Saturated with Wickedness—Romans 1:28-31
"Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless" (Romans 1:28-31)
It’s interesting that out of the laundry list of transgressions, most of these wouldn’t make our top 10 list of what we consider to be a grievous sin. Some of these, such as arrogance or being boastful, seem very minor compared to murder. Worst of all, we probably remember the last time we participated in a few of these things such as gossip.
Unthankfulness is the root issue
But Paul starts to wrap up his accusation against the whole of humanity by saying that “they have become filled with every kind of wickedness,” the Amplified Bible says we are permeated and saturated with every kind of unrighteousness. The fruit of this lifestyle is listed: envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice…and the list goes on and on.
When you boil it down, all of this unrighteousness comes back to Paul’s main accusation that we did not recognize God as God, we didn’t glorify Him and we were not thankful of Him (Rom. 1:21). This is the root issue throughout this charge in Romans 1, as it’s an issue of the heart.
Jesus explained to His disciples the contents of the heart make a person unclean (Matt. 15:19-20). Out of the heart evil thoughts come and this it is where corruption originates. When our hearts are against God from the beginning, then out of our hearts come all of the things that Paul lists.
Is There Hope?
Yes, I believe there is. Remember Paul is setting the scene to introduce the Savior. He is giving all the reasons why were are hopeless without Jesus. He is proving humanity’s guilt and the need for someone to rescue us. Today, take a step towards Jesus. Stop and recognize God’s presence in your life and take a moment to seek Him. We have a promise in this, “you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13).
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Original article published May 28, 2009.