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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Romans 1:24

 

 

Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

Adam Clarke Commentary

God - gave them up, etc. - They had filled up the measure of their iniquities, and God, by permitting them to plunge into all manner of irregularities, thus, by one species of sin, inflicted punishment on another.

Dishonour their own bodies - Probably alluding here to what is more openly expressed, Romans 1:26, Romans 1:27.

Between themselves - εν εαυτοις, Of themselves, of their own free accord; none inciting, none impelling.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/romans-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Wherefore - That is, because they were unwilling to retain him in their knowledge, and chose to worship idols. Here is traced the practical tendency of paganism; not as an innocent and harmless system, but as resulting in the most gross and shameless acts of depravity.

God gave them up - He abandoned them, or he ceased to restrain them, and suffered them to act out their sentiments, and to manifest them in their life. This does not imply, that he exerted any positive influence in inducing them to sin, any more than it would if we should seek, by argument and entreaty, to restrain a headstrong youth, and when neither would prevail, should leave him to act out his propensities. and to go as he chose to ruin. It is implied in this,

(1)That the tendency of man was to these sins;

(2)That the tendency of idolatry was to promote them; and,

(3)That all that was needful, in order that people should commit them, was for God to leave him to follow the devices and desires of his own heart; compare Psalm 81:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:10, 2 Thessalonians 2:12.

To uncleanness - To impurity, or moral defilement; particularly to those impurities which he proceeds to specify, Romans 1:26, etc.

Through the lusts of their own hearts - Or, in consequence of their own evil and depraved passions and desires. He left them to act out, or manifest, their depraved affections and inclinations.

To dishonour - To disgrace; Romans 1:26-27.

Between themselves - Among themselves; or mutually. They did it by unlawful and impure connections with one another.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/romans-1.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

Wherefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves: for that they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

There was nothing passive in God's giving up those ancient people, and the clause will bear the translation, "God handed them over,"[52] a statement that occurs three times in the remaining verses of this chapter (Romans 1:24,26,28). These dreadful words, thrice repeated with increasing intensity, are a kind of litany of the doomed, showing how dreadful is the fate of them that are given up of God, that is, handed over to the consequences of their rebellion.

Paul had already mentioned the various idolatries of those ancient rebels against God's authority, idolatries which were marked by all kinds of promiscuous relations between the sexes, all such excesses forming a standard part of the worship of ancient idols, of which things the Lord says it is a "shame" to speak (Ephesians 5:12), hence no catalogue of them is entered here. In a word, idolatrous worship consistently produced in people the kind of conduct that might be expected of beasts; but a far lower form of degradation is the subject of these verses, "the uncleanness" here mentioned being a reference to such conduct as no beast was ever guilty of. Homosexuality is included in this but does not exhaust the meaning. Unmentionable perversions, masochism, sadism, and other degenerate practices were among the types of behavior to which God handed over the pre-Christian world. And why did God so do? The answer is in Romans 1:25; it was because "They changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature, rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."

God gave them up ... means more than the mere removal of the restraining hand of providence from the lives of wrongdoers, for there is included a conscious requirement of God that the sinner thus judged shall be compelled to continue upon the shameful path he has chosen, just as in the case of Judas who received the sentence from Christ, "What thou doest, do quickly" (John 13:7), in which case Satan had already entered Judas' heart, and he had been given up by Christ to commit the treacherous deed already committed in his heart. Another example of the same thing is the case of Balaam who, when he would have turned back from a wrong course, was commanded of God, "Go with the men" (Numbers 22:22). Once people have consciously put God out of mind and allowed Satan to have dominion in their thoughts, they have at that point entered the downward road, and God himself will see to it that they go all the way to the end of the road they have deliberately chosen, or, to borrow an old proverb, lie in the beds they have made. This is not to say, however, that God causes people to do wrong; far from it. Lenski pointed out the difference thus:

This is more than permission to fall into uncleanness, and it is less than causing this fall. God's action is judicial. At first, God always restrains by moral persuasion, by legal and other hindrances; but when God is completely cast off, when the measure of ungodliness overflows, his punitive justice hands the sinners over completely to their sins in order to let the sins run to excess and destroy the sinners.[53]

Thus, from God's treatment of the ancient Gentile world, it might properly be inferred that when the present world has reached a certain degree of rebellion against God, he will loose Satan upon humanity for the same purpose, which could indeed be why such an event as the "loosing of Satan" should be included in the divine plan (Revelation 20:3,7).

We cannot leave this passage without repeating the emphasis upon the truth that the reprobacy of the pre-Christian world was essentially an apostasy, wherein the people exchanged the truth of God for a lie. Refusing to honor the Father, they found themselves upon a downward escalator, moving them inexorably to lower and lower levels of depravity. The pagan idolatry and reprobacy into which those people plunged were not primitive or primeval, but exactly the opposite, being the terminal condition resulting from their rejection of the one true and Almighty God; and a major deduction from this that appears inevitable is that man did not rise by his own bootstraps through depravity and idolatry to a conviction of monotheism; but that, on the other hand, he descended from the privilege of prior knowledge of God to the foolishness and immorality of paganism. The so-called "savage" is therefore not primitive or original, as to his moral condition, but is the natural descendant of the people who dishonored God and turned away from following him, despite the fact that they knew him.

As people contemplate the wretched condition of the ancient Gentiles that came about by their apostasy, they should find the incentive to examine themselves continually, and to draw ever nearer and nearer to God. If a disaster similar to that which overwhelmed ancient Gentiles is to be averted from the posterity of present enlightened populations of the earth, men must employ themselves wholeheartedly in the service of God, striving constantly to know the Truth, and beholding in it, as in a mirror, themselves as they appear in the eyes of God. Only by the most faithful adherence to God's truth in Christ, as revealed in the Bible, can it ever be possible to avoid a repetition of the historic moral catastrophe which debauched the pre-Christian era.

[52] C. K. Barrett, op. cit., p. 38.

[53] R. C. H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 108.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/romans-1.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness,.... Not by putting any into them, but by leaving them to the pollution of their nature; by withdrawing his providential restraints from them, and by giving them up to judicial hardness:

through the lusts of their own hearts. The heart of man is the source of all wickedness; the lusts that dwell there are many, and these tend to uncleanness of one sort or another: by it here is meant particularly bodily uncleanness, since it is said they were given up

to dishonour their own bodies between themselves; either alone, or with others; so that as they changed the glory of God, and dishonoured him, he left them to dishonour themselves by doing these things which were reproachful and scandalous to human nature.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/romans-1.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

10 Wherefore i God also k gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

(10) The unrighteousness of men he sets forth first in this, that following their lusts, even against nature, they defiled themselves one with another, by the just judgment of God.

(i) The contempt of religion is the source of all evil.

(k) As a just judge.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/romans-1.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Wherefore God also — in righteous retribution.

gave them up — This divine abandonment of men is here strikingly traced in three successive stages, at each of which the same word is used (Romans 1:24, Romans 1:26; and Romans 1:28, where the word is rendered “gave over”). “As they deserted God, God in turn deserted them; not giving them divine (that is, supernatural) laws, and suffering them to corrupt those which were human; not sending them prophets, and allowing the philosophers to run into absurdities. He let them do what they pleased, even what was in the last degree vile, that those who had not honored God, might dishonor themselves” [Grotius].


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/romans-1.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Wherefore (διοdio). Paul‘s inexorable logic. See it also in Romans 1:26 with the same verb and in Romans 1:28 καιkai like “and so.”

God gave them up (παρεδωκεν αυτους ο τεοςparedōken autous ho theos). First aorist active indicative of παραδιδωμιparadidōmi old and common verb to hand over (beside, παραpara) to one‘s power as in Matthew 4:12. These people had already wilfully deserted God who merely left them to their own self-determination and self-destruction, part of the price of man‘s moral freedom. Paul refers to this stage and state of man in Acts 17:30 by “overlooked” (υπεριδωνhuperidōn). The withdrawal of God‘s restraint sent men deeper down. Three times Paul uses παρεδωκενparedōken here (Romans 1:24, Romans 1:26, Romans 1:28), not three stages in the giving over, but a repetition of the same withdrawal. The words sound to us like clods on the coffin as God leaves men to work their own wicked will.

That their bodies should be dishonoured (του ατιμαζεσται τα σωματα αυτωνtou atimazesthai ta sōmata autōn). Contemplated result expressed by τουtou (genitive article) and the passive infinitive ατιμαζεσταιatimazesthai (from ατιμοςatimos αa privative and τιμοςtimos dishonoured) with the accusative of general reference. Christians had a new sense of dignity for the body (1 Thessalonians 4:4; 1 Corinthians 6:13). Heathenism left its stamp on the bodies of men and women.


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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/romans-1.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Gave them up ( παρέδωκεν )

Handed them over to the power of sin. See on Matthew 4:12; see on Matthew 11:27; see on Matthew 26:2; see on Mark 4:29; see on Luke 1:2; see on 1 Peter 2:23.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/romans-1.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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

Wherefore — One punishment of sin is from the very nature of it, as Romans 1:27; another, as here, is from vindictive justice.

Uncleanness — Ungodliness and uncleanness are frequently joined, 1 Thessalonians 4:5 as are the knowledge of God and purity.

God gave them up — By withdrawing his restraining grace.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/romans-1.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

24.God therefore gave them up, etc. As impiety is a hidden evil, lest they should still find an evasion, he shows, by a more palpable demonstration, that, they cannot escape, but must be held fast by a just condemnation, since such fruits have followed this impiety as cannot be viewed otherwise than manifest evidences of the Lord’s wrath. As the Lord’s wrath is always just, it follows, that what has exposed them to condemnation, must have preceded it. By these evidences then he now proves the apostasy and defection of men: for the Lord indeed does so punish those, who alienate themselves from his goodness, that he casts them headlong into various courses which lead to perdition and ruin. And by comparing the vices, of which they were guilty, with the impiety, of which he had before accused them, he shows that they suffered punishment through the just judgment of God: for since nothing is dearer to us than our own honor, it is extreme blindness, when we fear not to bring disgrace on ourselves; and it is the most suitable punishment for a reproach done to the Divine Majesty. This is the very thing which he treats of to the end of the chapter; but he handles it in various ways, for the subject required ample illustration.

What then, in short, he proves to us is this, — that the ingratitude of men to God is incapable of being excused; for it is manifest, by unequivocal evidences, that the wrath of God rages against them: they would have never rolled themselves in lusts so filthy, after the manner of beasts, had not the majesty of God been provoked and incensed against them. Since, then, the worst abominations abounded everywhere, he concludes that there existed among them evidences of divine vengeance. Now, as this never rages without reason, or unjustly, but ever keeps within the limits of what is right, he intimates that it hence appears that perdition, not less certain than just, impended over all.

As to the manner in which God gives up or delivers men to wickedness, it is by no means necessary in this place to discuss a question so intricate, (longam — tedious.) It is indeed certain, that he not only permits men to fall into sin, by allowing them to do so, and by conniving at them; but that he also, by his equitable judgment, so arranges things, that they are led and carried into such madness by their own lusts, as well as by the devil. He therefore adopts the word, give up, according to the constant usage of Scripture; which word they forcibly wrest, who think that we are led into sin only by the permission of God: for as Satan is the minister of God’s wrath, and as it were the executioner, so he is armed against us, not through the connivance, but by the command of his judge. God, however, is not on this account cruel, nor are we innocent, inasmuch as Paul plainly shows, that we are not delivered up into his power, except when we deserve such a punishment. Only we must make this exception, that the cause of sin is not from God, the roots of which ever abide in the sinner himself; for this must be true,

“Thine is perdition, O Israel; in me only is thy help.”
(
Hosea 13:9) (51)

By connecting the desires or lusts of man’s heart with uncleanness, he indirectly intimates what sort of progeny our heart generates, when left to itself. The expression, among themselves, is not without its force; for it significantly expresses how deep and indelible are the marks of infamy imprinted on our bodies.

The preposition ἐν before desires or lusts, is used after the Hebrew manner, in the sense of to or into; for ב beth, means in, and to, and also by or through; and such is the import of ἐν as frequently used by the Apostle. It is so used in the preceding verse — ἐν ὁμοιώματι — into the likeness, etc. Then the verse would be, as Calvin in sense renders it, —

God also on this account delivered them up to the lusts of their own hearts to work uncleanness, that they might dishonor their bodies among themselves.

The import of εἰς ἀκαθαρσίαν, in order to uncleanness, is no doubt, to work uncleanness; the Apostle frequently uses this kind of expression. [Stuart ] labors here unnecessarily to show, that God gave them up, being in their lusts, etc., taking the clause as a description of those who were given up; but the plainest meaning is that which Calvin gives. — Ed.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/romans-1.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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

Ver. 24. Gave them up to uncleanness] Aristotle confesseth the disability of moral knowledge to rectify the intemperance of nature; and made it good in his practice; for he used a common strumpet to satisfy his lust. Socrates is said to have had his catamite {a} inter Socraticos, & c. (Juvenal.)

{a} A boy kept for unnatural purposes. ŒD


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/romans-1.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Romans 1:24. Wherefore God also gave them up There are three degrees of ungodliness and of punishment described in these verses: the first in Romans 1:21-24.; the second in Romans 1:25-27.; the third in the 28th and following verses. The punishment in each place is expressed: by God gave them up. If a man will not worship God as God, he is so left to himself, that he throws away his very manhood. One punishment of sinis from the very nature of it, as Romans 1:27 another as here is from vindictive justice. Between themselves, εν εαυτοις, would be more properly rendered by themselves; for the Apostle's sentiment seems to be, that the abuse of themselves was their own act and deed; it was fit they should be dishonoured who dishonoured God; and they could not be dishonoured by any so much as by themselves; nor by themselves any other way so much as this. We have the same thought again, Romans 1:27 and the same phrase; where we render it in themselves. The original word ' Εν, in the Hellenistic Greek, as the critics tell us, has the force of all prepositions, and here may be translated from, or by. See Bengelius and Bos.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/romans-1.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, 1. Another infamous sin charged upon the Heathens; namely, the sin of uncleanness; yea, base, unnatural uncleanness, and pollutions of the most odious kinds.

Learn thence, That idolatry and uncleanness often go together. Solomon's uncleanness led him to idolatry, and his idolatry increased his uncleanness. The city of Rome at this day, which is a grove of idols, the chief seat of idolatry, is next to Sodom for uncleanness; witness their allowing of stews by public authority.

Learn, 2. That all kinds and degrees of pollutions both natural and unnatural, are to be detested and abhorred, as dishonouring the body. Our bodies are Christ's members, the Holy Ghost's temples; let us therefore glorify God with our bodies on earth, which shall be subjects capable of glory with himself in heaven.

Observe, 2. God's judiciary tradition of these idolatrous Heathens to the sin of uncleanness. Wherefore God gave them up to uncleanness. Almighty God often doth, and always righteously may, punish sin with sin: God punished the idolatry of the Heathens here, by delivering them up to vile affections, to uncleanness, and unnatural lusts.

But how is this consistent with God's holiness and hatred of sin? Thus, God neither infuses sin into their hearts, nor excites to sin in their lives, but leaves sinners to themselves, to act without restraint, according to the inclination of their own lusts and corruptions: And also, gives them up to Satan, that unclean spirit, who will not fail to provoke them to such uncleanness as he knows their inclinations stand ready to comply with.

Lord, keep back thy servants from sinning against the light of nature, against the light of scripture, lest we be judicially darkened, and given up to a sottish and injudicious mind, to hardness of heart, and the vilest of affections.


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Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/romans-1.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

24.] The καί after διό may import, As they advanced in departure from God, so God also on His part gave them up, &c.;—His dealings with them had a progression likewise.

παρέδωκεν] not merely permissive, but judicial: God delivered them over. As sin begets sin, and darkness of mind deeper darkness, grace gives place to judgment, and the divine wrath hardens men, and hurries them on to more fearful degrees of depravity.

ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθ.] in the lusts—not by nor through the lusts (as Erasmus and E. V.);—the lusts of the heart were the field of action, the department of their being, in which this dishonour took place.

ἀκαθαρσίαν] more than mere profligacy in the satisfaction of natural lust (as Olsh.); for the Apostle uses cognate words ἀτιμάζεσθαι and ἀτιμία here and in Romans 1:26 :—bestiality; impurity in the physical, not only in the social and religious sense.

τοῦ ἀτιμάζεσθαι] the genitive may imply either (1) the purpose of God’s delivering them over to impurity, ‘that their bodies should be dishonoured,’ or (2) the result of that delivering over, ‘so that their bodies were dishonoured,’ or (3) the nature of the ἀκαθαρσία, as πάθη ἀτιμίας below,—‘impurity, which consisted in their bodies being dishonoured.’ The second of these seems most accordant with the usage of the Apostle and with the argument.

ἀτιμάζεσθαι is most likely passive (Beza, al. De Wette), as the middle of ἀτιμάζω is not found in use. And this is confirmed by the old and probably genuine reading αὐτοῖς, which has been altered to ἑαυτοῖς from imagining that ‘they’ was the subject to ἀτιμάζεσθαι. So that their bodies were dishonoured among them.


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/romans-1.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Romans 1:24. Wherefore (as a penal retribution for their apostasy) God also gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity. καὶ, also, indicates the giving up as a thing corresponding to the guilt. Comp on Philippians 2:9.

ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθ. τ. κ. αὐτ.] contains that, in which they were involved, i.e. the moral condition in which they were found when they were given up by God to impurity. Comp Romans 1:27; Ephesians 2:3; Bernhardy, p. 209. The instrumental rendering (Erasmus, Er. Schmid, Glöckler and Krehl) is unnecessary, because the immediate literal sense of ἐν is quite sufficient, and the former is less suitable as to sense, since it conveys something which is obvious of itself.

παρέδωκεν] expresses the real active giving up on the part of God. The favourite explanation of it by εἴασε, so often resorted to since Origen and Chrysostom, is nothing but a rationalising gloss at variance with the literal meaning. To the Apostle God is the living God, who does not passively permit the retributive consequences of fidelity or of apostasy—thus, as it were, letting them run their course, as an artificer does with his wheel work—but Himself, everywhere active, pervades and effectively develops the arrangements which He has made. If then God has so arranged that man by apostasy from Him should fall into moral impurity, and that thus sin shall be punished by sin (and this connection of sin with sin is in accordance both with experience and Scripture, Isaiah 6:10; Job 8:4; Psalms 69:28; Psalms 81:13; Mark 4:12), this arrangement can only be carried out in reality through the effective action of its originator; and God Himself must give up the apostates unto impurity, inasmuch as it is by His doing that that moral connection is in point of fact accomplished. Comp Acts 7:42; Romans 9:19; also 2 Thessalonians 2:11 f.; and the rabbinical passages quoted by Schoettgen, especially from Pirke Aboth, c. 4 : “Festina ad praeceptum leve tanquam ad grave, et fuge transgressionem; praeceptum enim trahit praeceptum, et transgressio transgressionem: quia merces praecepti praeceptum est, et transgressionis transgressio.” Consequently, if the understanding of παρέδωκεν in its strictly proper and positive meaning is quite in keeping with the universal agency of God, in His physical and moral government of the world, without, however, making God appear as the author of sin, which, on the contrary, has its root in the ἐπιθυμίαι τ. καρδ., we must reject as insufficient the privative interpretation(487), that became current after Augustine and Oecumenius, which Calovius has adopted in part, and Rückert entirely. Comp Philippi, who thinks of the withdrawal of the Divine Spirit and its results, though in the sense of a positive divine infliction of punishment. This withdrawal, through which man is left in the lurch by God, is the immediate negative precursor of the παρέδωκεν (Sirach 4:19). Reiche thinks that Paul here avails himself, with more or less consciousness of its being erroneous, of the general view of the Jews regarding the origin of the peculiar wickedness of the Gentiles (Psalms 81:13; Proverbs 21:8; Sirach 4:19; Wisdom of Solomon 10:12; Wisdom of Solomon 13:1; Acts 7:42); and that this representation of moral depravity as a divine punishment is to be distinguished from the Christian doctrinal system of the Apostle. But how very inconsistent it is with the character of Paul thus consciously to bring forward what is erroneous, and that too with so solemn a repetition (Romans 1:26; Romans 1:28)! And is it not an arrangement accordant with experience, that apostasy from God is punished by an ever deeper fall into immorality? Can this arrangement, made as it is by God “justo judicio” (Calvin), be carried out otherwise than by God? Analogous are even heathen sayings, such as Aesch. Agam. 764 ff., and the heathen idea of the θεοβλάβεια; comp also Ruhnken, a(490) Vellej. ii. 57, 3. But just as man, while his fidelity is rewarded by God through growth in virtue, remains withal free and does not become a virtuous machine; so also he retains his freedom, while God accomplishes the development of His arrangement, in accordance with which sin is born of sin. He gives himself up (Ephesians 4:19), while he is given up by God to that tragic nexus of moral destiny; and he becomes no machine of sin, but possesses at every moment the capacity of μετάνοια, which the very reaction resulting from the feeling of the most terrible misery of sin—punished through sin—is designed to produce. Therefore, on the one hand, man always remains responsible for his deterioration (Romans 1:32; Romans 2:6; Romans 3:5; Romans 7:14); and, on the other, that punishment of sin, in which the teleological law of the development of evil fulfils itself, includes no contradiction of the holiness of God. For this reason the view of Köllner—that the Apostle’s idea is to be separated from its Jewish and temporal form, and that we must assume as the Christian truth in it, that the apostasy of men from God has brought them into deepest misery, as certainly as the latter is self-inflicted—is a superfluous unexegetical evasion, to which Fritzsche also has recourse.

ἀκαθαρσίαν] spurcitia, impurity, and that lustful (comp Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 4:19; Colossians 3:5), as is plain from the following context; not generally: “all action and conduct dishonouring the creaturely glory of man” (Hofmann). The τοῦ ἀτιμάζεσθαι may be taken either as the genitive of the purpose: that they might be dishonoured (Rückert, Philippi, van Hengel), or as the genitive of more precise definition depending on ἀκαθαρσ. (impurity of the becoming dishonoured, i.e. which consisted therein; so Fritzsche, Winer, Tholuck and de Wette). The latter (see Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 230 f.) is the more probable, partly because the ἀτιμάζεσθαι κ. τ. λ(492) already constitutes the impurity itself, and does not merely attend it as a result; and partly on account of the parallel in Romans 1:28, where ποιεῖν κ. τ. λ(493) is likewise epexegetical. ἀτιμάζεσθαι is not however the middle, whereby the αὐτοπαθές would be expressed, for which there is no empirical usage, but the passive: that their bodies were dishonoured among themselves, mutually. This ἐν ἑαυτοῖς refers to the persons ( αὐτῶν, not to be written αὑτῶν), not asserting that the ἀτιμάζασθαι takes place on themselves, which is in fact already conveyed by τὰ σώματα αὐτῶν,(494) but rather based on the nature of participation in unchastity, according to which they bring one on the other reciprocally the dishonouring of the body. In this personal reciprocity of those who practise unchastity with each other lies the characteristic abominableness of the dishonouring of the body; and this point is designated by ἐν ἑαυτοῖς more expressly, because in contrast to non-participating third persons, than it would have been by ἐν ἀλλήλοις (Kühner, a(495) Xen. Mem. ii. 6, 20).

The vices of unchastity, which moreover are still here referred to quite generally (it is otherwise in Romans 1:26 f.), and not specially as unnatural, according to their disgraceful nature, in whatever forms they may have been practised, are specifically heathen (in fact, even partially belonging to the heathen cultus), as a consequence of apostasy from the true God (comp 1 Thessalonians 4:5). As they again prevail even among Christians, wherever this apostasy spreads through unbelief, they must verify even in Christendom their heathen nature, and, along with the likewise essentially heathen πλεονεξία, pre-eminently exclude from the salvation of the Messiah (Ephesians 5:5 f.; Colossians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 6:9 f.).

With ἀτιμάζ. τ. σώμ. compare the opposite, 1 Thessalonians 4:4, where τὸ ἑαυτοῦ σκεῦος must be explained of the body as the vessel of the Ego proper.


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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/romans-1.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Romans 1:24. διό, wherefore) One punishment of sin arises from its physical consequences, Romans 1:27, note, [that recompense of their error, which] was meet; another, moreover, from retributive justice, as in this passage.— ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις, in the lusts) ἐν, not ἐις. ἁι ἐπιθυμίαι, the lusts, were already present there. The men themselves were such as were the gods that they framed.— ἀκαθαρσίαν, uncleanness) Impiety and impurity are frequently joined together, 1 Thessalonians 4:5; as are also the knowledge of God and purity of mind, Matthew 5:8; 1 John 3:2, etc.— ἀτιμάζεσθαι, to dishonour) Honour is its opposite, 1 Thessalonians 4:4. Man ought not to debase himself, 1 Corinthians 6:13, etc.— ἐν ἑαυτοῖς,(15) among their ownselves), by fornication, effeminacy, and other vices. They themselves furnish the materials of their own punishment, and are at the cost of it. How justly! they, who dishonour God, inflict punishment on their ownselves. Joh. Cluverus.


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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/romans-1.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Wherefore; their impiety was the cause of what followed: this is repeated again, that it may be the better observed. The contempt of God and of religion is the cause of all wickedness.

God also gave them up; this phrase is thrice used in this context, viz. Romans 1:24,26,28: it seems to be taken out of Psalms 81:12. Some think his giving them up, is only’ his withdrawing his grace from them, and permitting them to sin; but there seems to be more in it than a bare subtraction or permission. He did not only leave them to themselves, but, in a judicial way, he put then, into the hands of Satan, and of their own lusts; as it is said, Psalms 69:27, he added iniquity to their iniquity, making the latter iniquity a punishment of the former.

Between themselves; some read it, in themselves, and some read it, one among another; so the same word is rendered, Ephesians 4:32 Colossians 3:13. The apostle here speaks more generally of all kinds of pollution and uncleanness that was committed by them, whether natural or unnatural.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Romans 1:24". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/romans-1.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

God also; as a punishment for their sins in thus dishonoring him, abandoned them to the dominion of corrupt desires, appetites, and passions; and suffered them to commit the vilest abominations to their ruin.


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "Family Bible New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/romans-1.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

24. The consequences seen in the moral condition, to which GOD handed man over. Man by ignoring the truth is led to neglect the worship of GOD for the worship of creatures, and thence [24] to failure in due respect to his own body and [26] consequent misuse of the body for unnatural ends, and [28] misapplication of the mind to devising conduct which ignores his own true end and all social claims.

παρέδωκεν ὁ θ. Cf. Romans 1:26; Romans 1:28; cf. Romans 4:25, and for the converse Philippians 2:12. This surrender of man to the consequences of his own choice is also the act of man himself, cf. Ephesians 4:19. But it is still an act of judgment on the part of GOD. See S. H., Giff., Moberly, Atonement and Personality, p. 15 f.

ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις τ. κ. α. The desires, uncontrolled by the choice of man’s true end, are the occasions of sin.

τοῦ ἀτιμάζεσθαι. The gen. expressing result, as generally in S. Paul, cf. Moulton, p. 217, = the use of the body for purposes not intended; cf. πάθη ἀτιμίας below, and n. esp. Colossians 2:23 (note in C.G.T.). ἐν αὐτοῖς requires us to take ἀτιμάζεσθαι as pass.


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"Commentary on Romans 1:24". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/romans-1.html. 1896.

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

24. “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto impurity to dishonor their bodies among themselves,


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Godbey, William. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/romans-1.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘For which reason God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonoured among themselves,’

And the consequence was that God gave them up, in the lusts (passionate desires for pleasure) of their hearts (minds, wills and emotions), to beastliness. They became what their gods were. And that involved them in uncleanness and dishonouring their bodies among themselves. The filthiness in man’s nature became unrestricted, and it soon became apparent in their ways of life. Sexual perversion and immorality became commonplace, and it could all be justified as ‘worship’ because it was regularly connected with the Temple. Sacred prostitutes were called ‘holy ones’. Today it is on the internet where men and women can satisfy their perverted lusts in a similar way.

Investigations into the beginnings of religion have indeed established this picture as true. Man initially believed in the equivalent of a spiritual ‘all-father’, and worshipped in a simple way. It was only later that this became embellished with idolatry and magic.

‘God gave them up --- to uncleanness.’ There can be no more chilling words than these, that God ‘gave them up’ (see also Romans 1:28). He had had enough of their refusal to listen to Him, and so He allowed them to follow the desires of their own debased minds. He no longer intervened. But they did, of course, still have the testimony of nature, and of conscience, and of their own inner heart. It was just that they did not want to listen.


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/romans-1.html. 2013.

Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves.

Wherefore God also gave them up. — The impurities into which the Gentiles were plunged, sprung from their own corrupt hearts. We must therefore distinguish between their abandonment by God, and the awful effects of that abandonment. The abandonment proceeded from Divine justice, but the effect from the corruption of man, in which God had no part. The abandonment is a negative act of God, or rather a negation of acting, of which God is absolutely master, since, being under no obligation to confer grace on any man, He is free to withhold it as He sees good; so that in this withholding there is no injustice: But besides this, it is a negation of acting which men have deserved by their previous sins, and consequently it proceeds from His justice, and is in this view to be considered as a punishment. Sin is indeed the consequence of this abandonment, but the only cause of it is human perversity. God’s giving them up, then, does not signify any positive act, but denotes His not holding them in check by those restraints by means of which He usually maintains a certain degree of order and appearance of moral rectitude among sinners. God did not, however, totally withdraw those restraints, by which His providence rules the world in the midst of its corruption; for if He had done so, it would have been impossible that society could have subsisted, or the succession of generations continued. God, for these ends, still preserved among them some common rectitude, and certain bonds of humanity. But in other respects, so far as concerned the impurities to which the Apostle here refers, He released His restraints on the fury of their passions, as a corresponding punishment for their idolatries. Thus was His justice manifested in giving up those who had dishonored Him to dishonor themselves, in a manner the most degrading and revolting.


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Haldane, Robert. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans and Hebrews". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hal/romans-1.html. 1835.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

24. God also gave them up—The Divine Spirit, which loves to draw to itself the willing and susceptible human spirit, being thus abandoned, substituted, rejected, and repelled with insult, withdraws Himself and leaves the apostate to himself.

To uncleanness—The spiritual in the man, unrefreshed and uninvigorated by the Divine Spirit, becomes faint and inert, and the animal reigns alone in power.

Dishonour their own bodies—The animal grows in lust and exerts its utmost power in sensuality, ascertaining by shameful experiment the full extent to which debasement in man can go.

Dishonour their own bodies—By unnatural and beastly practices they not only subject their bodies to what all pure minds hold to be infamy, but by effeminacy and vile diseases, the result of their abuse, they contract a permanent debasement to their persons.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/romans-1.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Romans 1:24. Wherefore. Having shown that the heathen had the truth and held it back in unrighteousness, the Apostle now shows how God’s wrath was displayed: generally in giving them up to uncleanness (Romans 1:24-25), and specially to unnatural sensuality (Romans 1:26-27), as well as to other vices which are named (Romans 1:28-32).

Gave them up. This is more than ‘permitted.’ That sin is punished by sin, we are taught by the Bible and by daily experience. God abandons man to the consequence of his own doings, and thus punishes him. This is a divinely instituted law, in perfect harmony with our personal freedom and moral accountability.

In the lusts of their hearts. Not ‘through,’ but ‘in,’ signifying the moral sphere in which they were, when the judicial abandonment by God delivered them over to a still worse condition.

Unto uncleanness; impurity, unchastity. The heathen scarcely recognized lewdness as sinful.

That their oodles were dishonored. This may mean either (1) the purpose, or (2) the result, or (3) wherein the uncleanness consisted. The last is preferable.

Among them. This seems a better supported reading than ‘themselves’; but the notion is of reciprocal dishonor.


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/romans-1.html. 1879-90.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Greek: to de paredoken, entautha eiasen esti.


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/romans-1.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Romans 1:24 Wherefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves:

"God gave them up" -"gave them over" (NASV); "letting them follow" (Beck); "let them go ahead into" (Tay)

"These people had already wilfully deserted God who merely left them to their own self-determination and self-destruction, part of the price of man"s moral freedom..the words sound to us like clods on the coffin as God leaves men to work their own wicked will."

"The lost, enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded, and are therefore self-enslaved."

"in the lusts of their hearts"-sin is a heart problem. These people turned from God because they "wanted to do what they wanted to do."

"Uncleanness" -"impurity, immorality". The sensual sins that were often included in idolatrous practices. Doctrinal compromise leads to moral compromise.

"Dishonored"-"so they degrade their own bodies with one another" (Wms). Christianity gives one a new sense of dignity and self-respect. (1 Corinthians 6:13; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Thessalonians 4:4-5) Sin is it"s own punishment. Instead of being ashamed of the Gospel, the World needs to be ashamed of its own conduct. Trying living apart from God and you will end up embarrassing yourself. "Heathenism left its stamp on the bodies of men and women".


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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/romans-1.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

also. Omit.

gave them up. See John 19:30.

uncleanness. Greek. akatharsia. Occurs ten times, always so rendered. The cognate word akathartes in Revelation 17:4 only. Ceasing to know God (Romans 1:21) results in idolatry, and idolatry ends in "filthiness of the flesh and spirit" (2 Corinthians 7:1).

through. App-104.

lusts. See John 8:44.

to dishonour, &c. = that their bodies should be dishonoured. Greek. atimazo. See Acts 5:41.

between. Greek. en. App-104.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/romans-1.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Wherefore God also (in righteous retribution), gave them up , [ paredooken (Greek #3860)]. This divine abandonment of men is here strikingly traced in three successive stages, at each of which the same word is used (Romans 1:24; Romans 1:26; Romans 1:28, where the word is rendered "gave over").

To uncleanness through, [ en (G1722), rather, 'in'] the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves , [ en (Greek #1722) heautois (Greek #1438)] - or, according to the preferable reading [ en (Greek #1722) autois (Greek #846)], 'with each other;' But the sense is the same. 'As they deserted God (says Grotius), God in turn deserted them-not giving them divine (i:e., supernatural) laws, and suffering them to corrupt those which were human; not sending them prophets, and allowing the philosophers to run into absurdities. He let them do what they pleased, even what was in the last degree vile, that those who had not honoured God might dishonour themselves.'


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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/romans-1.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

To do the filthy things. God himself did not cause their sin, but when they rejected him, he allowed them to bring trouble upon themselves. The false religions accelerated the moral decay of the Gentile world. Compare note on 1 Thessalonians 1:9.


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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "The Bible Study New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/romans-1.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
God
Psalms 81:11,12; Hosea 4:17,18; Matthew 15:14; Acts 7:42; 14:16; 17:29,30; Ephesians 4:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12
through the lusts
6:12
to dishonour
1 Corinthians 6:13,18; 1 Thessalonians 4:4; 2 Timothy 2:20-22
between
27; Leviticus 18:22

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/romans-1.html.

Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians

Wherefore also he gave them, in their lusts, unto uncleanness. The most natural construction of this passage is to connect εἰς ἀκαθαρσίαν with παρέδωκεν, he gave up unto uncleanness. We have the same construction in Romans 1:26, Romans 1:28, and infrequently elsewhere. To construct παρέδωκεν with ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις, as Beza and others do, gives indeed a good sense, He gave them up to their desires unto uncleanness, i.e., so that they became unclean, but is opposed to the constant usage of the New Testament, in as much as παραδίδωμι never occurs in construction with ἐν. If the former construction be adopted, ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις may be rendered as in our version, through their lusts; or better in their lusts; ἐν expressing their condition, or circumstances; them in their lusts, i.e., being in them, immersed in them. To dishonor, τοῦ ἀτιμάζεσθαι. This infinitive with τοῦ may depend on the preceding noun; ‘the uncleanness of dishonoring,' etc., "quae cernebatur in," etc. Winer, §45:4. b. But as the infinitive with the genitive article is so frequently used to express design, or simple sequence, it is better to make it depend on the whole preceding clause, ‘He gave them up to uncleanness, to dishonor,' i.e., either in order that they might dishonor, or so that they dishonored, etc. ἀτιμὰζεσθαι may be taken either as middle, so that they dishonored their bodies; or as passive, so that their bodies were dishonored. The former best suits the context. ἐν ἑαυτοῖς is either equivalent to ἐν ἀλλήλοις, reciprocally, they dishonored one another, as to their bodies; or in themselves, dishonoring their bodies in themselves; "significantius exprimit," says Calvin, "quàm profundas et ineluibiles ignominiae notas corporibus suis inusserint."

This abandonment of the heathen to the dominion of sin is represented as a punitive infliction. They forsook God, διὸ καί, wherefore also he gave them up to uncleanness. This is explained as a simple permission on the part of God. But it removes no real difficulty. If God permits those who forsake him to sink into vice, he does it intelligently and intentionally. The language of the apostle, as well as the analogy of Scripture, demands more than this. It is at least a judicial abandonment. It is as a punishment for their apostasy that God gives men up to the power of sin. Tradidit Deus ut justus judex. He withdraws from the wicked the restraints of his providence and grace, and gives them over to the dominion of sin. God is presented in the Bible as the absolute moral and physical ruler of the world. He governs all things according, to the counsel of his own will and the nature of his creatures. What happens as consequences does not come by chance, but as designed; and the sequence is secured by his control. "It is beyond question," says Tholuck, "that, according to the doctrine of the Old and New Testaments, sin is the punishment of sin." So the Rabbins teach, "The reward of a good deed is a good deed, and of an evil deed, an evil deed." This is also the teaching of all experience. We see that sin follows sin as an avenger. De Wette truly says, "Diese Ansicht ist nicht bloss jüdisch, sondern allgemein wahr vom absoluten Standpunkte der Religion aus." "This is no mere Jewish doctrine, but it is universally true from the absolute standpoint of religion." God is not a mere idle spectator of the order of events; he is at once the moral governor and efficient controller of all things. "Man is not ‘a virtue-machine,'" says Meyer, "when God rewards virtue with virtue; neither is he ‘a sin machine,' when God punishes sin with sin." Men are as free in sinning as they are in obeying; and what in one passage and from one point of view, is properly presented as the work of God, in another passage and from another point of view, is no less properly presented as the work of man. What is here said to be God's work, in Ephesians 4:19 is declared to be the sinner's own work.


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Hodge, Charles. "Commentary on Romans 1:24". Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hdg/romans-1.html.

: Wherefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts unto uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves:

One of the key expressions in this paragraph is found in this verse-the lusts (epithumia) of their hearts. These people desperately wanted to do what was evil and perverse, and God allowed them to carry out their desires. The word "lust" expresses "a particularly strong desire" (Brown, ) because it chokes the word ( Mark 4:19) and breaks marriages ( Matthew 5:28). Brown also (same page) noted that Paul used this word to describe the "sin which rules man." This word describes the desire that "urges man to activity." In other places this word is associated with sexual sin as well as materialism (see how it is used in Galatians 5:16; 1 Timothy 6:9; 2 Timothy 2:22).

The people in Romans 1:1-32 were so intent on being wicked God "gave them up" (paradidomi). This term means God "abandoned them to impurity" (Gingrich and Danker, p615). The thought is further explained with the word "uncleanness" (akatharsia). Here, this word has a "moral sense" (Gingrich and Danker, p28). The word describes "moral impurity which excludes man from fellowship with God" (Kittle, 3:428). It is the opposite of holiness and is often associated with sexual sin (see Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5). Additional information about this word is in the commentary on Galatians 5:19. Because of the Gentiles' uncleanness and lustful hearts, God turned His back on them. For additional references on the seriousness of sexual sin, see 1 Corinthians 6:18 and 1 Thessalonians 4:6. The word "dishonored" (atimazo) was often associated with physical abuse ( Mark 12:4; Acts 5:41). Here, it means "their bodies might be degraded" (Gingrich and Danker, p120).


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Bibliography
Price, Brad "Commentary on Romans 1:24". "Living By Faith: Commentary on Romans". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bpc/romans-1.html.

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