The Depths of Sin (Romans 1)
Servants and messangers of God.
God's prophetic word proclaims Jesus.
Jesus is the "gospel of God".
Righteousness is Jesus.
God's creation proclaims His glory.
The depths of sin are rebuked.
God allows the scroll of sin to unfold.
1. The apostle's introduction
Servant of Jesus Christ (compare
Php 1:1, Tit 1:1)
Servant [Gr. doulos (doo'-los)] - "slave" (Strong's Dictionary) (compare
1Co 6:19,20, 1Co 7:22,23)
All genuine Christians are servants of God. (
Ro 6:22, 1Pe 2:5,16, Rev 1:1, Rev 7:2-4, Rev 22:3,4)
Called to be an apostle (messanger) of Christ (
Apostle [Gr. apostolos (ap-os'-tol-os)] - "an ambassador of the Gospel; ... , messanger" (Strong's Dictionary) (compare
All genuine Christians are messangers of Christ. (
Mt 5:14-16 (here through actions), Mt 28:18-20, Jn 15:26, Rev 12:17)
Separated for the gospel message (
All genuine Christians are separated for the gospel message. (
Lk 6:22, 2Co 6:16,17, Heb 11:13-16)
2. The Bible contains important prophecies from God. (
Isa 46:10, Am 3:7)
The focus of Bible prophecy is on Jesus. (
Jn 5:39, 1Pe 1:10,11)
Examples concerning the first advent of Christ (from over 50 such prophecies)
Born of a virgin. Called Immanuel. (
Isa 7:14 => Mt 1:23)
Born in Bethlehem (
Mic 5:2 => Lk 2:4-7)
Entered the temple (
Mal 3:1 => Mt 21:12)
Rejected by the people (
Isa 53:3 => Jn 1:11)
Sold for 30 pieces of silver. Money used to buy potter's field. (
Zec 11:12,13 => Mt 26:14,15, Mt 27:5,7)
Ps 22:14-16, Isa 49:16, Zec 12:10 => Lk 23:33)
Branded as a criminal (
Isa 53:9,12 => Mk 15:27,28, Lk 23:33)
Soldiers gambled for His garments (
Ps 22:18 => Mt 27:35)
"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (
Ps 22:1 => Mt 27:46)
No bones broken (
Ex 12:43,46, Nu 9:12, Ps 34:20 => Jn 19:32-36)
Buried with the rich (
Isa 53:9 => Mt 27:57-60)
Ps 16:10, Ps 49:15 => Mk 16:6, Ac 2:29-32)
Examples concerning the second advent of Christ (
1Th 4:16-18, 2Th 1:7-10, Jude 1:14, Rev 1:7)
Important notes on faith:
Our faith is not a blind faith (compare
Mt 22:37) - We have the evidence of fulfilled Bible prophecy.
Our faith is not a deterministic faith (compare
Heb 11:1) - Given the evidence, we freely reject the possibilities allowed for doubt.
Belief in the existence of God is fundamental and essential. (
3. The "gospel of God" (verse 1) is all about Jesus Christ (verse 3). (
Mk 1:1, Ro 1:9,16, Ro 15:19, Gal 1:6-9 ("grace of Christ"), 1Co 1:17 ("cross of Christ"), 2Th 1:8)
Jesus is God the Son. (
Mt 3:16,17, Heb 1:8, 1Jn 5:7 compare Jn 1:1,14)
The true God has a Son (Jesus). (compare
Jn 14:6, Ac 4:10-12)
Jesus is Lord (
Ro 10:9, 1Co 12:3, Php 2:11, Rev 17:14, Rev 19:16)
Lord - "A master; a person possessing supreme power and authority; a ruler; a govenor. In Scripture, the Supreme Being; Jehovah." (Webster's Dictionary 1828)
We obey/follow Jesus out of love. (
Ps 40:8, Jer 31:33, Jn 14:15,21,23, Heb 8:10, Heb 10:16, 1Jn 5:2,3)
Seed of David (compare
Isa 9:6,7, Gal 3:16)
The Bible emphatically teaches that Jesus came "in the flesh". (
Jn 1:1,14, Ro 9:5, 1Ti 3:16, Heb 5:5-7, 1Jn 4:2,3, 2Jn 1:7)
Jesus had a human (flesh) nature, with all its temptations; yet he never sinned. (
Lk 22:28, Jn 16:33, Heb 4:15)
Since God is the Father of Jesus (
Lk 1:35), Jesus could only have inherited His flesh nature from His mother Mary. (compare Ro 3:23)
Since Jesus fully understands our temptations, He is able to serve as the direct intercessor between God and mankind. (compare
4. In addition to His human nature, Jesus possessed the divine nature. (
Mt 17:1-5, Jn 14:7-9, Col 2:8,9)
The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is a powerful declaration of His divine authority. (
Mt 28:18, Eph 1:19-21)
Through Christ, we also have access to the divine nature. (
Jn 14:16,17, 1Co 3:16, Eph 1:12,13, Col 1:27,28)
5. Grace (Jesus as Saviour) leads to obedience (Jesus as Lord). (
Ro 3:31 compare Eph 2:8 to see the interwoven relation of grace and faith, and grace and obedience)
The gospel is to go into every nation. (
Name represents character. (
Ex 34:5-7, Nu 6:27, Jn 17:6,26, Rev 3:12, Rev 14:1, Rev 14:11, Rev 17:5, Rev 22:3,4)
6. Jesus calls people from all nations. (
Rev 5:9, Rev 7:9)
7. We are called to be saints.
Saint [Gr. hagios (hag'-ee-os)] - "holy one" (Strong's Dictionary) (compare
8. Access to the Father is through Jesus. (
Eph 5:20, 1Ti 2:5)
9. The gospel is all about God's Son. (
10. Note that Paul's request to go to Rome was later realized in an unexpected manner: as a prisoner. (
11. Christians desire others to be blessed spiritually through their personal association.
12. Christians find true peace as they assemble as God's people. (
Mt 18:20, Heb 10:24,25)
13. Under the leadership (and timing) of Christ, the gospel must continue to advance into every fortress of darkness. (
Mt 24:14, Mt 28:18-20, Ac 16:6,7, Ro 15:20-22, 1Th 2:18)
Note: Let - "To retard; to hinder; to impede; to interpose obstructions. [This sense is now obsolete, or nearly so.]" (Webster's Dictionary 1828)
14-16. The gospel is for everyone, barring none. (
17. Righteousness is Jesus. (
Jn 15:5, Ro 5:17-19, 1Co 1:30, 2Co 5:21, Gal 2:20, Php 1:11, Php 3:9)
The righteousness of God is revealed as sinners, one by one, establish their faith in Christ. (
In this sense, living by faith refers to the reception of eternal life through faith in Jesus as Saviour. (
The righteousness of God is revealed as sinners, day by day, excercise their faith in Christ. (
Mt 5:16, 2Co 5:17)
In this sense, living by faith refers to the demonstration of godly character that results from following Jesus as Lord. (
18. The wrath of God is revealed as individual sinners, through rejection of Christ, receive the consequences of their choice. (
From disobedience to disobedience, sin bares its fruit: perversion, destruction, and death. (
Ro 6:23, Rev 20:12)
19. God reveals Himself, internally, to each person. (
Ps 46:10, Jn 17:3, Heb 8:11)
20. God's power and character are clearly seen through His countless, matchless creations. (
Ps 19:1, Ps 97:6, Ps 139:14)
Considering these manifold revelations, no one, anywhere, at any time, has any valid excuse for denying or defying God.
21. Those who do not respond to the knowledge of God, are allowed to experience the worthless, dark consequences of their contemptible choice. (compare
22. Rejecters of God hold themselves up as professors of truth. (compare
The pinnacle of deception is to teach falsehood as though it were the truth. (
Isa 5:20,21, 1Co 3:19, Col 2:8, 2Th 2:9-12)
23. Under the cloak of spiritism, deceived masses worship animal images, handmade of wood and stone.
Under the banner of science, deceived masses profess the doctrine of evolution, wherein the monkey becomes their primal father.
24. God wants every person to be clean, but many, even though created in His image, would not. (compare
God, sadly and reluctantly, gave up the children of the devil to pursue--to engorge--their decadent passions. (compare
Jer 17:9, Eze 18:23, 1Jn 3:10)
Rejecting God as the Creator is the turning point into the depths of sin.
25. Their characteristic sin is swapping truth and falsehood--turning God's entire creation upside down. (
Isa 5:20, Rev 22:14,15)
26. Their sins are characterized as being against nature--again attempting to turn God's natural order upside down.
Female homosexuality is singled out as one of the depths of their debauchery.
Bestiality is another ancient, anti-natural, sexual practice that brought the wrath of God and continues today. (compare
27. Male homosexuality is singled out as a primary perversion of God's natural order. (
Lev 18:22, 1Co 6:9)
God is not mocked; AIDS was reaped--not as an inflicted punishment, but as an unavoidable consequence of anti-natural indulgences. (
28. They removed God from their "knowledge", i.e., from their thinking, teachings, textbooks, and schools.
As a result, God turned them over to the fulfillment of their sinful desires--and the consequences thereof.
29. They produced ripe clusters of the wicked fruits of the flesh. (compare
Mt 7:16-20, Gal 5:19-21, Rev 14:18,19)
Lacking faith (
Lacking Jesus (
Fornication - Sex involving an unmarried person (
Note: Fornication irrevocably destroys the virgin purity expected of those betrothed.
Note: Adultery is sex involving a married person with anyone other than their spouse (
Wickedness - Evil practices
Wanting to possess things that belong to others (
Not being content with what we have (
Maliciousness - Intentionally striving to harm another
Envy - Wanting to be in the place of someone who possesses something you do not have
Murder - Killing someone (
Debate - Arguing, rather than agreeing
Deceit - Misleading someone (
Malignity - Extreme hatred of someone
Whisperers - Gossiping with malicious intent (
Ex 20:16, Pr 18:21)
30. Wicked fruits continued:
Backbiters - People who appear harmless while in the presence of a person, but, when the person is not present, speak maliciously about the absent person
Haters of God - Those who believe God exists, but hate Him
Despiteful - Hatred fueled by anger
Proud - Self exhalting (compare
Isa 14:12-14, Eze 28:13-17)
Boasters - Verbally self-glorifying (compare
Eph 2:8,9, 1Co 1:31)
Inventors of evil things - Those who bring new forms of evil into reality.
Examples: Internet pornography, violent computer games, gambling casinos, sorcery-centric books and movies
Disobedient to parents - Including the abandonment of Christian heritage (
31. Wicked fruits continued:
Without understanding - Because they are without God (compare
Pr 2:6, Pr 8:13,14, 1Co 2:14, Eph 4:17,18)
Covenantbreakers - Breaking solemn agreements
Examples: Peace treaty breakers, marriage covenant breakers (divorce)
Without natural affection - Lacking even the natural affection demonstrated by animals
Examples: Mothers who abandon their baby, child abductors/abusers, abortion, animal abusers
Implacable - Stubbornly committed to hostility, rather than resolving differences and living in peace (compare
Unmerciful - Allowing pain and harm in an insensitive, calloused fashion (compare
32. Rather than fearing judgment, they ignore it.
Rather than fearing sin, they seek it for pleasure.
Given this context of the plummet of humanity into the depths of sin, it is important to understand the pivotal role of God's law.
The protecting walls that define the boundaries of sin are God's 10 commandments, which constitute His moral law, His law of love. (
Mt 22:35-40, Ro 13:8-10, 1Jn 3:4, 1Jn 5:2, 2Jn 1:5,6)
As Satan and his evil confederation continue their assault on God's 10 commandments, the depths of sin will continue to deepen. (
As Christ and His church continue to magnify His law, God will continue to sanctify His people until Jesus returns. (
Isa 42:21, Heb 8:10, Rev 7:1-3)
God's people are ever mindful that their motivation for internalizing and obeying the 10 commandments is their relationship of faith and love with Jesus. (
It is especially the weekly Sabbath commandment that provides the regular, dedicated time needed to bring their relationship with Jesus to new heights. (
Isa 58:12-14, Jn 17:3)