Part 1a - All are Guilty of Sin [1:18-2:5]

  1. [1:18-4:25] Justification by Faith
    1. [1:18-3:20] We cannot gain righteousness from the law
      1. [1:18-32] Sin is Universal
      2. [2:1-5] You are just as much under judgement as those you condemn
  1. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness,
  2. because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
  3. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.
  • [1:18]In what sense do all unbelievers know God?
    • “General Revelation” (creation & providence)
    • “Special Revelation” (Scripture, direct revelation through a vision)
    • Both are only through Jesus—he is the revelation of God
  • Humans supresses it
    • The stars on a clear night are “shouting” that there is a God, a creator

Downward Spiral

  v.21-24 v.25-27 v.28 (summary)
For although they knew God, They exchanged the truth of God (knowledge of God)
they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened.
Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.
for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God,
Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to impurity, to dishonour their bodies among themselves. For this reason God gave them over to dishonourable passions.
For their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones,
and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done.
  1. They are filled with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, malice. They are rife with envy, murder, strife, deceit, hostility. They are gossips,
  2. slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, contrivers of all sorts of evil, disobedient to parents,
  3. senseless, covenant-breakers, heartless, ruthless.
  • Is homosexual sin the worst?
  • Does everyone fit into the category of [1:29-32]?
  • So what is Paul doing here?
    • The key is [2:1]
  1. Although they fully know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them.
  • Summary: they knew and they rejected
  • Remember the story of David’s sin and the Prophet Nathan’s trick into getting him to condemn himself
  • Paul is picking homosexuality as an example they would strongly agree with
    • Imagine a synagogue full of self-righteous Jews who are tut-tuting against these terrible Gentiles.
    • “Amen, brother Paul! Preach it!”
  • They once they are in “condemning mode” he gets them with [2:1] and they are caught
  1. Therefore you are without excuse, whoever you are, when you judge someone else. For on whatever grounds you judge another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge practice the same things.
  • See from [2:17] that this passage is directed against Jews
  • Do the Jews practice the very “same things” ?
    • look at v.29-31 —they are pretty universal
  1. Now we know that God’s judgment is in accordance with truth against those who practice such things.
  2. And do you think, whoever you are, when you judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape God’s judgment?
  • What standard does God use to judge?
    • he is impartial—it is according to truth
  1. Or do you have contempt for the wealth of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, and yet do not know that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?
  2. But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourselves in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed!
  • “God has not judged me yet, even though I am sinning. In fact things are going very well for me!
  • Complete misunderstanding of why God has not judged them. Why not?
    • to encourage them to turn to him because of his kindness