Before I get to the Romans Study… One of our Elders had a chance to preach… He preached on forgiveness and it was really good and really “Convicting”
Forgiven People Forgive !
Now off to Romans, while we continue to study this wonderful book… We learned that the problem doesn’t start with God… BUT with MAN! Romans 1:18 says For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, “For the wrath of God is revealed,” Revealed means literally to uncover and then to cause something before secret or unknown to become fully known or disclosed. The present tense indicates that God’s wrath is continually being revealed. You look through out the Old Testament and you see God’s wrath being revealed… It began in the garden when it took just one sin to sentence all people to death. Then came the flood where we see all humans as we know them parish except for eight… God’s wrath was revealed at Sodom and Gomorrah and so on. In the New Testament, I asked the class what was the greatest act of God’s wrath? Well it was Jesus Christ on the cross… God poured out His wrath on His sinless son and it pleased Him Isaiah 53:10.
The next question we needed to ask was… Where does the wrath come from? Heaven (ouranos) is the residence of God where the throne of God Matthew 5:34 And in Isaiah it’s described as a high and holy place Isaiah 57:15, and as God’s holy and glorious habitation Isaiah 63:15 We learned it’s against all ungodliness and unrighteousness… Against: literally means upon, which gives a picture of God’s fury coming down upon the heads of all the ungodly.
Dr MacArthur has a great comment on “all” from his Romans commentary “God’s wrath is universal, being discharged against all who deserve it. No amount of goodwill, giving to the poor, helpfulness to others, or even service to God can exclude a person from the all Paul mentions here…Obviously, some people are morally better than others, but even the most moral and upright person falls far short of God’s standard of perfect righteousness. No one escapes.”
I guess the obvious next question would be… What is Ungodliness literally means: want or lack of reverence or piety toward God, It’s a disregard of the existence of God, a refusal to retain Him in knowledge and a habit of mind that leads to open rebellion. It is a general reference to all that is anti-God. Look what Jude 14-18 says.
it was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage. But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” Jude 14-18
It’s the man or woman who is living without regard for God and in a way that denies His existence and right as Supreme Ruler and Authority. Titus 2:12 Paul will explain this in the coming verses in Romans. It’s so important to understand the message Paul is saying that we need to here the bad news first… But even in ungodliness “while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6
Unrighteousness describes those attitudes and actions which fall short of the perfect standard of right as required by the perfectly righteous God… John Piper gives an interesting thought on Unrighteousness
“Loving sin more than loving God and His truth. So you see that the issue of truth is an issue of the heart before it is an issue of the head. When the heart is in love with self-exaltation and independence and the pleasures of sin, the mind will inevitably distort the truth or suppress the truth in order to protect the idols of the heart. What is needed is not just new ideas or more information, but a new heart. And a new set of passions and desires and pleasures.” (The Wrath of God Against Holding Down the Truth)
So the ungodly suppress the truth, they literally hold it down and are deliberately restraining it… Paul is saying here that the ungodly prevent truth from achieving its greatest purpose of setting them free. Kennith Wuest writes that “The truth here is not the gospel, for all men do not possess a knowledge of it. The truth here is found in the context, the fact of a supreme Being with divine attributes to Whom worship and obedience are due, this truth being seen by all men through their observation of the created universe, the latter demanding a Creator to answer for its existence. The human race, possessing this truth, yet holds it down in the sense of refusing to acknowledge its moral implications, and goes on in its sin.”
Romans 5:12 tell us that we all have this ability to suppress the truth, Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned The disease of every man, a disease that must be recognized before seeking a cure. The bad news before the good news… God’s righteous judgment against sin is proclaimed before His gracious forgiveness of sin is offered. A person has no reason to seek salvation from sin if he does not know he is condemned by it. A person cannot appreciate God’s forgiveness until he knows about the eternal consequences of the sins that require a penalty and that those sins need forgiving. That is where the gospel begins.
Remember this, there is good news and the good news is Christ has taken the full fury of God’s wrath, if you’ll accept His gracious substitution for you. 2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
1 Thessalonians 1:9,10 For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.
That’s what I learned in church yesterday!