Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Condemnation of the Heathen Man (Part III)

"Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen." (Romans 1:25)

The word here for changed means to exchange. To worship anything or anyone but God is to trade-in the everlasting truth for a lie that will lead to everlasting damnation. This exchange leads to utter defeat. The creation is subservient to the Creator. Creation cannot possibly deliver neither can it redeem, yet man in his rebellion casts aside all logic in an attempt to simply have things his own way. This battle is ultimately futile because God will be glorified in the great day of judgment. This verse ends by calling God the one "who is blessed forever." Literally translated, this verse would say, "the one who is well spoken of into the ages." Eventually, all men will be forced to acknowledge that God is Creator and King, as is taught in Philippians, "...every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

"For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." (Romans 1:26-27)

Whenever men choose to wander from God, perversion and gross immorality are always close kin to such decisions. This is the second of three times the phrase gave them up appears. Again, the tense of this verb is very powerful. It is expressing the thought of something that has everlasting results. Little by little, God is handing these people over to their own desires and passions. The words here for men and women are the words for male and female. At this point in his digression from God, man is not worthy even to be called a man. He is now referred to as male and female. Homosexuality and sexual perversions of all kinds are hallmarks of rebellion against God. In these vices, man has determined that he will go against all rules that God has set forth, to the point that he will not conduct himself even in the natural way that he was made. However, these choices have a recompence. Disease, violence, destruction and death are inseparably linked to such rebellion. Sodom and Gomorrah's pride led them to such vile behaviors (Ez. 16:49), and they received their reward. To this day, God has seen to it that terrible diseases plague such contemptible behavior.

At this juncture, it is fitting to point out that God is not setting forth some especially wicked group of people that the rest of humanity may look down upon, but rather, He is putting on display the seeds of sin that lie within the heart of every man. It would be the height of folly for a Christian to believe that he is utterly incapable of the sins spoken of here. The Spirit of God and the grace of God must receive all praise for the fact that not all men have come to this point. According to Hebrews chapter twelve, the true child of God will be chastened for his sin, but no where does the Bible give a Christian liberty to believe that he is "above" any vile behavior. Yea, it teaches quite the contrary, for all God's people have received this admonition, "...Be not high-minded but fear." The heart is desperately wicked and deceitful, and were it not for God's keeping and grace, only He knows the depths to which an ungrateful heart could plunge.

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