ESV Romans 1:24-32 - The consequence of turning our worship from God is pervasive evil and a death sentence.
24 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.
Main Idea: The consequence of turning our worship from God is pervasive evil and a death sentence.
What are some ways we exchange the truth about God for lies?
- I know better than God
- I believe what I want is better than what He says is good
- I can place my hope in created things (wealth, power, fame, entertainment, etc.) and be fulfilled.
- The reality is that God is the sustainer of life and separation from him is death.
What does it say about God that he “gave them up” to impurity (v. 24) , to dishonorable passions (v. 26), and to a debased mind (v. 28)? Why not force us to do right? In light of this passage, do you struggle with why God allows evil in the world?
- He withdraws his protective hand often – letting the natural consequences of sin occur.
- At times he passes judgment directly (The flood, Sodom, Israel’s captivity, Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5)
- If he forced us to do right, we no longer have a relationship – we are programmed to obey – or slaves. Then also, God wouldn’t need to show his amazing love by providing a savior.
How do we “acknowledge God (v. 28)” in our day to day lives so that he doesn’t give us up to a debased mind? Where do you most struggle to do this?
- We acknowledge him through obedience, giving thanks, prayer, tithing, serving, repentance, loving others, etc.
God’s wrath is always present in this world because of our sin, but he withholds final judgment (death, separation from him). Why is that? (Read: 2 Peter 3:9)