Friday in the Thirteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Romans 1:24-27

God Gave Them Up

Let these words sink into your ears: “God gave them up.”  These are the most horrifying words in all of Scripture, every bit as horrifying as “if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15), for the one leads inexorably to the other.  We read yesterday that man refuses to acknowledge God who has provided witness for Himself in all of creation and even man’s own soul.  Man instead chooses his sin and creates gods who approve of and sanction his sin, for which he is justly rendered guilty, indeed, inexcusable so, before his Creator.

And so what does man’s Creator do about this?  He gives them up to the lusts of their hearts and to the dishonoring of their bodies with one another.  And this is a just judgment on God’s part; after all, it’s what man wants, it’s why he chooses to worship the creature rather than the Creator, for the love of his sin.  He thereby sins grievously and egregiously against such a great and holy God who graciously gave him life and so deserves man’s unsullied and eternal love and adoration.  And so God judges man by giving man what man wants: He gives him up to the slavery of his sin.

And then Paul says it a second time: “God gave them up.”  And in this case he specifically mentions unnatural relations between members of the same sex, with which the ancient world was filled, as proof of God’s giving them up.  Now the gratifying of such passions is certainly not an unpardonable sin, but it does serve as “Exhibit A” of a world that does not know God, of a world that has denied God, of a world that is so blind that it chooses what is contrary to nature over the natural relations between a man and a woman in holy marriage.  In short, social and cultural acceptance of  what is plainly against nature and God’s intention for man and woman  was and is the quintessential mark of a pagan society, of a society “gone off the rails” on the most basic of human endeavors: intimacy and procreation.  And because such behavior is so unnatural, it is twice in this passage called dishonorable both in the desire and in the activity.  But because man is so blinded by sin and hardened of heart and so consumed with his passion, he must condone and even celebrate his lechery, to the point of “receiving in [himself] the due penalty for [his] error,” suggesting some blight, which we have witnessed in our own time.

God gave them up.  How terrifying!  Paul will list plenty of other sins in the next passage as evidence of God’s giving man up.  Oh, do repent.  Take of the water of life without price (Revelation 22:17).  Let the one who desires liberation come and experience the glorious freedom of the children of God.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

Leave a Reply