The Natural Man
Today I’m to begin a couple week series on Romans Chapter 1-3. We are going to look at Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome, to the few remaining Jews that were there and the Gentile Christians.
The Apostle Paul in these chapters focuses on the Grace of God, having Faith in God, but also about the issue of sin, and what God thinks of it, and how He deals with it with people who are obstinate, people who stubbornly refuse to change despite having the truth in them and all around them.
I have read Romans 1 many times, and it’s a hard thing beginning in verse 18. Paul writes as what I said earlier about God’s view of sin. It also takes a view that no one is exempt from his judgment. But lets begin. I am going to be going back and forth between the New King James Version and The Passion Translation. As Alyssa said last week, The Passion Translation is an easier read. I want to pick these passages apart.
Paul begins in Romans 1, his normal greetings, him wanting to be with the believers in Rome. These believers were not the norm of having many converted Jews, but these believers were nearly all Gentiles, as the Claudius the Roman Emperor had expelled all of the Jews. The Apostle Paul was writing his letter during the beginning of the reign of Nero, who eventually let the Jews come back.
The Apostle Paul continues in verse 16, that he is not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but as we read on, the Apostle Paul shifts gears so to speak. He knows the culture these believers in. Rome is a place of debauchery. Rome had around 1 million people living in it when the Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Roman Church, and the religion of Rome was heavily influenced by Greek Mythology, so the people were polytheistic, they worshipped many Gods. Sexual immorality and perversion excelled there. No different than in other major cities and regions in the Mediterranean area.
The Apostle Paul was writing the letter from Corinth, a Greek city at the time, and writing from Corinth, Paul likely encountered a diverse array of people and practices. This Greek city was known for its sexual immorality and idol worship. So when Paul wrote in Romans about the sinfulness of humanity or the power of God’s grace to miraculously and completely change lives, he knew that of which he spoke. It was played out before his eyes every day while he was there.
So the Apostle Paul begins a journey for the readers in Rome by beginning with a systematic approach of Christian doctrines, by starting out with what was all around the Christian Romans, the sinfulness of humanity. And He is very frank about his descriptions of sin, the power of sin, what Go thinks of sin, and what God does with the individuals who refuse to move away from their sin.
And it stands out right away, what God thinks, and the truth about our standing in it. Lets begin by reading:
Romans 1:18-20, For the wickedness of humanity deliberately smothers the truth and keeps people from acknowledging the truth about God. In reality, the truth of God is known instinctively, for God has embedded this knowledge inside every human heart. Opposition to truth cannot be excused on the basis of ignorance, because from the creation of the world, the invisible qualities of God’s nature have been made visible, such as his eternal power and transcendence. He has made his wonderful attributes easily perceived, for seeing the visible makes us understand the invisible. So then, this leaves everyone without excuse.”
“For God in heaven unveils his holy anger breaking forth against every form of sin, both toward ungodliness that lives in hearts and evil actions.
Reading this section of scripture, the Apostle Paul from revelation from Jesus through the Holy Spirit, reveals that God hates sin. Our God in heaven has holy anger against every form of sin. The NKJV says wrath against ungodliness. God hates sin in every form.
In reality, the truth of God is known instinctively, for God has embedded this knowledge inside every human heart.
The Greek says God has shown or made manifest or known “Phaneros” in the Greek into or unto them. So all know. All people are without excuse. That’s hard, but that is what it says.
Opposition to truth cannot be excused on the basis of ignorance, because from the creation of the world, the invisible qualities of God’s nature have been made visible, such as his eternal power and transcendence. He has made his wonderful attributes easily perceived, for seeing the visible makes us understand the invisible. So then, this leaves everyone without excuse.”
God made Himself known, but people rejected Him. And you can say, “well if no one ever heard about God, and now Jesus, how can they be condemned because of no knowledge?”
There was a time when all people knew about God, and they rejected Him, and condemned there offspring throughout the generations, but I believe inside we know. Children know right from wrong when not even taught. They make conscious decisions to do either. Ancestry has to play in it, as well as being taught. Yes the flesh that is sinful is there too, but God has given us a choice. All people have a choice. It is in us to make that choice. We are not animals. We have deductive reasoning from God.
Today, the truth can be seen, in us who believe, or we should be showing it. Throughout the generations, there have been people who have represented God, well. The truth of God’s goodness was in them.
For what is seen, the majesty of the physical earth, Science cannot decipher it. It couldn’t in the past, not today, nor will it in the future, for ever how hard they try to rule out there is a God. They won’t be able to do it. Man knows there is a higher power, through the history of the world that has been evident in people groups who were not even Jews, but they willfully reject God to do what is right in their own minds, and move to satisfy their cravings of the flesh.
Romans 1:21-23, ‘Throughout human history the fingerprints of God were upon them, yet they refused to honor him as God or even be thankful for his kindness. Instead, they entertained corrupt and foolish thoughts about what God was like. This left them with nothing but misguided hearts, steeped in moral darkness. Although claiming to be super-intelligent, they were in fact shallow fools. For only a fool would trade the unfading splendor of the immortal God to worship the fading image of other humans, idols made to look like people, animals, birds, and even creeping reptiles!”
People made God into their own image, or turned him into a man, taking away his power, or just creating earthly images of something to worship so they could live in their corruption. It is surprising that most man made religions have a sexual immoral element to them.
In the garden after the eating of the fruit of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam and Eve covered their nakedness. They became sexual beings after receiving worldly knowledge, and that seed continues today, and men and women throughout history have taken that seed and turned it into something ugly and into something that God hates.