Being Turned Over to Sin 2

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

If we are to understand the human heart and how it responds to sin and how the heart of sin responds to sin, we must go beyond humanism and humanistic psychology and look at the biblical teaching on these things. On the one hand the human heart has the basic knowledge of God because Scripture teaches us that God makes Himself known to men and makes it evident. On the other hand, man is born a child of wrath, hates God, and is at enmity with Him. The conclusion, I would think, is quite self-evident. The knowledge of God that God has put in man is hated by the man and so he suppresses the truth of God.

The root of all kinds of sin in one sense is the love of man for money (greed), but man only loves money when he is suppressing the truth of God and wants the money to be independent of God, though he may not be fully cognizant of that fact. The issue of sin is that the unregenerate man is always suppressing the truth of God with enmity in his heart toward God. There is nothing that man can do that is not either out of love for God or out of enmity toward God. We are told by seemingly virtually everybody that man is free, but man is not free. His heart is bound in rebellion against God and unless God grants man a new heart each man will live in enmity toward God all of his days and then for all eternity.

Scripture also teaches us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). This teaches us another aspect of sin is that part of the standard of God for man is that man is to do all he does for the glory of God. This is a standard that reaches the very heart of man in that this gets to the actions of man and the motives and intentions of the heart. The heart, however, that is at enmity with God will never bow to God and do all it does for His glory. It may be the case that an unregenerate heart may try to force itself and deceive itself that it is doing what it does for His glory, and this would be especially truth of the very religious person that was unregenerate. But it must be seen that in all that man does he either does what he does for the glory of God or for his own glory. There is no alternative even in the outward acts of kindness that man does toward others. Man can do outward acts that appear to be done for others, but man will do those outward acts out of love for himself, opinion of himself, and religious esteem for himself. They can also be acts of self-righteousness. The point, however, is when man does outward acts and does them out of love for himself, he is acting with enmity toward God. The living God sees this enmity in the heart and is perfectly just to turn that heart over to the sin that the heart desires.

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