Romans 1:28 "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; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 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."Next comes "despiteful". That is expressing disdain for another. That happens when others are considered less important than ourselves or not a friend, and it's letting all our feelings emanate, not caring if the other person's feelings are hurt. It's snubbing another person. There is NEVER a valid reason for being despiteful! Even our bitter enemies are not to be antagonized. In fact extra effort is to be exerted to make friends of even our enemies. That's what loving enemies is all about!
I've had people, even in church, avoid me and on a couple of occasions fail to speak or shake my hand when I extend it to them in brotherly love. I've had Christians as they shake my hand look over my shoulder for the next person to greet who is more important than I am. I've had Christians intentionally and spitefully insult me at church! All these thins are despiteful and are a great sin!
"Proud" should be first, but it's next. Of course Paul was proud that he was chosen by God and loved God. Pride in being saved as long as due credit is given to Jesus is to be commended! It's pride in self which is so wrong!
Even pride in a new Bible is acceptable, but being proud because you have a new car is not unless thanks is given to God for something you don't deserve! Grace is getting what you don't deserve! What do you DESERVE? Not a thing! All that you have and all that you are is because of God's grace. I cringe at the television commercial where the young lady says "I got the car that I deserve!" How so? Why does the young woman deserve the car when she doesn't even deserve the air that she breaths? It's a blessing and even what the sinner has is because God blesses his creation!
The thought that one DESERVES is prideful. That implies self-importance. If the value of a human is evaluated we are worth about ten dollars as fertilizer. That's if we didn't have that soul which gives value. The soul is a mere container for spirit. There are two kinds of spirit: the Holy Spirit and evil spirits. Throughout a person's life there is a war going on in places unseen about which spirit that soul contains. God so loves everyone so much that he wants everybody to be imbued with his Holy Spirit. That means in God's eyes you are a value commodity. Why? He wants your love. That's important to him even thought there are billions of us!
You are valuable to God. The problem is that people think they are more valuable than they are! It's having self-esteem rather than Christ-esteem. It's placing the "self" above God and others.
Satan knows God well! He's known God a long time. When mankind sinned he said this:
Genesis 3:5 "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."God didn't say that, but Satan did. However, he is right because he has "been there... done that!" being in rebellion himself. Satan's sin was pride. 1 Timothy 3:6 indicates that Satan was disowned by God because of pride and that mankind is subject to the same affliction! Being prideful is being like the devil, the originator of pride!
"Pride' is a feeling of satisfaction because of one's own achievements or perceived importance. "being as gods" is the feeling that we are worthy of admiration from others and ourselves. As such, "the other gods before him" are us! If we do "what is right in our own eyes" we are fornicating with ourselves against God and he is jealous of our self-importance!
When we are born-again we are to cut off the flesh and present ourselves as a living sacrifice. That means we are to submit to God and circumcise our hearts of pride. The new meek person emerges from being born again and as such "will inherit the earth".
That inheritance is hard to understand, but the proud person is an heir of Satan who is Prince of the Air. His realm is the world for awhile. When a proud person submits to Jesus Christ, that person is now God's heir, not Satan's. In effect the born again person gains possession of the world as an heir of God. Each sinner saved takes back a little of that at a time. God could do it, but as his heir his desire is that you take it back to please him! As heir it's your responsibility to "tend the garden of God" which was Adam's assignment; the Father's heir.
As such when a Christian becomes meek and sacrifices pride, he gains ownership of the earth. You win! God wins! Satan is defeated! The "Great Commission" places responsibility on the Christian to put the focus on God and off the self and go into the nations claiming the earth for God! It's the Christian's inheritance he is tending; a beautiful global garden!
"Boasters" comes right after "pride" because prideful people boast. Boasting is what prideful people say because the tongue speaks for the heart. As one magnifies oneself, God and others are minimized.
Proverbs 27:1 "Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."In effect this says "You have no control over your destiny, so why brag about your importance?" Whether you live tomorrow or not is in God's hands and his alone. You are powerless to change God's plan. You WILL FEEL the sting of death because everyone before you has. Only God can take the sting out of dying. Being born-again is when a person comes to the realization that they are powerless to save themselves and only by the blood of Jesus can anyone be saved. So why boast about oneself when one should be boasting about Jesus?
"Inventers of evil things" is coming up with new pleasures. The worship of self is mankind's problem and pleasuring the self is what all sinners do. Because the self's idol is "the flesh" to appease that idol is a challenge. Temptation begets sin and sin compounds itself until evil becomes a lifestyle! Who would ever thought that women would appease themselves in sacrificing their babies to Molech? That is in rebellion to God to appease one's own god, the self. Nothing is beyond the imagination and as we get closer to the end, more evil will be invented. The acceptance of homosexuality opens the Pandora's box for marriages of incest and even bestiality! It's coming before the end!
"Disobedience to parents" follows next. "Honor thy father and thy mother" is the commandment with a promise. That means being obedient to their authority! Disobedience is also when a person is unpersuadable. They fail to listen and adhere to the wisdom of the parents. Those who dismiss the authority of parents are likely to dismiss the authority of God. It's again placing the self over those who know. It's doing what's right in one's own eyes and not caring what others think! That is not an admirable traait (independence from authority). It can lead to damnation!
"Without understanding" is when a person is ignorant. It's not lack of education, but failure to understand knowledge. Knowledge is sharing truth. So those who fail to understand do not have the truth. "The truth will set you free," is when a person comes to realize that only Jesus has the power to save. Unless a person understands that truth, they shall suffer an eternal death! Because of pride, some just refuse to accept the truth. They may understand it's consequences, but they over-evaluate their position in the eternal scheme of things. For some reason facing eternity in hell doesn't scare those without understanding because they party on as the ship goes down. They don't understand because they fail to consider! Considering eternal death is how the Holy Spirit calls one to God! Understanding is crucial!
"Covenant breakers" are those who are unrighteous. The Abrahamic Covenant is still in force. God will prosper those who obey and the ultimate prosperity is eternal life! Our role in the deal with God is "faith" and faith is demonstrated by obedience. Likewise, obedience is how we demonstrate to God that we love him! When people break the deal, prosperity is not forthcoming. Even Christians must keep the covenant by obedience because without works faith is dead. Faith is the fuel which strengthens us for the entire race to win the prize at the end, according to Paul.
"Without natural affection" is better said "With unnatural affection". Doing unnatural acts and misappropriating love emotions are unnatural. Men lying with men and women lying with women is unnatural. Incest is unnatural. Perverted sex is unnatural. Bestiality is unnatural. God intends for love to be pure between one man and one woman and we are to multiply. All these extra options is how people please their own god. Almost all pagan religions in times of old had worship accompanied with unnatural acts. It dishonors God as one pleasures oneself!
"Implacable" is when it's impossible to be satisfied or happy. It's when the self wants to be appeased, but nothing will appease it! Most people seek to be placated with things; material possessions, but power, prestige, romance, and all those peripherals which people seek, are attempts to placate their god of self, and because they are not true Gods, they can never be appeased! Only satisfying God by submitting the self can placate the soul of a person because it stirs for placation!
We all know people who are never happy even though they are blessed greatly by things they don't deserve. Those people serve themselves and endeavor to appease a god impossible to please! The fix for the implacable is to serve others and God, and then their own self becomes insignificant in their own eyes. Satisfaction is derived by serving others. Try it!
Being "unmerciful" is what those who focus on self do! In their self-glory they are the victim. When others wrong them, the focus is on the self and to preserve the esteem of the self, others must be accused. This is the blame game and it is judging others harshly. It's the idea that "their sin is greater than mine," and I won't forgive that person! It's those folks who say that they "forgive, but won't befriend". Friendship is a symptom of love! People who withhold friendship because they have the perception that they are the victim are unloving. Being merciful is loving even the enemy.
Imagine if you will: You have wronged Jesus. What if he forgives you, but failed to love you? God says that "I so loved the world" then showed mercy by allowing his Son to die in your place. That's love and it comes with mercy. It's a package deal. Yet people are unmerciful. They just don't like to forgive and reconcile. People are cruel because to be humane people must be merciful!
The people who do these things are "worthy of death" (verse 32) but also are those who take pleasure in those who do these things! Some people do things for the attention of others. When others cheer them on, they are worthy of death as well! I think now of the tolerance for same-sex marriage. Those are unnatural affections. Even those who favor or tolerate same-sex marriage are worthy of death! That includes many so-called Christians.,
No one should ever take delight in the unrighteousness of others. True love is rebuking any of the above so that they too can have eternal life. That's tough love, but that's true love!
We know what is wrong now. We know why we are worthy of death. The next step is to do something about it. The answer is a changed heart. One must make a living sacrifice of the self and submit the flesh to Jesus Christ.