16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
Paul makes a bold statement. God’s righteousness is revealed in his deep-seated anger against mankind, for men wickedly suppress the truth about him. God can be known, for his communicates himself in the Creation.
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
Paul’s thought here goes beyond external evidence. The apostle indicates that God presents himself directly to the human conscience. Thus, there is no excuse. All have at least some knowledge of the Lord.
20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
Rather than turn toward God, or thank him, men turn away. With their ability to reason darkened, they even stoop to the worship of idols shaped like mortal man or animals.
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
Society demonstrates the impact of this rejection of God. Sexual perversion and every kind of wickedness is expressed in interpersonal relationships. Each individual and culture adds tragic testimony to sin’s demonstration of our need for a righteousness which the human race does not possess.
24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. … 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts… 28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 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.
==> Universal Need for Righteousness
Both Jew and Gentiles know God through revelation, that demonstrates so clearly the need of all mankind for righteousness which can only come through faith.
Q. Glance through any newspaper. How do current items demonstrate Paul’s point and show man’s need of rightousness?
Newspaper is dying and not a reliable reflection (undistorted mirror) of our society any more. Rather, media in general are owned and used by a few as a means to shape public opinion for their own gain.
Even the distorted mirrors can tell us that things are bad and getting worse. We also have the Bible and our own conscience to gage against what is happening to humanity.