The Book of Romans
The Guilt of Mankind
Sin is rebellion against God. Therefore, all of mankind is guilty before God! The text demonstrates why the entire world is guilty before God. Mankind has rejected divine revelation. Contrary to the theory of evolution mankind is not improving physically, morally, intellectually, or spiritually. Mankind has changed the glory of an uncorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, birds, beast, and creeping things. Mankind has exchanged the true God for a lie. They have turned from God to Satan. Mankind has developed into the lower degree of moral disgrace and depravity. In every respect, mankind has become more wicked but God has constantly displayed his displeasure with evil. God is merciful, not because He is lenient toward the sinner, but because Christ died. The gospel has not changed God’s attitude toward sin. Christ’s death has made it possible for God to accept the sinner. The text gives ample proof that all mankind are lost and that there is a desperate need to share the gospel with all of mankind. This the only way that sinners can be saved!
I. Revelation of God, Vs 18-20
- V 18, For the wrath of God is revealed. The wrath of God has reference to God’s feelings and not His punishment of sin. Wrath is God’s holy anger. There is a continuous revelation of God’s wrath in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Even in our contemporary society God is revealing His constant displeasure with evil. God is merciful, not because He is lenient toward the sinner, but because Christ died. The gospel has not changed God’s attitude toward sin. Christ’s death has made it possible for God to accept the sinner.
- V18, against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Ungodliness is rebellion against God because it denies the character of God. Unrighteousness is rebellion against God because it denies the rule of God. God has revealed to mankind his ungodliness and unrighteousness.
- V 19, Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. God has revealed to humanity their ungodliness and unrighteousness. Man originally knew God and fellowshipped with Him. Genesis 3:3, But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. Humanity was created with the knowledge of God but turned from the truth and rejected God.
- V 20, For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: From the beginning God has revealed Himself to humanity through the things that He made. From man’s beginning man understood that there was a God who had the wisdom to plan and the power to create. From the beginning humans realized that their Creator was eternal. The facts about God are not hidden in creation; they are clearly seen. Psalms 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Mankind has no excuse for not acknowledging his rebellion against God.
II. Reaction of Mankind, Vs, 21-23
- In contrast to the ethical evolutionists, which declare that mankind is moving upward; the history of mankind reveals a decline in mankind’s knowledge and worship of God. Verses 21-23 illustrate the decline of mankind as He has departed from a conscious knowledge of God and descended so low that mankind actually came to worship the image of a worn (creeping things). What a tragic fall. Mankind as decline from the worship of the living God, the Maker of heaven and earth, to the worship of the image of a worm.
- Man’s decline began when mankind refused to give God His rightful place as the undisputed God of mankind, (V 21) they glorified him not as God. They took His blessings for granted, (V 21) neither were thankful. Their reasoning became foolish, empty, and conceited, (V 21) became vain in their imaginations. They became deprived of true understanding, (V 21) their foolish heart was darkened. They made false claims about themselves, (V 22) professing themselves to be wise. (V 22) They became fools, Psalms 14:1, The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. And finally mankind declined from the worship of God to the worship of idols. (V 23) And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
- Mankind’s problem is not that he does not know the truth. Human history discloses a determine effort to oppose the will of God. People have no excuse for their idolatry and practical non-belief.
III. Deterioration of Mankind. Vs, 24-32
- V 24, Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves. God did not give up on humanity, but He did allow humanity to go deeper and deeper into sin. God is giving humanity an opportunity to see how evil sin really is, and how desperately wicked people can become.
- V 25, Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. The loss of conscious knowledge in the mind and heart leads to an exchange of truth for a lie. Something created is served and worshipped rather than the Creator.
- V 26-27. These verses make it clear that the unnatural sexual relationship of lesbianism and homosexuality are contrary to the intentions of the Creator. Leviticus 18:22, Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. The point that is being stressed by Paul is not that lesbianism and homosexuality should not be punished. Rather lesbianism and homosexuality is the punishment for having rejected God and becoming idol worshippers. Mankind has not elevated himself but has deteriorated.
- V 28-32. These verses contain extensive lists of sins. They show the moral depravity of mankind. Society may try to rationalize certain sins but God judges all sin. The sins named in these verses reveals mankind’s rebellious heart. But the worse is yet to come; men not only committed these sins in open defiance of God, but also encourage others and applauded them when they sinned. How far will mankind fall? All of humanity, without exception, deserves God’s punishment.
How far man fell! He began glorifying God but ended exchanging that glory for idols. He began knowing God but ended refusing to keep the knowledge of God in his mind and heart. He began as the highest of God’s creatures, made in the image of God, but he ended lower than the beasts and insects, because he worshipped them as his gods. The verdict? (V 20) They are without excuse! Now you know why humanity needs a Savior. We are all guilty! The gospel has not changed God’s attitude toward sin. Christ’s death has made it possible for God to accept the sinner.
Created and Researched by Pastor Dennis Baker
Zion Baptist Church
3485 New Baumgartner Rd. - St. Louis, MO 63129 - Phone: 314-846-1867