Romans 1:18-32: The Wrath of God
"How are you?" someone asks. "I'm fine," we reply. But are we really, or do our words mask our true condition? In this passage Paul tells us that we are not fine—neither we nor our friends nor society. Something is dreadfully wrong.
Warming Up to God
Usually we have to admit we need help before we can be helped. Why do we often find it so difficult to admit a need? Give your needs to God's care.
Discovering the Word
- John Stott defines God's wrath (v. 18) as "his righteous reaction to evil, his implacable hostility to it, his refusal to condone it, and his judgment upon it" (John R. W. Stott, "God's Judgment," in Believing and Obeying Jesus Christ). According to this definition, how would God's wrath differ from the sinful anger or violent temper condemned by Scripture?
- What does everyone know about God, according to verses 19-20?
- Verses 21-32 describe the downward spiral of sin experienced by people who rebel against God. How would you summarize each level of their descent?
- How might each level lead to the next?
- People often raise the question of how God could condemn those who have never heard of him. How does this passage address this question?
Applying the Word
- What evidence do you see of this moral and spiritual degeneration today?
- How might this passage make you less ashamed of the gospel and more eager to preach it?
Responding in Prayer
Pray that God would be revealed powerfully to those who are rejecting him.