Have you ever tried to remove a difficult stain from a shirt? Which are the most difficult stains to remove? Coffee? Ink? Perhaps after being unable to remove it you threw the shirt in the garbage. The Bible teaches us that sin is a filthy stain we are unable to remove for ourselves. Because of the original sin of Adam and Eve all of humanity finds itself stained by sin. In the biblical passage we will study today, Paul analyses the spiritual condition of humanity.
The Downward Spiral of Sin (1:18-27)
ln these verses, Paul describes humanity’s spiritual descent into sin from the time of creation. In short, he explains that instead of recognizing him as God from primitive times humanity has sought to worship creation (for example: the sun, the moon and even animals). Moreover, they have come to deny God’s existence opting to live in a manner contrary to his commandments. Today many people abuse the liberty that God has given us in order to do things that are contrary to his will.
God’s Judgment (1:28-32)
Here Paul explains that when men and women decide to continue practicing sin without considering its consequences God gives them over to their sinful desires, which results in the incrementation of their sinful practices. In other words, in their desire to live continuously against God’s will they continue staining their lives more and more with sin. The list of sins made by Paul in this section demonstrates how apart from the mercy and grace of God humanity will continue in sin because their sinful nature draws them to it.
A Call Repentance (2:1-4)
The first step in removing a stain is recognizing that it exists and to be willing to remove it. It is very easy to see others’ stains and judge them. There are people who think they are in good standing with God or that they have no need for salvation. Paul reminds us that God desires to move us toward repentance through his unmatchable goodness. Paul says Romans 2:3-4:
So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
With these words Paul indicates that in his great love for humanity God seeks to draw us to him through his goodness so that we may respond in repentance. This is the first step to be clean of the stain of sin; to understand we have sinned against God and that we desperately need a change of life.