Romans 1:16-25

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For the righteousness of God is revealed in it by faith to faith according as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shown it unto them.

For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, both His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Because they, having known God, glorified Him not as God, nor were thankful; but became vain in their reasonings, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into a likeness of an image of corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.


Having declared himself unashamed of the Good Tidings of Christ because it is the power of God unto salvation to all those of faith, Paul begins to explain the need for that salvation. His accusation is sobering; he insists that God is angry with men who ‘hold the truth in unrighteousness’, because the very creation itself is a testimony to both the deity of God and His limitless power. These men are not left without a witness of the Truth, but chose to refuse the truth, preferring a lie that allowed them to pursue, as they wrongly believed, their own desires with impunity. It is important to note that Paul says that these men knew God, but they did not prefer to glorify Him as God. Their problem was not that God had not demonstrated clearly His identity and nature, but that they in their foolishness preferred to disregard Him, making up their own ideas about ‘worship’ and ‘spirituality’ so they could pursue whatever wickednesses they pleased while pretending to be unaccountable to God.

Because of their rejection of God, God essentially “left them to their own devices’, to pursue whatever wickedness they felt inclined towards, even to the point of treating their own bodies with contempt. Left to themselves, men who rejected God set up idols to serve and revere, falling deeper into their own error to the point of self-destruction.

Like today, these rebellious men considered themselves to be the ‘smart’ ones; they had all the answers, had it all together, had ‘the life’, and they would never give an account. But God judged sin from the beginning, and His wrath is made plain against those who prefer to rebel than to follow God