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Romans 1:18-32 - Homilies By T.f. Lockyer

The revelation of wrath.

"For." Note the transition. The introduction into a status of righteousness presupposes a status of unrighteousness, involving wrath. So, then, we have here—man's guilt, God's wrath.

I. MAN 'S GUILT . Man's guilt, which is his obnoxious relation to the judgment of God, is established by reference to the well-known state of the Gentile world, branded by its own doings as "ungodly" and "unrighteous."

1. Ungodliness. The deepest root of man's corruption.

2. Unrighteousness. Cause and effect of ungodliness. Catalogued here so terribly that merely to read it is enough.

II. GOD 'S WRATH . This truth is burnt into the Bible, from first to last, that God is angry with sin, and with the sinner who identifies himself with sin. But it is burnt into the very history of sin itself, and that is the insistence of the apostle here.

1. Sin working folly. ( Romans 1:21 , Romans 1:22 .) Man will not bow to what is above him; he therefore bows to what is beneath him. An effigy (Greece)! an eel (Egypt)! And this with all their wisdom: Greece, Rome, Egypt ( Romans 1:22 ).

2. Sin working shame. ( Romans 1:24 , Romans 1:26 , Romans 1:27 .) Man realizes his dignity when he realizes his God; loosing himself from God, he sinks into a degradation degraded beyond all words.

3. Sin working sin. ( Romans 1:28-32 .) An utter reprobacy, so that the man becomes a devil! This the ultimate result of confirmed apostasy from God. Short of this, there is hope. What laws are these! Yes; God's laws. The revelation of his wrath. The heavens are speaking daily while we sin, and this is their voice: "Deeper, deeper, deeper! Folly, shame, sin!" And the thrice-told truth of it all ( Romans 1:24 , Romans 1:26 , Romans 1:28 ) is, God gave them up." And all because they gave up God. So the ultimate punishment of the ultimate sin is, They reprobated God; God reprobated them" ( Romans 1:28 , literally). Let us learn, from these sad words, our danger: the suppression of the truth which is in us, its conversion into a lie—for all this is possible still; and the consequent wrath of God. And our safety: for as it is the loosing of ourselves from God which works folly, shame, and death; so it is the laying hold of God by faith in Christ that works wisdom, dignity, and life.—T.F.L.

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