Read Romans 1 -- 3
In Today’s Reading:
Paul's desire to visit the Christians in Rome; judging others; the Jew and the Law; both Jews and Gentiles under condemnation; righteousness through faith.
We usually think of the wrath of God (Romans 1:18) as something that will take place in the future, when Satan and all unbelievers in Christ will be cast into the eternal lake of fire (Revelation 20:10,15). However, the wrath of God is actively at work now against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold (repress and hinder) the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; God has showed it to them. . . . so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God. . . . Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves (commit sexual perversion) (Romans 1:18-24). There is a disturbing and growing ignorance of the Bible, the One Book which alone reveals sin for what it is -- rebellion against God, who alone sets the one true standard for righteousness.
Instead of proclaiming the moral absolutes of the Word of God, the worldly-minded church member is often found accommodating and accepting our deteriorating social "norms." This results in blind sentimentalism and situation ethics whereby everyone chooses to define sin for themselves. To illustrate, there is a growing trend to use the Lord's Day and His tithe for self-centered pleasures. Also, divorce has become the solution to every marital problem, without considering what Jesus said: What God has joined together, let no man put asunder (Matthew 19:6).
Even more serious are the gays and lesbians -- men lusting after other men and women lusting after other women, deceiving themselves into believing they cannot help being the way they are. But God has said: They changed the truth of God into a lie (Romans 1:25); and three times in this first chapter we read the result: God also gave them up to uncleanness . . . God gave them up to vile affections . . . God gave them over to a reprobate mind (1:24,26,28).
There is no victory over sexual perversion until it is seen for what it really is, not as a sickness or an alternative lifestyle, but as sin that is an abomination to God. The Good News is that all who confess and forsake their sin, and, by faith, receive Christ as Savior and Lord, will receive forgiveness and deliverance.
The Bible views sex as a gift from God which can bring happiness and fulfillment only within the marriage relationship. Unfortunately, there are many in our secular society who view sex as no more than a physical appetite to be satisfied. Put off concerning the former conversation (conduct) the old man (what we were before we were saved) which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind (Ephesians 4:22-23).
Thought for Today: God's will is that all turn from sin and enjoy His protection and provisions.
1:13 let hitherto = prevented; 1:21 vain = morally misguided; 1:29 whisperers = gossipers; 2:22 commit sacrilege = petty theft; 3:2 oracles = the Scriptures; 3:25 propitiation = atoning sacrifice, Mercy Seat.
For Romans 1:17: See Hab. 2:4. Rom. 2:24: See Isa. 52:5. Rom. 3:4: See Psa. 51:4. Rom. 3:10: See Psa. 14:1. Rom 3:11: See Psa. 14:2. Rom. 3:12: See Psa. 14:3. Rom. 3:13: See Psa. 5:9; 140:3. Rom. 3:14: See Psa. 10:7. Rom. 3:15: See Isa. 59:7. Rom. 3:16-17: See Isa. 59:7-8. Rom. 3:18: See Psa. 36:1.
Government Officials: Rep. Gary Ackerman (NY), Sen. Tom Harkin (IA), Gov. Jim Hodges (SC), Rep. Lamar Smith (TX), and Sec. Tommy Thompson (Department of Health and Human Services) · Pray for your pastor · Country: Czech Republic (10 million) in central Europe · Major languages: Czech and Slovak · Religious freedom · 63% Catholic; 7% Protestant; 4% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Ask for the blessings of God upon your family and home (II Samuel 7:29).
Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 12:10