Apostasy of Man Rom. 1:21-32 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
You won’t find a more concise and factual statement regarding the apostasy of man than Rom 1:22-32. This passage of scripture clearly describes the human and the divine reasons for man’s continual moral decay into sin and unrighteousness.
The human reasons for the apostasy of man – Rom 1:23-28 – there are four main human reasons why men, who don’t glorify God and who aren’t thankful [Rom 1:21], end up filled with all unrighteousness [Rom 1:29]. Each of these has to do with men changing something of God.
- They changed the glory of God – Rom 1:23 – the changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man. This is idolatry and humanism which yields the worship of the antichrist. They made him like fowls, animals and creeping things. They worship nature, evolution and the science of natural processes [Rom 1:25].
- They changed the truth of God – Rom 1:25 – they changed the truth of God into a lie. The devil started this in Gen 3. Men who don’t believe what God said have continued this work by changing his words and by denying his existence.
- They changed the natural order of God – Rom 1:26-27 – sodomy is against nature. It is an error meet with a recompense in themselves [i.e., AIDS used to be GRID, Gay Related Immune Deficiency].
- They changed the knowledge of God – Rom 1:28 – they didn’t like to retain God in their knowledge. They not only want God out publicly; they want him out of their minds.
The divine reasons for the apostasy of man – Rom 1:24-28 – likewise, there are three main divine reasons why men who changed the glory of God, the truth of God and the natural use designed by God end up in unrighteousness. Each of these has to do with God giving men up or giving men over to something bad.
- God gave them up to uncleanness – Rom 1:24 – God is holy and pure, as are his words. Men are unholy and their hearts are wicked and defiled [Jer 17:9-10; Mk 7:20-23]. Yet God is willing, through salvation in Jesus Christ, to indwell our bodies [Jn 14:23] and clean us up through his presence [1 Pet 1:15-16] and through his words [Jn 15:3]. When they changed the glory of God, the Lord just gave them up to their own lusts [1 Jn 2:16], through which they dishonor their bodies [perversion and self-destruction].
- God gave them up to vile affections – Rom 1:26 – sodomy is a vile affection. God restrains these affections by his truth. Yet when his truth is changed into a lie, then God just gives them up to these vile affections.
- God gave them up to a reprobate mind – Rom 1:28 – when the knowledge of God goes, the mind goes. This is what God did to Israel in Is 6:9-12 and it affected them through the ministry of Jesus [Matt 13:13-15] and through the ministry of Paul [Acts 28:25-28] and it still affects them today [Rom 11:25]. Now it is happening to the Gentiles [Rom 11:19-21]. Thank God when we get saved that we get a sound mind [2 Tim 1:7].
The resulting unrighteousness of the apostasy of man – Rom 1:29-31 – the apostasy of man manifests itself in all unrighteousness. These sins are the ones you hear about on the nightly news, read about on the internet and see portrayed in Hollywood movies. These sins will only become more common as children are educated by foolish professors who refuse to glorify God and give him thanks and who promote the lie of evolution and the unnatural use of the body.
These sins are: unrighteousness [all unrighteousness is sin, 1 Jn 5:17], fornication [the act of sex outside of marriage], wickedness [immoral or ungodly actions], covetousness [idolatry, Col 3:5 and violation of the 10th commandment], maliciousness [unlawfulness], full of envy [resentful dislike of someone who has something one desires, Prov 27:4], murder [violation of the 6th commandment], debate [quarrel], deceit [representing as true what is known to be false], malignity [persistent, intense ill will or desire to harm others], whisperers [gossipers, Prov 16:28], backbiters [slanderers, Prov 10:18], haters of God [the result of idolatry, Ex 20:5, Matt 6:24, rejecters of Jesus, Jn 15:23-24], despiteful [scornful, Prov 13:13, showing extreme contempt], proud [exaggerated opinion of oneself, Prov 16:18], boasters [braggarts, 2 Tim 3:2], inventors of evil things [those fabricating evil things, like idols, Ps 106:29, 39], disobedient to parents [violation of the 5th commandment], without understanding [blind, inability to perceive, Mk 7:18], covenant breakers [not keeping the covenant of God, Lev 26:15, or agreements among themselves], without natural affection [for example, lacking a mother’s love for her children, or attraction to the same sex], implacable [impossible to appease or pacify], unmerciful [showing no mercy, cruel].
Conclusion: the trouble with our society, then, is not political or economic; rather it is spiritual. The trouble is the apostasy of man. Man’s dishonor of God and ingratitude toward God are at the root of this apostasy. By simply changing three things: the glory of God, the truth of God and the natural order of God, men have unleashed a barrage of destructive sin that will destroy them. According to Rom 1:32, these apostate sinners know that the judgment of God against these sins is death. Nevertheless, in spite of the consequences, they commit these sins and “have pleasure in them that do them.”