“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16 NIV)
Paul writes to the Romans about his desire to come and visit and his calling as an apostle to the Gentiles, a messenger and witness that Jesus is the Son of God as demonstrated by his death on the cross and resurrection from the dead.
This “gospel” or “good news” is that we can be made “right with God” by faith. In other words, when we try to follow all the rules in order to get to God, we will always fall short.
And just in case we think we are righteous on our own not needing Jesus’ sacrifice, he reminds us how we are all without excuse and able to see the beauty of creation which points to the Creator God but instead we worship what God created rather than the Creator.
For example, God created sex as a gift in the context of marriage, but instead lust has so affected our minds we see men and women as objects for our own pleasure.
We worship sex, money, ourselves, and we even invent ways of being evil.
When we read the list of ways humanity falls short with an open heart and an open mind, we will see ourselves in this list.
Too often, we read this list and see other people and their issues without seeing our own need for God. As a result we judge others which Paul condemns in the next chapter.
But if we have eyes to see and ears to hear, we will see God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature.
“Paul is not teaching that one day God will punish Roman civilization for its vice and decadence. On the contrary, the vice and decadence are themselves God’s punishment…Their punishment was their greed, envy, strife, deceit, violence and faithlessness.”– Donald MacLeod
Sometimes the “wrath of God” is demonstrated when God gives us what we want allowing us to experience the consequences of our evil choices.
When reading this passage what stood out to you?
How do you sense God may want you to apply what you discovered?