Part 10 – God Gave Them Over
Paul was spoken clearly about the wrath of God that will befall all of the ungodly and wicked people who have suppressed the truth of God, which means that these sinners also refuse to glorify the Lord, and nor are they thankful. In their rebellion they have deliberately substituted false gods as their source of worship, and they do this in defiance to the Lord, but also as an attempt – a vain and futile attempt – to satisfy the yearning within every soul to acknowledge God.
But what Paul hasn’t mentioned as of yet – but will now – is the consequences or results or punishment that will come upon them from God’s just and holy wrath upon sinners. It might not jump out at you at first reading, but here in these verses we see that result, or at least one part of the punishment of sinners. Paul says three times in these verses “God gave them over”, which ultimately is saying that the Lord has abandoned those who have deliberately and willfully suppressed the truth concerning the holiness, glory, and sovereignty of the Triune God.
In ‘giving them over’ the Lord takes His hand of common grace off of them and allows them to plummet downward – in a downward digression of sinfulness – moving further and further away from the Lord. In their downward plunge these unbelievers will indulge in every kind of wickedness – all of which are direct attacks against the perfect attributes of the Lord God Almighty, and against everything that He has determined (because He’s God!) is natural.
In rebellion fallen man has gone off the deep end in regard to their sexuality. What the Lord has made beautiful (marriage and sex within marriage), sinners have perverted and made it all ‘unnatural’. Sexual relations outside of marriage; homosexuality, among other sexual sins are joyfully paraded and promoted by the culture and even protected by the laws of our land. They have exchanged the truth about God for a lie – by worshiping themselves or what they have created, as opposed to the Lord. Next we see that the Lord has given them over to a depraved mind, and this speaks of the most despicable thing fallen man can do – choose to say, promote, and legalize those things that God has said are wrong, and turn those sins into good things. They have made evil good and good evil. This is the lowest form of rebellion.
But as we will see as we continue through Romans, and as we saw in our opening verses from the third chapter of Titus, the Lord has sovereignly – according to His good pleasure and purpose – chosen to NOT abandon some permanently, by extending His undeserved mercy and grace. What or who we saw as hopeless, God in His sovereign power and grace, brings life, repentance, forgiveness, and eternal fellowship. You do not have to consign yourself to the ‘permanently abandoned’ ones. If the Lord is speaking to your heart – even this very moment – then there is hope – and that hope isn’t in ourselves, but in the transforming power of the Triune God to call and redeem. If you haven’t done so, and you sense the Spirit speaking to you, call on the One who is calling you! Peace, contentment, forgiveness, eternal life, and satisfaction will be yours – all by God’s grace.