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Romans Bible Study

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Introduction: Sin is more of a problem than we ever realize.
Paul lays out a pattern for sin. 1) They exchange the one true God for idols; 2) God gives them up; 3) Sin spirals downward

I. People Knowingly Reject the Creator.

1. Exchanged truth about God for a lie (v. 25a)

Concept of exchange means that they had real knowledge of God, and knowingly swapped it out for false believes.
What are some false things people believe in today, instead of God?
What are some false things people believe in today, instead of God?

2. Worshiped and served the creature (v. 25b)

What are some things people worship today, other than God?
The key principle is this: sin flows from idolatry. We become what we worship.

II. God “gives them up” to Their Sin

1. Three different times we are told God “Gave them up” (v. 24, 26, 28).

2. What does “Give them up” mean?

God is always busy restraining sin in the world; he is holding it back.
God is always busy restraining sin in the world; he is holding it back.
Due to persistent rebellion, God removes these restraints and allows people to “have their way”
God in some way is not longer restraining sin in their lives.
The Epistle to the Romans A. The Gentiles (1:18–32)

The main question in this verse is that involved in the giving up. The terms “God gave them up” imply that they were consigned by God to this retribution. In assessing the character of this action some observations need to be mentioned. (1) As noted already, this consignment or giving up did not originate the moral condition—they were given up to what is conceived of as an existing condition. (2) There is undoubtedly a natural law of consequence operative in sin; it intensifies and aggravates itself when there is no restraint placed upon it. This cycle or sequence is part of sin’s retribution. (3) The giving over on God’s part cannot be reduced to the notion of non-interference with the natural consequences of sin. While the barely permissive or privative action of God would of itself be judicial retribution—to leave men to themselves affords a tragic prospect—yet the terms here and in verses 26 and 28 cannot be satisfied by such a construction. There is the positive infliction of handing over to that which is wholly alien to and subversive of the revealed good pleasure of God. God’s displeasure is expressed in his abandonment of the persons concerned to more intensified and aggravated cultivation of the lusts of their own hearts with the result that they reap for themselves a correspondingly greater toll of retributive vengeance.

III. People Fall into Deeper, Darker Sin

1. Paul’s key example of Deeper Sin: Homosexuality (v. 24, 26-27)

Why do you think male and female is used?
Previously, Paul used the word “exchange” to talk about swapping God for idols; now he uses word the “exchange” to talk about swapping the created sexual order for the opposite. Paul is connecting swapping gods to swapping ethics.
Behavior is an reflection of worship. You are what you worship.
Key Principle: Worship impacts behavior. Your ethics show what you worship. Who are what are you worshiping?

2. Other sins that mark those who are “given up” by God (v. 29-32)

What are some sins in this list that stand out to you?
Key point: people don’t just sin, but they “give approval.”
Paul says what we worship determines our behavior. Do you see the connection between what you worship and behavior in your own life?
Sin is dynamic and spirals down if not addressed. How does this change the away you address sin your life?
Paul make is clear that homosexuality is one of the signs of decline. How does this relate to our culture? How can Christians love homosexuals and same sex attracted people without compromising God’s Word?
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