Unlimited: Every Kind of Wickedness
May 3, 2022 135
They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy (Romans 1:29–31).
The apostle Paul here gives us a list of the kinds of wickedness into which people fall when they don’t think it’s worthwhile to know God.
It might be startling to us that Paul essentially groups and equates things like murder and gossip together. We might be tempted to think that murder is a far more serious sin than gossip. We send people to jail for many years for murder, yet gossip is a common thing among friends, including in churches.
You cannot excuse different kinds of wickedness by saying that one kind is better or worse than another.
What the apostle is telling us here is that evil is evil, and sin is sin. It may be true that some sins may have more serious consequences than others, but can you really know the ultimate results of your gossip? You cannot excuse different kinds of wickedness by saying that one kind is better or worse than another.
Take a moment to think this through. Sexual immorality isn’t worse than disobeying your parents or than being boastful. All of these things are deviations from God’s will. They all lead to death.
Interestingly, Paul observes that those people who are “filled with every kind of wickedness” have no understanding, fidelity, love, or mercy. They may think that they have understanding, but they don’t. It’s the ultimate self-delusion.
Which is the worst sin that you have ever committed? What is the greatest grace you have ever been shown? Which one wins?