All Kinds of Evil
Jesus, thank You for the Good News of Your salvation. Give me more grace today.
Read Romans 1:18–32
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.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever exchanged a gift someone has given you? How do you think the giver might feel if he knew?
A popular question in our house is: “Do you want the good news or the bad?” The answer, usually accompanied by a groan: “Go on then, let’s get it over with.”
Paul has already given the best news, the Gospel as God’s saving power to everyone. But now he feels he has to explain why this is so much needed. The bad news is that God’s wrath has come (18). Even if the Romans haven’t yet heard the Gospel, there are signs of his eternal power and divine nature all around (20). There is absolutely no excuse for people disregarding and disobeying God.
And it wasn’t that people didn’t see this evidence. Three times Paul uses the words “the people exchanged”: glory for man-made images (23); truth for lies (25); natural for unnatural (26). They knew God but preferred the attractions of the world. They didn’t think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God (28).
“Exchanged” has a strong sense of knowing what you are doing, a conscious act. The Romans have made their bed and so God now lets them lie in it (29–31).
Have you exchanged God’s best for something lesser that the world offers? Take some time to search your heart now.
Think about a friend who has heard the Gospel but “exchanged” it for the ways of the world. Pray for that friend now.