In our last article we thoroughly introduced the reprobate mind. We are going to go verse by verse from Romans 1:18 to the end of the chapter. Before now, Paul has been teaching that he wins souls to Christ through the presentation of facts. He then pours his heart out to the Roman Christians through the declaration of his love for them. He concludes with the Gospel and quotes Habakkuk 2:4 “the just shall live by faith”. He now addresses the unjust. Let us begin.
“Wrath” (Strong’s number 3709) orge, defined by Trench as “a wrath of God, Who would not love good unless He hated evil, the two being inseparable, that He must do both or neither.” Vincent describes this Greek word as “God’s personal emotion with regard to sin” (John 3:36). This wrath is not about punishment but God’s attitude toward sin.
“Revealed” (I could not find the definitive answer to refine our understanding so I have broken it down as best I could). Robertson brings to our attention that the Greek word is apokaluptatai, so I have broken it down into three parts. ‘Apokalupto’ (Strong’s number 601) is Revelation; to remove the cover; to disclose; reveal. ‘Tet’ is an Egyptian verbal root meaning to establish (dictionary.babylon.com/tet). ‘Aei (Strong’s number 104) is Ever; by implication earnestly; always-ever. So we take this breakdown to define revealed as an active revelation that is established forever from Heaven.
“Heaven” (Strong’s number 3772) is Ouranos: in a physical sense, the whole expansion of the sky beneath which is the earth and all that is therein. In 2 Corinthians 12:2 Paul reveals that there are three heavens. The third is called Paradise (2 Corinthians 12:3). I have not been able to discover the verse that defines the second heaven. Here in Romans 1:18 it’s clear that the sky that we look through to see the stars and moon is one of the heavens. I believe that it is logical to identify the first heaven as the sky of the earth; the second as space and the third as Paradise or God’s resting place (in Matthew 5:34 and 45).
“Ungodliness” (Strong’s number 763) is Asebeia; literally without worship; irreverent toward God or simply neglectful of God. No matter how difficult your situation, God is not neglecting you. He is always attempting to get your attention.
“unrighteous” (Strong’s number 93) is Adikia: without or against justice. If God is adjusting men by Jesus Christ according to the Gospel in Romans 2:16 then unrighteousness is rejecting the Gospel!
“Hold” (Strong’s number 2722) is Katecho: to repress.
“Truth” (Strong’s number 225) is Altheia: the unveiled reality lying at the basis of and agreeing with an appearance; the manifested or the veritable essence of matter. This absolutely connects with the entirety of the chapter. Paul begins Romans by saying “I prove the Gospel”. Here he says that these people repress the reality or truth of the Gospel.
For the attitude of God toward sin is an active revelation that is established from the whole expanse of the sky, beneath which is the earth, against all men who are neglecting God and are against His justice, (those men) who repress the reality in coming against His justice (which is the Gospel).
Finally, verses 19 and 20 address that these men knew God in that He has revealed Himself to all men and they are left without excuse. The thought from verse 18 is picked up again in verse 21. When we post the articles for verses 19 and 20 please keep in mind that we will connect back with verse 18 when we post the breakdown in verse 21.