I rarely, if ever, comment on current events in the media that relate to politics or religion. But I’m about to make a fool of myself and say something related to both of those. I’m a novice in my preaching, but that’ll be addressed in what I’m about to say, too.
So, today on Facebook, one of my friends posted a simple update: “Romans 1:18-22,” to which a couple of comments followed it up stating how that was a very deep chapter, but despite what it says folks just wouldn’t recognize it. I went and look it up and did a little research on it myself, and while that particular verse is the one we Christians like to thump at everyone often enough, I don’t think we understand the context that it’s presented in.
The tricky thing about Bible verses is, you have to read what comes before and after what you want to quote to make sure it means what you think it means. That Romans 1:18-22 that “we” like to quote is the foundation for what follows in 2:1-5.
Many of us just don’t understand The Bible as we should (I’m very guilty of this and what I’m about to say, sadly), which makes us look like fools when we try to quote it or rant on something we think we understand. Truth is, sometimes I think we just like to look important, like we’re really preaching it when in fact we need to listen more and speak less.
But read it for yourself and take what I wrote with a grain of salt because as I said, I need to learn to listen more than I speak.
Taken from The Bible (New International Version):
God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
God’s Righteous Judgment
2 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.
New International Version (NIV)
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