The Unrighteous Exchange
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
We are following here the descent of the ungodly. Those who have suppressed the knowledge of God find themselves on a downward descent that leads to ultimate destruction.
find themselves on a downward descent that leads to destruction.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
When we suppress the truth about God and we do not worship God then our mind which was created to know God and glorify God becomes futile in every pursuit and it becomes darkened and unable to perceive truth.
Thinking They are Wise They Become Foolish
Thinking They are Wise They Become Foolish
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end you may be established; That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles. I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
We see here the deception of sin. How that a person can become so dark in their minds that they begin to think that they are wise when in fact they are foolish. Why? Because any wisdom that does not lead to Jesus Christ is foolishness.
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1 Cor 1:17-
And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
What is described here is idolatry. Because they suppress the truth about God and choose to not worship Him as God they are left with a void. We were created to give God glory so when we fail to give Him glory we must transfer that worship to something else. The exchange that was made was instead of giving God our creator glory they made images. These images were of other humans, birds, and other creatures.
We are hard wired to commune with God, to worship God and glorify God. It’s in our DNA. So what happens when we refuse to worship God? The need we have does not go away, so we fix our need to glorify and worship on something else. It doesn’t even make sense to make and image and then worship the thing that we have made. And yet… look at Israel after God had delivered them from Egypt they made a golden calf and then said this is our god that brought us out of Egypt. You would think that only a fool would do something like that. But then look at the Greeks. They were suppose to be wise, they prided themselves on their wisdom and yet they worshiped gods of their own making. Professing themselves to be wise they became fools.
It easy for us to see their foolishness isn’t it? But what about us? An idol can be anything that we glorify instead of God.
On Thursday prayer meeting we shared the Lord’s table together. I shared the passage in John where Jesus said you must eat my flesh and drink my blood or we will not have any life in us. everyone of us has a hunger and a thirst that we have had since we were born. We spend our lives trying to quench that thirst and satisfy that hunger. Some through money and power, some through hobbies and entertainment. But Jesus tells us that He is the only thing that will satisfy you. People will often get married thinking that this person is going to satisfy this thirst we have only to find that their spouse cannot fulfil them. So then they think that something must be wrong I must have married the wrong person so they divorce and find someone else only to discover that this person can’t satisfy either. The problem is only the bread of life can fill the need only the living water can quench your thirst. Jesus must be our food and our drink. We must rely on him to sustain us. If we try to find a way to quench this thirst through any other means then we make for ourselves and Idol. Many didn’t follow Jesus after he told them they must eat His flesh and drink His blood. But He was trying to teach them that we must live by Him we must come to Him for our deepest spiritual hunger and our deepest spiritual thirst to be completely satisfied in Him.
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
So these that Paul speaks of have made the exchange of the object of there praise and glory. They have exchanged the bread of life for some stale crumbs and they have exchanged the living water for some stagnate mud puddle. And so as the apostle said in vs. 18 the wrath of God is being revealed against them. Not as we might image in the form of fire and brimstone but it is revealed by God..
Giving them Up
Giving them Up
Giving them Up
Giving them Up
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Idolatry always leads to immorality. If people do not worship God the the most natural place to turn to next is God’s creation. And because we were made in the image of God, people glorify people. So we worship the creature rather than the creator. As we try to find in other people the fulfilment that only Christ can give us it leads to all kinds of sexual perversions. And the outworking of God’s wrath on mankind is in giving then up to their sins. So God’s wrath is manifest not in his intervention but rather His lack of intervention. God gives them over to their lust and their perversions to dishonour their own bodies between themselves.
Three times in this chapter we read that refrain “God gave them up”. The very worse thing that could happen to any person is for God to give them up. God is the only one holding us back from self destruction and if He gives us up then there is noting keeping us back and we rapidly race towards our own demise.
if we have raised something or someone up in our lives and we misplacing the glory that belongs only to God, then let us repent this morning. Let us turn to Jesus and find the bread of life and the living water.
He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
We are then left with this void, an emptiness, a hunger which demands to be satisfied.