Summary: 1. Have you ever stopped to consider the many perils of not being a Christian? Paul did in this passage.
1. Have you ever stopped to consider the many perils of not being a Christian? Paul did in this passage. In these verses Paul writes, "Therefore, God gave them up to their uncleanness." It is a terrible thing to be given over to one’s sinful nature. The degradation of self-destructive sinful tendencies leads to misery. Paul wanted the Romans to realize that the worship of all deities, except the Lord, leads to internal and external corruption. Paul explained, "God gave them up to the lusts of their own hearts to sexual impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, abandoning them to the degrading power of sin." (Rom. 1:24) Without Christ controlling a person’s mind, will and emotions a person will constantly experience moral decay. Ask the Lord to help you teach others about how non-Christians can escape misery through the forgiveness of Christ’s blood.
2. Non-Christians’ reasoning, logic and understanding is unable to discern spiritual matters. Unspiritual people make many poor decisions because they only have human wisdom to rely upon. Paul wrote, "For the natural man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelation of the Spirit of God. They are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them (of progressively recognizing, understanding and becoming better acquainted with them because they are spiritually discerned and appreciated." (I Cor. 2:14) Without the Spirit of God living in a person’s heart one is unable to benefit from the supernatural wisdom, power and blessings of Christ. Human reasoning will only take one so far. Ask the Lord to help you teach others about the disadvantages that non-christians suffer through without the supernatural wisdom of God to guide them.
3. Non-Christians deceive themselves by thinking that sincere efforts are sufficient to have a worthwhile life. Many of the people in the Roman empire thought that they could please the gods with their sacrifices, good works and sincere human efforts. Paul teaches us that sincerity is not enough to meet God’s standards. Neither are diligent works enough to please God. Paul wrote, "It is by grace we are saved through faith and not of ourselves. It is a gift of God not as a result of works that anyone should boast." (Eph. 2:8,9) Ask the Lord to help you communicate to others about the insufficiency of sincerity, good works and human effort fall short of God’s requirements for salvation.
4. Non-Christians are subject to the slavery of their own appetites and desires. Paul teaches that no matter how hard a non-Christian tries they will be frustrated unless they trust Christ for all things. I recently wrote a book called, "251 Biblical Response to Difficult People" (243 pages) that explains how to be delivered from internal and external destructive tendencies of the human sinful nature. Christ gives us new desires for things above rather than for things that are on the earth. Through the power of the Holy Spirit He enables us to replace our old sinful desires with an appetite for wholesome endeavors. Ask the Lord to help you show non-Christians what they are missing.
5. Non-Christians are subject to the wrath of God. It is a perilous position to be in opposition to the Almighty God. The writer of Hebrews wrote, "It is a fearful (formidable and terrible) thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Heb. 10:31) God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. (I Pet. 5:5,6) Ask the Lord to help you teach others how they may unconsciously or consciously be opposing God and putting themselves in great peril!