Notes and Thoughts on Romans Chapter One

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   Before I dive into notes or thoughts on the scripture I read today, I want to recap the days events. With my new desk space cleared in my room I’ve felt very anxious to get to work on reading stuff. I have about 5 theology books I’m trying to get through. I want to re-read C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, because I know it is material I’ll be teaching this fall. Then there are secular stuff I’ve been wanting to read such as To Kill a Mockingbird and comic books. 

    Maybe you noticed something there that wasn’t quite right. I included many books, some of them about the God, but I didn’t include the one authored by God. For some reason after you’ve been out of the word for awhile, it can be the hardest thing to will yourself to read. Maybe because it is the one that requires the most focus. Maybe it is also because when I read the Bible I desire to get everything I can from it so I feel overwhelmed and don’t even want to begin. 

    Either way I did get around to my Bible, but unfortunately I made it last. I don’t want to do that anymore. I hope that now that I am back in the word I can make it my priority. Anyways on to the chapter. 

It is impossible for me to read the first chapter of Romans during this particular week and not jump straight to the comments Paul makes about homosexuality. It is here. It is very clear. It can’t be explained away or hidden.

Romans 1: 27 “In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error” 

A friend and me were talking at work the day regarding the recent Supreme Court ruling. Oddly enough we were discussing this passage, and I stumbled upon it while reading tonight. It seems that Christians have reacted one of three ways since the ruling.

1. They are freaking out and damning the whole country.

2. They are warning fellow Christians to not act like #1, but rather speak their truth in love.

3. They are supportive of the decision, and are announcing their beliefs that homosexuality is not a sin.

Me and my friend were discussing the third reaction type. It doesn’t make sense to us. Of course growing up in a conservitive church setting I’ve always believed that homosexuality is a sin. However, I’ve struggled over the years because I’ve had friends who identified themselves as gay. Most of them have been perfectly nice people. I’ve enjoyed talking to them. However, I’ve been terrified to talk to them about God. So it would be so much easier if we found some explanation in the Bible to say it wasn’t a sin.

But thats just not true. It is.  God clearly says it in the Old Testament and the New. I’ve heard the argument that Paul wrote it this way cause it was considered weird and taboo in his time. Of course he would write it that way. But if you believe that the Bible is the absolute record of God’s word, then you have to accept that everything that is in there is his truth. To say Paul let his own opinions taint the word of God is to cast doubt on Paul as an apostle. His job was to spread God’s word. There hasn’t been a Christian like Paul since Paul. I can’t believe God would allow Paul to write something that he wasn’t getting straight from God.

So while Romans one lists many other sins people commit, this is the one that stuck out to me. I don’t think thats weird. Under the circumstances it is completely logical.

However another interesting verse stuck out to me that comes from the same passage.

Romans 1: 20  ” For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

This passage really ties in with a message I’ve been working on that I’ll be giving this Wednesday at Youth. In the message I discuss God’s Will of Desire, and with that comes the idea of having to reconcile the ideas that God is completely sovereign but we are still responsible for our sins. We are “without excuse”. We have seen his power. We know his desire. There is no one else to blame it on. Until we accept that we can not grow.

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