Romans 1:32 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.
32. Who knowing--from the voice of conscience,
Ro 2:14, 15
the judgment of God--the stern law of divine procedure.
that they which commit such things are worthy of death--here used in
its widest known sense, as the uttermost of divine vengeance against
not only do the same--which they might do under the pressure of
temptation and in the heat of passion.
but have pleasure in them that do them--deliberately set their seal
to such actions by encouraging and applauding the doing of them in
others. This is the climax of our apostle's charges against the
heathen; and certainly, if the things are in themselves as black as
possible, this settled and unblushing satisfaction at the practice of
them, apart from all the blinding effects of present passion, must be
regarded as the darkest feature of human depravity.
On this section, Note (1) "The wrath of God" against sin has all
the dread reality of a "revelation from heaven" sounding in the
consciences of men, in the self-inflicted miseries of the wicked, and in
the vengeance which God's moral government, sooner or later, takes upon
all who outrage it; so this "wrath of God" is not confined to
high-handed crimes, or the grosser manifestations of human depravity,
but is "revealed" against all violations of divine law of whatever
nature--"against all ungodliness" as well as "unrighteousness of men,"
against all disregard of God in the conduct of life as well as against
all deviations from moral rectitude; and therefore, since no child of
Adam can plead guiltless either of "ungodliness" or of
"unrighteousness," to a greater or less extent, it follows that every
human being is involved in the awful sweep of "the wrath of God"
The apostle places this terrible truth in the forefront of his argument
on justification by faith, that upon the basis of universal
condemnation he might rear the edifice of a free, world-wide
salvation; nor can the Gospel be scripturally preached or embraced,
save as the good news of salvation to those that are all equally
"lost." (2) We must not magnify the supernatural revelation which God
has been pleased to make of Himself, through Abraham's family to the
human race, at the expense of that older, and, in itself, lustrous
revelation which He has made to the whole family of man through the
medium of their own nature and the creation around them. Without the
latter, the former would have been impossible, and those who have not
been favored with the former will be without excuse, if they are deaf
to the voice and blind to the glory of the latter
(Ro 1:19, 20).
(3) Wilful resistance of light has a retributive tendency to blunt the
moral perceptions and weaken the capacity to apprehend and approve of
truth and goodness; and thus is the soul prepared to surrender itself,
to an indefinite extent, to error and sin
&c.). (4) Pride of wisdom, as it is a convincing evidence of the want
of it, so it makes the attainment of it impossible
(5) As idolatry, even in its most plausible forms, is the fruit of
unworthy views of the Godhead, so its natural effect is to vitiate and
debase still further the religious conceptions; nor is there any depth
of degradation too low and too revolting for men's ideas of the Godhead
to sink to, if only their natural temperament and the circumstances
they are placed in be favorable to their unrestrained development
(Ro 1:23, 25).
The apostle had Greece and Egypt in his eye when he penned this
description. But all the paganisms of the East at this day attest its
accuracy, from the more elaborate idolatry of India and the simpler and
more stupid idolatry of China down to the childish rudiments of nature
worship prevalent among the savage tribes. Alas! Christendom itself
furnishes a melancholy illustration of this truth; the constant use of
material images in the Church of Rome and the materialistic and
sensuous character of its entire service (to say nothing of the less
offensive but more stupid service of the Greek Church,) debasing the
religious ideas of millions of nominal Christians, and lowering the
whole character and tone of Christianity as represented within their
immense pale. (6) Moral corruption invariably follows religious
debasement. The grossness of pagan idolatry is only equalled by the
revolting character and frightful extent of the immoralities which it
fostered and consecrated
(Ro 1:24, 26, 27).
And so strikingly is this to be seen in all its essential features in
the East at this day, that (as HODGE says) the
missionaries have frequently been accused by the natives of having
forged the whole of the latter part of this chapter, as they could not
believe that so accurate a description of themselves could have been
written eighteen centuries ago. The kingdoms of Israel and Judah
furnish a striking illustration of the inseparable connection between
religion and morals. Israel corrupted and debased the worship of
Jehovah, and the sins with which they were charged were mostly of the
grosser kind--intemperance and sensuality: the people of Judah,
remaining faithful to the pure worship, were for a long time charged
mostly with formality and hypocrisy; and only as they fell into the
idolatries of the heathen around them, did they sink into their vices.
And may not a like distinction be observed between the two great
divisions of Christendom, the Popish and the Protestant? To test this,
we must not look to Popery, surrounded with, and more or less
influenced by, the presence and power of Protestantism; nor to
Protestantism under every sort of disadvantage, internal and external.
But look at Romanism where it has unrestrained liberty to develop its
true character, and see whether impurity does not there taint society
to its core, pervading alike the highest and the lowest classes; and
then look at Protestantism where it enjoys the same advantages, and see
whether it be not marked by a comparatively high standard of social
virtue. (7) To take pleasure in what is sinful and vicious for its own
sake, and knowing it to be such, is the last and lowest stage of human
But (8) this knowledge can never be wholly extinguished in the breast
of men. So long as reason remains to them, there is still a small voice
in the worst of men, protesting, in the name of the Power that
implanted it, "that they which do such things are worthy of death"
Questions Related to this Verse
Where In Scripture Does It Talk About Adultery?Where In Scripture Does It Talk About Complicity?Where in Scripture does it mention The partial lists of Crime?Where In Scripture Does It Talk About Malice?Where In Scripture Does It Talk About Presumption?Scriptures Revealing All Men Are Sinners?Where In Scripture Does It Talk About Man's Wickedness?
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Romans Images and
The Book of Romans
Romans 1:20 - 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:
Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for
good to them that love God, to them who are the called according
to [his] purpose.
Romans in The New Testament - A Brief Overview
Painting of Paul the Apostle by Rembrandt - 1657
Introduction to The
Epistle to the Romans
Brief Summary. Paul's message in his profound epistle
to the Romans 1-8 is that a man is justified by faith in Christ
and not by the works of the Law. Righteousness is by Christ
alone, and when a man believes in Christ, he becomes dead to sin
and the law and alive in Christ. The Holy Spirit sanctifies the
believer and empowers him to live a holy life. A relationship
with Christ brings adopted sonship and the assurance of salvation from sin.
The question about the Jews and their fate is answered in
Romans, they were chosen to possess the oracles of the Lord.
Romans 9-11 reveals that the Jews failed to recognize Christ as
the fulfillment of the Law and rejected their own Messiah.
Therefore God rejected Israel, yet, this rejection is not total
or final. Paul makes it abundantly clear that God will show
mercy to those Jews who acknowledge Jesus as Lord. In Romans
12-16 Paul exhorts the Christians in Rome regarding the practical aspects of
the new life in Christ.
Summary of The Book of Romans
Purpose. Paul was called by God to bring Christianity
to the gentile world, and to establish churches for worship and
ministry. Rome was the capital of the gentile world, and a
church had developed there. Paul no doubt knew the strategic
value of strengthening the body of believers by laying a strong
doctrinal foundation. There is also indications that Paul had
desired to preach the Gospel in Spain, and it would have been
wise to create a solid base in Rome. Paul was continually
challenged by the Jews regarding the Gospel of Christ and the
Law of Moses. Paul obviously wanted to clear up any confusion by
creating a strong doctrinal statement in his epistle. He
addresses the same issues as in his other epistles, false
doctrine, false teachers, and troublemakers who would stir up
dissension in the church. In the epistle to the Romans Paul also
introduces the deaconess Phoebe, he petitions the church at
large to pray for the Roman brethren, and to greet the believers
in Christ at the church in Rome.
Audience. The epistle begins with "to all God's
beloved in Rome" and this would clearly indicate that Paul was
addressing the Christian church in Rome. Throughout the book of
Romans it is clear that in the church at Rome there were many
Jews and gentiles.
Authorship. Paul the apostle is universally accepted
as the author of the epistle to the Romans. Throughout the
entire letter it is easy to see Paul's sincerity, his unique
insights in the teachings about God, the Jews, Jesus and
salvation to all mankind. Statements in the epistle indicate
that Paul was going to Jerusalem with the collection for the
poor which he had gathered (Romans 15:25-27).
Date. The epistle to the Romans appears to have been
written near the end of Paul's third missionary journey,
probably around 57 or 58 AD. One of the main reasons for this
date is because 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians refer to this
collection and this would indicate that Romans was written just
after 1 and 2 Corinthians, toward the end of Paul's third
missionary journey. Most scholars date the epistle near AD 58
and name Corinth as the city of its origin.
Outline of the Book of Romans
Doctrine and Theology - Chapters 1-8
God's Plan for Israel - Chapters 9-11
The New Life in Christ - Chapters 12-16
The Name Jesus In Ancient Hebrew Text
"Yeshua" in First Century Hebrew Text. This is how the name "Jesus"
would have been written in ancient Hebrew documents. The four letters or
consonants from right to left are Yod, Shin, Vav, Ayin (Y, SH, OO, A).
Jesus is the Greek name for the Hebrew name Joshua or Y'shua which means
"The LORD or Yahweh is Salvation".
- Some ancient manuscripts omit the word, "Rome," scholars generally agree
that the epistle was addressed to the Christian church in Rome.
Map of the Roman Empire (14 AD) - This map reveals the
Roman Empire during the time shortly after the birth of Jesus,
in 14 AD at the time of the death of Augustus. The order which
prevailed in this extensive empire, the good military roads, and
the use of Koine Greek as the general language of culture
throughout the area were among the factors which multiplied the
rapid spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Color Map)
Map of Paul's Third Missionary Journey (54 AD) - This map
reveals the areas in Asia and Greece where Paul visited in his
third missionary journey. On Paul's third missionary journey he
returned to the cities he had first visited on his first
missionary journey. During this time he decided to remain in
Ephesus for about 3 years, and this city was the main focus of
his activities and an important Christian community (Acts 19).
Map of Paul's Voyage to Rome (61 AD) - This map reveals
the journey of the Apostle Paul to Rome in 61 AD. Paul had
appealed to Caesar in Caesarea (Acts 24-25), his goal was to
spread the Gospel of Jesus throughout the Roman Empire all the
way to her great capital, Rome. He demanded that his case be
heard by the Roman Emperor. According to the Book of Acts, after
his shipwreck on the Island of Malta (Acts 28) he came to Italy
and was put on house arrest for two years (Acts 28:30). (Color
Map of the New Testament World - This map reveals the
"Nations" within the ancient world during the first century
A.D., the time of the New Testament. The map includes the areas
of Israel, Asia, Greece, and Italy. (Color Map)
Map of New Testament Italy - This map reveals the cities
within Italy during the first century A.D., the time of the New
Testament. The map includes the principle cities of Italy like
Neapolis and Rome. Follow the path of the Apostle.