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This is one of the greatest paragraphs Paul ever wrote!

It describes the downward spiral of sin!

I do not believe in evolution.  But I do believe that lost mankind is devolving into lower and lower forms of sin!

My proof for such a statement?

The text we are about to study!

 A Preacher in his Study



ROMANS 1, VERSE 18 ...

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness."

The subject of our verse is the "wrath" of God.

The noun for "wrath" is the little Greek term "orge."  (Only used 36 times in the New Testament!)  There are two main New Testament words used to express anger or wrath.  ("thumos" and "orge")  Our word here pictures a slowly developing kind of passion ... but once developed it is long lasting and usually seeks some form of punishment!  Hence ... God is not quickly angered!  BUT His anger is not quickly abated either!  (Only the Blood of Jesus can pacify it!)  And God's anger over sin will lead to Holy justice some day!  Be sure to understand that God's wrath is completely sinless and righteous!

But ... our verse says that His wrath "is revealed."  The verb is "apokalupto" which gives us our word for "revelation," apocalypse!  It means uncovered!  (Something now laid open that had been previously obscured!)  The verb is a present indicative with a passive voice.  God's wrath is already unveiled Paul says!  And God did the uncovering.

But, preacher, I can't see God's wrath.  (I can hear someone saying that now.)  Yet the verse is PLAIN!  It is presently being revealed!

What IF it is being revealed in this manner.  It USED to be that if a man or woman sinned, they felt ashamed and bad about their wicked deeds.  Now days people sin habitually and feel no shame, no sorrow and no restraint whatsoever.  Could this removal of God's restraining Hand be a sure sign of His wrath on rebellious mankind? I believe so!  And ... it will get worse and worse.  Look at what God said to Abimelech in Genesis 20:6 --- "And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her."  (Wow!)

"Ungodliness" ("asebeia") means irreverence or no respect toward God any longer! (No reverence!  No adoration!)   And "unrighteousness" ("adikia") means  not "right" in the eyes of God.  It is a legal term from the court system.  I believe these two terms cover volitional sins and emotional sins as well.  And these kinds of sins always follow mental sins!  The whole of man is involved in utter rebellion against God.

Now watch what these wicked men to to the truth!  (Jesus is Truth in John 14:6. And the Word of God is Truth in John 17:17.)

They "hold" the truth!  "Katecho" combines two little terms that mean "to hold" (echo) and "down (kata)!  They HOLD DOWN the truth!  (A present participle)  Here's a bit of the word's "history" in the New Testament:  In Luke 4:42 it's translated "stayed!"  In Luke 8:15 and 1 Corinthians 15:2, "keep!"  In 2 Corinthians 6:10, "possessing!"  2 Thessalonians 2:7, "letteth!"  Philemon 13, "retained!"  Hebrews 3:6 and 10:23, "hold fast!"

There are people on earth today who in their hearts "know" the truth about God and eternity and Scripture ... but suppress the truth for selfish reasons!  (We know this on the authority of God's Word!)  Here's how Peter described them:  2 Peter 3:5 "For this they willingly are ignorant of."  (Willingly ignorant!)

God pity this crowd on the day of judgment!

This little verse alone today has helped me tremendously!  I thank God for Truth!

                                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



ROMANS 1, VERSE 19 ...

"Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them."     Romans 1:19

The verse is telling us that there are just some things about God which may be revealed even to a (lost) human being!

Get the wording "that which may be known" of God! 

We do not know everything about God!  (Nor shall we until eternity!)

BUT some things about God are "knowable" even here on earth and even to lost men!

How can a lost man know anything about God?

Because God has "manifest" it to him.

The verb/adjective nexus here "is manifest" translates the Greek "phaneron estin." This is a form of the verb "to be" ("eimi") and is in the present tense, active voice and indicative mood.   These things about God are in a constant state of being manifested to a lost world!

Now I am NOT SAYING that the plan of salvation is printed across the horizon or anything!  I am saying that the existence of God and His mighty power are easily discernible by every creature on earth!

"Manifest" ("phaneros") means apparent or evident (clearly so).

And this "knowledge" of God is not said to be shown TO them ... but rather IN them! The preposition here is "en."  (It carries these meanings: in, on, at, near, by, before, or within!)

Who revealed this?  God did!

God "hath shewed" it to them.  Again the verb is a form of "phaneroo."  It comes from a background word which means "to shine!"  (Hence ... to make clear or evident or plain!)  It is light brough to one in darkness!  (Like the flash of a camera when a photo is made!)  The verb is an aorist suggesting that God may be looking all the way back to creation week!  God gave enough "evidence" in those days alone to prove Himself forever!

Hear me.

Man knows of God!

The evidence is "planted" everywhere!  (Including the hearts of mankind!)

If we are interpreting our verse rightly today, then no man will ever be able to stand at the Judgment Throne of God and say that he had no idea there was even a God in existence!

Then ... preacher, WHY are there so many atheists?

That is another matter altogether.

We shall go into it in the couple of days, Lord willing.

(Another warning:  Just because God has revealed some things about Himself in the world around us does NOT mean that the trees and mountains and oceans are God! That is a false doctrine called "pantheism."  It confuses the creator and the creature. More about this later too.)

I think our "nugget" today is radioactive!

It will be emitting truth all Saturday long.

God has manifested Himself!  Of course do remember that the GREATEST Manifestation of God ever is THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!

Wow!  Another "nugget!"

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



ROMANS 1, VERSE 20 ...

Today we shall look at a verse that has interested me since I was an eight or ten year old boy.  I've heard preachers quote it for years.

Romans 1:20 says:  "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse."

Whatever this verse means, it renders mankind absolutely "inexcusable" concerning knowledge of the existence of God!

Just think.  There have been several times in earth's brief history when EVERYONE on earth knew the truth about God.  When?  In the Garden of Eden.  (There were then only 2 people on earth ... and they both knew the Lord!)  When?  When the Ark of Noah rested on Ararat!  There then were only 8 people on earth ... and they all knew personally about the existence and the power of God!  When?  In Paul's day!  Clearly Paul says so in Colossians 1:6 --- "Which (the Gospel) is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth."

If three times in Scripture we can see that all men had heard the truth ... man is indeed "without excuse."  He can never blame God for any lack of knowledge!

"Without excuse" is a Greek term ("a" meaning no or not and "apologeia" meaning a verbal defense)!

"Invisible things" translates a Greek word "a" + "horatos" which means "not to gaze at" or "not to see."  Things that cannot be seen by the unaided eye!  How did Paul know that there are some "invisible" building blocks that comprise seen matter? Today we call these (among other things) "atoms" --- but they had not been scientifically discovered in Paul's time!  I guess you could say Paul had "inside" information!

The word for "creation" means to design, engineer or fabricate!  It strongly suggests "order" in creation!  Paul is a rank "creationist," isn't he?  So am I!  So is any true Bible believer!

"Clearly seen" is another form of the verb "horao."  But ... it has a prefix "kata" which intensifies the meaning.  Translated: to see fully!  To gaze upon thoroughly!  To behold distinctly!

(Remember that Charles Darwin rejected God before he accepted the atheistic theory of evolution.  Read his life story and any honest biographer will mention this point!)

"Being understood" is a verbal form of the noun "nous," meaning one's mind! "Mentally comprehended" is the idea.  It is a present participle in the passive voice!

"Things that are made" translates "poiema."  Things God has "worked into being."  (A production!)  The bare verb means "to do or to make."  (It gives us our English word "poem!")  God's creation is literally one of His "poems!"

BUT what specifically about God can be deduced here?  Two things.  His POWER! His "eternal" (Greek = continued duration) power!  The noun power is "dunamis."  His FORCE!  This term gives us the English word "dynamite."

Creation reveals God's eternal power!

AND it also shows us His "Godhead."  What does that word mean?  (Only used 3 times in the whole Bible)  It is from the word "theos" (the Greek word for GOD) and means divinity!  It is the Lord's GOD-NESS! 

The Apostle believes that the vastness and glory and beauty and ever growing knowledge of creation will more and more convince us of God's Existence and God's Power and God's dynamic Deity.

And I have to say that I agree with Paul!

I somehow feel that I've been on a world-wide tour of all creation this morning!   And I've reached one conclusion for sure!  We serve a GREAT GOD!

For anyone to reach a different conclusion ... he or she must have some very strange motives tugging from within!

More tomorrow, Lord willing.

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



ROMANS 1, VERSE 21 ...

We are today in the heart of one of the greatest passages in the Bible!  (Consequently one of the greatest Paul ever wrote!)

"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened."    Romans 1:21

There are two things one just MUST do when he first learns of God!  Our verse will list them for us.

They must be done when one first "knows" God!  The verb "knew" is from the Greek word "ginosko" and is here an aorist participle.  It means "to find out, to learn, to understand, to perceive or even to recognize.  It implies some effort on man's part! This is NOT speaking of our ever growing knowledge of God as Believers.  It  means when we first learned of the existence and power of God (aorist verb ... action that occurred at a point of time now past ... completed action)!

First ... when we learn of God we must GLORIFY Him! The verb is "doxazo," to honor or to magnify!  Again, we are dealing with a "aorist" here.  At the very moment you learned of God's existence ... glory and honor should have issued from you to HIM! This is the very thing this old lost world adamantly REFUSES to do today!  Instead of honoring God ... they now ignore God!

Secondly, knowledge of God's Being and His Power should make us "thankful" ("eucharisteo")!  As a verb it is aorist indicative active!  In the past at the very second we first began to learn of God ... thankfulness should have bubbled forth from us to HIM!  That word in Greek (eu + charis) means:  good grace!  When one learns of God he immediately knows that God is good and merciful!  This knowledge alone should generate all kinds of thanks!  BUT again this lost world REFUSES to thank God for anything!  (Even if we have a "good" weather day now ... credit is given to the "weather man" ...not God Almighty!)

Now look what happens if a man will not magnify and thank God!  He WILL become "vain" in his "imaginations."  Vain ("mataioo") means empty (profitless) or even foolish!  And "imaginations" are our very thoughts!  ("dialogismos)  This term gives us our word "dialogue."  (A conversation between two persons ... but here a conversation within a man between his mind and his heart or his will and his emotions, etc.)  One lexicon says "to reckon thoroughly." Man's very thinking becomes "muddy" if he ignores the Lord!

Now even God calls him "foolish!"  Foolish  is the Greek noun "asunetos," from "a" and "sun" and heimi."  These 3 little words when put together mean NOT + TOGETHER + TO SEND.  (Not able to properly put together thoughts!)  Unintelligent! Wow!

The noun heart is in Greek "kardia."  (Our word cardiologist comes from it!)  In Latin the word for heart is "cor."  The heart to them was the very CORE of a man!

What happened to their God-ignoring hearts?  To their  unthankful and non-glorifying hearts?  Their hearts "were darkened."  ("skotizo")  To make shady!  To make obscure!  This is an aorist verb in the passive voice!  Their wicked rejection of the knowledge of God caused their hearts to be darkened!  (No light!)  It is only in God's Light that any of us can see light!  ("For with Thee is the fountain of life: in Thy Light shall we see light." Psalm 36:9)

This verse full of "nuggets" explains one of the greatest tragedies of all human history.  Study it well today.  It explains all the "craziness" we see abounding in our land.

                                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



ROMANS 1, VERSE 22 ...

"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."

This verse (as clearly as any in Scripture) shows us that  two values systems exist in this old world!

What the world calls "wise," God may call "foolish!"

The opening verbal (a participle) "professing" is from a Greek word ("phasko") that means (from "pheimi") to make known one's thoughts. To say or to talk.  The basic root of the little verb is one that means "to shine!"  (Sounds like a little self reflection!)  Bragging on oneself a little!  One lexicon says:  to claim, to assert, to allege!  It is a present participle ... suggesting ongoing habitual action!  They never shut up about their own knowledge and skill and (so-called) wisdom.

"To be" is a present infinitive of "eimi," the basic Greek verb for expressing existence. These God rejecters actually feel that they are wisdom personified!  (Walking wisdom!  It's a wonder they don't call themselves something like "Doctors of Philosophy!  Philosophy means "lover of wisdom!  Phileo = to love!  Sophos = wisdom!)

Wisdom ("sophos") means skilled or cultivated or learned or expert!  Folks who spurn God always lift themselves high!  (To know God one must lower himself!  "God resisteth the proud!" James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5)


They "became fools!"

This translates one word.  "Moraino" gives us our little English noun "moron."  It means to become stupid!  To become foolish!  In the King James Bible the word is used in Matthew 5:13 of salt "becoming tasteless!"  This crowd of rebels have become just that to God:  tasteless, useless, ineffective!  They have lost their purpose for existence!  (Also see Luke 14:34.) 

Oh!  To be wise in the eyes of God!

Here's another example of God clearly declaring that two types of wisdom exist on this earth.  James 3:15-17  "This (worldly) wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy."

May I say that all true wisdom then ... begins with God Almighty!

There are fully three verses in the Bible (Psalm 111:10 and Proverbs 1:7 and Proverbs 9:10) that say the very same thing!  "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom."

Thank God for "nuggets" of Truth embedded in every verse of scripture!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



ROMANS 1, VERSE 23 ...

Today we are looking at Romans 1:23.  It tells us one of the very first things a man will do when he rejects God.  (Right after he becomes "vain in his imaginations" and his "foolish heart is darkened!" See the verse 21 notes from Monday.)

"And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things."

The verb "changed" is from the Greek "alasso" which means "to make different." (To make other than it is)  It's an aorist here ... the action took place back when man rejected the knowledge of God's existence and power and glory!

Glory is "doxa" which gives us words like "doxology," the hymn of praise to our God! It is a word that summarizes all the Essence of God!  (All He is!)

Notice that God is called "incorruptible."  The word means NOT ("a") to WITHER, WASTE, OPINE AWAY OR DECAY ("phtheiro")!  There are just some things God can not do ... and decay is one of them!

The noun "image" is the Greek word "icon" and comes from the verb "eiko" which means to resemble!

Man does this after God has expressly commanded "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth."  (Exodus 20:4)

Observe the one adjective that modifies man and all the animals:  "corruptible!" ("phthartos")  It means perishable or subject to decay.

Here's an interesting word:  "fourfooted beasts" translates the Greek "tetrapous!"  It just means something with four (tetra) feet (pous)!  It's only found 3 times in all of Scripture!

The noun "man" is in Greek "anthropos."  It is a "loan word" in English. "Anthropology" is an example of its use now.

"Birds" comes from the Greek verb which means to fly!  ("petomai")

"Creeping things" means just what it says.  Paul's available verb for "creeping" was "herpo."   Interestingly the English disease "herpes" comes from this word!  It is a sickness that "creeps" all over its victims!  (A slowly spreading or "creeping" eruption on the skin!)

Now we have men rejecting God ... and investing god-like traits into the very animals ... including (of course) man himself!

That's why we have men who curse God all day long ... then go put bumper stickers on their cars that say "Save the whales!"

That's why we have nations on earth that are starving to death while cows walk around in their back yards being worshipped as gods!

Romans 1 is a powerful portion of Scripture.  It OUGHT to be taught in every college and university sociology class ever assembled!

I've got my handful of "nuggets" today.  Hope you have too!

                                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



ROMANS 1, VERSE 24 ...

Because of man's continual rebellion against the Lord ... God did something drastic!

"Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves"  Romans 1:24

Here we are plainly told that when sin is allowed to continue unchecked and rebellion grows (as a result of that unconfessed sin) ... God will simply step back from a man or woman and "give them up" to their own wickedness!

Three times in this text we are told that God either "gave them up" or "gave them over" to sin  (verses 24, 26 and 28)!  The same Greek verb is used in each case.

(The opposite of this is God's sending His Holy Spirit to "convict" us of sin and cause us to be "uncomfortable" with our rebellious ways!  God CAN restrain sin! For example ... in Genesis 20:6 --- "And God said unto him (Abimelech) in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her." 

What we have here in Romans 1 is the very opposite of God's "withholding" power! God just releases His restraint!  (One preacher says that God's judgment upon the sin of these "reprobates" is just to allow it to grow and grow ... until the final day of judgment!)

The verb "gave up" here translates Greek "paradidomi," which means to place into the hands of another  (to give + alongside)!  The verb is an indicative aorist active for you grammarians.

The noun "uncleanness" is a negated term in Greek.  ("akatharsia")  The "a" means NOT.  "Katharsia" first meant clean from dirt (as in a house) ... but later developed to mean clean from any form of moral defilement!  The English word "catharsis" comes from this noun.  (It means to purge one's digestive system.)  God gave this old world up to its constantly building filth!  (This pictures this old world as a backed up sewer system!)

Lusts is the word "epithumia," meaning strong ("epi" intensifies a term) passions!  It can be used of good or bad cravings ... depending upon the context.  Here it is definitely BAD!

Neither can man here say: "The devil made me do it!"  God says that these lusts come through men's (and women's) own hearts!  Inborn ... and inbred sin!

Then look what they do!  They "dishonour" themselves!  ("atimazo")  The noun "time" (pronounced tee-may') means value, price, dignity or even "money paid."  Our noun reverses all that!  People who so sin ... reduce the value of themselves!  They become rejects, discontinued items!  A society that loses its self-value in such a way will end up murdering babies (who by now would be appearing to these reprobates as "worthless") and condoning every kind of self debasing sin!

This verse sort of indirectly declares that we should "honour" our bodies as gifts from God!  That's exactly what Paul taught elsewhere too.  Notice what 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 declare:  "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

The preposition "between" translates the Greek word "en."  It means "with, among or in!"

This sounds like some sort of "same-sex" activity to me.  The pronoun "them" early in the verse is in the masculine gender.  It just looks like this text is teaching us that the downward slide of sin will ultimately lead to homosexuality ... and probably even a lot worse ... before things are finally brought to judgment.

We have seen a very "sobering" Bible nugget today.

                                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



ROMANS 1, VERSE 25 ...

Romans 1:25 accuses mankind of some pretty bold things!  Let's examine the "charges."

"Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."

We will have to agree that Paul is right!

To "change" uses the Greek verb "metallasso," which means "to exchange" or "to make different."  (It actually contains the noun for "another" in it!)  As an aorist verb it shows past action ... now completed.  (The old rebellious sinner ... and this old rebellious world have long ago changed God's truth into a lie!)

TRUTH is the Greek word "aletheia."  It means not concealed!  The Bible operates on the principle that one day all TRUTH will be fully known!  (That just means that JESUS is coming again!)  Jesus is THE TRUTH according to John 14:6.

The word "lie" is "pseudos!"  Now that word we all know.  It simply means false!  Here are some examples of man's truth twisting:  God says CREATION!  Man says evolution!  God says purity!  Man says sexual preference!  God says life for the unborn!  Man says death to the unborn!  God says heaven ... or hell!  Man says no afterlife at all!  Again and again "lost" man has turned God's Word into a lie. 

Now look at something carefully.  Man who has rejected God completely still "worships!"  (Even atheists worship, I assure you!)  The verb ("sebazomai") means to reverence or even to fear.  (To honour religiously!)  It's an aorist middle verb ... action having occurred in the past and having influenced  the participant greatly!  Reprobate man has been worshiping himself (or some other creature) for a long time now.  If one dethrones the REAL GOD ... he invariably will enthrone another god!

But not only is "worship" involved ... so is "service!"  "Latreuo" means "to serve as a priest" or in a religious sense!  There are actually some astronomers (and historians and educators and even theologians, etc.) who go to work daily attempting to serve their god of the human mind.  (Or the god of chance if you are an evolutionist!)  Or the god of money!  Or the god of liberalism!  Or now even the god of sexual perversity. Or the god of hedonism (pleasure)!

"Creature" is "ktisis," meaning the thing created.  The word implies "original formation" and strongly hints at the doctrine of the origin of the species!   Sounds like biological evolution to me. 

And "Creator" is "ktizo," the One Who made man and earth and life according to the great book of Genesis!  The background of this noun is likely a verb which means "to get or to acquire."  It pictures God not only as the Creator ... but as the Owner of all!  I say "Amen" to that!  But, look!  Paul said "Amen" too!

Paul can't mention God without bursting into praise!  (Even when in a sermon on a depressing subject such as sin!) Paul often does this!  In fact, 75% of the thanks and praise in the entire New Testament flow from the Apostle Paul!  He was one worshiping man!

Man may "curse" and ignore and "change" God ... but nonetheless GOD IS BLESSED FOR EVER!

"Blessed" is Greek "eulogetos."  It literally means "good" (eu) "word" (logos)!  I would concur!  He is THE Good Word!  We believers are to declare His praises until we are called "home" to heaven!  (This term gives us our word eulogy! To say good things about a person!)

God IS blessed.  The verb here "is" can be clearly found in the Textus Receptus (the manuscript from which the King James Bible is translated).  "Eimi" ("estin" to be exact) expresses the verb "to be" as a present indicative.  It is true and it is permanent that God IS blessed!  He is the eternally praised one! 

And "for ever" translates Greek "eis aion," a preposition and a noun.  It means "into" (eis) the "ages" (aion ... our word "eons")!  God is blessed perpetually! 

Then Paul adds a simple "Amen!"  The Greek is spelled: AMEN too!  It is derived from a Hebrew term that means TRUE or FIRM!  Indeed to say AMEN during a sermon or during the reading of Scripture is to declare:  It is true!  It is true!  It is true!

I hope you got your Bible "nugget" today.  I sure did!

                                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



ROMANS 1, VERSE 26 ...

We have a sad verse to consider today.  It continues to describe the downward spiral that sin produces in earthly culture.

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature."    Romans 1:26

The prepositional phrase "for this cause" translates the Textus Receptus "dia touto."  "Dia" means through or by means of.  "Touto" (a pronoun) just means "this."  Hence: "because of this."  The "cause" is found in verse 25 where mankind changed God's truth into a lie and consequently began worshipping the creature more than the Creator!

Look what God did (again).  He "gave them up."  "Paradidomi" means to give beside ... or to give to another ... to deliver over!  The "aorist" action says that God did this in time past ... resultant to man's rejecting God Almighty!  This ACT OF GOD is happening in American society today in a stunning manner!

To what did God give these hard-hearted sinners?  "Vile affections!"  Vile translates "atimia," which means no + honour!  (without honour or respect)  Disgrace!  Vile (atimia) is the same word used by Paul in Romans 9 for vessels of "dishonour!"  It is translated "shame" in 1 Corinthians 11:14.  And affections is the Greek noun "pathos," meaning passions, feelings, emotions, even thoughts.  What a startling chain of words:  vile affections ... atimias pathe.

The noun "women" is Greek "thelus."  (From the verb "thelazo" which means "to suck" as with the female breast for the babies)  Thele = the nipple.

"Even" has the connotation of "both" or "also."  The implication is that the women now love women (sexually) as the men did earlier in verse 24!

"Change" ("metalasso") means to swap one thing for another! This has happened in the past as "cultures" went bad and is repeating itself again in today's world with newer cultures!  (Including America who is "young" as far as nations are considered)

"Natural" is "phusikos."  (From "phusis" which means growth.)  This is our very word "physical."  It refers to God's crated (natural) plan of man loving woman.  The sexes were even "built" to so cohabit.  But these women are changing the natural plan of God into something perverted (twisted)!

"Use" is the noun "chresis," meaning that which is needed!  God acknowledges (and even created) man (and woman) with physical (sexual) "needs."  These needs are to be supplied in the context of marriage!  That's God's way!  Read Paul's great sermon on this in 1 Corinthians 7 (the man's duty to his wife and vice versa)!

The preposition "against" surprises me.  It is "para" and means alongside!  "Against" and "contrary to" are normal meanings in such a context as ours here.

The last noun "nature" is "phusis" again.  (Things "physical)

There's a lot about homosexuality that just does not make sense to me.  Seems like that's what Paul is saying too. 

It is against all logic!

Someone has been deceived!  (I don't believe it could even be happening now as it is ... but that God has "turned over" some people to their vile lusts!)

The "nuggets" today are rather dreary.  BUT they are true!

                                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



ROMANS 1, VERSE 27 ...

Our course of study today brings us to Romans 1:27 which (amid great controversy) says:

"And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet."

The noun for "men" here is not the generic word that can means humans (men or women).  It is the specific word "arren" that means the male (as distinct from the female). 

"Leaving" is the term these first century folks used when they meant "to send away" something or someone.  Men no longer cared for the women in a sexual sense.  They had other "interests."  Or should I say other "preferences?"

"Burned" is ek + kaio.  It means to kindle or set on fire with an added prefix to intensify it.  To vehemently burn.  When translated literally it means "to burn out!" It is an aorist passive verb!  There is a "chain" in sin that once begun ... is hard to break!  In fact, only Jesus' shed Blood can break it!

"Lust" is in Greek "orexis!"  It is a strong noun, coming from a verb that means to stretch oneself or to reach out after!  (A longing, a craving, an eager desire!)  Look at this:  Paul reached for some things ... these reprobates reached for other things! Listen to Paul:  "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."   Philippians 3:13-14

"One toward another" uses a word that means another of the same kind!  This is truly homosexuality.  (Christians also do things "one to another!"  They pray one for another and encourage one another plus about 12 other things ... but they do NOT lust one for another!)

These men lovers are truly energetic in what they do also.  The verb "working" is one that combines "ergon" (work) and "kata" (the prefix of intensification).  To powerfully engage in a matter.  This explains all the "activists" as the media loves to call them.

"Unseemly" translates "askemon" which means NOT + TO HOLD!  This makes no sense until one sees within the verb form the little term: scheme.  (Look and you can see it clearly.)  This crowd is doing something that the population normally has NOT HELD as proper.  The word came to mean things indecent!

"Receiving" is apolambano = to take in full!  This is a present participle indicating ongoing action.  (To get all you can ... as with a greedy miser and his gold!)

"Themselves" of course is a masculine pronoun.  (Nothing else would have "fit" here.) The Scriptures are grammatically correct as well as spiritually correct!

"Recompense" is the noun "antimisthia," which is their word for payment.  "Anti" here has the idea of "in return."  (wages in return)  Sin does have a payday!

"Error" is the noun "plane" (our word planet) which pictures something ROVING AROUND in the darkness!  (wandering around)  It's a picture of sin --- being LOST!

"Was meet," the last verb of our verse today is of course another Greek term, "dei." This is nearly startling!  It means "is necessary!"  Something that MUST happen!  A binding consequence!

Hear me.  Sin has "wages."

Lord willing, the next "nugget" verse will be tomorrow.

Having looked at this verse with you, I feel absolutely "stunned!"

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



ROMANS 1, VERSE 28 ...

Today we come to a study of Romans 1:28.  It is an example of classical Pauline theology.  It is one of the reasons Paul is so "unpopular" today.

"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."  Romans 1:28

Let's open with the verb "like."  It's a bit unusual here.  The Greek term "dokimazo" literally means "to try, to test, to prove as authentic!"  It was often used in the time of Paul to show how gold was tested to prove its authenticity!  Get it?  This crowd of rebellious sinners REFUSED to seek the reality of God!  They ignored revealed truth! They ran from the "test!"  Oh, how Jesus loved to say:  "Come and See!"  (John 1:39)

The verb "retain" is Greek "echo" which means "to hold on to!"  This crowd wants nothing to do with God!  (They would probably try to remove the Ten Commandments from all public places if they were in charge today!)  Instead of adhering to God ... they repelled Him!  They actually spurned the Creator of heaven and earth!

"Knowledge" is "epignosis," which can mean book learning (with study involved).  The prefix "epi" intensifies the whole concept.  These people are well educated (in their own eyes anyway)!  BUT there is no place for God in all their learning!

They rejected God.

God then responded to them.

He "gave them over" to something.  The verb is "paradidomi" and we have had it two previous times in this short paragraph of Scripture!  It means "to give alongside."  To yield over.  To deliver.  To commit.  (Indicative aorist)

To what did God "give" them?

To a "reprobate mind!"

"Reprobate" is "adokimos!"  It means tested ... and failed!  (Subjected to careful scrutiny ... and found to be inauthentic!) 

These rebels would NOT examine God with an open mind!  They did not even want to TEST ("dokimazo") Him ... SO GOD JUST TESTED THEM ... AND THEY DID NOT PASS!  Our adjective here came to mean:  rejected!  Or even worthless!

Mind is the noun "nous" which is believed to come from "ginosko," the verb "to know."

But what is the consequence of a reprobate mind?  It results in a certain type of behaviour!

"To do" is a verbal infinitive which means to practice.  (Not just a one time performance!)  The literal verb is spelled "poieo," and gives us the English word "poem!"  These wicked folks think they are turning their sins into works of beauty!

And ending our verse today is a little term: "things which are not convenient."  The meaning of "convenient" is "fit, proper or becoming."  It ("katheko") combines kata plus heko which means "to arrive or to be present."  They are always arriving at some new moral or social "low." 

How BAD can things get?  Come back tomorrow and we'll see (Lord willing).

Do we now live in a society where more and more folks have been turned over to "reprobate minds?"  Sadly I believe so.

There are plenty of "nuggets" embedded in today's verse.  Get a few and ponder them this Monday, March 1st.

                                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



ROMANS 1, VERSE 29 ...

Today, in what has become a detailed study, we notice Romans 1:29. (The chapter ... and our "study," ends at verse 32, Lord willing.)

"Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers." Romans 1:29

Here are some of the side effects of the sin of rejecting the Lord God Almighty!

I think Iím about ready to say: "The wages of sin is more sin ... and then more sin ... and then even more sin yet!"

After the sins of sexual deviation ... these rebels plunge themselves into such things as "unrighteousness." The word ("adikia) means un-right (not right) things! Not "just" according to Godís Law.  It is a "blanket" term and covers a multitude of wrongdoing.

Notice that they are "filled" with these evils! The word ("pleroo") has the idea of filled to the brim! Overflowing! In its Greek "tense" the action is ongoing, habitual, continuous! The sinning now never stops!

"Fornication" is the Greek word "porneia" which means illicit sexual relations. Our word "pornography" comes from this noun. This particular word is often not used for married folks ... that would be "adultery," but for singles (as the world calls them)! Remember that in our context here we are dealing with people who have already been homosexual in behavior. (Does this new word make them bi-sexual?) It looks to me like many of them just are not particular. Theyíll have "sex" with anybody. (I donít mean to be too "plain." Iím just trying to explain the passage before us today.)

"Wickedness" is "poneria" and means depravity or iniquity or malice. It is the Greek word that means active malignant evil! It is always working and spreading and infecting the sinner himself and then others around him.

"Coveteousness" is Greek "pleonexia." Itís an amazing word. It comes their words for more (pleion) and "to have or hold" (echo)! Therefore: to have more ... and more ... and more!  Isn't our Bible just filled with perfect word pictures?

"Maliciousness" is the Greek term "kakia." Its "root" definition is "worthless!" This is not activ, killing, spreading sin as was "wickedness." This is just "good for nothing" sin which benefits absolutely no one!

The adjective "full" is "mestos" and means replete, complete! Of its (only) 8 times in the King James New Testament, itís always translated "full."

"Envy ("phthonos") means ill will! It comes from a verb that means "to wither or pine away!" Thatís exactly what envy will do to a person too! (A feeling of displeasure upon seeing the success of someone else ... whom obviously you donít like too much!)

"Murder" comes from an old Greek verb that means "to slay." One lexicon says it means "to slaughter." Itís translated "slaughter" once in our Bibles.

"Debate" is "eris" and means a quarrel or wrangling. (Strife, contention, variance!) It has the idea of rivalry.

"Deceit" is a Greek noun "dolos." It is believed to come from a verb that means "to decoy, to trick, to bait (a hook or trap)!"

"Malignity" is "kakoetheia" and means to be "used" to ("ethos") and the word for evil ("kakia").   It is a description of oneís whole life character! (To be used to a certain way means to live in that way!  It has become a habit!)  It literally means "bad ethics!"

And "whisperers" ("psithosí) means a quietly uttered slander! (Even telling the truth with the design to hurt someone!) This refers to gossip behind someoneís back!  In a "sneaky" manner!

What a list of sins!

Maybe I should have stopped our series back at verse 28. What do you think?

I almost feel like weíve waded through a moral cesspool today. BUT this is just about where America is living in 2004 Iím afraid.

Sorry to say, I believe there are many "nuggets" about evil in this compound verse. Learn about it ... but DO NOT practice it or condone it! The Bible has told us right here all we need to know about these kinds of sins!

Letís make it our goal to live for Jesus!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




ROMANS 1, VERSE 30 ...

We are nearing the end of our Romans chapter 1 journey. I have preached this a few times over the years, but have never before seen these truths quite as clearly. Maybe the "times" in which we live have helped me to grasp them in all their ugliness. God sure knows human nature!

Today we notice verse 30:

"Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents."    Romans 1:30

I call this paragraph (verses 18-32) the "downward spiral of sin." Verse 30 continues Paulís list of the "consequences" of rejecting God. Here are the side effects of rebellion.

"Backbiting" is found only a few places in Scripture. (Paul mentions it once again in 2 Corinthians 12:20 and Solomon twice in Proverbs refers to it. See Proverbs 15:3 and 25:23.) The word is "katalalos" and means to talk ("laleo") down ("kata") to someone or about someone. The Greek verb seems to be to be the lower of two words for speaking or talking (Logeo and laleo). Laleo can means just uttering sounds or "blabbering" words with no forethought or purpose. Just "running oneís mouth!" In fact, if you will notice this ... nearly all "gossip" is involved in putting someone down, criticizing them in some way!

"Haters of God" is a compound term that is derived from "theostuges," meaning to hate ("stugo") God ("theos"). Paul as a rabbi would have been familiar with this expression from the Old Testament Scriptures. Hereís an example: 2 Chronicles 19:2  --- "And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD." And the Lord Himself talks to us in Proverbs 8:36 --- "But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death."  And Jesus adds in John 15:23 --- "He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father." Bible scholars also tell us that the term can mean those who do things that are hateful to God! This can include an additional category of people.

"Despiteful" means "an insulter" according to Strongís Concordance. Its from the verb "hubrizo" which means" to exercise violence" or "to abuse" someone. (insolence, injury) It may be ultimately derived from the base word "huper" (our word "hyper")!

Then Paul uses another one of his famous word "hook-ups." The Spirit often leads the Apostle to fuse one word together with another ... and even another ... to arrive at just the "right" shade of meaning! (I DO believe in the verbal word-for-word inspiration of Scripture!) "Proud" is the Greek word "huperephanos" which suggests "phaino" = to shine, to show, to show off ... plus the prefix (preposition) huper (hyper again) = over, beyond, above! These people are "show-offs!"

The word "Boasters" (in Greek = "alazon") means ("ale") to wander about the country! A vagabond, an old "bum," an empty pretender! This crowd boasts ... but their bragging is without merit! (For example, anyone who boasts about his or her knowledge of the evolutionary process! Silly boastings! God created Adam and Eve!)

"Inventors of evil things" is interesting. Inventors is from "epheuretes." "Epi" just means upon and often intensifies the rest of a word. And "heurisko" means to find! "Evil things" translates "kakos," meaning worthless or depraved or even injurious. This type of evil seems to spread less rapidly that "poneros" evil! (But it still spreads!)

Lastly, "disobedient to parents" is listed. "Disobedient" is Greek "apeithes." Watch this! "A" as a prefix means no or not. (It often negates a word.) And "peitho" means to convince or to pacify! This "disobedient" group refuses to be persuaded of anything! They are "hard-headed" and stubborn! Hence ... they will not obey their parents. Parents is "goneus" and comes from the verb that means "to cause to be" (to beget). To "gen"-erate (ginomai).

Look around today friends and see if these sins are not proliferating everywhere!

Each of us Believers in Jesus Christ our Lord should be thanking God this Wednesday that we have been saved by His Grace and delivered from this kind of lifestyle!

And it all began by ignoring God and rejecting the "light" He wanted to give!

Lord willing ... more tomorrow.

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



ROMANS 1, VERSE 31 ...

Paul in Romans 1:31 continues a rather long list of sins. These are traits of those who have rejected God. Reprobate minds call for this kind of behavior.

"Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful."   Romans 1:31

I believe this is the next-to-the-last verse in one of Paul's greatest sermons ever!

The first term in our verse is "without understanding." The Greek is spelled "asunetos," and means unintelligent or just plain stupid! (Not able to mentally put together) Three Greek words "fused" into one:  a + sun+ heimi = not to send together! They cannot put their thoughts together as they should!  These folks can no longer reason properly! (Without discernment or understanding!)

"Covenantbreakers" is the noun "asunthetos," a + sun + tithemi  (NOT + TOGETHER + TO PLACE!) This precise word is only found here in all the Bible! It means: Not agreed! Not willing to adhere to compacts! They wonít keep their word! It pictures a state of peace interrupted by the wicked!

"Without natural affection" means lacking family love! (astorgos) A + STORGE! Not + family love! (Stergo = to cherish affectionately)  Here are people who dislike (or even hate) their own family members!

"Implacable" translates the Greek word "aspondos," a combination of "a" + "spendo," meaning to put out as an offering! (Our verb "spend" comes from it!) The "a" privative reverses the meaning: NOT TO POUR OUT ONEíS OFFERING! The essence of the word: Those whom you cannot lead into a commitment! They will no longer "obligate" themselves to anything!   ("I'm just not ready to make a 'commitment' yet!")

And "unmerciful" ("aneleemon") is an adjective which fuses NOT ("a") and MERCY ("eleemon")!   It means: No compassion, no grace, no kindness!

These lists in ancient literature were called "vice lists." It is certainly Bible proof that one sin leads to another, isnít it?

How does one avoid being under the dominating influence of these sins? By yielding to the Lord God Almighty and His Son Jesus Christ! By living your life under His Lordship!

I believe there are 23 sins in this list! And only Jesus gives "victory" over them all!

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



ROMANS 1, VERSE 32 ...

The last verse of Romans chapter one is so true-to life! (I once heard an old preacher say that there were two things a preacher just HAD to know. What were they? The Word of God ... and the souls of men! Paul knew both well! He has described manís behavior with startling accuracy here!)

The verse is nearly a summary statement of what has already been said. Having listed these 26 sins in rapid succession (not counting the sins in previous verses), Paul now presents the ultimate consequence of sin:  death!

Hereís the verse:

"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." Romans 1:32

"Knowing" is an aorist participle of "epignosko," which means full knowledge. These wicked men and women are completely aware of their wrongdoing. And they have know it for some time. This can carry the idea of knowing through research and experience ... not based just on a "hunch."

But ... what do they know?

The "judgment" of God! This is a "strange" word here. It is not the usual word that one would expect for judgment. "Dikaioma" means "that which has been deemed right so as to have force of law." Or ... what has been ordained by law! A judicial sentence! From its "verbal" source: to render just! To make something right! It literally sounds like Paul is telling us that this crowd deep down inside already know Godís judgment is coming and have resolved themselves to it!

To "commit" such things means to ("prasso") practice them! (To perform repeatedly!) It is a present participle (on-going habitual action).

"Such things" means those sins (from same sex escapades right on down the line to the covenant breakers) Paul has reviewed earlier in the text.

"Are worthy" translates a verb and an adjective (eimi and axios). The verb is in the present tense and indicative mood. They continue to be this way --- worthy of death! The adjective "worthy" means "deserving, proper, fitting, suitable." It actually comes from a word that means "heavy with weight!" In other words, when put on Godís scales of justice, these sinners will tip the scales decidedly toward hell!

"Death" is the old Greek word "thanatos." It has (even in English) become synonymous with the absence of life, the grave, even the afterlife! "The wages of sin is DEATH!" Romans 6:23

Then we have another word for "do." "They do the same." This is the verb "poieo." It means "to make, to do, to bring about, to accomplish." Its a present active verb ... they again do these wicked things more and more day after day (and night after night). This almost makes sin sound "addictive," doesnít it? Well, IT IS!

They KNOW they will suffer judgment for these deeds ... yet they do them anyway!

Sin loves company! These reprobates "have pleasure" in others who do wrong with them. The verb "suneudokeo" means (Its prefix "sun" means with! The verbal prefix "eu" means well or good! "Dokeo" means to think or to seem! Put it all together:  To think everything is good!  This is the old "everythingís Ďall rightí" syndrome! (Another indicative present active verb ... habitual and continuous back-slapping and congratulating of one another!)

And the pleasure is placed in whom? "In them that do them" (these sins). Our last verb "do" is "prasso" again which (if you recall) means to practice again and again.

All thatís left then is the judgment of God! Death! Hell! Eternal torment! Fire and brimstone! Weeping and wailing! Gnashing of teeth! Unending separation from God! Literal fire!

... UNLESS they have an experience with the magnificent saving Grace of God! Unless God saves them! Delivers them! Redeems them!

BUT He only saves sinners ... and so far this crowd refuses to admit to being that!

I think Iíll quit calling this Page the "Nuggets" Page and start calling it the "CHUNKS" Page. (Chunks are much bigger than nuggets!)

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



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