Romans 1:20 ESV - For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Scripture Translations

Starry Night

"The theme of Romans is the righteousness of God, but Paul had to begin with the unrighteousness of human kind. Until a person knows he is a sinner, he cannot appreciate the gracious salvation God offers in Jesus Christ. Paul followed the basic Biblical pattern: first law and condemnation, then grace and salvation. In this section, God makes three declarations that together prove that all people are sinners and need Jesus Christ:
1. The Gentile World is Guilty! (1:18-32)
2. The Jewish World is Guilty! (2:1-3:8)
3. The Whole World is Guilty! (3:9-20)"

From Warren W. Wiersbe's book, 'Be Right - how to be right with God, yourself and Others'

Teaching Videos


Romans Chapter 1:18

The Passion Translation Footnotes

Romans 1:18 TPT - For God in heaven unveils his holy anger breaking forth against every form of sin, both toward ungodliness that lives in hearts and evil actions. For the wickedness of humanity deliberately smothers the truth and keeps people from acknowledging the truth about God.

Footnote on holy anger: Or “wrath.” God’s wrath is his action in punishing evil, a holy disapproval of all that is seen as wicked in the eyes of his holiness. In this first chapter, both righteousness and wrath are revealed. Righteousness is revealed in the gospel, but wrath is revealed as an activity God takes to uphold his glory.

Be Right - How to be right with God, yourself, and others - By Warren W. Wiersbe

"The word translated "hold" in Rom. 1:18 can also be translated "hold down, suppress." Men knew the truth about God, but they did not allow this truth to work in their lives. They suppressed it in order that they might live their own lives and not be convicted by God's truth. The result, of course, was refusing the truth (Rom. 1:21-22), and then turning the truth into a lie (Rom 1:25). Finally, humankind so abandoned the truth that they became like beasts in their thinking and in their living." Page 32

God is good - By Bill Johnson

Seeing that we are utterly lost helps to open us up to outside help. And that outside help is from God Himself. The stubborn insistence that we provide for ourselves and take care of ourselves might help in some parts of life. But that trait is completely useless as it pertains to our need of salvation. Because we are lost, we must be found. In reality, none of us can “find Jesus.” The Bible describes us as dead (separate from God). And dead people can’t find a saviour. Strangely, this provides the backdrop for all of us, as it pertains to our salvation. Those who are seeking God are simply responding to the summons of God that has been released over their hearts. We were found. Jesus called us by name, bringing conviction of sin into our lives. We responded and were born again – we came to life. (Page 62)

From: God is good - Bill Johnson

Wendy's thoughts on related scriptures

Romans 1:18 AMPC - For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative.

Repressing and hindering the truth - have you seen that happen in your world? If so how? 

We need to pray for discernment to know the Truth when God's word is being repressed and smothered.

Romans 1:19

Wendy's thoughts on related scriptures

Romans 1:19 TPT - In reality, the truth of God is known instinctively, for God has embedded this knowledge inside every human heart.

This knowledge is inside every human heart - so what happens to it? Why do people not see it? Hurt, anger, disappointment, pain and frustration enter in and become strongholds, building a barrier to God's truth. Only the love of Jesus can break that barrier.

Romans Chapter 1:20

Be Right - How to be right with God, yourself, and others - By Warren W. Wiersbe

"Human history began with people knowing God. Human history is not the story of a beast that worshipped idols, and then evolved into a person worshipping one God. Human history is just the opposite: People began knowing God but turned from the truth and rejected God." Page 32

What good is God? On the Road with Stories of Grace - By Philip Yancey

It was that ‘whole good world outside’ that helped bring me back to faith, in part by correcting my misconceptions of God. I began to see God as  whimsical artist who invents comical creatures like the porcupine and skunk and naked-nosed wombat, who lavishes the world with desert wildflowers and tropical fish more beautiful that any work displayed in an art museum.

Francis Collins, who supervised the Human Genome Project, sees God’s hand in the elegant structure of the DNA double helix. Author Annie Dillard sees it in the tiny creatures that swim and dive in Tinker Creek, Virginia. From nature writers such as John Muir, Henri Fabre, Loren Eiseley and Lewis Thomas I gain appreciation for a master Artist they may not even believe in; yet their precise and reverent observations help to raise the blinds for me.

Church historian Mark Noll remarks that the song ‘Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus’ plainly errs when it says, ‘And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.’ No, the rest of the world grows clearer, not dimmer in that light. God created the world of matter, set us down in its midst and entered it in the carnation. The least we can do is appreciate it. Helen Keller gave good advice: ‘Use your eyes as if tomorrow you would be stricken blind; hear the music of voices, the song of a bird, as if you would be stricken deaf tomorrow.’ Page 119-120

Wendy's thoughts on related scriptures

Romans 1:20 AMPC - For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification],

We have no excuse for not recognising and acknowledging God. Repentance is key.

2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV - if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

We always have to start with ourselves - take action and repent for our sins first.

Romans 1:20 ESV - For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

God's invisible attributes - His eternal power and His divine nature. God is at work in the unseen. We have faith in the unseen things of God.

Hebrews 11:1 TPT - Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen.

Worship Songs

Romans Chapter 1:21

Wendy's thoughts on related scriptures

Romans 1:21 AMPC - Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.

God's heart must be breaking - because they knew and recognised Him but still disobeyed. What about us and our disobedience?

Romans 1:21 TPT - Throughout human history the fingerprints of God were upon them, yet they refused to honor him as God or even be thankful for his kindness. Instead, they entertained corrupt and foolish thoughts about what God was like. This left them with nothing but misguided hearts, steeped in moral darkness.

Consider Adam and Eve - they entertained corrupt and foolish thoughts about what God was like - courtesy of Satan - Genesis Chapter 3.  How important is it for us to take every thought captive! 2 Corinthians 10:5

2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV - We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Romans 1:21 ESV - For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Their foolish hearts were darkened ... consider the scriptures relating to foolishness. Here are some of them ...

Matthew 7:24-27 - Jesus sharing the parable about the foolish man building his house on the sand.

Isaiah 32:6 - For the foolish person will speak foolishness, and his heart will work iniquity: to practice ungodliness, to utter error against the LORD, to keep the hungry unsatisfied, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.

Proverbs 10:23-25 - To do evil is like sport to a fool, but a man of understanding has wisdom. The fear of the wicked will come upon him, and the desire of the righteous will be granted. When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more, But the righteous has an everlasting foundation.

Proverbs 15:21- Folly is joy to him who is destitute of discernment, but a man of understanding walks uprightly.

Proverbs 14:8-10 - The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way, but the folly of fools in deceit. Fools mock at sin, but among the upright there is favour. The heart knows its own bitterness, and a stranger does not share its joy.

Romans Chapter 1:22

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Romans Chapter 1:23

Be Right - How to be right with God, yourself, and others - By Warren W. Wiersbe

"Having held down God's truth and refusing to acknowledge God's glory, humankind was left without a god, and humankind is so consituted that they must worship something.If they will not worship the true God, they will worship a false god, even if they have to manufacture it themselves." Page 32-33

"Note that first of the list of false gods is ourselves. This fulfilled Satan's purpose when he told Eve, "You will be like God" (Gen 3:5 NASB). "Glory to man in the highest!" Satan encouraged humans to say. Instead of man being made in God's image, man made gods in his own image - and then descended so low as to worship birds, beasts, and bugs." Page 33

Wendy's thoughts on related scriptures

Romans 1:23 The Message - They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.

Question for us - what are we trading for God in our lives?

Worship Songs

Trading my sorrows - Marantha Music - a reminder of what we can trade in our lives for God's love and goodness

Romans Chapter 1:24

Be Right - How to be right with God, yourself, and others - By Warren W. Wiersbe

"From idolatory to immorality is just one short step. If man is his own god, then he can do whatever he pleases and fulfill his desires without fear of judgement." Page 33

"This is the meaning of Romans 1:18: "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven" (literal translation). God revealed His wrath, not by sending fire from heaven, but by abandoning sinful men to their lustful ways." Page 34

Wendy's thoughts on related scriptures

Romans 1:24-25 The Message -  So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!

We all have a choice - Choose God or not!  This scripture makes me think about the Prodigal Son - the Father let him go, and then the son returned of his own free will. Luke 15:11-32

Romans 1:24-25 ESV - Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen

The exchanged the truth about God for a lie - Consider 'The Great Exchange' - Jesus' life for our sin - 2 Corinthians 5:21 - For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.NKJV

Romans Chapter 1:25

Wendy's thoughts on related scriptures

Romans 1:25 GW - These people have exchanged God's truth for a lie. So they have become ungodly and serve what is created rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen!

Question for us: What or who are we serving? 
It is always good to pray Psalm 139:23-24

Psalm 139:23-24 NIV - Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me,    and lead me in the way everlasting.

Romans Chapter 1:26

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Romans Chapter 1:27

Wendy's thoughts on related scriptures

Romans 1:27 The Message - And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it - emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.

Let's not forget that God's grace is sufficient. Jesus has the power to transform lives.

Wretches - makes me think about the words of Amazing Grace - 'Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me'

Worship Songs

Romans Chapter 1:28

Be Right - How to be right with God, yourself, and others - By Warren W. Wiersbe

"Man did not even want to retain God in his knowledge. So, "God gave them over" this time to a "depraved mind" (Rom. 1:28 NASB), which means a mind that cannot form right judgements. They now abandoned themselves to sin. Paul names twenty-four specific sins, all of which are with us today." Page 34

Wendy's thoughts on related scriptures

Romans 1:28 AMPC - And so, since they did not see fit to acknowledge God or approve of Him or consider Him worth knowing ...

God's heart must be breaking for all those who reject Him. 

John 3:16 NIV -  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Worship Songs

Romans Chapter 1:29

Wendy's thoughts on related scriptures

Romans 1:29-31 NKJV - being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;

What a list - is there anything on that list that we need to repent of?

Romans Chapter 1:30

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Romans Chapter 1:31

The Passion Translation Footnotes

Romans 1:31 TPT - They are senseless, faithless, ruthless, heartless, and completely merciless.

Footnote: The Aramaic can be translated "They have no stability in themselves, neither love, nor peace, nor compassion."

Romans Chapter 1:32

Be Right - How to be right with God, yourself, and others - By Warren W. Wiersbe

"This portion of Scripture gives ample proof that the heathen are lost. Dan Crawford, British missionary to Africa, said "The heathen are sinning against a flood of light." There is a desperate need for us to carry the gospel to all men, for this is the only way they can be saved." Page 34

Wendy's thoughts on related scriptures

Romans 1:32 ESV - Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval fo those who practice them.

Ultimately it is our choice - God has given us a free will.

2 Peter 3:9 NIV - The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Romans 1:32 TPT - Although they are fully aware of God's law and proper order, and knowing that those who do all these things deserve to die, yet they still go headlong into darkness, encouraging others to do the same and applauding them when they do!

Listen to the media in this context - pray for our nation and the world.

Worship Songs

What's next?

Some questions to consider:

1. What did God say to you when studying this passage?

2. What does that mean for how you live your life? (ie is there something you believe God wants you to do differently?)

3. How can we as a Lifegroup support you?