No human is perfect, and Christians are not the exception. As believers, we dare not represent ourselves as better than others. We are forgiven, and that makes life a whole lot better. However, this does not make us arrogant. Just the opposite. We are humbled and grateful for God’s grace. Just because we are believers doesn’t mean we have arrived. We are on a never-ending journey, so long as we are breathing.
From that perspective, Paul writes his letter to the Romans. It is a powerful document. Only God knows the full extent to which it landed in corrupt Rome as a compass to help a wayward culture return to health and vitality of life.
Paul begins, in Romans 1:18, to diagnose life in the cesspool of their culture. He references creation and asks, “How can you miss God?” He points out their refusal to treat God like God. He analyzes the real issue: They have trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion—no sense of direction remained in their lives. Wow, did Paul listen to this morning’s newscast just before he wrote this?
The scariest thing of all is that God allows people to self-destruct. God is no tyrant, and we are not His puppets. He describes Rome as a pigpen, filthy inside and out (verse 24).
Fake news is one thing. But Paul says they have traded the true God for a fake god. Nothing like getting to the issue behind the issue!
Paul shows that by refusing to know God, we can lose our humanity. That ought to be a major kick in the butt for all our churches today who have lost their ability to reach unbelievers in our deteriorating culture.
Wow, Paul is willing to be politically incorrect! He talks about people “sexually confused,” men having sex with men, women having sex with women. “Ouch!” Or, “Hooray!” And therein lies the divide.
You can say Paul was obnoxious and politically incorrect, but don’t forget—Rome did experience a turnaround. Did this letter help?