St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr
Romans 1:16-25 + Luke 11:37-41
October 17, 2017
The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from Heaven against every impiety and wickedness….
Saint Paul wastes no time. After a brief introduction to his longest and most important epistle, he dives into his first point of contention. It becomes obvious quickly that Paul does not fear debate.
While St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans professes eternal truths, these have very practical consequences. For example, he professes the Gospel to be “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes”. For in the Gospel “is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith”.
This power for salvation implies that there are those who are not saved: those who do not receive righteousness. St. Paul explains plainly that God handed “those who suppress the truth by their wickedness” over “to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies.” He expands on this by noting that they “exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator”.
Idolatry is St. Paul’s first point of contention, against which he opposes the life of faith. Those against whom he preaches, he notes, “became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.”