Topic: UNRIGHTEOUSNESS REVEALED
Text: ROMANS 1:18-32
From our previous study, we established that righteousness is the life of God. Apostle Paul writing to the church in Rome according to our text, saying “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 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: 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. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 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. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 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. 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: 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. 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; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 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.” (Romans 1:18-32). If it be that Righteousness is the very life of God, what then is unrighteousness? And why is Paul writing and warning the believers about this?
Unrighteousness: this is the life that is in constant enmity with God, the life that is in continues opposition to God and the ways of God, a rebellious life. Summarily the life of the devil. It is also important to note the following about unrighteousness;
- It is not an act sin, but a state of being in Sin, it it not just about committing sin, but a life of continuous sin, continuing in sin not of ignorance but knowing very well the consequence thereof, but choosing to continue therein it. Therefore it is a life of choice to sin (Romans 1:32).
- Knowing God, but refusing to acknowledge Him as God, thereby denying Him. Apostle Paul says they “became vain in their imaginations…” (Romans 1:21).
- Attributing the glory of the almighty God to other gods, not out of ignorance but a deliberate act to insult God (Romans 1:23).
- Changing the truth of the word of God into falsehood as a way to suit your lifestyle or to excuse yourself. Explaining away the truthfulness of the scripture to support acts of sin and immoralities (Romans 1:25).
All these are the attributes of unrighteousness. But when unrighteousness is matured, it give birth to “a reprobate mind…” (Romans 1:28). What then is the reprobate mind?
The Reprobate Mind: this is the mind of the life that is saturated in unrighteousness, a life consciously and conscientiously heading for destruction. A mind that has known the truth about God but “refuse to retain Him in their knowledge…” (Romans 1:28), the one on which the Holy Spirit has given up on, and the hope of salvation has been withdrawn. Of such, Apostle Paul says they “…having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” (1 Timothy 4:2), so that they do not feel remorse whatsoever about their life even though they know what the right thing is to do.
Conclusion: it is good to know that unrighteousness is not just when one decides to do all that is contrary to the life and nature of God, but just one act of sin on which one chooses to defer with God. “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful” (Romans 1:29-31). Believing in part does not make you a believer, believing all except one is equally as detrimental as not believing at all. It is good to note that the sin you always try to explain away instead of repent of, is the sin that will lead to unrighteousness and subsequently reprobacy. Therefore, as believer, we must constantly pray for our conscience to be alive and that the Holy Spirit should constantly caution us of every act of sin before it settles in us as a lifestyle. May God therefore never leave us to ourselves in Jesus name.