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Equipped_4_Love
Feb 12th 2011, 01:46 AM
What group of people is Paul referring to here, whom God gave over to their vile passions? Is he talking about Sodom and Gomorrah here? He is using the past tense here, so obviously, he is talking about some specific group of people in history.

dagar
Feb 12th 2011, 02:32 AM
Not specific.
Romans 1-3 is an explanation for 'all have sinned'.
Chapter 1 is the progression of sin. It starts with not being thankful and progresses to not retaining God in their knowledge and the result.
given up v24, given up v26, given up v28

Equipped_4_Love
Feb 12th 2011, 02:35 AM
Okay....but he seems to be talking specifically about a certain group of people. If he is just talking about people who started worshipping idols and not retaining God in their knowledge, then why does he talk in the past tense, saying "they did this" and "they did that," and "God did this"

dagar
Feb 12th 2011, 03:25 AM
Okay....but he seems to be talking specifically about a certain group of people. If he is just talking about people who started worshipping idols and not retaining God in their knowledge, then why does he talk in the past tense, saying "they did this" and "they did that," and "God did this"Because the purpose is the gospel. If all men had not sinned there'd be no gospel. He starts with

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

So right there we know the sin has already ocurred. Romans 2:1 starts with therefore pointing back to what was previously said

Rom 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
Rom 2:2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

"truth" in v2 points back to "truth" in 1:18.

Nomad
Feb 12th 2011, 05:25 PM
Paul isn't referring to any specific group, but mankind in general. From his point in time Paul is describing the past sin and rebellion of man and the judgment that followed. Paul also points out that this judgment continued on into his day by his use of the present tense in verse 18 of Romans 1. When man refuses to acknowledge God and suppress the truth in unrighteousness, He gives them over to their own sin as slaves.

Phish
Feb 12th 2011, 06:27 PM
What group of people is Paul referring to here, whom God gave over to their vile passions? Is he talking about Sodom and Gomorrah here? He is using the past tense here, so obviously, he is talking about some specific group of people in history.

Paul is talking about those who reach total Depravity, which all started with not thanking Him. It is the ultimate progression of sin as we start to move away from Him and climaxes when we have reached the lowest forms of exsistance when in every way we conduct ourselves contrary to His design. I beleive we are facing this in America today. Sodom and Gomorrah had reached this level which is why He removed them.

Slina
Feb 12th 2011, 10:13 PM
Not sure I can say he's talking specifically about Sodom and Gomorrah other than the fact that they're a fairly easy Biblical reference to make. I think quite a few other cultures and people groups had reached that point as well before Paul's time, including Ancient Greece which would have been relatively recent news to him. There again, you had a society that on the whole had clearly rejected God and instead worshiped their own false gods while "thinking themselves wise," and next thing you know, homosexuality is a pretty popular part of the culture. Now you're starting to see the same today in various parts of the world, and I'm sure there are even more examples through history.

I think he might just be noticing a general pattern, since he never specifically mentions anyone in particular during this part. By the end of the passage, he seems to be moving into the present tense, leaving me to think he's more or less talking about the sinful people in the world in general, maybe saying that 'this has generally been the way things progress, and even today people are rejecting God and being handed over to their sins.'

Like others have already pointed out, he's setting up the sinful state of the world here; he does contrast these people with the self-righteous Jew, but only to make the point that the horribly depraved world is ultimately no more sinful and rebellious than the righteous man who still rejects God. In that context, I'd think it makes more sense to be referring to any people who've become depraved as a result of rebelling against God.

nzyr
Feb 13th 2011, 04:31 AM
The farther people get away from God the more they'll behave like that.

BroRog
Feb 13th 2011, 06:47 PM
What group of people is Paul referring to here, whom God gave over to their vile passions? Is he talking about Sodom and Gomorrah here? He is using the past tense here, so obviously, he is talking about some specific group of people in history.

I believe Paul is speaking in the past tense because he is couching his argument in historical terms, looking at the progression of religious thought from the times of Cain and Abel. There were a few people like Abel who worshipped God even as they had very limited information about him, but eventually, as time progressed, mankind's understanding of God became highly speculative, facile, specious, dark and foolish. As others have said, I agree that Paul is talking about mankind in general, but with an exception.

With regard to Abraham and his direct dependents Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob's family line, God did NOT give them over to wild speculations about himself or leave them to guess about the nature of the true God. So I don't think Romans 1:24-29 includes these folks. Even as it can be said that eventually Israel would fall into idolatry, it can't be said of them that God left them alone to be given over to idolatry. He continually sent them prophets to plead, inform, cajole, persuade them to remain faithful to himself as he was the only, real, actual, true God.