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Minnetonka

Monday
Evening
Bible Study
The Apostle
Paul’s Letter to
the Romans
Romans 1:18-32
Paul’s Thesis
Romans 1:16-17
For I am not ashamed of the gospel,
because it is God’s power for
salvation to everyone who believes,
to the Jew first and then for the
Greek. For God’s righteousness is
revealed in it from faithfulness to
faithfulness, just as it is written, “But
the Righteous One shall live from
faithfulness.”
From Thesis
(Romans 1:16-17)
to
Development of the
Thesis
(Romans 1:18-32)
In the Gospel
God Reveals His Righteousness

Romans 1:16-17
Romans 1:18-32
From Heaven
God Reveals His Wrath

Romans 1:18

God handed them over . . .


Echoes of Adam & and of
Israel in Romans 1:21-25
Romans 1:18-23
For God’s wrath is being revealed from heaven against all
godlessness and unrighteousness of humans, who suppress the
truth in unrighteousness, because what is known about God is
apparent among them, because God made it apparent to them.
For his invisible attributes, particularly his eternal power and
divine nature, have been plainly seen from the time of creation
of the world in that they were understood through what has
been made, for this reason they are without excuse. Because,
even though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or
offer thanks, but they became futile in their thinking and their
foolish heart was darkened. Even though they claimed to be
wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the
incorruptible God for the likeness of the image of corruptible
man and birds and beasts and reptiles.
Therefore God handed them over in the desires of their hearts
to uncleanness, in order that their bodies would be dishonored
among themselves. For they exchanged the truth of God for the
lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the
creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Romans 1:18-25 is a Deliberate, though
Veiled, Retelling of Genesis 3:1-7

Even though the man and the woman knew God because God made them
in his image and likeness, they suppressed this truth and the crafty
serpent enticed the woman. The serpent’s temptation promised
knowledge of “good and evil,” as God knows “good and evil.” The woman
expected that the fruit would infuse her with wisdom, so she ate the fruit
and gave some to the man. Together, they exchanged the truth of God’s
warning for the lie of the serpent, “You will not surely die.” They believed
the forbidden fruit would make them like God, so they ate in order that, on
their own, they might “be like God, knowing good and evil.” Discontented
with bearing God’s likeness as his endowed gift, they pursued what they
were already (God’s likeness) by eating the fruit of the tree that God
forbade. Because they heeded the serpent and did not worship and serve
their Creator, they exchanged their created glory as the image of God for
their ironic, elusive, and futile quest to “be like God” on their own terms.
They became idolaters. Ironically, their eyes opened, not to their likeness
to God, but to their nakedness, to their deformed and distorted imaging of
God.
—A. B. Caneday, “Veiled Glory: God’s Self-Revelation in Human Likeness—A Biblical Theology of God’s Anthropomorphic Self-
Disclosure,” Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity (Wheaton: Crossway, 2003), 167-
168.
God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the
seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there
Even though they
was morning, the fifth day. claimed to be wise, they
And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle
and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was became fools and
so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of exchanged the glory of
every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And
God saw that it was good. the incorruptible God
Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our
likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the
for the likeness of the
birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, image of corruptible
and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”
So God created humankind in his image, man and birds and
in the image of God he created them; beasts and reptiles.
male and female he created them.
God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the
earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the
birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”

Since you saw no form when the Lord


spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire,
take care and watch yourselves
closely, so that you do not act
corruptly by making an idol for
yourselves, in the form of any figure—
They made a calf at Horeb
the likeness of male or female, the
and worshiped a cast image.
likeness of any animal that is on the They exchanged the glory of God
earth, the likeness of any winged bird for the image of an ox that eats grass.
that flies in the air, the likeness of They forgot God, their Savior,
anything that creeps on the ground, who had done great things in Egypt,
the likeness of any fish that is in the wondrous works in the land of Ham,
water under the earth. and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.
They exchanged the glory of God. . .
.
They made a calf at Horeb
and worshiped a cast
image. Even though they claimed to
They exchanged the glory of be wise, they became fools
God and exchanged the glory of
for the image of an ox that the incorruptible God for the
eats grass. likeness of the image of
They forgot God, their Savior,
corruptible man and birds and
who had done great things
in Egypt, beasts and reptiles.
wondrous works in the land of
Ham,
and awesome deeds by the
Red Sea.
“They exchanged the glory of
the incorruptible God for the
likeness of the image of
corruptible man. . . .”

Humanity’s
fundamental
sin is idolatry.
Catch the irony of
Paul’s statement.
“They exchanged the glory of
the incorruptible God for an
image of the image of
corruptible man. . . .”
According to Romans 1, male
to male and female to female
perversion of sexual
relations is not the cause for
God’s punishment of which
Paul speaks but rather
perversion of sexual
relations is God’s
punishment itself.
According to Romans 1,
the disgrace of the sin of
sexual perversion, male
with male or female with
female, is God’s
punishment for idolatry.
God handed them over to . . . .

An expression
of divine
punishment.
God handed them over to . . . .
• Romans 1:24“Therefore God handed them over in the desires of their hearts to
uncleanness, in order that their bodies would be dishonored among themselves.
For they exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshiped and served the
creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
• Romans 1:26 “For this reason God handed them over to dishonorable passions–
their women exchanged the natural use of their bodies for that which is against
nature, and likewise the men, forsaking the natural use of women, burned in their
desire for one another–men committed with one another that which is shameless
and they received in themselves the proper penalty for their error.”
• Romans 1:28 “And just as they did not think God was worthy to be known, God
handed them over to a reprobate mind, in order that they might do things that are
not fitting. . . .”
• Romans 4:25 “But ‘it was reckoned to him’ was not written for him alone but also
for us, to those who will be reckoned, that is to those who believe upon the one
who raised our Lord Jesus from the dead, who was handed over on account of
our trespasses and was raised on account of our being declared righteousness.”
• Romans 8:32 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is
against us? For since he did not spare his own Son, but handed him over for us
all, how shall he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring
an accusation against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies.
God handed them over to . . . .

The expression is not one of


punishment in every situation.
There is one exception in
Romans 6:17.
Do you not understand that the one to whom you present
yourselves as slaves to obedience, you are slaves of the one
whom you obey, either of sin leading to death, or of obedience
leading to righteousness? But thanks be to God that although
you were slaves of sin, from the heart you became obedient to
the pattern of teaching unto which you were handed over, and
having been set free from sin, you were enslaved to
righteousness.
God handed them over to . . . .
• Romans 1:24“Therefore God handed them over in the
desires of their hearts to uncleanness, in order that their
bodies would be dishonored among themselves. For they
exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshiped and
served the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed
forever. Amen.”
• Romans 1:26 “For this reason God handed them over to
dishonorable passions–their women exchanged the natural
use of their bodies for that which is against nature, and
likewise the men, forsaking the natural use of women,
burned in their desire for one another–men committed with
one another that which is shameless and they received in
themselves the proper penalty for their error.”
• Romans 1:28 “And just as they did not think God was
worthy to be known, God handed them over to a reprobate
mind, in order that they might do things that are not fitting.
. . .”
Paul’s Catalog of Human Sinfulness
Segregated into Three Lists
• filled with all kinds of unrighteousness,
wickedness, covetousness, malice (1:29).
• full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and ill-
will (1:29).
• gossips, slanderers, haters of God,
insolent, arrogant, braggarts, inventors
of evil, disobedient to parents, senseless,
faithless, loveless, and merciless (1:30-
31).
Sinners Seek Approval in Their Sinful Behavior
by Giving Approval to Others Who Engage in
The Same Sinful Behavior
Romans 1:32
Although they know God’s
righteous requirement that
those who practice such things
are deserving of death, they not
only do these things, but also
they give their approval to
those who practice them.
So . . . ?
What is Paul’s message in Romans 1:18-32?
How does Paul’s message in Romans 1:18-32
fit into the argument of his letter?
Is Paul sketching a portrait what of every
human is like morally before God?
Are we Christians to accept Paul’s sketch as
fittingly descriptive of ourselves?
What is Paul doing in Romans 1:18-32?
How does 1:18-32 fit into his argument?

What, then, should we say? Do we have an


advantage over them? No way! For we have
previously charged everyone, both Jew and
Greek, to be under sin. . . (Romans 3:9).

Paul serves as God’s prosecuting attorney in


the tradition of the OT prophets.