Romans is a very interesting book in the Bible. From Chapter 1 Paul makes it clears he’s not sugarcoating anything. He’s calling sin what it is, sin. He’s saying there is no excuse for acting like you don’t know God because you see all this stuff around us and we know man can’t produce it, so come on people.
Romans 1:20 (NLT) For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
No excuse. But to get back to the sin Paul talks about. These people were doing a little bit of everything, and some were doing a lot bit of everything. And the thing is, they knew and didn’t care, or they knew and kept on. It says they were even inventing new ways of sinning. And all I could think of when I read this was everything going on today.
And if their own sinning was enough, Paul later says, worst yet is that you encourage people to sin too. It isn’t enough for you to sin, but you want other people to join you in your sinning. And it really reminds me of the world today. It’s not enough for that person to live this lifestyle that is dishonorable to God, but other people condone it and condemn the people who don’t.
Romans 1:28-30 (NLT) Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents.
And just as soon as I read all the vile things that these people were doing, and get on my high horse, Paul tells me to get right off it.
Romans 2:1-4 (NLT) You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
Paul immediately says, wait a minute. Before you start pointing your finger I need you to see that you are not different. Yeah, you sin differently, but you are sinning, and you need to stop.
I am excited about continuing to read Romans. It is one of my favorite books and for any book in the Bible it’s always good to go through a “refresher course.” There is always something to relate to and it is always relevant. But I must say this, the one thing that I always have to pray for is that God does not abandon me to my own way of thinking. If you’ll read Romans 1 that is the recurring theme. He didn’t abandon them, but He did abandon them to their own way of thinking.
As blessed as we are to have our minds, let’s face it, we don’t always think right. And I have to pray that God never abandons me to my own way of thinking, because then I know I will not only think up a mess, but I’ll be one too.