Being Turned Over to Sin 1

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them…22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures…25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever…28 and just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

One of the most obvious ways (from the text) that God hardens hearts and turns men over to sin is when He hardens their hearts toward Himself and turns them over to various forms of humanism. The core aspect of sin is always in relation to God.
1. Men suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them.
2. Men exchange the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man
3. Men exchange the truth of God for a lie, and worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator
4. Men do not see fit to acknowledge God any longer
5. Men are haters of God
6. Men approve the sinful practices of others even though God hates those practices

While selfishness and self-centeredness are seen as sinful, they are usually thought of as sinful because of how men treat other men. However, the height of the wickedness of selfishness is against God. The true nature and true wickedness of sin is that it is always against God in some way. The selfish heart refuses to have God as God and it prefers itself to God, which is idolatry. As the selfish heart pushes God away and suppresses the truth of God in unrighteousness, God hardens that heart and leaves it to itself. When God backs off or withdraws His presence, He is giving the person or the people that He is withdrawing from into a terrible judgment. Those people are given over into the hands of a fool or fools. Such is every person apart from the wisdom of God.

Every human being has the basic knowledge of God in them and cannot deny it apart from a long series of hardening. God has made Himself known to people and has made it evident to them. For men to deny the basic truths of God, they have to work long and hard to suppress that truth which is in every fiber of their beings. While it is not possible for man to wipe out every vestige of the knowledge of God in them, the wrath of God is poured out upon those who work to do so. The wrath of God in the passage above is to harden hearts and turn men over to sin. While it is shocking to human beings in the United States in our day to think of a God who is angry and has wrath, it is even more shocking that this God actually displays wrath.

What is a vital point in the pouring out of the wrath of God, however, is that unregenerate men do not see this wrath being poured out. They don’t see this wrath and since they are getting what they think that they want, they don’t even mind this wrath at the moment. It is so important to read this text and see that God pours out His anger and wrath against all ungodliness and unrighteousness men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. This is to say that day after day God pours out His wrath on individuals and groups, though indeed as that wrath is poured out people are also blinded to the fact that God is pouring out wrath. As people and groups of people go on suppressing the truth of God in unrighteousness, they are turned over to more and more sin and they are blinded to that wrath more and more.

What is going on in the United States today is that the wrath of God is being poured out upon us. I am not sure how it can be denied that hearts are growing harder toward God (hardened by Him) and people are simply blind to what is going on. Some are getting richer and it seems that all are getting bolder and more comforted in their sin, which is to say that God is blinding people to His wrath that is upon them. We are in desperate and troubling times.

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