The Book of Romans – Refuse to Understand

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“They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.” Romans 1:31-32 The first result of God’s judgment is they are “without understanding”. They are without any intelligent thought concerning God or morality. This renders them incapable of any decision-making. They have no comprehension who God is, what His moral law is, or what any common decency is. They do not understand the truth of God at even the most basic level. Their consciences are seared as with a hot iron. Right and wrong are indistinguishable to them. The people that Paul is talking about not only want to sin, they want to bring others down to their level. They want everyone to reject God. Once we start on that downward road of sin, we just get deeper and deeper. We are blinded by Satan. “For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes— so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.” (Matthew 13:15)   This has been the moral decline of countless societies and empires, whether it be Sodom and Gomorrah or the Roman Empire. Even so, it is happening before our eyes today. Any civilization that rejects God, will not long survive but will self-implode from within. These are the telltale signs of the death of any godless society. We are currently living in the midst of it. There is only one hope to pull us out of this death spiral. It is what Paul declared in Romans 1:16. […]

The Book of Romans – Foolish Thinking

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“Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.  They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents.” Romans 1:28-30 It is foolish thinking, if you think that you can get away with your sins. This list of sins that Paul gives us looks just like our nation today. They wanted to sin so much that they invented new ways to sin. This describes a society that has refused God. As they refuse Him the rightful place He deserves in their lives, God abandons them to this moral tailspin. Because they reject God, He rejects them. Paul writes they are “disobedient to parents.” This sin of child rebellion was so serious in the Old Testament that it required the death penalty. They have no regard for authority, and this lawlessness begins in the home. Submission to authority must be learned at home, but here it does not. When obedience by children to their parents is gone, a society is set on a course of anarchy that knows no limits. Where there is no regard for one’s parents, this moral breakdown leads to disregard for the civil or criminal law. There is no respect for any institutional authority in the classroom, the workplace, and government. They become like lawless gang members with no compliance for any authority. Here every man is doing what is right in his own eyes and is willing to kill others to get their own way. “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed […]

The Book of Romans – Sin is Still Sin

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“That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other.  And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.” Romans 1:26-27 As always when we study scripture, we need to look at the culture at the time of the writing. This will give us a better understanding of the scripture. Paul wrote to a culture where homosexuality was accepted as a part of life for both men and women. For some 200 years, the men who ruled the Roman Empire openly practiced homosexuality often with young boys. At the time, the Roman Empire specifically taxed approved homosexual prostitution and gave boy prostitutes a legal holiday. Legal marriage between same gender couples was recognized, and even some of the emperors married other men. At the time Paul wrote, Nero was emperor. He took a boy named Sporus and had him castrated, then married him, brought him to the palace with a great procession, and made the boy his wife. Later Nero lived with another man and Nero was his wife. I have heard people saying that Paul was not writing about homosexuality in these verses, but what else could he be writing about when the Roman Empire was more sinful than our culture. In my research on this scripture one writer wrote, “I don’t care how bad you think our modern culture is, let me assure you: It’s nothing like the first-century Rome. What we call pornography, people of Rome simply called life. For instance, it wasn’t uncommon to have pictures of […]

The Book of Romans – God Abandoned Them

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“So, God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So, they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.” Romans 1:24-25 God abandoned them. To me that statement is very scary because I don’t believe that I can live one moment without God in my life. From idolatry to immorality is just one small step. If man is his own god, then he can do whatever he pleases and fulfill his desires without fear of judgment. We come to a point in man’s battle with God’s truth when man will exchange the truth of God for the lie and abandon truth completely. The lie is that man is his own god, and he should worship and serve himself and not the Creator. This was the same lie that Satan told Eve in the Garden. Because God is a loving and gracious God, He gave us a free will. We have the free will to make a choice. We can serve God or the world. When we choose the things of the world, we follow a path that brings us farther and farther away from God. It leads us deeper and deeper into sin. God gives us every chance to choose Him. God is always pursuing us, wanting us to make the right choice. At some point God will say, “you have made your choice and I will honor that choice and allow you to go down the road to destruction.” He is always waiting for us to turn to Him. There are always consequences with our choices. God will allow us to reap these […]

The Book of Romans – Ignorance

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“Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.  And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.” Romans 1:21-23 Humans knew God; this is clear. But they did not want to know God or honor Him. Instead of being thankful for all that God had given them, humans refused to thank God or give Him the glory that He deserves. They were willing to use God’s gifts, but they were not willing to worship and praise him for these gifts. The result was empty minds and darkness. Man, the worshipper became man the philosopher, but his empty wisdom only reveals his foolishness. Paul tells us that the first thing that we worshipped was ourselves. We made idols that looked like people that looked like us. This is so true today; we worship our movie stars and our sports figures. These are all idols. If we worship anything other than the true God, we are worshipping an idol. Satan encourages humans to say, instead of man being made in God’s image, man made gods in his image and then descended so low as to worship birds, beasts and bugs. Rather than following the truth, man rejected the knowledge of God. He willingly turned a blind eye to God’s creative power, and instead, in his mind, replaced the faultless and perfect God with a frail, weak god. Because of this ignorance God, in essence, He says, “If this is the way of life you choose, fine. Its consequences you […]

The Book of Romans – God’s Anger

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“But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So, they have no excuse for not knowing God.” Romans 1:18-20 My place of peace is on the water or in the woods. I love to enjoy God’s beautiful world. If we look at God’s world how can we say that there is no God. God’s creation should be enough to make a difference in our lives. “You must not have any other god but me.” (Exodus 20:3) Failure to keep this commandment is the major reason why the world is in its current condition. Had mankind kept it, the natural, spiritual progression would have led him to keep the rest because he should then, at the very least, have had the correct Source of law and morality. Without keeping this commandment, the best that man can do in establishing standards is by his own experience and that leads him directly to Satan. We did not want to worship the one true God, so we sinned and that make God angry so He showed His anger in the flood and other ways. In the day that we live, people are moving far from God and His commandments. Many churches say that God loves us and there is no sin. This is a lie from the pits of hell. God will not change His Word because we want things to be different. Romans is a book that tells us about God’s righteousness and how we can have that […]

The Book of Romans – I am not Ashamed

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“For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” Romans 1:16-17 Why would Paul ever be tempted to be ashamed of the gospel as he contemplated his trip to Rome? For one thing, the gospel was identified with a poor Jewish carpenter who was crucified. The Romans had no special appreciation for the Jews, and crucifixion was the lowest form of execution given a criminal. Why put your faith in a Jew who was crucified? Rome was a proud city, and the gospel came from Jerusalem, the capital of one of the little nations that Rome had conquered. The Christians in that day were not the elite of society; they were common people and even salves. Rome had known many great philosophers and philosophies; why pay attention to a fable about a Jew who arose from the dead? Christians looked on each other as brothers and sisters, all one in Christ, which went against the grain of Romans pride and dignity. To think of a little Jewish tentmaker going to Rome to preach such a message is almost humorous. But Paul was not ashamed of the gospel, he knew that it had power and it was a message that would set a person free. He knew that the message made us right in the sight of God. Power was the one thing that Rome boasted of the most. Greece might have its philosophy, but Rome had its power. The fear of Rome hovered over […]

The Book of Romans – Changed Lives

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“Let me say first that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in him is being talked about all over the world. God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night, I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart by spreading the Good News about his Son.” Romans 1:8-9 We need to realize that this was the Paul that was once Saul. This is the same man that was killing all Christians, because he felt that Jesus was not the true Messiah. Now he is thanking God for all of the disciples in Rome. He is praying for all of the people at Rome, because he loves them all. This is not normal; this is the power of God changing lives. It is amazing how God can change a life. We see so many changed lives as we read the Bible. Peter is one of the people in the Bible that I can relate to. Here we have a man that had been a follower of Jesus for three years. He even walked on the water, but he got his eyes off Jesus and started to sink. Then when the going got rough as Jesus was arrested, Peter denied Jesus, not once, but three times. Then when Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, he peached to a crowd and three thousand were saved. One of the other people in the Bible that God changed his life was Jonah. The reason I like his story is because I am a Jonah. Jonah did not like the job that God called him to do. So he ran as fast as he could in the opposite direction, but God has a way of changing […]

The Book of Romans – Privilege

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“Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name. And you are included among those Gentiles who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ. I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be his own holy people. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.” Romans 1:5-7 Paul is telling us that God has given us the privilege and the authority to tell others about the wonderful Good News of the gospel. “Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20) This is the last mission that Jesus gave us before He went to heaven to sit at God’s right hand. I don’t know about you, but I have failed in carrying out this mission. Yes, I know that I have given the message of the Good News to people, but just not as much as I should have. Why do we not share this Good News with others? Part of the problem is fear. Fear of sounding foolish. The world does not understand why we follow Jesus and believe that Jesus died for our sins. “The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who […]

The Book of Romans – The Good News

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“The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 1:3-4 Paul was convinced on the road to Damascus that the good news was the birth of Jesus Christ. When Paul was a Pharisee, he believed in the law and the traditions of the Jews. But when he yielded to Christ, he was separated to the gospel and its ministry. This gospel or good news is the message that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again, and now is able to save all that trust in Him. It is the Gospel of God because it originates with God; it was not invented by humans. The gospel is not a new message; it was promised in the Old Testament, beginning in Genesis 3:15. The prophet Isaiah preached about it in Isaiah 1:18 and chapters 53 and 55. The salvation we enjoy today was promised by the prophets, but they did not fully understand all that they were preaching and writing. “This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward.” (1 Peter 1:10-11) This Good news was for us, but the prophets wanted to know more about it, but God had the perfect timing. God knew when this was to come about. “They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now […]