BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 2, Day 5: Romans 1:28-32

Summary of passage:  God allowed man to do his will and sin as part of His divine judgment against him.  Man is full of very kind of evil.  Man continues to sin and approves of those who do so as well.

Questions:

12)  I discussed this word YESTERDAY but in essence man didn’t want to know God.  Man chose to dismiss Him (not worthwhile to retain the knowledge of Him) so God allowed the evil inside of man to thrive and take over (depraved).  Webster’s says depraved means “marked by corruption or evil; perverted”.

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I know homosexuality is wrong, not sure if I ever approved of it.  I’m unsure if I ever approved of any sin.  Yes, we all do it (especially gossip, envy, deceit, disobeying parents, etc).  But there’s a difference of approving of something.  When I sin, I know it’s wrong.  Somewhere in the back of my mind I know.  I’m just too weak to do anything about it.  Then I repent.  I’m not okay with sin.  Those with depraved minds are.

Conclusions:  If you re-read the sample list of sins Paul includes, you’ll see yourself.  Paul’s point here, however, is those who deliberately turn their back on God are given up to His judgment, which includes a depraved or evil mind that continues to sin and approve of sin.  As a Christian, we still sin, but it’s not willful.  It’s because we are weak and we Fall to temptation from our Enemy.  AND it’s not continuous.  We repent usually immediately, we are forgiven, and we are stronger for it.  We grow more and more like Jesus (free from sin); whereas, those who turn from Him drift more and more towards Satan, away from God, and sin snowballs.

End Notes:  Paul includes “socially acceptable sins” such as covetousness, pride, gossip, and envy along with the horrible sins such as murder.

Envy or covetousness means the itch for more.

Whisperers or gossip is those who secretly accuse and blast their neighbor’s reputation.

Why envy you say?  Envy is so powerful that there is a sense in which it put Jesus on the cross. Pilate knew that they had handed Him over because of envy (Matthew 27:18).

Small sins lead to bigger sins.  How many times has envy grown into a passion that lead to murder?  Sin is powerful. Very powerful.  We must remember no sin is good and dismiss our little sins as “no big deal”.  All sin is evil in God’s eyes.

Pride:   Clarke says this: “They who are continually exalting themselves and depressing others; magnifying themselves at the expense of their neighbours; and wishing all men to receive their sayings as oracles.”

We are all deserving of sin, Paul concludes.  Every last one of us.  Sinners and approvers of sin.

All this sin comes from man choosing to abandon the knowledge of God (rebel against Him) and the state of society shows God’s judgment upon them.

The extreme of sin is applauding, rather than regretting, the sins of others (Psalm 1:1; 1 Corinthians 15:33).

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 2, Day 4: Romans 1:24-28

Summary of passage: God allowed those who rejected Him to sin through sexual impurity and to degrade others.  These sinners worshiped created things (lies) rather than the Creator (Truth).  Men lusted for other men and committed indecent acts and were punished for such.  Women did so as well.  Furthermore, God allowed their minds to be perverted with no knowledge of Him and they did what ought NOT to be done.

Questions:

9a)  That God is the Creator of all things.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Material things or the desire of, people, work or career, pets, images of god, other gods, nothing, and creation itself are common ones for people.  I think I do pretty good keeping Him the center of my world.  Sometimes passion overtakes God (when sin occurs like anger or love).  Like with any distraction, my life would be more God-centered, loving, compassionate, and kind-hearted without everything else pulling me in a thousand different directions.

10)  God created man and woman in His image to be together and I think sometimes man puts woman (or vice versa) ahead of Him.  Sexual sin is very intimate.  The Holy Spirit lives in our bodies, which we are to treat as a temple.  Hence, when we sin sexually, it is a greater sin (against our body) and we are the body of Christ.  It’s akin to worship and idolatry cause we are putting someone else ahead of God.

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  “God gave them over”  In essence, God has abandoned them to their sin.  He’s turned His back.  No one “gets away” with immorality and/or injustice.  All will pay the price before Christ on Judgment Day.  It doesn’t change my thoughts because I don’t worry about what other people do because I know God will judge them.  However, it does sadden me to think of God abandoning them.  I don’t want to be abandoned by God.  It’s as if God has given up.  Incredibly sad.

Conclusions:  We see the importance God places on us taking our bodies seriously.  Sex is never ‘just sex’.  Our bodies mirror God’s and He lives in us.  Other sins (murder, lying, cheating, stealing, etc) don’t directly affect the Spirit.  This one does.  God is saying sexual sin is a complete abandonment of Him, thus deserving Him abandoning us.  How tragic!

End Notes:  God’s wrath allows us to keep sinning.  Otherwise, He’d stop us.

It’s supposed to read “the lie”, not “a lie” in verse 25.  “The lie” is us putting ourselves in God’s place (Genesis 3:5).

Paul wrote this from the city of Corinth, where every sort of sexual immorality and ritualistic prostitution was practiced freely, including in their temples.   Spurgeon would not even read this passage outloud he was so offended by its description of man’s vices.

This passage is clearly a condemnation of homosexuality.  The Old Testament condemns it as well (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13).

Paul uses the Greek words here for male and female, not men and women, a distinction to draw attention to the fact the sin is beyond human terms.

Roman culture approved of homosexuality and many practiced it openly.  Most Roman emperors had sex with young boys.  At times the Roman Empire specifically taxed approved homosexual prostitution and gave boy prostitutes a legal holiday. Legal marriage between same gender couples was recognized, and even some of the emperors married other men.  At the very time Paul wrote, Nero was emperor.  He took a boy named Sporus and had him castrated, then married him (with a full ceremony), brought him to the palace with a great procession, and made the boy his “wife.” Later, Nero lived with another man, and Nero was the “wife.”

Statistics show many homosexuals today have many more partners than non-homosexuals.  Sex is not honored.

The word debased or depraved (or, reprobate in the KJV) originally meant “that which has not stood the test.” It was used of coins that were below standard and therefore rejected. The idea is that since man did not “approve” to know God, they came to have an “unapproved” mind.  It is as if man were testing God to see if He passed and then rejected Him.

One commentator called the depraved mind “spiritually insane”.  I like this!  Our thinking is affected through sin.  Why else would one rebel against God?

Amen in verse 25 can mean either “Yes indeed, it is so” or “So be it”.

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 2, Day 3: Romans 1:21-23

Summary of passage:  Despite knowing God (in Creation and in their hearts and mind), mankind became foolish and gave up the glory given to them by God and instead worshiped false gods.

Questions:

6)  Through Free Will and denying who God is.  They did not glorify Him nor did they thank Him.

7a)  “Their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened” and they “became fools.”  Any consequence is appropriate and God can and will express His wrath in different forms.  Why would God reward those who reject Him in any way?  You can’t be wise if you deny God.  Part of His judgement against unbelievers is to suffer the damage sin causes.  You deserve no mercy when you reject Him.

b)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  He has sent His son, Jesus Christ, and whoever believes in Jesus has light within.  In Genesis 1:3, God made light and separated it from the darkness that was over the surface of the deep.  From the beginning, God planned and gave light to mankind.  Jesus tells us in Matthew to let our light and good deeds shine before men.  Do what Jesus would do with respect to others.  Praise God.  Walk in His ways.  Give Him all the credit.  All will see through you the power of God.

8 )  Humanity exchanged wisdom for foolishness and the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man, birds, animals, and reptiles.  Mankind becomes hardened to others.  Love is pushed out.  Evil reigns.  For instance, I recently read about how young men videotaped another young man drowning.  They laughed in the background and didn’t help or even call 911.  How sick is that?  That’s evil.  Pure evil in this world.  All because man has forsaken God and his mind is useless.  Worshiping false gods leads to emptiness and a desire by man to fill it–with evil thoughts and deeds.  Without God, there is no right and wrong.  Without right and wrong, it’s every man for himself and chaos reigns.  Just like Satan desires.

Conclusions:  Great emphasis on the peril of mankind without God.  A Godless life is dark and black and unrewarding and destitute.  People deal with this in different ways:  violence against self (suicide), violence against others (rape, murder, assault), waging war on strangers or kids or animals or the weak or the poor or the downtrodden.  Those without God lead an empty life no matter how materially successful they are.  If you don’t work for God, your life is sad.  Very, very sad.

End Notes:  Knowledge of God is useless–by itself.  Every person on this planet past and present has “known” God.  You must glorify Him and thank Him, the God of the Bible.  An attitude of gratitude will change your life and the lives of those around you.

We must also be on guard to worship the God of the Bible, not the god of our mind’s creation.  Constantly be on guard for society and other influences to change in your mind whom you know God to be.

Knowledge leads to worship and gratitude.

As soon as man rejects God in Jesus, he becomes foolish.  Once foolish, he’ll believe any lie Satan says.  It is only when we turn back to God and stay with Him does wisdom return.  Sound familiar in our lives when we stray from Him?

BSF Study Questions Romans Lesson 2, Day 2: Romans 1:18-20

Summary of passage:  God is angry at those who suppress the truth about Him.  Since the creation of the world God has been known so there is no excuse to deny Him.

Questions:

3)  According to Webster’s Dictionary, wrath means “strong vengeful anger or indignation; retributory punishment for an offense or a crime; divine chastisement.”

Man is suppressing the truth of God through wickedness.

4a)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  All of creation is amazing.  Only an omnipotent being could design a world where everything fits together and has a purpose–from ants to eagles to mankind.  Nature always instills an appreciation for what God has done for me, a gratitude, and a desire to go deeper with Him.  When speaking with unbelievers, this verse is a go-to.  All you have to say is “Look around.  How do you explain what you see?”

b)  We can’t learn who God is completely.  We can’t learn his wrath at sin.  His purpose for mankind in His Son, Jesus.  We can’t see his justice.  We learn this through the Bible, prayer, and study of Him and who He is and His Son is.

5)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  According to Webster’s Dictionary, suppress means “to put down by authority or force; subdue; to keep from public knowledge; to inhibit the growth or development of.”  I’m unsure of this question as I don’t think I’m suppressing any truth about God or Jesus.  This would be a question more for unbelievers unsure if God is God.

Conclusions:  This is one of my favorite passages in all the Bible.  I hate excuses and this is the ultimate excuse.  If you don’t see God in nature and all around you, you still go to Hell if you don’t believe in Him.  The whole created world reveals Him.  I blogged about this a long time ago HERE  God is angry all the time when man is evil and denies Him.

End Notes:  God’s anger/wrath is righteous anger.  It is not man’s anger which is motivated out of jealousy and selfishness.  It is the greatest peril facing mankind.

Great definition of wrath by Murray:  “Wrath is the holy revulsion of God’s being against that which is the contradiction of his holiness.”

Paul speaks of salvation in this letter.  But what are we saved from?  Many things but most importantly the wrath of God which we rightly deserve.  His goal is to show the absolute necessity of God’s plan of salvation for mankind.  We all sin and we all need God’s righteousness.  We’ll see the Gentiles (Romans 1:18-32), the Jews (Romans 2:1-3:8), and everyone (Romans 3:9-20).

Godlessness is man’s offenses against God.  Wickedness refers to the sins of man against man.

Every truth revealed to man by God has been fought against, disregarded, and deliberately obscured.  He reveals His wrath.  It’s not limited to the end-time judgment of the wicked.  Here we see God abandon the wicked to their sins.

Besides creation, God has planted within the heart and mind of every individual the spark of Himself.  It is when we reject Him when we know He’s there that leads to no excuses.