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God gave them up

God Gave Them Up

    Paul, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ began to address the church at Rome, with the book of Romans.  He speaks to them about how righteousness had been revealed and that the Gospel is God’s power to save man (Rom. 1:16-18).  But, as we continue to scroll through this first chapter, we read about God’s wrath against the unrighteousness of man.  And, it is here in chapter one, where we read of a very sad statements: “God gave them up.”  Why would the God of heaven given men up?
    First, God gave them up because they did whatever they wanted.  In vs. 24-25 we read, “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves.  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.”  It is awful to conceive the idea that man chose sin over God.  They gave into their lust and desired to be involved with idolatry.  They became liars and abandoned God which left Him with no choice, but to give up and let man go his own way.
    Second, God gave them up because some of mankind chose vile, unnatural affections.  In vs. 26-27, it states, “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.”  They gave into their passions and made themselves unclean as men had a burning love for men and women had a burning love for women and God again had no choice.  He gave them up because man chose that which was vile.
    Third, God gave them up because some of mankind had a reprobate and depraved mind.  In vs. 28-31, Paul writes, “. . . God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.”  How sad it is when man rejects God, when they will not approve or acknowledge him.  And, they were not only mistreating God, but also man.  They wronged them both in public and in private.  They were whisperers who spoke about God and man under their breath displaying animosity toward them both and attempting to cause problems by their debating, envy unmerciful hatred.  Thus, these unsuitable behaviors left God no other choice, but to reject people like this.
    The Christians in Rome learned from Paul that these kinds of behaviors are inexcusable (Rom. 2:1) and that without God in mankind’s hearts and lives, they can become these kinds of people.  Sadly, these kinds of things continue to happen today.  They happen in our schools, they happen in our community and some are even happening in the church where a man or a woman takes on ungodly habits!  But, God will bring judgment on those who practice such things because, when men choose to do these things, they are not approved by God (Rom. 1:32).  And, we know that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18).  Let us make sure that we are living our lives faithfully to God so that we do not find ourselves in the same class of people as we find here in Romans 1, where Paul said, “God gave them up.”

Robert Notgrass

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