[They] knew perfectly well the judgments1 of The God that those who are habitually doing those things are worthy of death. 2 But, not only do they habitually do these things, they also think approvingly of others who habitually do such things. 3
|1||Who knew perfectly well the judgments: These Jews were thoroughly familiar with God’s Law. Christians, likewise, are not ignorant of the items in Paul’s list. The danger of habitually practicing any of these is made clear in the next phrase. (Deuteronomy 4:8) The Nazarene’s own list of what defiles a person should be noted at Matthew 15:19 and Mark 7:23, 24 (see notes on Matthew 15:19).|
|2||That those who are habitually doing those things are worthy of death: Or, continue to do, keep doing. There is a terrible warning here to Christians that those who have the habit of practicing any of these things is in jeopardy. Just as God rejected Jews whom he had formerly saved, just so, Christians who fail to refrain from the above will also be treated just as the former. (Compare notes on Jude 5, 6 and 1 John 3:4 in Nazarene Commentary 2000©.)|
|3||They also think approvingly of others who habitually do such things: One cannot approve of the sins of others or in some way rationalize or justify their erroneous conduct without becoming guilty themselves.|
Dear Friends of the Nazarene,
Today we begin to examine the major themes of Paul’s epistle to the Roman Christians and Jews. The overall theme of one of the Bible’s most important books may be stated as, “Law, Freedom and the Judgment of God.” We choose Romans 1:32 as the theme verse of chapter one – Divine Judgment. Though many would wish “salvation” to be the theme a closer reading shows “judgment” is Paul’s subject in chapters one through three. Paul writes to the Christian Saints in Rome. [1-7] He states a Gospel fundamental – the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He offers his prayers and expresses his hope to visit them soon. [8-12] He hopes there may be an interchange of encouragement.
Paul begins to introduce one of is major themes directed to “Jew first, but also to the non-Jewish.” [13-17] He also begins to use on of his favorite verses, Habakkuk 2:4, “the righteous will live because of their faith.” Next Paul begins to attack Jewish suppression of the truth as inexcusable. [18-23] Though some would apply the following words to Gentiles, the context and particularly verses 1:32-2:3, 17. God’s judgment is revealed against the ungodly and unrighteous among those who ‘know’ God. Since these apostate Jews rejected God He abandoned them to their own lustful practices. [24-27] Because they rejected His truths (moral and doctrinal) God abandoned them to their own chosen course, resulting in sexual perversion. Paul then lists that kind of conduct that calls for God’s judgment. [28-32] He speaks to those Jews “who knew perfectly well the judgments of The God.”
Abba our Father bless those who encourage on another.
[20 December 2002]