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, covenantbreakers, 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."We continue now with those whose sins are not convenient to God! "Convenient" in this context is not a mere discomfort to God, but is an inability to reach God (katheko). If one desires to be with God there are things which prohibit it. The list is surely not all encompassing, but is certainly lengthy. Many people, even Christians, do these atrocious things in front of God, yet still expect to be rewarded for their belligerence!
Paul listed unrighteousness for your "convenience" so that you will have a standard of expected behavior:
First off are those people who do UNRIGHTEOUS things. This actually precludes all things which are not right with God, even the things which follow in the list! However, perhaps a better definition is "being unjust to a just God". It's treating God unfairly. Treating him as less than he is. God is a jealous God and being God is a mighty powerful claim. Unrighteousness is not supporting that claim even if one believes it. It's failure to revere God for what he did and for who he is; THE ALMIGHTY GOD!
Fornication comes next. We think of it as sex between unmarried persons, but it's so much more! It's harlotry, adultery, incest and even idolatry! It comes from pornei in the Greek, and most of us can see the connection to pornography. "Pornography" literally means writings about prostitutes, inferring that fornication is prostitution which we all disdain (sic). Basically, fornication is any sexual activity not ordained by God PLUS fornication against him!
Let's tackle first what's ordained by God. He asked Adam and Eve to multiply. Therefore, sex is for procreation, but since God's desire is that mankind procreate he made it enjoyable. Paul implies that to legitimately enjoy the act of sexual intercourse two people of the opposite sex should get married rather than burn with lust for each other. Therefore, sexual activity inside marriage is the ONLY sexual activities ordained by God. Since lust is equivalent to sex, even walking down the beach ogling scantily clad people is sinful. It's fornication as well.
It follows then that fornication, or sexual lust, replaces desire to please God and most people are fornicators, especially in this day of sexual advertising, scantily clad dress and the media. Fornication is every man's problem; and in this age of sexual independence; is every woman's problem in God's eyes!
On a routine basis most people deal with this sin and fail miserably. Because it is a response to an action (availability) there is a reaction (desire). If it stopped there the problem would be less, but many people are easily compromised into rationalizing that fornication is a mere instinct without consequences. Note too, that fornication, even lust can lead to reprobation!
Let's examine the worst type of fornication: idolatry. It's so unrighteous that God decreed it to be the worst sin: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." ("The First Commandment"). In this scripture "before" is paniym or "in the face" of God. It's not necessarily disbelief in the One True God, but living for another in the face of God! The Israelites seldom abandoned God, but they had an awful time of having gods in addition to God. Not by coincidence this fornication or infidelity to God was introduced by sexual sin. They married beautiful foreign wives who were sexual and had false gods. They took their wives' gods into their household right alongside JHVH. They fornicated with other gods right in the face of the One True God!
As a consequence, fornication includes idolatry. Many false pagan religions used sexual activities in their worship, even temple prostitutes and homosexuality. Fornication is disgusting to God because it is symbolic and arises from infidelity to him!
"Wickedness" coms next. That is from poneria and is depravity. It's having a lifestyle of sin without regard to what God says. Those who ignore the moral and religious principles of God are depraved. They have no moral character. When living life their conduct is not guided by God nor even the rules of the authorities. These people just don't care what anyone thinks! This is not an admirable confession of independence, but an admission that God is insignificant in that person's life!
"Covetousness" is avarice or "the desire to have things". This is a modern problem and has bankrupted many people, not only financially, but morally as well. When one chooses "mammon" (things) over God, that is the master he or she serves! The person who covets has greed. It's not necessarily desiring to have the things which belong to another, but even being jealous that they have it and you don't! As a consequence your desire is to have things, either stolen or free!
"Free things" is the heart of socialism. It exemplifies covetnousness. Socialism is a model of sin for it forces others to give the coveter free things; even things not deserved. It's the notion that "I deserve that just because I exist!" The DESERVE mentality is the sin of covetnousness. Socialism is by definition sinful and it's institutional theft. Jesus could never be a socialist because of covetnousness and thievery!
"Maliciousness" is just being naughty. It's those who are trouble-makers and bullies. The "bad boy" girls love so much are malicious. In modern society it is the false macho image which the media propagates.
In society those who disrupt civil affairs and become a mob are malicious. They are not respectfull to authority. Mobs and mob rule are malicious bad boys and usually are motivated by evil things and manipulated by evil people who can't get things by doing what's right! Behind every mob is a powerful force wreaking maliciousness for their own benefit and agenda. They operate because of the covetnousness of greedy people.
"Full of envy" comes next. It's a little different than covetnousness. It's jealousy which leads to ill will. In the political arena the "Occupy Wall Street" mob (the 99%) were full of envy. They were so jealous of the one-percenters that they wished them ill-will. The bad things they dsired is for wealthy people to lose what they had even by the force of government! They want what is not theirs. Even if one-percenters obtained their wealth from unethical means, it still does not belong to those who are merely envious!
It doesn't have to be money either. Some hold ill-will toward people who have beauty, intelligene, power or even fame. People want Donald Trump to fail because they are full of envy for what he is and for what he represents. They are jealous of Melania because of her beauty and brains. Even if she is a narcissist and only God knows that, being envious of her is not righteous!
"Murder" comes next. It's from phonos and means "to slay". Simply put, it's deliberately taking a life. War excuses the "deliberate" part of murder for some and for some, not so.
We're never to put asunder anything created by God. Without question life comes at conception because what is there is alive. Some say it's alive, but not a person. Science defines the fetus as a stage of development of a human being and the science of psychology bestows personality on the unborn. "personality" is a characteristic of personhood. In short the fetus, even the embryo, is a person! Scripture is even more firm! God even knew us (our person) in the womb!
Abortion is murder and even the deliberate taking of a life for good intentions is nothing more than murder with deceived motives. Even the deformed can be happy. Even the product of rape can be happy. They may not be convenient, but they are people!
"Debate" is next. Being quarrelsome is a grievous sin. That's the disposition of some people, even Christians. They are negative and argumentative by nature. They just haven't listened to God yet about having a gentle disposition. Those who argue their position continually are protecting the esteem of their god, the self.
"Deceit" is craftiness or manipulation. It's achieving a means by whatever it takes; even using falsehoods. Satan is the master of that and he has taught his children well! I have been the victim of deceit and it's a horrible sin! It drives people far away from the person when the deceit is exposed.
"Malignity" is doing mischievous things usually misreprenting the words, behaviors or actions of another. In politics people are paid to "spin". It's twisting truth to favor the idea being espoused. Because it's so massive, efficient and destructive, it's a malignancy. It infects those who fail to be discerning and wise. The masses are "useful idiots" according to Saul Alinsky because they fall for malignity so easily.
"Whisperers" do things in stealth because what they are saying is gilded with destruction. It may be gossip or even taking pleasure in anothers calamity. It's abridging the confidentiality of another.
"Backbiters" are those who aren't happy unless others are destroyed and unhappy. They are the ones with a negative disposition who seem to always wake up on the wrong side of the bed. In their eyes few do what they think is right. It's a defense mechanism for their own ignorance or insecurities. It's belittling others for the aggrandizement of the self. It's protecting one's own insignificant god!
Note that all sins are for the protection, aggrandizement or pleasuring of the self and all sins are idolatry!
"Haters of God" aren't just those who despise him, but are impious to him (theostuges). Scripture says that if you're not for him, your're against him. Those are the "haters", not the Godly! All those who yell "haters" at Christians are in God's eyes, those who hate him! Being apathetic to God is hating him because ignoring those who love you is an outward expression of hate/
Tomorrow, I will conclude those sins of the reprobate.