Romans 1:25
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) Who changed the truth of God into a lie.—They ceased to worship God as He is—in His own true essential nature, and worshipped false gods instead. The phrase “into a lie,” is literally, with a lie, the “lie” being regarded as the instrument by which the substitution is made. By “a lie” is meant here “false gods,” who are the supreme embodiment of falsehood. (Comp. Isaiah 44:20; Jeremiah 13:25; Jeremiah 16:19, &c.)

The introduction of the doxology in this verse is due to an impulse of reverential feeling. Shocked at the language which he finds himself using, and at the connection in which the most Holy Name has been mentioned, the Apostle turns aside for a moment to testify to his own humble adoration.

1:18-25 The apostle begins to show that all mankind need the salvation of the gospel, because none could obtain the favour of God, or escape his wrath by their own works. For no man can plead that he has fulfilled all his obligations to God and to his neighbour; nor can any truly say that he has fully acted up to the light afforded him. The sinfulness of man is described as ungodliness against the laws of the first table, and unrighteousness against those of the second. The cause of that sinfulness is holding the truth in unrighteousness. All, more or less, do what they know to be wrong, and omit what they know to be right, so that the plea of ignorance cannot be allowed from any. Our Creator's invisible power and Godhead are so clearly shown in the works he has made, that even idolaters and wicked Gentiles are left without excuse. They foolishly followed idolatry; and rational creatures changed the worship of the glorious Creator, for that of brutes, reptiles, and senseless images. They wandered from God, till all traces of true religion must have been lost, had not the revelation of the gospel prevented it. For whatever may be pretended, as to the sufficiency of man's reason to discover Divine truth and moral obligation, or to govern the practice aright, facts cannot be denied. And these plainly show that men have dishonoured God by the most absurd idolatries and superstitions; and have degraded themselves by the vilest affections and most abominable deeds.Who changed the truth of God - This is a repetition of the declaration in Romans 1:23, in another form. The phrase, "the truth of God" is a Hebrew phrase, meaning "the true God." In such a case, where two nouns come together, one is employed as an adjective to qualify the other. Most commonly the latter of two nouns is used as the adjective, but sometimes it is the former, as in this case. God is called "the true God" in opposition to idols, which are called false gods. There is but one real or true God, and all others are false.

Into a lie - Into idols, or false gods. Idols are not infrequently called falsehood and lies, because they are not true representations of God; Jeremiah 13:25; Isaiah 28:15; Jeremiah 10:14; Psalm 40:4.

The creature - Created things, as the sun, moon, animals, etc.

Who is blessed forever - It was not uncommon to add a doxology, or ascription of praise to God, when his name was mentioned; see Romans 9:5; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Galatians 1:5. The Jews also usually did it. In this way they preserved veneration for the name of God, and accustomed themselves to speak of him with reverence. "The Muslims also borrowed this custom from the Jews, and practice it to a great extent. Tholuck mentions an Arabic manuscript in the library at Berlin which contains an account of heresies in respect to Islamism, and as often as the writer has occasion to mention the name of a new heretical sect, he adds, 'God be exalted above all which they say'" (Stuart).

Amen - This is a Hebrew word denoting strong affirmation. So let it be. It implies here the solemn assent of the writer to what was just said; or his strong wish that what he had said might be - that the name of God might be esteemed and be blessed forever. The mention of the degrading idolatry of the pagans was strongly calculated to impress on his mind the superior excellency and glory of the one living God. It is mentioned respecting the honorable Robert Boyle, that he never mentioned the name of God without a solemn pause, denoting his profound reverence. Such a practice would tend eminently to prevent an unholy familiarity and irreverence in regard to the sacred name of the Most High; compare Exodus 20:7.

25. Who changed the truth of God into a lie—that is, the truth concerning God into idol falsehood.

and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator—Professing merely to worship the Creator by means of the creature, they soon came to lose sight of the Creator in the creature. How aggravated is the guilt of the Church of Rome, which, under the same flimsy pretext, does shamelessly what the heathen are here condemned for doing, and with light which the heathen never had!

who is blessed for ever! Amen—By this doxology the apostle instinctively relieves the horror which the penning of such things excited within his breast; an example to such as are called to expose like dishonor done to the blessed God.

Who changed the truth of God into a lie; i.e. the God of truth, or the true God, into an idol, which is a lie, which seems to be that which it is not: or else, by the truth of God, understand those true sentiments and notions that they had of God, and were taught them, as before, by the light of nature, and the book of the creatures; these they changed into lying imaginations and conceits.

And worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator; or, besides the Creator: some understand it comparatively, they worshipped one more than the other; others exclusively, they worshipped one and not the other. They were guilty of two great errors; one was in their minds, they changed the truth of God into a lie; the other in their wills, they served the creature more than the Creator.

Who is blessed for ever. Amen: when the Hebrews of old made mention of the true God, they were wont to add these words: Let him be blessed for ever. Who changed the truth of God into a lie,.... Not the truth of the Gospel, which they were unacquainted with; but that which might be known of God as true, and was known of them by the light of nature; or the true God himself, whom they "changed into a lie"; by ascribing to false deities, which were lying vanities, those things which were known of God; and by worshipping them instead of him: for they

worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator; or "above him" or "against him", in opposition to him, or "besides him", others along with him; or neglecting him, and not worshipping him at all; which is aggravated in that what they worshipped was a creature, either of their own, or of God's making, and whom they neglected was the Creator of them:

who is blessed for ever, Amen; is blessed in himself, and the fountain of all blessedness to his creatures; which is so glaring a truth, that everyone ought to say and set his "Amen" to it.

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Romans 1:25. Οἵτινες μετήλλαξαν κ.τ.λ[497]] as those who exchanged, etc. In this description of the character of those who are given up, attached to Romans 1:24, Paul makes once more apparent the motive which determined God to give them up. The words are a renewed tragic commentary (comp Romans 1:22-23) on the ΔΙΌ, Romans 1:24. On ὍΣΤΙς, quippe qui, which brings up the class to which one belongs, and thereby includes the specification of the reason, see Hermann, a[499] Soph. Oed. R. 688; Matthiae, p. 1073. Hofmann erroneously makes a relative protasis begin with ΟἽΤΙΝΕς, with which then ΔΙᾺ ΤΟῦΤΟ Κ.Τ.Λ[500], Romans 1:26, would be connected by way of apodosis: them, who exchanged etc., God has therefore given up. This would not be inconsistent with αὐτούς in Romans 1:26, which would then be resumptive; but the very praise of God, in which Romans 1:25 terminates, and still more the concluding ἀμήν, which can only indicate the end of the sentence (comp Romans 9:5, Romans 11:36; Galatians 1:5; Ephesians 3:21), ought to have decidedly precluded such a forced intermixture of sentences, which is not to be justified by subtleties.

The compound μετήλλ. (exchanged) is more significant than ἤλλαξαν (changed) in Romans 1:23.

τὴν ἀλήθ. τοῦ Θεοῦ] to be taken entirely in harmony with the expression τὴν δόξαν τοῦ Θεοῦ in Romans 1:23; therefore τοῦ Θεοῦ is to be taken as genitive of the subject: the truth of God, the true divine reality,[502] so as to make it in point of actual meaning, though not in the abstract form of the conception, identical with: “true God” (Luther, and most expositors, including Rückert, de Wette, Tholuck, Fritzsche, Philippi, van Hengel). It is differently rendered by Wolf, whom Köllner follows: the truth revealed to the Gentiles by God. Reiche and Mehring (following Pareus, Camerarius, Estius, Seb. Schmid, and Cramer) take it as the true knowledge of God, so that Θεοῦ would be genitive of the object. Compare Piscator, Usteri and Glöckler, who understand by it the original consciousness of God. Opposed to these views is the exact parallel in which Romans 1:25 stands to Romans 1:23, so that τοῦ Θεοῦ ought not to be taken without necessity as having a different reference in the two verses. ΤῊΝ ἈΛΉΘ. Τ. ΘΕΟῦ is explained concretely by ΤῸΝ ΚΤΊΣΑΝΤΑ in the second half of the verse.

ἘΝ Τῷ ΨΕΎΔΕΙ] with the lie; ἐν as in Romans 1:23. By this Paul means, in contrast to ΤῊΝ ἈΛΉΘ. Τ. ΘΕΟῦ (but otherwise than in Romans 3:7), the false gods, which are κατʼ ἑξοχὴν the ΨΕῦΔΟς in concreto, the negation of the truth of God. Comp on 1 Corinthians 8:4 f., 1 Corinthians 10:20. Grotius has aptly said: “pro Deo vero sumserunt imaginarios.” Comp Isaiah 44:20; Jeremiah 3:10; Jeremiah 13:25; Jeremiah 16:19, al[505]; Philo, vit. Mos. p. 678 C, p. 679 A.

καὶ ἐσεβάσθησαν.… κτίσαντα] more precise explanation of the first clause of the verse.

ἘΣΕΒ. Κ. ἘΛΆΤΡ.] The former is general (coluerunt), the latter took place through sacrifices, and other definite rites and services; hence Paul designates his own specific service of God in Romans 1:8 by λατρεύω. σεβάζομαι, in Homer: to be afraid of (Il. vi. 167, 417), is employed in the later Greek like σέβομαι in the sense to revere, Orph. Arg. 550, Aq. Hos. x. 5. In the N. T. it only occurs here.

τῇ κτίσει] Corresponding with the verb standing next to it, so that the accusative is to be supplied with ἘΣΕΒ. See Matthiae, § 428, 2.

ΠΑΡᾺ Τ. ΚΤΊΣΑΝΤΑ] in the sense of comparison: prae creatore, in which case the context alone decides whether the preference of the one before the other is only relative, or whether it excludes the latter altogether (see on Luke 18:14; and van Hengel on our passage). The second case is that which occurs here, in accordance both with the nature of the case, seeing that the Gentiles did not worship the Creator at all, and with the immediate connection (μετήλλαξαν.… ἐν τῷ ψεύδει). The sense therefore substantially amounts to praeterito creatore (Hilary), or relicto creatore (Cyprian), i.e. they honoured the creature and not the Creator, whom they ought to have honoured. Theophylact says aptly, with reference to the comparative παρά: ἐκ τῆς συγκρίσεως τὸ ἔγκλημα ἐπαίρων. So in substance also Beza, Estius, and others, including Reiche, Tholuck, Olshausen, de Wette, Baumgarten-Crusius, Krehl, Reithmayr, Maier, Philippi, van Hengel. The relative interpretation: more than the Creator (Vulgate, Erasmus, Luther, Castalio, Grotius, Ammon, Rückert, and others), is therefore in point of fact erroneous. The contra creatorem, which Hammond, Koppe, Flatt, Fritzsche and Mehring find here, may likewise be traced to the sense of comparison (see Bernhardy, p. 259; Winer, p. 377 [E. T. 504]; and the passages from Plato in Ast. Lex. III. p. 28), but has against it the fact, that in the whole context Paul presents the matter in the light of a μετάλλαξις, of an exchanging the true for the false, not of hostility to the true. From that point of view the Gentiles have worshipped the creature, and not the Creator. Quite parallel is παρʼ ἐκεῖνον in Luke, Luke 18:14, Lachm.

The doxology: who is praised, בָּרוּךְ, not: celebrandus (comp on Ephesians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Mark 14:61), for ever! Amen,—is a natural effusion of deeply-moved piety, called forth by the detestable contrast of the Gentile abominations just described, without any further special design (Koppe: “ne ipse in majestatem divinam injurius videri possit;” comp Tholuck).

[497] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[499] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.

[500] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[502] Not “the truth, which God Himself is” (Hofmann); but that, which God is in true reality. That is just the adequate substance of His δόξα.

[505] l. and others; and other passages; and other editions.Romans 1:25. οἵτινες μετήλλαξαν κ.τ.λ.: being as they were persons who exchanged the truth of God for the lie. “The truth of God” (cf. Romans 1:23, “the glory of God”) is the same thing as God in His truth, or the true God as He had actually revealed Himself to man. τὸ ψεῦδος, abstract for concrete, is the idol or false God. The ἐν (cf. Romans 1:23) answers to Hebrew בְּ. παρὰ τὸν κτίσαντα: to the passing by, i.e., disregard or contempt of the Creator. For this use of παρὰ, see Winer, 503 f. ὅς ἐστιν εὐλογητός: the doxology relieves the writer’s feelings as he contemplates such horrors.25. who changed] The Greek relative pronoun implies that this was the cause of the special turn taken by the judicial hardening: seeing they had changed, &c.

the truth of God] i.e. that which is true of Him alone, and revealed by Him; Omnipotence and Deity. Cp. Romans 1:18.

into a lie] Lit. in falsehood; they degraded it so that it was lost in falsehood; falsehood took its place. This “falsehood” is, of course, the grand error—Idolatry.

more than the Creator] Lit. Him that created [it]. The idolater reverenced and did ritual service to his idol “more,” or “rather” than to the Creator, whether he wholly ignored the Eternal, or recognized Him as a shadow or mystery in the background only.

who is blessed] Benedictus here, not Beatus. The glorious epithet indicates the Creature’s right attitude toward the Creator; that of adoring praise and love. (The same phrase occurs Romans 9:5; an important doctrinal parallel.)Romans 1:25. Την ἀλήθειαν, the truth) which commands us to worship God AS God.—ἐν τῳ ψεύδει [into a lie—Engl. vers.] (exchanged) for a lie) the price paid for [mythology] idol worship; ἐν, the Lat. cum.—ἐσεβάσθησαν, they worshipped) implying internal worship.—ἐλάτρευσαν, they served) implying external worship.—παρὰ) in preference to, more than, ch. Romans 14:5 [ἡμέραν παρʼ ἡμέραν].Verse 25. - Who (rather, being such as, the word is οἵτινες, equivalent to quippequi) changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. This verse repeats the source and cause of the moral degradation spoken of, which is described without reserve in what follows. "In peccatis arguendis saepe scapha debet scapha dict. Gravitas et ardor stilt judicialis proprietate verborum non violat verceundiam" (Bengel). Who changed (οἵτινες μετήλλαξαν)

Rev., for that they exchanged. The double relative specifies the class to which they belonged, and thereby includes the reason for their punishment. He gave them up as being those who, etc. Μετήλλαξαν exchanged (so Rev.), is stronger than the simple verb in Romans 1:23. Godet renders travestied. Compare the same word in Romans 1:26.

Truth of God

Equivalent to the true God.

Into a lie (ἐν τῷ ψεύδει)

Better, as Rev., exchanged, etc., for a lie. Lit., the lie; a general abstract expression for the whole body of false gods. Bengel remarks, "the price of mythology."

Worshipped and served (ἐσεβάσθησαν καὶ ἐλάτρευσαν)

The former of worship generally; the latter of worship through special rites or sacrifices. On the latter verb, see on Revelation 22:3.

More than the Creator (παρά)

The preposition indicates passing by the Creator altogether; not merely giving preference to the creature. Hence Rev., rather than. Compare Luke 18:14, where the approved reading is παρ' ἐκεῖνον rather than the other, implying that the Pharisee was in no respect justified.

Blessed (εὐλογητὸς)

See on 1 Peter 1:3.

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