Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 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. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 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.Romans 1: 24-32
In the last post we saw how God’s wrath toward what man had done through sin has a natural outcome that brought about death, futility, suffering, and a breakdown in human thinking and behavior. Here, Paul, is further unpacking what the human condition is without Jesus Christ and just how far humans had fallen into depravity. The weight of it is haunting and shameful. Many do not want to let the weight of it be felt in their own souls but we can not get away from it and our eyes must see the true condition of our souls without the Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. This is why we need Him.
The part that stuck out to me in this passage were the “God gave them up” statements.
- God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity.
- God gave them up to dishonorable passions.
- God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
He gave them up to what they wanted in Heart, Passion, and Mind.
God is not a tyrant or a bully, and He did provide a way out through Jesus Christ.
Heart – the heart is the center of our being and it became consumed with lust leading to impurity.
Passions – the emotional waves that propel us into action became dishonorable (lacking dignity)
Mind – the center of our understanding and comprehension became debased (willing to sink down) into what ought not to be done.
These scriptures spell it out for us what that looks like and it is a bleak and horrid picture of humanity. Now I want to cause you to see something amazing…
Look at this: Romans 1: 5-7 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, 7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul was careful to make sure that these Roman Christians understood something, that even though they lived among a culture where these behaviors and ways of living were culturally acceptable, that they were and we are called out of a bleak and horrid picture of humanity into something else. We are called to belong to Jesus Christ. Paul said… including you. You, who have lived this way, are loved by God and called to be saints. Called to holiness.
This call is for all of us! We are the loved and called! Read that again…
We are the LOVED and CALLED!
In this book of Romans, as we read, we will see that we are the loved and called:
- called to belong
- called to be saints
- called according to His purpose
- called and also predestined, justified, and glorified
- called both Jews and Gentiles – to be vessels of mercy
- called now to be sons and daughters of the living God
All is grace,