From Romans chapter one verse eighteen through chapter three Paul makes his case for the sinfulness of man and God’s righteousness in condemning sin.  He begins with showing the guilt of those who blatantly deny God and then he shows the guilt of the moralists and religious people.  Remember that Paul has already claimed that they only way to be made just in God’s sight is by having faith in the Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16-17).

Romans 1:18-23

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

Romans 1:1-18-32  The wrath of God against ungodliness

I.  The reasons for God’s wrath against humans (1:18-23)

A.  Humans suppress the truth about God (1:18-20)

  1. the knowledge of God is within humans
  2. the evidence of God’s design is all around us

Paul makes the claim that the general truth about God is obvious to humans but that most humans do not want to know about God. Therefore, they suppress what they know in their hearts and what they perceive with their minds.  The denial of God must be fortified on two fronts – the heart and the head. Human’s selfishness (the desire to do one’s own thing) is of great use is suppressing what the heart knows about God.  On an intellectual level the truth of being accountable to one’s creator is slapped down by denying anything was created in the first place.  If we are here by chance then at most I have to answer to my society, but in all reality my goal is to please myself.  Despite the abundant evidence all around us of God’s design the reality is rejected and the self-blinding goes deeper and deeper.

B.  Humans alter the truth about God (1:21-23)

  1. Professing to be wise they became fools
  2. Made God into an image – depicted by corruptible things

The fool has said in his hear there is no God (Psalm 53:1).  In particular the fool denies the true and living God.  He makes his own god(s) to his own specifications.  He often worships the creation or even himself via humanism and materialism.  He sets the rules of his life to his own liking and he makes or picks god(s) to match.

God is rightly angry at such things, but we should be so thankful that while God’s holiness demands the condemnation of sin, God’s love desires the redemption of you and me!

(In Part 2, we will look at God’s response to human’s suppression of the truth.)

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