in the world today?
  1. What is the solution to that problem?
  1. What can you do about that solution?
  1. What are some idols that take you away from knowing Him? Maybe it is not a totem pole, what about money, career, car, sports, hobbies, home…
  1. How can intellectual arrogance lead to destruction, why would it be an extreme insult to God (1 Cor. 2:14)?
  1. "We cannot know God unless we know ourselves" what do you think of this statement? "We cannot know ourselves without first knowing God." What about this statement? Are they contradictory or complementary?
  1. What role does the Holy Spirit play in the day-to-day aspects of your life?
  1. "Self-awareness leads to knowledge of God, which in turn leads to a higher understanding of ourselves. This is understanding our depravity and state in Christ." How can you do this?
  1. How can you take the focus off yourself?
  1. As the saying goes, "so heavenly minded, no earthly good." Do you know people like this? What do you think of them?
  1. Have you relayed on your frail imperfect reasoning over God's pure perfection? Maybe you did not see it that way, but have you or do you make decisions on a regular basis without consulting our Lord?
  1. How do you seek the tangible in life? That is things you can see, feel and bite into, verses Christianity's philosophy that we do not always see or work out to our likening?
  1. The Patriarchs all had dramatic face to face encounters with God, except Joseph, yet Joseph was the recipient of more divine interaction than all the other Patriarchs put together. Why do you suppose Joseph fared so well?
  1. Theological decay turns into moral decay as an excuse to rationalize the sin. Thus if you are not grounded in sound doctrine you will not have a solid foundation in life and in the decisions you make. Do you agree or not and why?
  1. If your view of God becomes distorted, so will your behavior. How have you seen this take place?
  1. Do you know people or perhaps seen this in the media and in entertainment people who trade a truth for a lie, to rationalize their behaviors by attacking our very Creator and Savior?
  1. Why do you suppose we cannot have a good relationship with God if we are not treating each other with respect and love? What about vice versa?
  1. How have you seen or experienced a desire to seek fulfillment elsewhere away from God?
  1. How do you feel when you are on the way to church and you see the jet skis and ski boats and stuff on their way for a good time?
  1. What are the popular ways to seek fun on Sundays instead of going to church?
  1. Do you think those people are destined to live life unfulfilled and frustrated?
  1. Have you experienced frustration in chasing everything except God?
  1. If every human has a conscience to know what is good or bad, why do we have 1 out of 128 people in Prison in the US?
  1. What steps can you start to take so you will not give into sin, especially sexual immorality?
  1. Can you think of an example of changing a truth for a lie? Have you done this recently?
  1. What about slandering others and being arrogant?
  1. What do you think about Romans listing Arrogance and Pride as a sin "on par" with homosexuality?
  1. A lot of environmentalists will worship the creation and forsake the Creator. We also need to take care of the planet God gave us. So what would be a healthy Christian environmental policy and outlook?
  1. The media likes to glorify sin, such as fornication, stealing, lying to name a few. How can you guard yourself so you do not have 'garbage in is garbage out'?
  1. Have you ever seen an example of God giving someone up to their sins, so they literally destroy themselves? Such as homosexuality, drunkenness… What do you think about that the greatest judgment God can inflict upon us is for us to have our way?
  1. In the laundry list of sin, how do you feel when you see yours? Remember we all have sinned…
  1. What can you do to help yourself or a friend to not persist in sin?
  1. Remember Pride is in the same sin category as homosexuality, it is also one of the seven things God detests! Proverbs 16:18-19 says, "There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers." Why do some Christians condemn homosexuality, which is not specifically listed here while they themselves parade around with 'haughty eyes (arrogance)'? What does God think about that? (I'm not condoning homosexuality; I'm merely pointing out hypocrisy!)
  1. The same God of judgment gave us His Son and delivers us (8:32), so are you living your life in response to your undeserved salvation with gratitude? Are you sharing it with others?

Theological thoughts:

"The Fall": Up until the Fall, humanity drew their support and substance directly from God, in perfect relation, and when they fell it was all gone. Paul reaffirms that all of human kind is separated from God due to the act of sin, by the first created humans; Adam & Eve. Thus we are all under the curse, or "guilt" of sin and are incapable of rejoining God in our once perfect state on our own (vs. 1:18-19; 3:9; 19; 5:12-17; 21; Gen 3; Acts 17:26; I Cor. 15:22). God's judgment and wrath are now with us. So, this is not fair, right? Adam and Eve represented all of humanity, the decisions they made, you and I would have made too! Thus we are all to blame! We as humans have a perversity to go our own way, which is the wrong way paved with undeserving pride and arrogance! So, was it fair for one Man/God who was guiltless to pay our penalty that He did not deserve? Not fair indeed (vs. 5:15-19; 8:29-30; 9:22-26)! God gave Adam and Eve true happiness and perfection, with only one rule, "do not eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge.."(Gen 2:17). Adam and Eve had to decide who makes the rules and determine what is good or bad, so they sought themselves over God, to be their own god. They also decided to be swayed and mislead, when they already had the correct knowledge; first by Satan, then by each other (Gen 3; II Cor. 11:3; 14; Rev. 12:9). Thus, the selfish, self-centered mindset entered humanity and sin was birthed. Sin then corrupted everything, people, animals, the Earth, and all of creation (Gen. 6:5; Rom. 3:9-20). As a result we inherited the guilt and shame of being apart from our Creator, and either we try to seek Him in vain attempts, or push our self-interests to the exclusion of God and His glory. God was not without mercy, for His first act was to cover them with garments! And then promise a Savior!

"General Revelation" means we have no excuse. That God's influence, glory and presence is all around us, "mediated revelation". This is not pantheism, which teaches that everything is God, that creation itself is God. G.R. means that God is all present, "omnipresent", and we have no escape from Him, and His presence is reveled to us in His creation. G.R. also means that we as humans are religious by nature and seek a higher purpose and order. And God uses that nature to make himself known, "immediate revelation", that God plants an innate sense of who He is, even without the Word or missions. (Psalm 19; Isa. 44:9-20; Acts 14:8-19; 17: 16:34; Rom. 1:18-23; 2:14-15; Col. 3:5) Special Revelation is the Bible. That God directly inspired and is the ultimate source and superintendent of the original manuscripts without any error. He used humans as the author and as a tool, a word processor. S.R. is His will for our faith and practice of life and duty, law and grace, His plan and our purpose. (Psalm 119; John 17:17; I Thess. 2:13; II Tim. 3:15-17; II Pet. 1:20-21)

© 1998, 2001, 2003 R. J. Krejcir, Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

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