Knowing the Judgment of God

Romans 1:29-32 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. 

‘Being filled with all unrighteousness …’ twenty stages of world apostasy: They did not glorify God, they became unthankful, they were vain in their imaginations and became dark in their hearts (1:21). They professed to be wise but they became fools (1:22). They changed God’s glory (1:23) and dishonoured their bodies (1:24). They changed the truth to a lie and worshipped creation as their god, serving creatures, not God (1:25). They submitted to vile passions: women with women (1:26) and men with men (1:27). They rejected the knowledge of God, became reprobate in mind and were completely perverted sexually (1:28). They were filled with iniquities (1:29-31). They despised the coming judgment and they gloried in wickedness (1:32).

‘Filled’ [Greek: pleroo] to fill up, complete. ‘Unrighteousness’ [Greek: adikia] every vice contrary to justice and righteousness. ‘Fornication’ [Greek: porneia] unlawful sexual sins of single and married people. ‘Wickedness’ [Greek: poneria] depravity; iniquity; wicked acting of the evil nature; criminal. ‘Covetousness’ [Greek: pleonexia] intense lust for gain. ‘Maliciousness’ [Greek: kakia] the vicious disposition and desires, rather than their exercise. ‘Envy’ [Greek: phthonos] to pine away; the pain felt and malignity conceived at the sight of the blessing of another. ‘Murder’ [Greek: phonos] murder (Matt. 15:19; Mark 7:21; 15:7; Gal. 5:21); slaughter (Acts 9:1) and also hating another (1Jn. 3:15).

‘Debate’ [Greek: eris] strife (13:13; 1Cor. 3:3); contention (1Cor. 1:11; Tit. 3:9); debate (1:29; 2Cor. 12:20); and variance (Gal. 5:20). It means to cause strife and discord. It is not the same as disputing for truth as in Acts 9:29; 15:2, 7; 17:17; 19:8-9. ‘Deceit’ [Greek: dolos] lying, falsity. From delo, to take with a bait. Translated “guile” (John 1:47; 2Cor. 12:16; 1Thess. 2:3; 1Pet. 2:1, 22; 3:10; Rev. 14:5); “deceit” (1:29; Mark 7:22;); craft (Mark 14:1); and “subtilty” (Matt. 26:4; Acts 13:10). ‘Malignity’ [Greek: kakoetheia]  a disposition producing evil habits. It means malignity of the mind, which leads its victim to put the worst construction on every action; ascribing to the best deeds the worst motives. ‘Whisperers’ [Greek: psithuristes] slanderers; those who pretend secrecy, and carry out accusations against people, whether true or false; blasting their reputation by clandestine gossip.

‘Backbiters’ [Greek: katalalos] evil speakers; false accusers; slanderers of absent people. ‘Haters of God’ [Greek: theostuges] hateful to God; atheists; condemners of sacred things; despisers of providence; scorners of good. ‘Despiteful’ [Greek: hubristes] insolent; stormy; boisterous; abusing the characters and persons of those under them; scornful; hateful. ‘Proud’ [Greek: huperephanos] to indulge in pride or self-gratulation; be exalted; elated; glory in self; display or strut self before others; an undue sense of superiority; unnatural self-esteem; arrogance; wishing all people to receive their sayings as oracles. ‘Boasters’ [Greek: alazon] self-exalted, vain, and arrogant braggarts. ‘Inventors of evil things’ [Greek: epheuretes] originators of wicked, immoral, and sinful customs, rites, and fashions; inventors of the abominable religious orgies of Bacchus, and every other form of entertainment rooted in horror, cruelty and base immorality. ‘Disobedient to parents’ rebellious against parents; indifferent to rule and order; irreverent.

‘Without understanding’ ignorant and destitute of capacity for spiritual things; stubborn. ‘Covenant-breakers’ [Greek: asunthetos] not morally bound to any agreement; not dependable; treacherous to covenants; faithless to promises; false to trusts. ‘Without natural affection’ destitute of natural affection; that is, filled with desire for unnatural affection experiences and other sexual deviation sins of Romans 1:24-28.

‘Implacable’ [Greek: aspondos] without libation (which accompanied a treaty). Greeks used it to appease the angry gods and reconcile them to the contracting parties. A person who would not pour libation was at deadly enmity with the other one and showed the highest pitch of an unforgiving spirit. He could not be placated, appeased, or pacified by God. ‘Unmerciful’ [Greek: aneleemon] pitiless; destitute of all benevolence to the needy; cruel; merciless; irreconcilable; severe; unappeasable; unforgiving; unyielding.

‘Not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them’ giving approval and or acceptance to the noted sins of Romans 1:24-28 in the lives of others make one just as guilty as the partakers thereof. Even though it’s not our duty to reprove others of their sin, but the Holy Spirit’s (John 16:8), we are to withdraw from those who sin, lest we fall into the same temptation (Ps. 1:1; 1Cor. 5:9-13; 2Cor. 6:17 – 7:1; 2Jn. 1:10-11).

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