Summary: The core of sIn is “I.” Paul lists the “slippery slope of sin” in this section and explains how humans descend into the absolute corruption of sin. In essence, “God gave them over.” However, we are “without excuse” because at the root we have “suppress

Romans 1:18 – 32

The “I”s of sin.

The core of sIn is “I.” Paul lists the “slippery slope of sin” in this section and explains how humans descend into the absolute corruption of sin. In essence, “God gave them over.” However, we are “without excuse” because at the root we have “suppressed the truth.” Let’s look at the steps of our decline.

I. Idle worship (doing nothing).

A. Idle in worship... [v 12]

1. “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God..”

a. “glorify” means to worship/honor, give credit too...

b. When we stop the basic things like church attendance, daily prayer, and daily personal Bible study, we are in trouble.

2. “For although they knew God, ... nor gave thanks to Him.”

a. The lack of thankfulness is symptom of pride. [see Deuteronomy 8]

b. When we are not thankful, we rebel and complain. [see Hebrews 3:7 – 19]

3. The result of becoming idle in worship is: “their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

***** This is possibly the most dangerous of the steps of the “I”s of sin because there is no pain. Yet it is the most critical step toward becoming ultimately selfish and uncontrollably sinful. *****

II. Idol worship.

A. Exchange God for stuff.

1. In a modern world (America) we cannot understand how anyone would worship a rock, piece of wood, etc...

2. However, we can exchange God for stuff.

a. “And exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.” [v 23]

b. The verse is about EXCHANGING not about the specific image.

3. We have images of stuff (TV adds create desire), we have the pursuit of stuff (desire that is acted upon at the cost of important things), we desire the tangible (easy to believe).

B. Exchange the truth for a lie.

“They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.” [v 25]

1. Notice that this exchange results in bondage/slavery.

2. The lie is

a. That worship is easy/feel good. (This comes from a perverted image of God... that God is our servant.)

b. That service is fruitful at our whim. (This comes from humanism.)

c. That self-sacrifice is unnecessary. (This comes from survival of the fittest mentality.)

d. That Christianity is possible without Christ. (This comes from political correctness.)

III. Immorality (worship of the flesh)

A. Notice the role of “sinful desire.”

1. “God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts...” [v 24] “God gave them over to shameful lusts.” [v 26] “He gave them over to a depraved mind... [v 28]

a. Desire can be a real problem when it controls us.

“But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. [15] Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” [James 1:14 – 15]

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. [16] For everything in the world--the CRAVINGS OF SINFUL MAN, THE LUST OF HIS EYES AND THE BOASTING OF WHAT HE HAS AND DOES--comes not from the Father but from the world. [17] The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” [1 John 2:15 – 17] (EMPHASIS mine)

b. We would never admit to “lust” (KJV) but the reality is that our desires are out of control.

2. Notice it was the individual’s desire! (God did not cause this to happen.)

a. The direction of thought.

b. The direction of affections/heart.

c. The direction of the spiritual momentum.

B. Notice the degrading of their bodies.

1. It reduces the person to an object/victim.

2. It reduces the user to the used/victim.

“For the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread...” Proverbs 6:26a (A loaf of bread was the price of a prostitute. When a man paid that price, he was reducing his self-worth/image to that price.)

3. Today, we still sell ourselves...

a. ...pornography, abortion, commercialism

b. Our marketing creates dissatisfaction, generates desires, reduces you to a price.

IV. Ignominy (celebrating the disgraceful/shameful)

A. Here is the idea of exchange again: “exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.” [v 26b], “abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.” [v 27b]

1. The “natural” is exchanged for the “unnatural.”

2. There is a redefinition of the words “good” and “natural” in our society.

3. Strong social an political pressure is put on those who do not go along with these new definitions.

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