And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Since the unrighteous refuse to acknowledge Christ as their Lord and Savior, God has revealed His wrath against them (1:18), and has given them up “in the lust of their hearts to impurity” (1:24), “dishonorable passions” (1:26), and “a debased mind” (1:28). Because of their blatant rebellion against Him, God is allowing unrighteous humanity to do things--such as participating in homosexuality--that they were never created to do. Their souls are being used by Satan as worthless trash, not even fit for the vilest of dumps.
The unrighteous person is easy to spot. Spend just a few minutes with one and their characteristics become self-evident. Paul gives us a description of their defining qualities. He notes that they are exceedingly greedy. They intentionally seek to cause physical and emotional harm to others. The unrighteous person is an angry, deceitful, and resentful murderer. Those without Christ are known for their broken promises, arrogance, disrespect for authority, and lying tongues. Paul even goes so far as to note that they are “haters of God” and “inventors of evil”. The unrighteous person lacks common sense, compassion, mercy, reason, and sympathy. Such is the state of fallen man. The unrighteous know and understand that their lifestyles break the laws of God and that they are risking eternal damnation. But they do not care. In fact, they seek to persuade others to do the same, giving approval to those who disobey God. This is not ignorance. This is sheer rebellion against the Creator. This is rebellion that will have fatal consequences. Though their sin may bring them pleasure for a time, the unrighteous person will die, and their souls will burn in the fires of sheol forever.
Such was the state of the Christian before we were washed and justified by the blood of Christ and regenerated by the Holy Spirit (I Cor 6:11). Without the grace and mercy of God, I would be subject to His just wrath against sin. Thanks be to God, Who has delivered from wrath those who call upon His name. As can be seen from Romans chapter 1, God’s wrath is very necessary for the distribution of justice. Without the wrath of God against sin, holiness would be non-existent.