Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Some jottings from those greater than I on Romans 1:18-32

‘… there is nothing here to suggest that Paul only has some kinds of homosexual acts in mind. As a cultured and traveled Roman citizen, Paul would have been very familiar with long-term, stable, loving relationships between same-sex couples. That does not stop him from identifying them as not the Creator’s intention for human flourishing.’ (Keller, pp32-33)

Christopher Ash: 

A. The charge is stated (v18)

B. The charge is proved (vv19-32)

(a) what God has done (vv19-20) – God has revealed some things plainly about himself in creation

Acts 14:15-17

Ps 19

(b) what people have done (vv21-23) – people reject the knowledge of God which they have

Our thinking and our feeling and darkened by our rejection of God (v21)

(c) what God has done (vv24-31) – God gave people over to their sin

Because we do not love God as we should, all our loves become disordered.

We have a wrong relationship to our creator and a wrong relationship with creation and our fellow creatures follows.

 Homosexuality graphically illustrates an exchange (v23, v25, v26) of the God given created order.

Same sex desire is, for Paul, a clear example of disordered desire.

 From a Jewish point of view, homosexuality was a particularly appalling Gentile sin.

 V23 - Exchanged glory – Ps 106:20 (Golden calf, Ex 32); Jer 2:11

(Human beings were meant to rule the creation under God but they end up serving created things)

The foolishness of idolatry – Is 44:13

Dt 4:15-18

 Moral chaos is a sign of God’s judgement.

The mess of the world shows that God has handed it over to its sin.

 (d) what people have done (v32) – people not only do what is wrong, but they also accept and approve of wrongdoing

 Is 3:9

 Paul is showing us the need for rescue and that faith in Jesus is the only means of rescue.

Humanity is without excuse and cannot save itself.

 Lk 18:11

 We are really without excuse (v20)

 V21 – the great sin of forgetfulness of God and ingratitude

We live in God’s world as if he didn’t exist

We’ll take the good gifts he gives, but we don’t want him interfering in our lives

 There is level ground at the cross.

We are all the undeserving recipients of grace.

 Our world needs the message of God’s saving righteousness in Christ.

 Kruse’s headings:

(a) Humanity’s rejection of the revelation of God in nature (vv18-23)

(b) The divine reaction to human rejection (vv24-32)

Vaughan Roberts – 14th Oct 2006 – Why is God so angry?

 This passage holds up a mirror to us – and it’s not a pretty sight

 This bad news helps us to appreciate the good news.

Against this black back-cloth, the brilliant diamond of the gospel shines more brightly.

 3 surprising themes run through this passage:

 (1)   Revelation (v19) – we all know some truth about God

General revelation in creation to all people

The invisible God has to some extent made himself visible (v20)

We should all know from the world around us that there is a God and he is very powerful.

Of course the vast majority of people down the centuries and around the world have believed in God.

 The scale and beauty of the universe

 Time and chance?

 (about 16 minutes for statistics about the sun and galaxies)

 (2)   Rebellion (v18) – we’ve all rejected that truth

 We often claim our problem is lack of knowledge:

"If only God would make himself known!"

"Why doesn’t God reveal himself more clearly?"

Hide and seek?

People imagine God is hiding

It’s the other way round:

God seeks us, we hide from him (cf. Gen 3)

 Jesus came to seek and to save the lost

 John – men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil

 V21 – we know we ought to glorify God and give thanks to him

How often do we do that?

 We are all guilty of idolatry whether our idols are metal or mental

 (3)   Wrath (v18) – we all face God’s judgment

 God is not like a constantly smiling indulgent old uncle

 Sex outside of marriage damages and degrades and leads to the breakdown of society

 Homosexual practice not homosexual feelings

 It’s not as if homosexual sex is uniquely sinful.

All of us are included in this catalogue of sin.

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