The term “Living in a Romans 1 world” has become a saying many people have adopted in the last few years. Even in Oklahoma, we have seen a radical shift in the culture.
All of this talk of a “Romans 1 world” has caused me to look even more closely at this biblical text. There are so many salient points that can be made from that single passage of Scripture, and one I will focus on here relates to that of pride.
Our culture has seen a major change in that word. For example, the word “pride,” which once was known as the parent of all sins, has now been promoted as a good thing. As we know from God’s Word, pride is nothing short of a disaster when it comes to following the Lord. Pride, meanwhile, says I am the final judge.
Romans 1 gives attention and voice to sins we see our society celebrating, such as idolatry, sexual immorality including homosexual acts, envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice.
Romans 1 also says, “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Rom. 1:32).
The late Charles Hodge said, “To take pleasure in those who do good makes us better; to delight in those who do evil is the surest way to become even more degraded than they are themselves. It is fair to say that it shows greater depravity to encourage others’ sin than to commit the sin yourself. Remember, Paul first says that such people know God’s righteous decree. They sin against knowledge; they are not ignorant of the demands of God’s righteous law. This, too, only serves to intensify their guilt and shame.”
The danger many Christians face is the danger of compromising the Word of God—even if it’s just a little bit.
In 2015, when the United States Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision led to the legalization of same-sex unions, what has been called “marriage,” we began to see a trend, not only in the culture, but also in the church world away from what is acceptable and pleasing to God. With that decision, I personally believe, can even be understood as coming from the judgment of God, as we see in Romans 1.
God created marriage as the union of one man and one woman for life, yet in our culture marriage has devolved into nothing more than a piece of paper. Meanwhile, we know God designed marriage to be a lifelong covenant representing Christ and His Bride. What we have seen just in those few years is a total shift away from what God’s Word says.
We also have seen professing Christian couples who are in gay marriages; professing Christians who live together and fornicate before marriage; professing Christians who are seeking sex changes. Many times, these individuals do not just do these acts, but they want society to celebrate with them.
To live amid a Romans 1 culture, we are going to have to know the truth of God’s Word, live it out and not compromise on any words that are from Scripture.
We live in a fallen world, but we have a risen Savior who will correct all effects of the brokenness of the world, and until He comes, we need churches and Christians who faithfully say that pride will not be the final authority on the things that matter. Christ’s words will be.