Filled with all manner of unrighteousness
Romans 1:28 (ESV) 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.
This is a series in the book of Romans, for the home page in our study and to see other studies then please click here or our main epistle page is here. My aim is to go through the Book of Romans as the LORD wills.
This is a very sad bunch of verses for me, in previous verses and articles, we see the slide into sin, the gradual moving away from God and despite God wishing to have communion with them, they reject God for a new worship, a self-worship that puts a new way of living, instead of “thy will be done” it becomes “my will be done”. They are in many sins, when I listen to or read about these verses they focus on the sexual sin, but the real issue is the heart of the one who is wandering further away from God, the sins that are listed are simply symptoms of the root cause, the carnality of the heart.
Paul now completes this thought by wrapping it up by stating this by writing “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.” God is a just God, but will not be mocked, I have learned so much about the will of God and how fatherhood works from being a father myself. If it was up to be I would wrap my kid up in cotton wool and never allow her in danger, however the world is out there, she will scrape her knee at times, she will get dirty in the yard, she will scatter her toys and not know to pick them up without being told. If we go with our own wicked heart desires, we will act like that; we will mess up and not be able to clean up.
I thought God was a God of love…
In the beginning of the Bible, we read about how sin entered the world by man’s disobedience and man choosing his own way against what was Gods perfect plan. Imagine it, no sin, no decay, everything was perfect but we blew it. Since then man has been at odds with God and has had to battle against his flesh to live a holy life. Here is how sin grabs a hold of you and destroys from within.
Sinful thought comes into your mind – Your mind dwells on it – it becomes a desire or consuming passion – Thoughts turn into actions and you act upon it.
A few years ago I was blessed to hear a message by Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, he described in that area at that time there were some wildfires and how he started his day by duct taping trash bags over his external air conditioning units, he was informed by a firefighter to do so because of the following. Embers can travel a certain distance, dependent on how the wind is blowing, embers can get into the air conditioning units, land on insulation designed to protect the home, have enough air and combustible material to start a fire and destroy a home from the inside, he likened that to the way a sinful mind destroys us from the inside out.
Now there are ways to combat this, you can stop it at any point by faith. We all have the opportunity to have a debased mind, but we can also pray against it, we can remove ourselves from that temptation. My hot temptation spot is alcohol, so I avoid places where I am going to stumble, I avoid going into bars, as much as I can I avoid parties where people will be drinking heavily, because I know that if I allow myself and give into my flesh, I would stumble and sin.
God is a God of love, sometimes it is just as loving to allow you to have your way and learn from the experience. You see, God cannot win in the human psyche in this one, if he stops us from sinning, he is a tyrannical dictator God and if he allows us to have free will to choose him or choose our own way he is accused of not loving us. We are twisted in that regard that we will blame God regardless of how he allows us to act.
The word “debased” is also the same word that is used for “unapproved” and “substandard” in those times, that word was used for counterfeit currency or something that was not what it was reputed to be, or reaching the standard that was the standard expected of it.
How were they unrighteous?
Verses 29-32 gives us a list in great detail of what the “unapproved” or “substandard” behaviours displayed by the people of that day. (Remember we gave a list of how sin creeps in) Talk about taking the Ten Commandments as a bingo board and crossing off the ones, one at a time they were doing? That may sound unfair on a first glance, but Paul says before and also re-iterates in the last verse that “they know God’s righteous decree” so it was not that they were ignorant of Gods plan for their lives, it is that they chose to be in open rebellion of it.
If you want to “change the world” then showing them the messiah is the beginning, the world is in the state that it is in because it has abandoned the truth of God for a lie of self-promotion and rebellion. Imagine a world where we were serving one another like the church in Acts? Wow that would be awesome!
We read that “The wages of sin is death” in the 6th chapter of Romans in the 23rd verse, so these people were choosing to ignore the second part of that verse “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Let us not kid ourselves, we are all in this world together and one act of sin can destroy 30 years of just service to the LORD. For the believers who read this we need to keep ourselves pure and for the non-believers you have to repent, you have a Saviour who wants you to have solace and escape from the aforementioned “Wrath of God”.
God is a just God who will punish according to our sins, however there is a way of avoiding such judgment is to believe on the LORD Jesus Christ and you will be saved. (Acts 16:31) This is the first step to a lifelong relationship with the Messiah who came to seek and to save that which was lost. My prayer is that you find my Jesus and start a relationship with him. Should you need help, please contact me on my contact page.
God bless and I pray this was a blessing, please share, comment or like as the LORD leads