Paul says that people “suppress the truth by their unrighteousness”. (1:18) What do you think that he means by this? Why do you think that a person might suppress a truth about God that they have heard, or that they know is true?
Paul says that God’s attributes (power, nature, etc.) can be clearly seen in creation. (1:19-20) How does that happen? What kinds of truths about God can we derive from observing what God has made? How can we, as Christians, seek to be more aware of (and driven to worship by) these truths?
In 1:20, Paul says that all people are without excuse before God. What do you think that he means by this? Why is it this the case?
In 1:21-25, Paul says that the essence of sin is exchanging the glory of the immortal God for images of mortal creatures, exchanging the truth about God for a lie, worshipping and serving the creature rather than the Creator. What are some ways that you might be tempted to love, and honor, and hope in other things instead of God?
At several points, Paul says that God “gave them up” - that he gave sinners over to their sin. (1:24, 26, 28) What do you think that he means by this? What does it mean for God to give someone over to their sin and sinful desires? What implications does this have for us in our lives? What implications does it have for ministry and evangelism?
In this passage, Paul is revealing that even those who are far from God (in this case, Gentiles) are aware of God’s holy standard. What are some ways in which even those who deny God demonstrate a tacit awareness of God’s moral standards?
According to this passage, what are some of the effects of sin as it runs its course in the human heart and life?
What are some differences between a person who struggles with (against) sinful temptation, versus someone who gives in to it, and indulges it?
Paul seems to be implying that behavioral sins (1:26-32) are born out of idolatry that starts in the heart (1:21-25). What does this mean for us, in our Christian lives? How can this reality inform how we fight against sin in our lives?
In 1:32, Paul says that as a person is more and more overcome by sin, eventually, they not only engage in that sin, but approve of it, and invite others to engage in it with them. Have you seen this happen in your life? Or in the lives others? How can we seek to overcome this?