Will God ever just let individuals have their way? What does it mean when we say, “God gave them over?”
Romans 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
First, God loves us and He provided the Word as a standard with which we are to live our lives. Christ is the standard and not the world. He gave us this standard because it would help us live our lives with less problems not so he could punish us when we break them. If we are to please God and live a less complicated life we will choose wisdom from God as communicated in the New Testament. We must always seek answers to the hard questions by asking God’s intent and design for mankind in the situation and circumstances we face.
However, if we persistently choose to go our own rebellious way then God will give us up to our own way. When people turn from God’s truth they turn to their own understanding, their own desires, their own principles. They turn away from the foundational truths that would keep them from getting into trouble. Paul tells us that when God allowed man to go their way they chose a lifestyle that is the opposite of God’s standard: sexual impurity, shameful lust and deprived mind.
Peter’s instructions to those living among the immoral and corrupt was, "...as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ’Be holy, for I am holy.’" I Peter 2:14-16.
Paul says to us, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Romans 12:2.
1. What warning does Paul give us for seeking Him rather than our own ways?
2. What attitude should we have concerning those who have turned from God’s ways?
3. How holy are you in your walk or have you conformed to the world?
4. What instruction does Paul give us as we live among the corrupt world?
Dear Father, I want to be obedient to you. Renew my mind that I may be good, acceptable and perfect in your will. Help me to be holy in my conduct and not to conform to the world’s way. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.