The first chapter of Romans illustrates a very revealing downward spiral of sin that readers of Romans may oftentimes unwittingly gloss over.
In this post I’ve briefly outlined the effects of sin as described at the end of Romans 1 and beginning of Romans 2. It should serve as a reminder to us all that sin is not something to be trifled with, it’s not harmless, and it’s not just a simple boo boo or mistake. Sin always takes a man where he never intends to go; into total depravity.
See if you can you spot the similarities in the downward progression of sin described in Romans to that of America (collectively) as a country.
Man: We begin our road of compromise into sin with the suppression of truth (Romans 1:18) which leads to our unthankfulness and dishonor of God (Romans 1:21).
Man: We then have speculations (that we of course hold in higher regard than God’s revealed word) which only causes our already evil hearts to become darkened even more (Romans 1:21).
Man: We then put more emphasis on our own intellect, thinking we’re wise (and many times thinking we’re wiser than God Himself). However, we’re only wise in our own eyes (Proverbs 26:12) because in reality we’ve become fools (Romans 1:22).
Man: We then put man–and God’s other creations–above God Himself (Romans1:23).
God: So God gives us over to the lusts of our hearts (Romans 1:24).
Man: We then exchange the truth of God for lies, and we worship and serve the created things (like money, cars, homes, sports stars, movie stars, trees, animals music, family, and most frequently ourself) above that of God the Creator (Romans 1:25).
God: As we continue down this slope of sin, God now gives us over to degrading passions (Romans 1:26).
Man: We then exchange the natural functions of the opposite sex for the burning passions of unnatural homosexual relations. Women with women and men with men (Romans 1:26-27).
Man: After this, we completely turn our backs on God, no longer acknowledging Him (Romans 1:28).
God: God finally gives us over to a depraved mind (Romans 1:28).
Man: Those of us with our newly depraved minds now engage in all kinds of unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil, envy, strife, deceit, malice, gossip, slander, pride, disobedience, hate and lack of mercy (Romans 1:28-31). Sadly, those of us who once at least recognized God and acknowledged Him (Romans 1:23) have fallen so far into our sin that we now hate Him (Romans 1:30).
Man: At this point, although we now hate God, we still know His ordinances and understand that those who practice wickedness are worthy of death, but we not only continue in our rampant wickedness, we give hearty approval to those who practice it with us (Romans 1:32).
God: God’s judgment will certainly fall on us (Romans 2:2). And the self-righteous hypocrites (those who just “play church” while their hearts–and ultimately their lives–remain unchanged) won’t escape God’s final judgment either. These people who make unrighteous judgments concerning those chronicled in Romans 1:22-32, (while they themselves are practicing these same behaviors), are storing up for themselves the wrath of God as well (Romans 2:3, 5).
It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.