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Rom 1:18-32: The Revelation of God's Wrath

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The Unrighteous Suppression of Truth (18-19)

Romans 1:18–19 NASB95
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

The Wrath of God

What is meant by the phrase ὀργὴ θεοῦ ‘wrath of God’?

ORGE: strong indignation directed at wrongdoing, with focus on retribution.
36x in the NT. Translated wrath 28x, anger 6x, and fierce wrath 2x.
It appears in the LXX 230x. 87x from the Hebrew אַף. Nose, an idiom, his nose became hot, has to do with the flaring of the nostrils. Hot anger. Another idiom, long nose of God, is used to refer to his being slow to anger.
Ephesians 5:6 NASB95
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Romans 5:9 NASB95
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
John 3:36 NASB95
“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

The Revelation of Divine Wrath

Why do we no longer tell sinners to repent of their sin and flee from the wrath that is coming?
The Revelation of Divine Wrath
ἀποκαλύπτω: it is a present tense, indicative mood verb. It should be understood as being currently being revealed. It means to cause something to be fully known, reveal, disclose, bring to light.
This word appears 26x in the NT; 25x it is rendered reveal and 1x, revelation.
Matthew 11:27 NASB95
“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
Matthew 16:17 NASB95
And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Ephesians 3:4–6 NASB95
By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,
In what sense is the wrath of God revealed?
The Objects of Divine Wrath
God’s wrath is being manifested in action in human history.
It is revealed in the current conditions of the world.
It is revealed in both natural as well as moral evil.
What positive aspects does the wrath of God reveal about God?

The Objects of Divine Wrath

We need to stop seeing people as the victims of sin and start seeing them as the perpetrators of sin.
All ungodliness and unrighteousness of men
Who are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.
κατέχω: present active participle. It means to prevent the doing of something or cause to be ineffective, prevent, hinder, restrain.

The Sensus Divinitatis

Romans 1:19 NASB95
because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
Institutes of the Christian Religion 1. The Character of This Natural Endowment

There is within the human mind, and indeed by natural instinct, an awareness of divinity.2 This we take to be beyond controversy. To prevent anyone from taking refuge in the pretense of ignorance, God himself has implanted bin all men a certain understanding of his divine majesty

Institutes of the Christian Religion 1. The Character of This Natural Endowment

Therefore, since from the beginning of the world there has been no region, no city, in short, no household, that could do without religion, there lies in this a tacit confession of a sense of deity inscribed in the hearts of all.

Acts 14:17 NASB95
and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”
It is evident within them; for God made it evidence to them.
The phrase “that which is known about God” speaks to the knowability of God possessed by all men.
It is plainly within them.
God made it plain within them.

The Unrighteous Refusal to Acknowledge God (20-21)

Start here 8/6/18
Romans 1:20–21 NASB95
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

The Culpability of all Humanity

Job 12:7–9 NASB95
“But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. “Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; And let the fish of the sea declare to you. “Who among all these does not know That the hand of the Lord has done this,
Psalm 19:1–6 NASB95
The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; It rejoices as a strong man to run his course. Its rising is from one end of the heavens, And its circuit to the other end of them; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.
1-6
Jeremiah 5:21 NASB95
‘Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people, Who have eyes but do not see; Who have ears but do not hear.
ἀναπολόγητος: This is from the apologia, where we get our word apologetics, defending the faith.
Those who live in God’s world while refusing to acknowledge God do not have a defense for their worldview.

The Refuse to Acknowledge God as God

They knew God.
But they engaged in the practice of self-deception.
They did not acknowledge God or give thanks.

Futile Speculations and a Darkened Heart

2 Kings 17:15 NASB95
They rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers and His warnings with which He warned them. And they followed vanity and became vain, and went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which the Lord had commanded them not to do like them.
Ephesians 4:17 NASB95
So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,
ματαιόω: render futile/worthless. to be given over to worthlessness.
ἀσύνετος: void of understanding, senseless, foolish, implying also a lack of high moral quality.
2 Corinthians 4:4 NASB95
in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
1 Corinthians 2:14 NASB95
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
1 cor
Romans 8:6–8 NASB95
For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

The Unrighteous Act of Distorting the Nature of God (22-23)

Start here 8/6/2018
Romans 1:22–23 NASB95
Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

The Exaltation of Human Reason

1 Corinthians 2:6–10 NASB95
Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written, Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

The Degradation of the Incorruptible God

Acts 17:29 NASB95
“Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.
Verses 24-32 are made up of three paragraphs: 1) 24-25 begins with the logical inference dio, and moves to a summary of what was just stated in 18-23; 2) 26-29 describes in detail the consequences of their rejecting God; 3) 29-32 provides the ontological state of sinners.

Summary of God’s Revealed Wrath (24-25)

1.
διό is a conjunction, functions as a logical inference. Therefore, or for this reason. To understand the connection between what is about to be said we have to look back at what was just said.
God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts - to impurity
Gave: Aorist focusing on the entire action of giving them over.
Impurity: a state of moral corruption.
So that their bodies would be dishonored
Dishonor: Middle Voice, deprive someone of honor, respect, to shame.
For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie
By worshipping and serving the creature rather than the Creator
Ephesians 4:19 NASB95
and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.
Isaiah 44:20 NASB95
He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside. And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”
Jeremiah 10:14 NASB95
Every man is stupid, devoid of knowledge; Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols; For his molten images are deceitful, And there is no breath in them.
God is far less sensitive than modern American Christians. He calls men out for the wicked people they are and renders them without excuse.

God’s Wrath Revealed in Detail (26-28)

For this reason: again we must read backwards in order to understand what is coming. What is coming is coming because of what has just passed us.
God gave: same Greek word παραδίδωμι and same form as above.
Degrading passions: Greek word ἀτιμία, a state of dishonor, or disrespect.
Used 7x in the GNT.
It is used to describe things that are shameful. This lust is, among other lusts, a shameful lust, a dishonorable lust. The desire itself is shameful.
Homosexual desires are shameful desires and the acts are described as unnatural.
Unnatural: παρὰ φύσιν which literally means against nature, contrary to nature.
Homosexual acts are further described by Paul as indecent acts, ἀσχημοσύνη, behavior that elicits disgrace, shameless deed.
παρὰ φύσιν
They are receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error
Penalty, ἀντιμισθία, recompense based on what one deserves, either positive or negative, but with special emphasis upon the reciprocal nature of the recompense.
I believe this could be a mind that is filled with turmoil, discontentment, and despair.
God gave them (same word) 3x now over
A depraved mind: semantic domain is ethical, moral, pertaining to not being in accordance with what is right, appropriate, or fitting. Not fitting.
To do those things which are not proper, καθήκω, to be fitting, right, possible moral judgment involved.

The True State of the Unregenerate

Romans 1:29–32 NASB95
being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
πληρόω, being filled with
to cause someone to be full.
It is the same Greek word used in where believers are commanded to be filled with the Spirit.
What are they filled with?
rom 1
Read the list
Romans 3:10–18 NASB95
as it is written, There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.” Their throat is an open grave, With their tongues they keep deceiving,” The poison of asps is under their lips”; Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”; Their feet are swift to shed blood, Destruction and misery are in their paths, And the path of peace they have not known.” There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Wickedness
Ephesians 4:17–19 NASB95
So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.
Ephesians 3:17–19 NASB95
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
1 Corinthians 6:9–11 NASB95
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Ephesians 2:1–5 NASB95
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Ephesians 2:1 NASB95
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
-5
They are worthy of death
Leviticus 20:13 NASB95
‘If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.
Leviticus 18:22 NASB95
‘You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.
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