Christ once told a story about a man who wanted to help his brother. Unfortunately, that man had a much more severe problem himself, which he did not even realise. Until that man dealt with his own problem, he would be completely unable to help his brother (Luke 6:41-42).
Often, it seems easier to recognise other peopleís faults than our own. It is not hard to recognise that the evil acts and attitudes in Paulís list are wrong (1:28-31). Perhaps we can also see that wrong desires cause people to carry out the wrong acts in Romans 1:24-27. Also, people have failed to give God the honour that he deserves. So, they have made themselves images of false gods (1:21-23).
Perhaps we agreed with all that Paul wrote in chapter 1. Perhaps we even felt anger against the people who do these wrong things. Perhaps in our minds, we were even accusing them as we read the chapter.
If so, Paulís words at the start of chapter 2 will give us a shock. He declares that we too are guilty. We have declared that Godís judgement about these wrong acts is right. Therefore, we need to realise that Godís judgement is against us, too.
We may not have prayed to the images of false gods. However, we all have failed to give God the honour that he deserves. We may not have carried out wrong sex acts. However, we all desire wrong things. When we read a list of peopleís evil behaviour, we ought to examine our own hearts, not to accuse other people.
God wants to forgive us, so that we can have a right relationship with him. However, that is only possible when we first turn from our evil behaviour to ask God for his help. He can save (rescue) us from our wrong and evil deeds, so that we can start to have a right relationship with him.
Next part: God urges us to repent (Romans 2:4-5)
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© 2017, Keith Simons.