Unrighteousness of Men

The world is filled with unrighteousness and men who work unrighteousness. Romans 1 confirms both statements and provides details.

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“Unrighteousness of Men”

Romans 1:18-32

  • The world is filled with unrighteousness
  • And men who work unrighteousness
  • This passage confirms both statements and provides details
  • The word means “a deed violating law and justice”
  • It’s referring to unrighteousness of heart and life
  • The law being violated is God’s law
  • And God makes note of the “how” and “why” here
  • These are insightful thoughts for believers in Christ, living in a world of wickedness
  • Today, a focus on the unrighteousness of men
  • From Romans chapter 1
  • Before we get to our text today, I’d like to outline some of the key components
  • As it is revealed to us here, men…
  1. Have access to the knowledge of God (verses 19 and 20)
  2. Have rejected God (verse 21)
  3. Have a high view of themselves (verse 22)
  4. Have a caricature of God (verse 23)
  5. Have changed the truth of God (verse 25)
  6. Have been filled with all unrighteousness (verse 29)
  • These are men who have embraced the world’s system
  • Failed to acknowledge God and have faith in His son Jesus
  • We’ll discover these points in the outline as we begin in verse 18…

Romans 1:18-20

18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 

19  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 

20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 

  • Apart from faith in Christ, men can expect only a future of wrath
  • A just God cannot allow the unrighteousness of men to stand
  • That which may be known of God has been revealed to men
  • Who, in many cases, work diligently to hold His revealed truth back
  • Whatever men try to do, His creation reveals enough to wipe out excuses
  • Men have access to the knowledge of God
  • Choosing (all too often) to persist in ungodliness and rejection of Him
  • This passage reveals more about the tendency of mankind…

Romans 1:21-23

21  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 

22  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 

23  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 

  • Even when God is known – at least understood to be who He is – men do not glorify Him
  • Their hearts are darkened by empty, selfish thinking
  • Claiming to be wise, while actually becoming fools
  • This is the rejection of God we mentioned
  • It is a wholesale turning away from truth
  • In fact, it means turning the truth about God into falsehood
  • Making Him appear to be something He is not
  • Creating a caricature of God that allows men to remain in their sin
  • It gives the illusion, perhaps, that God is being worshipped, when He is not
  • This is why it says…

Romans 1:24-25

24  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 

25  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 

  • God, in His mercy, has allowed men to continue down a path of degradation
  • As they change His truth into a lie
  • Even worshipping the creature, rather than their Creator
  • None of these descriptions of men have surprised us thus far
  • Before placing our faith in Christ, perhaps many of us will have evidenced these attributes
  • This is the downward spiral of mankind walking apart from God
  • Even when there is a veneer of religiosity or good works
  • Its end is only destruction
  • The chapter goes on…

Romans 1:26-28

26  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 

27  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 

28  And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 

  • Scripture describes these things – rightly – in very sinister tones
  • This is wickedness against the God of the universe
  • We must acknowledge that the world’s description would be very different
  • Pictured wrongly as good, beneficial, positive, and effective in making a person “happy”
  • They say these affections and these behaviors are acceptable
  • God says an emphatic “no”
  • Truthful descriptions of men’s unrighteousness continue…

Romans 1:29-32

29  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 

30  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 

31  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 

32  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. 

  • Men, rejecting God, will not think of themselves in this way
  • Refusing to believe truth, we tell ourselves lies about who we are
  • And more importantly about who God is
  • And we fill ourselves and our lives with all unrighteousness
  • There remains for us, but one solution
  • Jesus Christ

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. ” II Corinthians 5:21

  • How is it possible that men like this can avoid wrath?
  • The wrath that was promised back in verse 18?

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Romans 5:8-9

  • And it is only “through Him”

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