God’s Righteousness Upheld

Romans 3:1-5 What advantage then has the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou might be justified in thy sayings, and might overcome when thou are judged. But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who takes vengeance? (I speak as a man) 

‘What advantage then has the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?’ Circumcision only profited if the law was kept (3:25).

‘Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God’ This answers the questions of Romans 3:1. Being entrusted with the oracles of God and all the external advantages were not sufficient to save the soul (3:21-31; 4:1-25; 8:3-4; Gal. 3:10-14).

‘For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?’ People’s unbelief cannot undo the effects of God’s faithfulness.

‘God forbid’ this answers the questions of Romans 3:3. “God forbid” is found 15 times in the New Testament (3:4, 6, 31; 6:2, 15; 7:7, 13; 9:14; 11:1, 11; Luke 20:16; 1Cor. 6:15; Gal. 2:17; 3:21; 6:14), and 9 times in the Old Testament (Gen. 44:7, 17; Jos. 22:29; 24:16; 1Sam. 12:23; 14:45; 20:2; 1Chron. 11:19; Job 27:5). Only in 1Chronicles 11:19 is it a literal translation of the original language. In all other places, it is a cultural idiom of the King James translators expressing a strong negative. Literally, may it never be.

‘Let God be true, but every man a liar’ let no man say that God has failed in keeping His word with any man. Let man examine himself and his ways to see if he has not failed to meet conditions so God can fulfil His promise. ‘That thou might be justified in thy sayings, and might overcome when thou art judged’ quoted from Psalm 51:4.

‘Thou are judged’ when God is judged or when He judges man by man, He always comes out justified because He is faithful in all His ways (Ps. 119:86, 138; Deut. 7:9; 1Cor. 1:9; 10:13). ‘But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who takes vengeance? … for then how shall God judge the world? For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? And not rather … Let us do evil, that good may come? … What then? are we better than they?’ Paul states that if their sins magnify the mercy and goodness of God then, the more wicked they are the more God can be glorified. If they thus glorify God, would He not be unjust in casting them off? It is only natural for Paul to reason this way for all his countrymen are involved. Typical how most people believe today: they think because Christ has died for their sin, they can continue therein. Nothing is more further from the truth, because Christ came to set us free from the bondage of sin not to provide a way for us to keep on living in sin (1Jn. 3).

Circumcision of the Heart

Romans 2:25-29 For circumcision verily profit, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision do transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. 

‘But if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision’ Circumcision was only profitable if the law was kept. If Israel broke the law they were just as much uncircumcised as Gentiles, for this was a sign of keeping the Law of Moses. If Gentiles who were not circumcised in the flesh kept the law by nature (2:12-16), then, in reality, they were the circumcised ones (2:26-27), for circumcision was a rite representing something spiritual – the purification of the heart (Jer. 4:4-10; 9:26; Ezek. 44:7-9; Rom. 2:29).

‘Shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision does transgress the law?’ The Jews were quick to judge others because they saw themselves as privileged being God’s nation. They made the types (circumcision, sabbaths, sacrifices, the Law of Moses, etc.) that was given to them to illustrate what Christ came to do for mankind a religion instead of serving God Himself.

‘If it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?’ The question here was that if a Gentile who is not circumcised keeps the law and the Jews did not, are the Jews not condemned as sinners by the Gentile, even though the Jews were circumcised?

‘For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh’ a true Jew is not the one who is circumcised in the flesh, neither is true circumcision in the flesh. A true Jew is one that has inward circumcision of the heart and in the spirit and has more than an outward cutting in the flesh and a profession of truth. This does not teach that every Christian is a Jew, but to be a true Jew one must be of the seed of Abraham, and have circumcision of the heart, and be a child of the promise (2:28-29; 9:6-7).

As It Is Written

Romans 2:21-24 Thou therefore which teach another, teach thou not thyself? thou that preach a man should not steal, do thou steal? Thou that say a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhor idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that make thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonour thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. 

‘Thou therefore which teach another, teach thou not thyself? thou that preach a man should not steal, do thou steal? Thou that say a man should not commit adultery, do thou commit adultery? thou that abhor idols, do thou commit sacrilege? Thou that make thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonour thou God?’ People are quick to teach others, while they don’t heed their own advice; they preach to others not to steal, commit adultery or have idols, but sin in the same ways. They boast in how they serve God but don’t obey simple commandments as given throughout the Word.

‘Abhor’ [Greek: bdelusso] only here and in Revelation 21:8 where it is translated abominable. ‘Commit sacrilege’ [Greek: hierosuleo] rob temples; use consecrated things for self. It is also the same as robbing God in Malachi 3:10-12.

‘Through breaking the law dishonour thou God’ one cannot boast of the law, and at the same break it and bring reproach upon God by living in open contradiction to your own profession. In Biblical times the high priesthood itself was an office bought and sold like other commodities. The rapine of Eli’s sons was carried on many generations by priests (1Sam. 2:22; Matt. 23:1-39). Their adultery and polygamy were scandalous. They were guilty of theft, treachery, adultery, murder, and all the sins of Romans 1:18-32; 2:1-29; 3:10-18.

‘For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written’ Ezekiel 36:20, 23 describes how Israel profaned God’s name under the heathen nations instead of representing Him as was their purpose.

Behold

Romans 2:17-20 Behold, thou are called a Jew, and rest in the law, and make thy boast of God, And know his will, and approve the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; And are confident that thou thyself are a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which has the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. 

‘Thou are called a Jew’ Paul now openly deals with the Jew asserting that his superior knowledge, privileges, and calling only serve to condemn him more than Gentiles who obey the law of nature. ‘Rest in the law’ they trusted in the law for salvation.

‘And know his will, and approve the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law’ the Jews knew God’s will for them: that they had to represent Him on earth under all the Gentiles in serving Him as the only God and by living in obedience according to His Word while receiving the many blessings and promises that was given to them. Doing so would lead others to repentance just as we today as individual parts of the body of Christ are commanded to do.

‘Are confident that thou thyself are a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness’ as God’s representatives on earth, they were to guide the blind (unsaved) through the light (Word) in the darkness (sinful world). 

‘An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which has the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.’ again, it is stated that the Jews were to instruct and teach the Gentile nations in the things they received from God.

Romans 1-8 proves that God’s grace extends to both Jews and Gentiles who believe. In Romans 9-11 shows why the Jews were rejected and cut off by God and why and how the Gentiles were called and elected to partake of gospel benefits. The fall of the Jews was not in itself the reason for the salvation of the Gentiles. They were to be saved whether the Jews accepted or rejected the gospel (Gen. 12:1-3; Rom. 4:1-25; Gal. 6:8-10).

Do By Nature

Romans 2:12-16 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

‘For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law’ not only is it stated in Romans 2:7-11 that God will judge on the basis of character and conduct, but here (2:12-16) it is stated that He will judge character and conduct on the basis of light received (knowledge acquired). ‘Also perish without law’ no Mosaic law will be cited against non-Jews.

‘For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified’ not the hearers of the law and of the gospel, but the doers will be justified (2:7-11; 10:8-21; Jas. 1:21-27; 2:14-26; 1Jn. 1:7).

‘Do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves’ Gentiles who are a law unto themselves will not be held accountable to any other law or be judged by any other.

‘Show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another’ their keeping of the law by nature proves they have the law written in their hearts. The conscience bears witness of obedience or condemns for disobedience, proving God has not left people without light (knowledge) sufficient to justify or condemn in the judgment (2:15-16). It does not say here that keeping the law, or doing by nature what the law requires, saves the soul in either case. People have to be born again in addition to this to be saved. ‘According to my gospel’ according to foundations God laid down in His gospel. The Father will judge all people by Jesus Christ. He will be impartial and judge on the basis of deeds, not knowledge (2:7-11); and light (knowledge), not laws that people never possessed (2:12-16).

Righteous Judgment

Romans 2:5-11 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasures up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that does evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that works good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God. 

‘Hardness’ caused by a long course of rebellion (Ps. 81:11-15; 2Cor. 3:14; Heb. 3:8-19). ‘Impenitent heart’ caused by the hardness of heart (Eph. 4:18-19). ‘Treasures up’ [Greek: thesaurizo] increase or store up – here it is storing up things that will call for the wrath of God. The treasure of wrath is varied to the extent one rejects the goodness of God and punishment will be according to its contents (2:6; Matt. 11:22-24; 23:14; Rev. 20:11-15).

‘The day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God’ Paul no doubt refers here to the final judgment when all rebels will receive full retribution for their sins (2:16; Acts 17:31; Rev. 20:11-15). It is called “the wrath to come” (Matt. 3:7; 1Thess. 1:10). All rebels are “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3; 5:6). Many days of wrath have come upon people locally and in this life because of rebellion (Num. 11:33; 16:46; Deut. 9:7-8; Luke 21:23; 1Thess. 2:16; etc.). One more great day of wrath is coming upon people on earth (Rev. 6:16-17; 14:19; 15:1, 7; 16:1, 19; 18:3; 19:15), but the great day of wrath is that of the final judgment and eternal hell (Rev. 14:9-11; 20:11-15; 21:8).

‘Render to every man according to his deeds’ repay every man reward or punishment.

‘Patient continuance in well doing’ a must for all (John 6:27; 10:28; 1Tim. 6:12, 19). We are commanded to “do good” to those who hate us (Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:27; Gal. 6:10; Heb. 13:16).

‘Seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life’ four things to seek: Glory (2:7, 10; 8:18; 2Pet. 1:3); honour (2:7, 10; John 12:26; 1Thess. 4:4); immortality (1Pet. 3:4), and eternal life (John 6:27; 10:28).

These are given on conditions of seeking them (2:7) and by “continuance in well doing” and “working good” (2:7, 10). Acts of obedience do not merit such blessings, which are already provided for by grace, but they demonstrate acceptance of them by man and proof to God of conformity to His will (Php. 2:12; Jas. 1:21-27).

‘Indignation and wrath’ note the contrasted destinies of two classes – good and evil (2:7-11). They care clearly described in Matthew 7:13; 25:46; John 5:28-29; Galatians 6:7-8. Up to physical death, destruction can be cancelled by repentance (Luke 13:1-5; John 3:16-20; Acts 3:19; 1Jn. 1:9) and life can be cancelled by sin (Gen. 2:17; Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 8:12-13).

‘No respect of persons with God’ God cannot be anything but infinitely impartial in His dealings with all men. He cannot prefer one above another nor bless one above another when all meet the same terms and love Him with all the heart. The seeming preference of God between two men is based upon the attitude and disposition of the men toward God and conformity to His plan. Naturally, God cannot bless two men the same when one is in obedience and the other in rebellion. God will bless the ones more who conform more fully to His holiness.

According to Truth

Romans 2:1-4 Therefore thou are inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou are that judges: for wherein thou judge another, thou condemn thyself; for thou that judge does the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And think thou this, O man, that judges them which do such things, and does the same, that thou shall escape the judgment of God? Or despises thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leads thee to repentance? 

‘Thou are inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou are that judge: for wherein thou judge another, thou condemn thyself; for thou that judge does the same things’ Paul here addresses the Jews without naming them. He accurately describes them by their well-known disposition to justify themselves and condemn others (Luke 18:19). They are guilty of some of the same things God condemns in Romans 1:21-32, so they are liable to God’s just judgment on sin as much as Gentiles.

‘And think thou this, O man, that judge them which do such things, and does the same, that thou shall escape the judgment of God? Or despise thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leads thee to repentance?’ No one who sins – saved or not – will escape God’s judgment (Isa. 26:9-10). God will punish the righteous when they sin (Gal. 6:7-8), He will surely punish the ungodly. If the ones who are righteous are scarcely saved, there is no possible hope of sinners being saved (1Pet. 4:17).

‘Think’ [Greek: logizomai] to reckon or reason. First of 19 times in Romans (2:3, 26; 3:28; 4:3-24; 6:11; 8:18, 36; 9:8; 14:14).

‘Or despise thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leads thee to repentance?’ The question to the Jews were if they despised the good dealings of God and the superior advantages they have had, not knowing that those were designed to lead them to repentance.

‘Leads thee to repentance’ three things lead to repentance: (1) Goodness [Greek: chrestotes] the virtue and beneficence of God whereby He leads sinners to repentance (2:4; cp. 5:6-8). (2) Forbearance [Greek: anoche] the self-restraint of God whereby He tolerates sinners and permits them to live to be saved (2:4; 3:25; cp. Neh. 9:30). (3) Longsuffering [Greek: makrothumia] the leniency and patience of God whereby God’s mercy and goodness are extended to people to bring them to eternal reconciliation to Himself (2:4; 1Pet. 3:20; 2Pet. 3:15).

‘Repentance’ [Greek: metanoeo] to change one’s mind for the better. Not merely to forsake sin, but to change one’s attitude toward it and his love for it. Hence, it is demanded by God as a condition of forgiveness and grace (Matt. 4:17; Luke 13:3, 5; 15:7; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30). Repentance is one of the main themes of the Bible, being found 110 times from Genesis 6:6 to Revelation 16:11.

Seven original words for “repent” is used in Scripture: (1) Hebrew: nacham, to sigh, breathe strongly, to be sorry (Gen. 6:6; Ex. 13:17; Job 42:6; Jon. 3:10); (2) Hebrew: shuwb, to turn back (1Kin. 8:47; Ezek. 14:6); (3) Hebrew: nocham, regret (Hos. 13:14); (4) Hebrew: nichuwm, compassion (Hos. 11:8); (5) Greek: metanoeo, to change the mind for the better morally, to change the attitude toward sin (Luke 13:3); (6) Greek: metamellomai, to regret consequences of sin, not the cause (Matt. 27:3; 2Cor. 7:8); (7) Greek: metanoia, a real change of mind and attitude toward sin and its cause, not merely the consequences of it (Matt. 3:8, 11; 9:13; Luke 24:47).

Knowing the Judgment of God Part 2

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. 

‘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).

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).

A Reprobate Mind

Romans 1:26-28 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient 

‘For this cause God gave them up’ because of the apostasy of Romans 1:21-25. ‘Vile’ [Greek: atimia] vile (1:26); shame (1Cor. 11:14); reproach (2Cor. 11:21); and dishonour (9:21; 1Cor. 15:43; 2Cor. 6:8; 2Tim. 2:20). ‘Affections’ [Greek: pathos] affections (1:26; Col. 3:5) and lusts (1Thess. 4:5). Vile affections are passions of infamy and shame. ‘Natural use into that which is against nature’ this is lesbianism – unnatural, homosexual relations between women.

‘Leaving the natural use of the woman’ this is sodomy or homosexuality (Gen. 8:21; 19:5; Lev. 20:13; Deut. 23:17; 1Kin. 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2Kin. 23:7; Joel 3:3; Eph. 5:4; 2Tim. 3:3, 13; 2Pet. 2:7-22; Jude 1:7-19).

‘Burned in their lust’ [Greek: ekkaiomai] were inflamed. Most people see lust or attraction to another person as love. It is not, it is an attraction of lustful spirits which roam in individuals minds as they succumb to evil thoughts (2Cor. 10:3-6).

‘Unseemly’ [Greek: aschemosune] indecent. ‘Receiving’ [Greek: apolambano] receiving back in full. ‘Recompense’ [Greek: antimisthia] retribution. ‘Error’ [Greek: plane] wandering – the wrong action, wickedness. Both men and women weakened and debilitated their bodies by unnatural prostitution, so that they received in themselves (mostly sickness in mind and body) the penalties of their wickedness.

‘God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient’ three things God gave them up: To dishonour their bodies (1:24); to vile affections in their souls (1:26); to reprobate minds (1:28).

‘Reprobate’ [Greek: adokimos] reprobate (1:28; 2Cor. 13:5-7; 2Tim. 3:8; Tit. 1:16); rejected (Heb. 6:8); and castaway (1Cor. 9:27). Christ is not in reprobates.