God's lawFor All Have Sinned (c) 

Romans 1:24-32

Paul is surveying the world in which he lived. He is observing Roman Society and with Holy Ghost spectacles he sees beyond civilisation, education and commerce until his broken heart is fixed upon the moral depravity and the godless state of the people. There is only one conclusion he can draw, “Wherefore God also gave them up…” (v24). This literally means abandonment. When God removes gracious restraints from men and women when there are no depths to which they cannot sink. Paul’s vision of Roman society being abandoned by God must surely strike us with a sense of fear and horror as we observe our society.

1: The Cause

The cause is found in the suppression of God, spoken of in the v18. As society ignores the Creator and as he elevates man as god making himself the prince of the universe, the true God intervenes and withdraws himself. As our society chooses and embraces a godless path we must fear for the future.

2: The Consequence

v24 Sexual immorality; fornication, adultery, pornography,

v26 Unnatural sexuality, homosexuality is what Paul is dealing with here. In v27 he is probably thinking of the diseases which the perpetrators of such sins were prone to.

V28 Their mind is so reprobate, so depraved that these people think that what they do is good, normal and natural. Therefore they sin with impunity, without conscience.

Please note that before each of these statements (v24, v26 and v28) the phrase “God gave them up is employed”.

Paul proceeds to list 21 characteristics of a depraved society, the products of a depraved mind and reprobate heart.

  1. Unrighteous – Opposition to the Law of God.

  2. Fornication – sexual relations outside marriage.

  3. Wickedness – Taking delight in that which is wrong.

  4. Covetousness – desiring material satisfaction.

  5. Maliciousness – General sinfulness.

  6. Envy – Begrudging what others have and enjoy.

  7. Murder – Unlawful taking of life.

  8. Debate – a quarrelsome disposition, strife.

  9. Deceit – treachery, deviousness.

  10. Malignity – malice, spite, desire to harm others.

  11. Whisperers – Gossips, quiet but harmful chatter.

  12. Backbiters – open slander and defaming of character.

  13. Haters of God – would kill God if they could.

  14. Despiteful – Those who treat others with contempt.

  15. Proud – arrogance, the belief that self is always right.

  16. Inventors of evil – that is evil committed against men.

  17. Disobedient to parents.

  18. Without understanding – senseless in ignoring God.

  19. Covenant breakers – cannot be trusted.

  20. Without natural affection – The Pagans drowned unwanted children, moderns call the same crime abortion.

  21. Implacable, unmerciful – ruthless, without pity.

We must with great care see to it that these characteristics are not found in ourselves.

3: The Corruption

V32 expresses the seriousness of man’s lost condition. He is not a beast, he is God’s creature who knows in his conscience and from Scripture that death is the punishment for such activities, yet tragically he takes pleasure in them. If anything is proof of man’s depravity this is.

Society may slump to a low moral depth yet there remains hope because we live in the day of grace. The conversion of the Corinthians is proof of this. To understand the power of grace , however, we must grasp the dark need of man’s soul, this is illustrated in the world around us.

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