How Far Have We Fallen? - Romans 1:18-2:1

It’s difficult to understand just how far we have fallen in sin. From our fallen position, it’s equally hard to appreciate the holiness of God. It’s tempting to think we are doing pretty well on our own, or in comparison to others. Paul wants us to know that we have fallen from such heights, and we are so far separated from God’s righteous standard, that our condition is truly hopeless. No matter who we are, where we are from, or how much good we think we’ve done, we all fall short of God’s righteous standard (Romans 3:10, 3:23).

Because He is just, God must judge all sin, but because He is merciful, He has made a way for those who trust in Jesus to escape from His judgment. That’s the good news. That’s the gospel.

Paul emphasizes the sinful condition of mankind with a list that indicts our condition apart from God. Whether living a lifestyle of idol worship, practicing sexual sin, or having minds filled with all sorts of evil thoughts, God looks into our hearts and judges our spiritual condition. Throughout scripture God has always considered the sinful condition of our hearts as equally (if not more) offensive as our outward acts.

Paul shows us the darkness of our depravity and the pending judgment to contrast the goodness of God’s grace. Paul trusts in the dynamic living power of the gospel of God to change us from the inside out and deliver us from the power of sin. We can have the same trust in the transforming power of God’s word today.

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 Key Takeaways:

  • This is an indictment of all men, all unrighteousness, and all kinds of immorality.
  • Understanding the context of this passage is critical so that we don’t use it as a list to condemn each other.
  • The Word of God is transforming us, and we must trust the Word to be the transforming power in others.
  • In His mercy, God has made a way to deliver us from sin, but people (even believers) continually look for other ways to escape power of sin.
  • Once the threat of God’s judgment is removed, we are still to live in faithful obedience to God.