Vol. 3, No. 20 – May 20, 2018
Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper. Romans 1:24, 26, 28
I was invited to Colorado to a pastor’s conference – the scenes were awesome to me. I could not believe the color and the change in geography! There were mountains, red and brown rock formations rising from the floor, Pike’s Peak, the Garden of the Gods, grassland to forest, and Glen Eyrie where I stayed in a cabin (the black eagles and the deer were plentiful, along with a herd of mountain sheep). However, in the mountain area it was sparsely populated.
You might ask why. Nothing is cared for. In fact, in one area that looks from a distance as a great invitation for to settle, people are leaving. It is a gorgeous mountain retreat; but in the middle of the housing plots rests a sewage treatment plant that is overpowering.
It is a putrid picture is it not? A stench in the midst of incredible beauty!
In this portion of the Book of Romans there is a stage set for the remainder of the book. It is bad news for the reader until the good news is released. There is the dirty story of men and women before the clean response of God’s grace. You see, God’s Word provides the biblical diagnoses of our heart problem. Our heart problem, and we all have them, is our own personal sewer system.
Read it for yourself.
You may not like what it says, but God’s truth is “never changing.” Instead of looking to God, men and women have looked into the darkness of their hearts to arrive at a philosophy that brought their evil hearts to bear upon society and the culture. What people vote for may change laws, but it never changes truth. What is lawful is not always just; what is just is not always made lawful in the economy of the people of the earth.
The people of the earth mostly live in a self-centered kingdom instead of a God-centered kingdom. Three times the Apostle Paul uses the expression: “God handed them over.” What He does is abandon them to their own lusts, let them go, and He permits the people of the earth to have and do what they desire. That gave license for mankind to delve into their own darkness practicing every sort of sexual sin, every kind of vile and sinful thing with each other.
God gave them up to degrading (vile) passions. (1:26)
That refers to the heart; moral perversion that is blatant and aggressive. In our own country, the United States of America, those who have abandoned themselves to fearful vices and all sorts of perversion have banded together and are demanding public recognition for their perverted lifestyle.
The very foundations of our society have rotted as the practices of perversion are officially countenanced.
God gave them over to a depraved mind. (1:28)
It is the mind which leaves God out of consideration; the mind fogs and its function disqualifies itself from reflecting the character of God.
The body, soul, and spirit become anti-God. The reaction of God is a response to include action toward the self-philosophy of mankind. He does something that might seem subtle, but it is appalling to the participants of perversion. He gives those the absolute right to choose their own course of action, and gives them the perfect freedom to live with the outcomes and consequences of their choices. –D. Stuart Briscoe
Christians and Christian Leaders must stay focused on God’s Word, for it is the foundation for building our character that God wants; it is a character that God promotes in the thought: “You can be more like Me, if you so choose!”
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us. Romans 5:8