December 13, 2008

Total Depravity in Romans One

This is a translation of Romans 1:18-32, which I just finished using The Resurgence Greek Project and The Blue Letter Bible for help interpreting the Greek. I call this the Total Depravity section, because it shows us our true human condition throughout the world since the fall of Adam in Genesis 3. Of course, nobody in the world thinks they are naturally this bad (nobody except Christians that is). The Jews in Romans chapter two sure had a difficult time accepting this about themselves, and so Paul dealt with them appropriately (See Romans Chapter 2).

I believe understanding our human sinful condition as it relates to God is extremely important in order for us to understand the absolutely amazing love and grace of God (1 John 4:10,16). Just to note, I tried to be as perfectly literal as I am able to be with my limited knowledge. I am by no means educated in the Koine Greek language. Ok, well here it is, Romans 1:18-32 (Personal Translation by P. T.):

For the anger of God is being made known from heaven against all of the ungodliness and injustice of people who hold back the truth by their wrong doing. Because that which is well-known about God is clear to them, since God has shown it to them. This is because the invisible things of God and His eternal power and Godhood are already understood, being fully seen by the works done in the creation of the world, so that they have no excuse. For although they knew God they did not think of His glory and praise or give thanks to Him, but they became thoughtless and dark in their stupid heart. Calling themselves wise, they became stupid and ignorant. And they exchanged the glorious praise and honor of God with pictures that look like man and birds and animals and reptiles. Because of this God handed them over in the desires of their hearts to filthiness, to degrade their bodies with themselves. By that they exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creation instead of the Creator (Who is forever blessed! Amen.) In this way God handed them over to disgraceful passions, because women exchanged the natural use of their body for that which is unnatural. And in the same way, the men let go of the natural use of their body with the woman and burned out with lustful desire for one another, men with men doing shameful things and receiving back in themselves the reward for going off course. And just as they did not accept to hold God in recognition, God handed them over to a rejected mind, to do those things that are not acceptable. They were filled with all injustice, wickedness, greed, badness. They were full of resentment, murder, contention, deceit, wretchedness, gossip. They were slanderers, haters of God, abusive, proud, boastful, inventors of worthlessness, rebellious toward parents, stupid, disagreeing, unaffectionate, unmerciful. They realize the righteous requirement of God, that those who practice things like these deserve death, but they not only continue doing them, they also are pleased with others who practice them.
My dear friends, this is exactly why no one can be saved by their works, because our works are all totally polluted and unclean before God (Isaiah 64:6). And don't think this description does not include ourselves in it. Because Paul said to the Jews who thought that way in Romans 3:9, "What then? Are we above others? Not at all! Because we have already made the accusation that Jews and Greeks are all under sin." So we find it to be true from this knowledge of our natural sinfulness, that "It is a faithful word and deserving total acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to be saving sinners, of whom I am chief." (1 Timothy 1:15). We who have recognized these things about ourselves, and have confessed to God in repentance and trusting faith in the Lord Jesus, we have found that we were saved solely by God's grace apart from any works we could perform (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 11:6). And as I've shown in other posts, this salvation turns sinners into saints by the gracious working of the power of God's Holy Spirit who pours love into our hearts (Romans 5:5).


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