SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- The book of Romans was written by Paul. His intended readers were the thousands of people living in Rome. His purpose was to write a clear and concise explanation of the Christian faith to a city that was the center of world power at the time.
- Paul makes it clear that "righteousness," a term for being made right with God, comes not from living a "good life" but only through faith in Jesus.
- Paul then explains that without God we are depraved, or immoral, people. Verse 21 says that we may know about God, but it doesn't mean we know Him. God gives us free will to choose whether we want to follow the truth or not. If our decision is no, verse 24 tells us that God will give us over to our sinful desires and worshipping idols. Idols are anything we value more than God.
- In verses 26-31, Paul lists sins of those who have turned away from God.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- The general path humans take is to turn away from the one true God and toward sin, thus making something else god. This path is self-destructive, and we don't want to take it.
- Romans 1 talks about God's wrath against sin. We see all throughout the Bible that God is love. But God hates sin. And God's hatred of sin is loving because sin destroys us and the lives and relationships of the people God loves. So, the most loving thing God can do is hate the presence of sin in our lives.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- What path are you on? Are you seeking truth or trying to run from it? What is it that you're looking to for ultimate satisfaction and fulfillment? Whatever it is, that is what you worship. So is it God? Or a person? Or money? Or your job? Or physical fitness? Decide today to make God the god of your life, and to worship Him alone.
- What sin is in your life? In turning away from God, what sins have you turned to? Decide today to turn away from that sin and back to God. Ask God to help you, and consider confiding in a trusted friend who can support you.