Arcing Through Romans
Romans 1:18-32
God's wrath is letting men do all that their wicked hearts and unholy minds desire
Shared May 4th, 2017; Updated May 5th, 2017
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Main point summary
1:18-32 Arc
notes
Main point summary
God revealed Himself to men, but they denied Him; therefore, God gave them up to their wicked hearts and depraved minds; this is the revelation of God's wrath.
1:18-32 Arc
editing
NT
Romans 1:18-32
esv
mine
For k the wrath of God l is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,
God's wrath against men's sacrilege is being shown,
who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
specifically , those who ignore truth through their unrighteousness.
For what can be m known about God is plain to them,
The truth is, the knowledge of God is easily seen
because God has shown it to them.
because God revealed Himself to them.
ground
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, n have been clearly perceived,
That is , God's character (specifically His almighty power and divinity) have been on full display and easily understood
ever since the creation of the world, 1
since the world was formed
temporal
in the things that have been made.
by looking at all of creation.
actionmanner
ideaexplanation
So they are without excuse.
Therefore , there is no reason available to excuse them.
inference
situationresponse
For although they knew God,
As a result of their suppression of the truth, even though they knew God,
they did not honor him as God
they did not honor him worthy of his deity
or give thanks to him,
nor thank him for anything,
series
concessive
but they o became futile in their thinking,
but instead bent their minds to pathetic thoughts
and their foolish hearts were darkened.
and hardened their hearts in their foolishness.
negativepositive
p Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
That is to say , they claimed wisdom but were actually fools
and q exchanged the glory of r the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
in that they gave up the glorious everlasting God and whored after man-made objects resembling created things.
Therefore s God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity,
Therefore , the Father handed them over to the impure deeds that were in their heart to do,
to t the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,
that is , to using their bodies improperly with each other,
because they exchanged the truth about God for u a lie
because they believed a lie instead of the truth of Almighty God
and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator,
and as a result of that belief, acted on it by devoting themselves to created things instead of Creator God,
v who is blessed forever! Amen.
the one who is worthing of blessings!
actionresult
For this reason w God gave them up to x dishonorable passions.
Therefore the Father handed them over to their corrupt heart:
For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;
the women gave up correct sexual orientation for unholy lusts;
and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women
likewise the men did not pursue heterosexual relations with women
and were consumed with passion for one another,
but instead pursued homosexual relations,
y men committing shameless acts with men
that is , committing ungodly things with other men,
and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
with the result that their bodies were desecrated for their debauchery.
bilateral
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God,
Additionally, they didn't bother to acknowledge the one true God as God,
z God gave them up to a a debased mind
so the Father gave them over to their perverted minds,
to do b what ought not to be done.
in order to accomplished what their perverted minds dreamed up.
actionpurpose
They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice.
They have unrighteousness in their heart.
They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness.
That is , they have ungodly emotions.
They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
Also , they do evil deeds.
Though they know c God’s righteous decree
Furthermore , even though they know God's holy law regarding these things
that those who practice such things d deserve to die,
that anyone who does these things have earned the condemnation of death,
they not only do them
nevertheless they do these things,
but e give approval to those who practice them.
and , even worse, they approve those who do such things as well.
progression
Here it's the lusts of their heart , which produces the dishonoring of bodies including sexual sins.
Here it's the debased mind , which produces a litany of evil.
This arc deals with the improper passions of unrighteous men.
This arc deals with the improper knowledge of unrighteous men.
Paul assaults their thinking and hearts here, then goes on to explicate in detail in reverse order - 24-27 improper hearts, 28-32 improper thoughts
discourse
Comments
Cecelia Smith
I appreciate all the work you've done here to help me read through and understand this passage.  Having said that, I'm going to go ahead and pick at your arc, knowing full well that I'm riding on your work AND haven't given you much opportunity yet to do that with my arcs.  I'll try to remedy that this week.
In 18b, I think Paul is saying that we do not simply ignore this testimony, we suppress it.  To ignore seems passive, to suppress is active. That is, unbelievers don't just say 'oh maybe there's a God but so what', they say 'there is no God', or 'there is no God to whom I owe anything'. I suspect that this distinction matters to what he says about God's response to the suppression of truth.  
I think that the 'and since' in 28a is more like 'and because they did not..' rather than 'additionally, they did not'. Maybe the series relationship is between 26a-27d and 28a-32d.  The Bilateral relationship would be 25a-25c as ground of 26a-32d and 24a-b.
Again thanks for your help and keep up this good work!
Eric Judd
No worries! I appreciate the critique.
I agree with you on 18b, I need to change that. I think that was just carelessness on my part.
In 28a, I took that "since" to be the ground for 28b-c, and it seemed to be a recapitulation of the reasoning beforehand simply for putting another point forward; in other words, 28a serves only as a call back to 21-23 to again set up what follows. The passage would make sense if 28a were not included, so to me it seems less a true ground and more a way of hearkening back to the original ground.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.