1. What are some of the components of the processes toward moral degradation? We live in an age when some are trying to halt the decline of moral decay yet few seem ready to acknowledge the truth of the Bible’s warning signs. Those who do not develop a saving faith in Jesus Christ and grow in Christ will experience moral deterioration. No one can stand still in personal morality. We are either growing in Christ or we are declining in our moral maturity. Unless people are willing to diagnose the symptoms of moral decline they will not be able reverse the trend until it is too late. Paul recognized that no one becomes morally depraved overnight. The great apostle teaches us in this passage the transitions that one passes through in the downward spiral of moral decadence. Ask the Lord to help you use Paul’s description of moral degradation to offer kind reproof, correction and training back toward a wholesome living.
2. Moral degradation begins when people do not give thanks to God or glorify Him as God. Failure to thank God and honor Him as the great I AM is the first step toward becoming bitter rather than better.
3. Moral degradation continues when people become futile and godless in their thinking. The path toward godless thinking begins when a person allows their vain imaginations, foolish reasoning and stupid speculations to govern their decision-making.
4. Moral degradation continues to get worse when people allow their senses to become darkened without the guiding light of God’s word. God’s word is necessary to help us choose God’s success rather than selfish accomplishments.
5. Moral degradation spirals downward as people claim to be wise when they are not. Paul wrote, "If anyone thinks he stands let him be careful lest he fall."
6. Moral degradation deteriorates further when people exchange the glory of God for false idolatrous images. Too many people idolize things instead of the creator of every good thing.
7. Moral degradation continues to worsen when God gives people over to their lusts and the destructive desires of their hearts. Jesus knew that what comes out of a man’s heart – envy, anger, jealousy eventually destroys one from within.
8. Moral degradation is seen in the lives of people who exchange the truth of God for lie. People who do not learn to fear God and keep His commandments eventually worship and serve creatures rather than the Creator.
9. Moral degradation leads to awful consequences in individuals’ vile affections and degrading passions. This is often manifested in sexual immorality, homosexuality and illicit relationships of many kinds.
10. Moral degradation causes grave suffering in physical, emotional, mental and spiritual ways. Paul writes, "These who commit shameful acts with men suffer in their own bodies and personalities as the inevitable consequences and penalty of their wrong-doing and going astray which was fitting retribution." (1:27) No one should be deceived into thinking that they will not reap what they have sown. Ask the Lord to help you lovingly warn every one of the perilous warning signs of moral decay and shame.
11. Moral degradation eventually resulted in God giving people over to a base and condemned mind to do things that not proper or decent but loathsome. Immoral people are saturated with every kind of unrighteousness, iniquity, grasping and covetous greed and malice. The morally corrupt are full of envy, jealousy, thoughts of murder, strife, deceit, treachery, ill will, backbiting, gossiping, slandering, hateful, insolent, arrogant, boasting, disobedient, undutiful to parents and cruelty. Self-destructive signs eventually manifest themselves in being a person without any moral understanding, conscienceless and faithlessness, heartless and loveless and merciless. These are people who deserve to die as they do evil and applaud others who practice moral depravity with them. Ask the Lord to help you speak the truth in love so that many can reverse the downward trend of moral degradation in their lives before it is too late.