Abandoned by God - Romans 1:24-27

Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

 

Among the many distinguishing features of the Bible is that it addresses mankind in such a frank and straightforward manner. The Scripture is a most outspoken book. It never sugarcoats the message and never beats around the bush. The Bible always tells it like it is, even when it brings a bad report about man. If we have trouble with what the Bible says, it is because it speaks so directly and candidly. The Bible never pulls any punches with us. It never softens the hard blows of truth. To the contrary, the Bible always speaks forthrightly in a most direct manner.

 

The passage for this study is no exception. Here is portrayed the graphic reality of the world in its age-long rebellion against its Creator. This passage brings an indictment of condemnation upon fallen mankind for its prolonged rebellion against God. By this brutally honest charge, it may be rightly assumed that the Bible is, indeed, the written word of living God. If we had been charged to write the book of Romans, we might have been tempted to leave out this section from our assessment of the human race. We might have felt it too negative to win over our audience. Even if we did include these verses, we would have hidden them at the end of this letter, where it would not have been read by most readers.

 

But not the apostle Paul. Writing under the influence of the Holy Spirit, he intentionally positioned these verses at the very beginning of this book. Here it is for all to read, front and center – God’s abandonment of the human race in its rejection of Him.

 

No one can read this book without being immediately confronted with the radical corruption of the human race. Even more sobering is the unbelieving world’s abandonment by God. Here is the shocking reality that God has forsaken those who have repeatedly forsaken Him. There is nothing more terrifying than what we see here. When a person is turned over by God to his sins, he has reached the point of no return. This tragic reality has occurred to nations, cultures, and denominations. It has occurred to countless individuals down through the centuries. Here is the only explanation for much of the moral collapse that we see in the world around us.

 

I. abandonment declared (1:24a)

           

This new paragraph starts with the word "therefore" (verse 24), which points back to what Paul previously said and connects it with what he presently writes. “Therefore” serves as a bridge that connects what he just said (verses 18-23) with what he will now say (verses 24-32). This important word leads to the necessary conclusion based upon what he just asserted. “Therefore” advances his argument further. In order to understand Paul’s unfolding logic, we must remind ourselves of what he wrote in the previous verses in which he described mankind’s intentional rejection of the knowledge of God. In the preceding paragraph, Paul declared that the human race has committed the most flagrant crime. They have rejected the knowledge of God with an ungrateful heart.

 

When anyone refuses the truth about God, he has chosen a path that is taking him further away from God. Such hardened unbelief places a person on a dramatic departure sending Him further away from God. This person is like a boat that was once tied to a dock. But a powerful river current has unloosened its rope, causing the boat to drift downstream. The longer the boat is drifting, the more it is being pulled into the swifter current. This, in turn, is taking the boat further away from the dock. In like manner, these God-rejectors are adrift from the knowledge of God. This is taking them further away from Him.

 

From this sobering truth, we learn that no person is ever stationary or static in their relationship with God. Everyone is either drawing closer to God or drifting further away from Him. But no one is standing still in their proximity to Him. By this account, those who reject God are drifting further away into the darkness of sin.

 

At a point known only to God, this rejection of Him inevitably leads to divine abandonment. Paul writes, “God gave them over in the lust of their hearts to impurity” (verse 24). This is a severe judgment issued by God in which He delivers them over to deeper sins. There are some Bible commentators who presume that this means that God merely allows sinful man to go his own way. While initially that may be true, that is not what this verse says. To the contrary, this pronouncement is far more severely judicial. God is the One who is taking the active role in this severe judgment. This is not God merely observing or permitting men to go their own way. It is not God simply letting go of the rope and allowing the current of sin take this individual further away from Him. Instead, God is the One who is shoving this life downstream. This is God saying, "So, you want to go away from Me? Then I am going to give you a shove in that direction you want to go. I am going to send you further away from Me."

 

There comes a point in time, whether it is with a God-rejecting nation, a Scripture-defying denomination, church, or seminary, or a gospel-refusing individual, when God gives them a shove in the direction they want to go. This abandonment by God turns them over to the devastating judgment of becoming yet further engrossed in their sin.

 

“God Gave Them Over”

The verb "gave them over" (paradidomi) means ‘to be handed over to judgment.’ This same word is used elsewhere in Romans to describe when Jesus Christ was delivered over by God unto His judgment for our sins. Paul writes that Jesus “was delivered over because of our transgressions” (Romans 4:25). This verb describes Him being given over to the judgment of God upon the cross when He bore our sins. We see this word used the same way in Romans 8:32, when Paul writes, "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over." Jesus was delivered over unto the most stringent judgment imaginable for our sins upon the cross. He suffered under the full force of the holy wrath of God as He died in the place of sinners. He was abandoned by the Father upon the cross and only the damned in hell know what He experienced.

 

This is precisely the same verb, paradidomi, that Paul uses in Romans 1:24 when he writes, “Therefore, God gave them over.” Those who repeatedly reject God are in danger of being sentenced to a similar judgment that Jesus endured. They are perilously close to suffering a similar divine abandonment because they have abandoned Him. It is soul-threatening – and possibly even soul-damning – for any person to reject the knowledge of God. Everyone is held accountable by God for the truth that is revealed to them. When a person defiantly rejects the knowledge of God, he may find himself given over unto divine judgment.

 

So emphatic is Paul about this divine abandonment of persistent sinners that he repeats these sobering words – “gave them over” – three times in these five verses (verses 24, 26, 28). After saying “God gave them over” (verse 24), Paul says a second time, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions” (verse 26). Then the apostle writes a third time, “Just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over” (verse 28). In rapid-fire succession, we see this sobering truth reinforced three times. It is impossible to miss the devastating force of this three-fold pronouncement of divine judgment.

 

Sending a Deluding Influence

This severe abandonment by God of impenitent sinners is not an isolated truth that is only is taught in this passage. Paul describes this same divine judgment in 2 Thessalonians 2:11, “For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false.” Who is sending this deluding influence? Who is causing someone to believe a lie? Is this Satan at work? Are these demons causing this unbelief? The fact is that this deluding influence is being sent by none other than God Himself. In this case, the knowledge of God that a person has received becomes deluded. The word “deluding” (energeia) means ‘a working of error, a straying to a wrong opinion, to be led into error.’ God will send a deceiving influence so that those who repeatedly reject the truth will believe what is false. This divine intervention causes them to believe what is false. Being forsaken by God, these unbelievers plunge into deeper levels of unbelief. This causes them to believe a damning lie. By this startling verse, we learn that God is the primary cause that leads them further away from the truth.

 

Paul explains why God gives them over. It is, “in order that they may be judged” (2 Thessalonians 1:12). Being turned over to their sin is the judgment of God. Why does God judge them? It is because when they heard the truth, they "did not believe the truth." When the truth about God was presented to them, they blatantly rejected it. Because they turned away from the knowledge of God, He gave them a shove in the direction they chose to go. God sent this hardening influence that causes them to believe the lies of the devil. This is not against their will, but consistent with it. Jesus explains this, “whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him” (Matthew 13:12). In other words, if a person does not act upon the truth when it is made known to him, he is in danger of losing what he has. Elsewhere, He said, “So take care how you listen…and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him (Luke 8:18). What truth he has will be taken from him if he does not respond to it by faith.

 

Taking Pleasure in Wickedness

In Romans, we discover that these who did not believe the truth, “took pleasure in wickedness” (verse 24). When a person does not believe the truth, they will pursue the opposite, which is loving sin. Because they rejected the light, God will cause them to delight in the darkness. Their refusal of the truth causes them to live for wickedness. There is no neutral ground here. There is no middle position concerning the knowledge of God. If a person rejects the light, he will be given over to the darkness. Because he refuses the light, God will push him further into the blackness of lawlessness.

 

When Wisdom Refuses to Answer

We see this same truth in the opening chapter of Proverbs with the teaching of Solomon. When wisdom calls out to those passing by, countless individuals foolishly reject its appeal. But when calamity comes, they will call out to wisdom. But wisdom will refuse to heed their call. Instead, wisdom rebukes these people, saying:

 

Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; and you neglected all my counsel and did not want my reproof; I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, when your dread comes like a storm and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but they will not find me, because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord. They would not accept my counsel, they spurned all my reproof. So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way and be satiated with their own devices (Proverbs 1:24-31).

 

This stresses the critical nature of answering wisdom whenever it calls to us. We must immediately embrace it. If a person deliberately denies divine wisdom, God will turn this person over to darker sins. Such a person will never see the light again.

 

II. Abandonment Described (1:24b)

 

Having announced this abandonment, Paul advances his argument. He states that God gave them over “in the lust of their heart to impurity” (1:24). This "lust" (epithumia) that grips their heart is a strong craving for sin that is forbidden. This longing for evil refers to the vile passions that have been bound up in their depraved heart. The prophet writes, “The heart is deceitful above all else and desperately wicked. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). This means that the unconverted heart is sinful beyond any human comprehension. It is far more wicked than any man’s imagination can conjure.

 

When Paul says that God abandoned them “in the lust of their hearts to impurity,” he means that they are descending downward from bad to worse. The strong desire of “lust” leads to sensual acts of “impurity.” They are plunging lower and lower to a deeper involvement in wickedness. Such a person finds himself with both feet on the slippery slope of immorality. It is rapidly plummeting downward to baser forms of impurity. When God gives them over, He sends them into yet baser sins of defilement.

 

This “impurity” (akatharsia) speaks of various kinds of immorality in profligate living. Paul uses it elsewhere, "For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity but for sanctification" (1 Thessalonians 4:7). Here, “impurity” refers to “sexual immorality” (verse 3). This word “impurity” is also found in Galatians 5:19, “Now, the deeds of the flesh are evident, immorality, impurity, sensuality,” and many other sins. In this verse, “immorality” is a broad word that includes every category of sexual deviation. It encompasses every sexual perversion that is outside of the husband-wife relationship. It covers every filthy sexual act, from pornography to adultery, bestiality, and deeds improper to mention. When a person rejects God, he may find himself on a course that spirals downward, leading to “sensuality” (aselgeia), which is wanton fleshly, sinful desires.  

 

Paul specifies the result, “so that their bodies would be dishonored among them” (verse 24). To be “dishonored” (atimazo) describes all kinds of shameful sexual acts committed in their bodies. Paul is designating sexual sin as being in a special category unto itself. It is a self-inflicted destruction that does damaging harm to one’s own body. He states elsewhere, “Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18). He is saying that sexual sin is the most unique in its character. It rises from within the body that is driven by personal gratification. It affects the body like no other sin. Describing sexual activity outside of marriage, the Bible asks, “Can a man take a fire into his bosom and be not burned?” (Proverbs 6:27). This question is rhetorical, anticipating an obvious, negative answer. The one who commits sexual sin is playing with a consuming fire. All sexual sin is a self-damaging sin and destroys a person like no other sin.

 

Any society that rejects God and His truth will find itself devolving downward into baser sins. No culture that refuses the divine standard is evolving upward to a higher level of morality. Every society is descending into a cesspool of iniquity.

           

These who reject the knowledge of God find themselves wallowing in lower forms of immoral filth. Whenever any society or nation rejects the knowledge of God, it descends into unrestrained sexual immorality. Whenever a religious group or church denomination choses a course that rejects the clear teaching of God’s word, it will eventually tolerate and even endorse immorality. This will even be true of the lifestyle of its own pastors and membership. That group will be like a dump truck, barreling down a hill without any brakes. The runaway truck picks up speed as it plummets down the hill, until it crashes at the bottom, where it empties its trash on the landscape. So it is with any people who reject the truth of God. They will be abandoned by god and given over to lower and lower immoral filth.

 

III. abandonment explained (1:25)

 

Next, Paul clarifies why God is opposed to such sinners. He writes, “for they exchanged the truth of God for a lie” (verse 25). That is, they once had the truth of God made known to them. But they cast it aside. Instead, they believed a lie. Consequently, they “worshipped and served the creature” (verse 25). This restates what Paul wrote earlier, that they “exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures” (verse 23). How could anyone end up in such a degrading place? It is quite simple. They rejected the knowledge of God when it was made known to them. They find themselves groping in greater darkness, grasping for anything to worship. Many worship a man-made idol. Others worship their own body. Still others worship their possessions. Yet others worship their career. But they worship something or someone other than God.

 

What is an idol? It may be the form of a false deity that is cut out of wood or stone. But an idol can also be anything that a person loves more than God. It is anything that one fears more than God. It is anything that one serves more than Him. An idol is anything that a person prizes and pursues more important than God. An idol is not necessarily something that is evil in itself. An idol can be something that is intrinsically good. An idol can be something as noble as a job that provides money for one’s family. It can be something good like a spouse or a child. It is anything that a person prioritizes above God. The Bible says, “Little children, guard yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21). Earlier, the apostle has written, “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world” (1 John 2:15). An idol is anything in the world that a person loves more than God.

 

Everyone worships something. When people reject the knowledge of God, they are going to give their affections and allegiance to something else. Whatever that something is, it becomes an idol, whether crafted with their hands or conceived with their minds. Whatever a person worships, he will serve wholeheartedly. Whatever a person worships, he will give it his time and resources. What a person is preoccupied with determines what he is going to serve. Such misplaced affections cause an individual to serve the creature rather than the Creator.

 

“God is Blessed Forever”

In this heavy section on divine judgment, the apostle suddenly erupts in a celebration of praise: “The Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (verse 25). God is “blessed forever” (verse 25) means “Blessed be God.” "Blessed" is the Greek word (eulogetos) from which we derive the English word ‘eulogy.’ This literally means ‘to say a good word.’ Here, “blessed” is used synonymously with giving praise to God. As Paul considers the divine judgment from which he has been delivered, he gives a good word about God, who must be praised.

 

Paul cannot mention God, even in judgment, without bursting into praise for Him. In the midst of this condemning passage, the mere mention of the Creator causes Paul to declare his praise. This may seem an odd place to record a celebration, but Paul simply cannot withhold his adoration. He cannot postpone declaring the greatness of God. He must declare his adoration for God, who alone is glorious and worthy of praise. In this heavy section on condemnation, Paul expresses his declaration of worship of God. There is no place when our praise for God is out of place.

 

The praise of God should be offered "forever" (aion). This means, it must be given to ‘an unbroken age,’ or ‘throughout the ages to come.’ That is, there should never be an end to the praise that he gives to God. Paul punctuates this call for eternal praise to God by saying, "Amen." This word (amen) means, ‘it is so’ or ‘it is true.’ The declaration of his “Amen” is a strong affirmation that God is, indeed, blessed in Himself. Further, Paul is not backing off of what he has said about God’s abandonment wrath. There is no apology for these strong words. There is only his hearty “Amen.” He is saying “Amen” to every hard truth he has taught in this section. Paul loves all that God is and all that He does. This includes the unleashing of His fierce, divine judgment. For this vengeance, he must resound in praise for Him.

 

III. abandonment Increased (1:26)

 

Paul continues building his case when he says, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions.” These “passions” (pathos) are "degrading" (atimia), meaning they are ‘disgraceful, dishonoring, shameful, vial, depraved.’ It describes the fomenting lust in a person’s flesh. What do these evil passions produce? Paul begins his argument with the women: “For their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural” (verse 26). Their natural function would be for these women to marry a man and bear children. It would be for them to have an intimate sexual relationship with their own husband. The result of such a close union would be to produce a family. That is the way God designed a spouse relationship to be. But these women, who are abandoned by God, “exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural.” This is the bizarre trade of a man for a woman.

 

When a woman has degrading passions for another of her same gender, this is entirely contrary to God’s design. Any such lesbian activity is a flagrant violation of the divine plan. Because they reject the knowledge of God, they commit this gross sin. They have rejected the knowledge of God and have exchanged the truth for a degrading lie. Consequently, God gives over these women to desire other women. They have swapped the brilliant design of God for an insane lie. Therefore, God will see to it that they trade their natural desire toward men for the unnatural desire for women. Because they made this exchange of the truth for a lie, God will cause them to exchange the natural function for an abnormal function. He will cause a woman to desire another woman. The rejection of God inevitably leads to yet grosser sexual sins. But this abandonment by God does not stop there.

 

IV. Abandonment Intensified (1:27)

 

Paul continues to trace this descent downward into grosser sexual sins. He adds, “and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error” (verse 27). Regarding the male gender, the natural function is for a man to marry a woman and have a sexual relationship with her. The result of this union produces an offspring. But those who are abandoned by God have abandoned the natural attraction for the opposite gender. They have strange sexual desires for other men. This divine desertion occurs because they rejected God. The root sin is unbelief, the fruit of this sin is homosexuality.

 

Tragically, Paul writes that they “burned in their desire for one another, men with men committing indecent acts” (verse 27). This divine judgment leads to an increased sensual desire for those of the same sex. This attraction rages in an unquenchable “desire” (orexis). This means ‘an excitement of the mind’ that creates sensual fantasies in their lustful imaginations. This drive leads to unnatural physical appetites for other men. Consequently, this lust produces “men with men committing indecent acts.” "Indecent" (aschemosune) means ‘shameless’ or ‘unseemly.’ This enticing appeal for other men is the inevitable result of rejecting God.

 

Paul concludes this section, they will be “receiving in their own person the due penalty of their error” (verse 27). The just penalty of their sin ends in eternal damnation. That is, they will be consigned to the fires of hell forever. The apostle states elsewhere that a practicing homosexual will never enter the kingdom of heaven. He writes, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals…will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). The burning desire of men for men will end in the burning of both their soul and body in hell forever.

 

There is no politically correct spin to put on this gross sin. This strong teaching against sin is diametrically opposed to what we, sadly, most often hear today. What Paul teaches could not be any further away from today’s popular teaching, especially in mainline, liberal churches. This teaching by Paul is a long way from, "Smile, God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life."

 

So What?

So what is the application for these verses? What does this truth require of us? How shall we respond to this truth? I want to give you several steps of action.

 

1. This Heightens Our Accountability to God

First, this passage teaches that every one of us must be careful that we act upon the truth when it is made known to us. We must obey the truth whenever it is made known to us. We must not have a head full of knowledge, but fail to respond to it with our lives. The mere possession of knowledge about God is not going to advance us anywhere God wants us to be. We must obey the truth that is revealed to us. To know the truth, but not act upon it, will only increase our condemnation from God. It would be better not to know the truth, than to know the truth, but reject it.

 

We can understand here the biblical case that there are degrees of punishment in hell. Eternal torment will not be the same for everyone. The more truth a person knows, the greater is his accountability to God. As believers, we will never go to hell. We are eternally secure in Christ. But there is a principle here, that God holds us responsible for the truth that is revealed to us. The point of this passage is clear. The greater the truth entrusted to us, the greater is our responsibility to believe and live it (Luke 12:48).

 

The Bible says, “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren. Knowing as such we shall incur a stricter judgment” (James 3:1). There is a far stricter judgment for those who know more truth than for those who know less truth. If you will not live the truth, it would be far better to attend a liberal church that does not preach the truth than to attend a Bible-teaching church and not live the truth. If you are going to go to hell, it would be far better to go to hell from Africa than to go to hell from Dallas, Texas. Do not go to the fires of perdition from hearing a strong gospel witness. It is critically important that every one of us respond to the truth whenever it is made known to us.

 

2. This Increases Our Sin Before God

Second, the result of rejecting the knowledge of God inevitably leads to sexual perversions. Do not think that these deep sins against one’s own body appear mysteriously out of thin air. Do not think it is the result of bad DNA. It is crystal clear from this text that sexual perversions of the grossest order are the result of the rejection of the knowledge of God.

                       

We must guard our hearts in order to remain pure. We cannot allow our eyes and hearts to go where they are forbidden to go. We must refuse to look at pornography or whatever is defiled. We are fools to commit such a breach of God’s word. We might as well be playing with fire to allow this kind of an influence to enter our lives. Let us not kid ourselves. This sin starts with apathy towards the truth about God.

 

As believers, we must not be lukewarm. Neither must we be marked by apathy or spiritual coldness. Any violation of this will lead us to where we do not want to be. Opening our lives to these things will be like living in the country with the front door wide open all night. Who knows what all animals will come in. When I went to sleep last night, the last thing I did was double-lock the hotel door.  When you reject the truth, you are opening your mind up to whatever the world is going to dump into it.

 

3. This necessitates God’s Grace in Us

Third, any personal conversion to Jesus Christ is a miracle of sovereign grace. Do you see what a supernatural act it is for anyone to be saved out of their lifestyle of sin? Any sinner, who is converted to Christ, is like a brand plucked from the fire. It is only by the irresistible grace of God that any of us are converted to faith in Christ. No sinner is in a neutral spiritual state. Everyone without Christ is on the slippery slope leading to deeper sin. You may not have been given the divine push yet into further sin. Nevertheless, if you are without Christ, you are on the slippery slope. You are going down away from God.

 

It is extraordinary intervention by which God reaches in and converts someone. This text in Romans makes anyone think, “Can anyone be saved?” Salvation is only by sovereign grace. It is a big deal of massive proportions that you are saved.

 

4. This Requires Our Witnessing For God

Fourth, there must be a sense of urgency in our evangelism for the gospel of Jesus Christ. As those who are saved, we cannot sit back in apathy in our heart affections for Jesus Christ. The unbelieving hearts of unconverted people are being hardened. They are drifting further away from God. In their unbelief, they are being plunged deeper in their sin. In light of this reality, we must reach people with the gospel now. We cannot be passive, but must be active and persistent to win people without Christ. We cannot sit back in passivity. They are increasing in their downward descent away from God. We must preach the gospel now.

 

However God can use you, you must reach out to win others to faith in Christ. This is like an intervention, where a family member comes into a den, and all of the sudden, there are twenty other family members in the room. They collectively say, "Dad, we have got to say something to you." The whole family steps in with an intervention. We need some interruptions into people's lives, when we say, "Dad, you are going to hell without Christ." Or, “My friend, my business partner, ‘You are gambling your soul into hell.’" It is getting worse and worse, as they continue to reject God. There comes a point where they are no longer drifting with the current. God gives them a shove in that direction away from Himself.

 

5. This Increases Worship of God

Fifth, we must worship God based upon what we know of God. Our theology in God must ignite our doxology for Him. Our understanding of God must produce our adoration of Him. The word of God must inspire our worship of Him. In the midst of this passage on total depravity, radical corruption, and the sinfulness of man, Paul bursts into praise. In like measure, so must we. As you are riding in the car, heading to your next business appointment, you need to praise God for who He is and for what He has done and is doing. If you are sitting at your desk, you need to praise God. Throughout the day, you need to give glory to God. That is precisely what we see Paul doing in this passage.

 

In Romans 9:5, after Paul has just said in verse 2, “I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart.” Verse 3, “I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my kinsman.” In other words, he is saying, "I am willing to go to hell if that would mean they go to heaven.” Paul is so burdened for his fellow Jews that he says he could wish himself damned if it meant their salvation. In the midst of this intense, dramatic section, he says, “Christ…who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen” (verse 5). Even in the midst of this heavy section, he nevertheless praises God. In like manner, you and I should be praising God throughout the day.

 

6. This Demonstrates the Truth of God

Sixth, this passage gives the only explanation for the moral collapse in the world around us. We are living in the midst of a godless society that can only be described by what we see in Romans 1. This text describes right where we live today. We do not have to go looking for this. We live in the midst of it. There is no escaping this. There is a blatantly obvious relevancy to this passage that is more up-to-date than tomorrow's newspaper. This should sober us to the reality of what we are seeing take place all around us.

 

How can mainline denomination ordain to ministry those living in open homosexual sin? The answer is quite simply. They rejected the authority of the Bible long ago. They rejected the virgin birth long ago. They rejected the deity of Christ long ago. They rejected the bodily resurrection long ago. They rejected the exclusivity of salvation in Christ long ago. Those were the greater sins of unbelief. This is where those sins lead a denomination. The inevitable result of rejecting the inspiration of Scripture is God giving a people over in judgment.

 

In our next study, we will pick up at verse 28. There is one more statement of “God gave them over” that remains for us to examine. This is right where we presently are as a country. This is right where we are as a people. What we have just been examining, this is where many denominations are in their approval of immorality. This is where a lot of churches now find themselves.

Dr. Steven J. Lawson

Dr. Steven J. Lawson is President and founder of OnePassion Ministries, a ministry designed to equip biblical expositors to bring about a new reformation in the church. Dr. Lawson hosts The Institute for Expository Preaching in cities around the world. Dr. Lawson is also a Teaching Fellow for Ligonier Ministries, where he serves on its board. Moreover, he is Professor of Preaching and oversees the Doctor of Ministry program at The Master’s Seminary, where he also serves on its board. Dr. Lawson is also Professor in Residence for Truth Remains, a work designed to promote and proclaim God’s written Word. Further, Dr. Lawson serves as the Executive Editor for Expositor Magazine published by OnePassion Ministries.