Expounding the More Perfect Way….Jesus Christ and Him Crucified Acts 18:24-28

Monthly Archives: April 2016

The Bible tells us that man’s purpose is to fear God and keep His Commandments! In fact, Scripture calls this “the whole duty of man.” Reading from the THE EXPOSITOR’S STUDY BIBLE: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His Commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Having heard all that can be said in favor of trying to secure happiness in this life by the use of material agents, the conclusion is: It is impossible; the only happy life is one in fellowship with God and the Bible; such fellowship produces the ideal man; any other life is madness, because there is a day coming when every action, however hidden, will be brought into the unsparing light of the Throne of God and judged, unless cleansed and covered by the Blood [I Jn 1:7])” (Eccl. 12:13). God, having revealed Himself to man through His Commandments, explains that “the Commandments,” if kept, produce perfect moral character. “That the man of God may be perfect (refers to maturity), throughly furnished unto all good works (properly understands the Word, which then produces ‘good works,’ i.e., ‘Godly lives’)” (II Tim. 3:17).

HOLINESS

You see, it is not an action, duty, or function that the Lord wants from a Believer. It is Holiness! This is the “good work”He desires from man! If we seek this state, which is pleasing to God and brings Him glory, we are automatically fulfilling our purpose as Believers. Holiness testifies of a Holy God! Holiness is Godliness! If we are not living holy lives, we are not fulfilling God’s Purpose no matter how many religious functions we fulfill. You see, servanthood may be performed with or without the Lord. Therefore, servanthood in and of itself is not a definitive witness to the world. Holiness, on the other hand, demonstrates a miraculous change! It shows that a fallen sinner has been made a Saint. It shows that the curse has been reversed! Hallelujah! And this will inevitably point people to Calvary because they will ask themselves how this new and miraculous Life has come into a once sinful man!

RELATIONSHIP

We must grasp this concept as Believers that Scripture encourages us to “seek first the Kingdom of God” and His Righteousness (Lk. 12:31). The Believer is to pursue a relationship with God rather than function. A Believer’s function will occur naturally out of correct relationship with God, but correct relationship must come first! Notice, this immediately discounts any non-believer from fulfilling any true purpose of God since he is not yet in relationship with God. A call from God is revealed to an individual by the Holy Spirit at the Lord’s Will. If a person does not know the Spirit of God, he cannot know the Spirit’s desire for his life. Also no one, whether Saved or unsaved, can cause God to reveal anything through a program, method, or “forty days of purpose”! God does not answer man-made agendas, nor will He answer to man’s clock! God is sovereign over all. He speaks at His Own Will and in His Own Time.

THE HEART OF MAN

One does not find that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob emphasized “pursuit of purpose” to these Fathers of Faith, but, if we look closely, we can see that this pursuit is actually a very basic instinct within the natural heart of man. This is why we must never forget the warnings in Scripture regarding the heart. The Bible says the heart of man is evil and deceitfully wicked, so we must be cautious of anything that originates there! “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (God knows the hopeless corruption of the natural heart, and so He said to Nicodemus that no one, however cultured and moral, can either see or enter into the Kingdom of God. There must be a new birth)” (Jer. 17:9). Our own hearts will deceive us! It is their very nature to deceive us! Believer, you must trust the Truth of the Word before you trust yourself! You must use the “Sword of the Spirit” to guard against your own devious heart. We are also told in the Book of Romans the true state of man’s heart, even religious man: “As it is written (Ps.14:1-3), There is none righteous, no, not one (addresses the complaint of the Jews and clinches the argument with the Scriptures, which the Jews could not deny): There is none who understands (proclaims total depravity), there is none who seek after God (man left on his own will not seek God and, in fact, cannot seek God; he is spiritually dead). They are all gone out of the Way (speaks of the lost condition of all men; the ‘Way’ is God’s Way), they are together become unprofitable (refers to the terrible loss in every capacity of wayward man); there is none who does good, no, not one (the Greek Text says, ‘useless!’)” (Rom. 3:10-12). This is one reason why pursuing “purpose” is dangerous! It appeals to a prideful heart, it is self-focused.

RELIGIOUS PRIDE

Also, “purpose” can quickly become an obsession, which automatically becomes an idol, a false god in your life. Purpose can become more important than Christ, and this is precisely what we are seeing in the Church world today! People are bent toward finding purposes for their life rather than finding God’s Will for their life. Some feel that if they are serving a “good” purpose in the world, they are automatically serving God. This is not true. God’s Will and a “good” will are not the same thing! A person’s desire for purpose can even control him, sometimes to the point of forsaking loved ones or even his own health. See, someone searching for purpose inevitably discovers something that drives, hence, the idea of the “purpose-driven life.” It must be noted here that the True God of the Bible never forces anyone to obey Him. God gave man free will! “Purpose,” however, can be turned into a type of religious pride (somewhat like asceticism) where the person believes they are “dying to self” in order to fulfill a higher calling or mission from God. But, any function or purpose that is truly from the Lord will only begin within an individual who loves God enough to want to follow Him. No truly God-given Purpose will make you feel that your “sacrifice” is earning favor with God.

TROJAN HORSE

“Self-actualization,” which is the process of reaching one’s highest potential and purpose, has always been at the heart of paganism. It has actually been part of the very core of New Age theology and occult practices for thousands of years. This spirituality/god is said to unite the world while true “Christianity, doctrine, and theology” is said to divide us. The pagan community strives to develop the idea of “wholeness,” which is, in essence, the teaching that a person, both individually and corporately can be regenerated or “saved” through a more thorough and complete understanding of “self.” Alice Bailey (practicing occultist) says that this is “the process for gods and for men . . . it is the hidden mystery of mind and of its place in evolution.” In other words, this is specifically the false salvation process of the occult! Let’s see how the Apostle Paul addressed the people he met at Mars Hill in Athens: “Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ Hill, and said, You men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are too superstitious (in this one sentence, he debunks all of their philosophies; they are guided by superstition, which is no way to live). For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions (has reference to their objects of worship), I found an Altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD (by addressing the situation in this way, he could not be accused of preaching a foreign god to them). Whom therefore you ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you (refers to them acknowledging that maybe they did not have the last word on gods! actually, they did not have any word at all). God Who made the world and all things therein (presents God as the Creator), seeing that He is Lord of Heaven and Earth (proclaims Him not only as Creator, but the constant Manager of all that He has created as well), dwells not in Temples made with hands (He is bigger than that!); Neither is worshipped with men’s hands (the Second Commandment forbids the making of any graven image of God, or the worship of any type of statue, etc.), as though He needed anything (God needs nothing!), seeing He gives to all life, and breath, and all things (presents His Creation needing what He provides, which is provided by no other source); And has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the Earth (proclaims all having their origin in Adam), and has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation (pertains to particular parts of the world, and those who occupy these areas; however, the statement, ‘one blood all nations of men,’ eliminates any type of racial superiority); That they should seek the Lord (presents the chief end of all God’s dealings with men [I Pet. 2:24; II Pet. 3:9; Jn. 3:15-20; Rev. 22:17]), if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him (Paul is appealing to the action of logic and common sense in trying to address these Pagans), though He be not far from every one of us: (speaks of the Creator being very close to His Creation)” (Acts 17:22-27). Indeed, ancient Gnosticism has infiltrated the Church,“purpose” being its “Trojan horse!” It has now permeated the modern church and masquerades as true Christianity.

SIN!

And through this infiltration, Christianity has been reduced to merely curing the world’s social problems. New Age proponents are able to teach believable distortions of the Bible to back up their philosophy as they give Biblical words and names (such as Jesus, spirit, Heaven, creation, Adam and Eve, etc.) radical new meanings. Because key words sound familiar, myths and mysticisms seem normal as well as exciting to Believers. Besides, who doesn’t want to help mankind? Who doesn’t want to cure the world of sickness and disease, to end poverty and war? Who doesn’t want to tackle the giants of this world and see them defeated? But this social gospel of “purpose” purports that man can do it without addressing the real problem, which is sin! So instead of focusing on the real problem, the Church has been deceived and led astray to work on its symptoms. We are actually completely avoiding the root cause! How can we solve any problems when the real reason for the problems is overlooked? Instead of preaching Jesus Christ and Him Crucified as the only Way this world can be healed, we are told to partner and work with all kinds of people. But, if these so-called “people of faith” are not believers in the Biblical Faith, how will there ever be any unity? The Cross is the only foundation that proper unity can be built upon, but our modern leaders are telling the Church, which was established by Jesus Christ, to partner with other religions of this world and their unchristian beliefs. We are told to partner with homosexuals, Allah, Joseph Smith, Buddha, Madeline O’Hara, atheists, Hindus, Roman Catholics, and other non-Christians. We are told to care more about our own teachings, writings, and reading, than about preaching Jesus Christ and Him Crucified! We are taught to care more about man’s temporal needs than his eternal soul which will live either forever in Heaven or forever in Hell! Church, our priorities are being completely scrambled right before our eyes!

MATERIAL HELP?

This modern false gospel is not demonstrating the Love of a shepherd whatsoever! Man will choose where he spends his eternity, and our mandate from God is to go into all the world and preach the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the only way mankind will realize they have such a crucial choice to make! Of course, this does not mean that we ignore human suffering. The Word of the Lord does say, “But whoso has this world’s goods (refers to the necessities of life), and sees his brother have need (it is seeing a Christian in need of the necessities of life over a long period), and shuts up his bowels of compassion from him (presents the individual who has the means to truly help, but refuses to do so), how dwells the Love of God in him? (His actions proclaim the fact that despite his profession, there is actually no love of God in him.)” (I Jn. 3:17). Jesus does lead us at times to provide material help to those in need, but this is not to be our focus. Did Jesus enter into Jerusalem or any other place to work with either the Roman government or the Jewish religious establishment to eradicate the city’s poverty, disease, and illiteracy? Did he go to Pilate and say, “Let’s work together to eliminate poverty?” No! Did He say to the Pharisees and Sadducees, “Let’s join hands although we don’t agree on everything to defeat illiteracy?” Again, no! Although Jesus cared deeply for those who were suffering, He did not join hands with unbelievers. He said in Matthew 26:11: “For you have the poor always with you; but Me ye have not always.” What about the Apostles, did they enter into cities to work with pagans and unbelievers to care for the sick and educate the next generation? Of course not! They went, instead, to bring the greatest “help” afforded to any man, “the Gospel of Jesus Christ!”

“After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia (represented an area east of the Ephesus area): but the Spirit suffered them not (proclaims the door being closed to this area as well!).

“And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas (this area would be closed for the time being also).

“And a Vision appeared to Paul in the night (proclaims the Holy Spirit now telling the Apostle exactly where He wanted him to go); there stood a man of Macedonia (the northern part of modern Greece, from the Adriatic to the Hebrus River), and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us (thus, was ushered in the most momentous event in the history of the world, the going forth of Paul to take the Gospel to the nations of the West).

“And after he had seen the Vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia (by the use of the pronoun ‘we,’ we know that Luke, the writer of this Book of Acts, now joins Paul here at Troas), assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the Gospel unto them (they knew they now had the Mind of the Lord).

“Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis (this would be the very first presentation of the Gospel on European soil, which would have such a bearing on what is presently referred to as ‘Western Civilization’)” (Acts 16:7-11).

This was their message, and the spreading of their Message was God’s Purpose for their lives! The Message was their Good Work!

 

~JSM

Romans 1:18-19

(18) “FOR THE WRATH OF GOD IS REVEALED FROM HEAVEN AGAINST ALL UNGODLINESS AND UNRIGHTEOUSNESS OF MEN, WHO HOLD THE TRUTH IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.”

The phrase, “For the Wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,” tells us several things:

1. As the Righteousness of God is revealed to those who have Faith in Christ, likewise, “The Wrath of God” is revealed against those who reject that Righteousness.

2. The “Wrath” or anger of God is here revealed, along with the purpose of the Revelation.

It is absolutely imperative that God hate evil, because if He did not do so, He could not love good. If there is to be one (to love good) of necessity, there must be two (to also hate evil). In other words, God must do both or neither.

The Greek word for “Wrath” is Orge.” It is used of Jesus when, after healing the man with the withered hand, He observed the hardness of heart of the Pharisees, and looked upon them with anger (Mk. 3:5). Orge is an anger “Which Righteous men not merely may, but as they are Righteous, must feel; nor can there be a surer and sadder token of an utterly prostrate moral condition than the not being able to be angry with sin—and sinners.”

Vincent describes Orge as God’s personal emotion with regard to sin. It represents God’s abhorrence and hatred of sin.

3. These Passages tell us that inasmuch as God has revealed His Righteousness from Heaven to sinful men, if that Light is rejected, as it mostly is, the Wrath of God automatically follows. In fact, Paul said, “And the times of this ignorance (the world before Jesus came) God winked at; but now Commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30).

This tells us that the Judgment of God is even more severe now than it was in Old Testament times, which is the opposite of what most people believe. However, it should not be difficult to understand.

To where little Light of the Gospel was given, the Lord did not step in until there was absolutely no other choice. I speak of the flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the proposed extermination of certain Tribes, the threat and ultimate destruction of Nineveh, plus others. As should be obvious, there was some Light before Christ, but it was ensconced almost altogether in Israel, who at times hindered its illumination.

Since Jesus came and died on Calvary, thereby paying the sin debt, and rose from the dead, the Holy Spirit now has much more access to the world and to men in general, thereby, providing much greater opportunity for acceptance of the Lord. In other words, considering the proliferation of the Gospel, ignorance is no longer an excuse.

I think the record will show, that inclement weather, wars, famines, disease, and pestilence is the judgment of God against “ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.”

A man asked me once if I believed that AIDS was a judgment from God?

My answer is an unequivocal “Yes!”

I realize that many would say, and rightly so, that all sickness and disease originate with Satan. However, even though that is correct, the Lord is still in control of everything. In other words, Satan can only do what the Lord allows him to do (Job Chpt. 1). To not understand that, is to deny the Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence of God!

The phrase, “Who hold the Truth in unrighteousness,” does not represent here the Gospel, but the fact of a Supreme Being with Divine Attributes to Whom worship and obedience are due.

This “Truth” being seen by all men through their observation of the created Universe, thus demands a Creator to answer for its existence.

The human race, possessing this Truth which is overly obvious, yet holds it down in the sense of refusing to acknowledge its moral implications, continues on in its sin, despite the proliferation of “Light.”

The primary thrust of this particular Passage deals with evolution, which without a doubt has to be the biggest farce ever perpetrated upon gullible humanity. The promoters of this drivel, and drivel it is, claim to be scientific, which has no place for Faith, etc. The Truth is, it takes much more Faith to believe in evolution than it does the Biblical account of Creation.

The purveyors of this lie claim that all the evidence is available, with the exception of the “missing link.” The Truth is, the whole chain is missing.

It is amazing that educators will teach this fabrication, especially considering that there is not one single specimen of evolution in the world. The simple fact is, were the teaching of evolution correct, there would be hundreds of millions of beings who are half ape and half man, or any such combinations. The answer that it takes billions of years to produce such, is no answer at all.

Once again, the simple fact is, if through these millions or billions of years evolution has produced the human family from apes, if we now have the finished product, or even a stage toward the finished product, there would also be other stages in between. Of necessity, that is a must, that is if there is any truth to evolution!

However, in this of which the Holy Spirit says through Paul, the “Holding of the Truth in unrighteousness,” not only applies to evolution, but as well to psychology. It too is an insult to God.

As evolution denies the Creator, psychology denies the Saviour. It claims it holds the answer for the sin and aberrations of humanity. In other words, man can save or rehabilitate himself.

As I have stated many times, and will continue to do so, if man is able to do that, then Jesus wasted His time coming down to this sinful world. He should have read a few of the books written by modern Psychologists and saved Himself the trouble.

No! As evolution is a lie pure and simple, psychology (psychoanalysis) falls into the same category.

It is ironical that two of the standards of atheistic Communism are “evolution and psychology.”

And yet the modern Church, even the Pentecostal variety, has accepted and bought into this lie pretty much totally. 

(19) “BECAUSE THAT WHICH MAY BE KNOWN OF GOD IS MANIFEST IN THEM; FOR GOD HATH SHEWED IT UNTO THEM.”

The phrase, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them,” simply means it can be known if so desired. It speaks of the universal objective knowledge of God as the Creator, which is, more or less, in all men.

The phrase, “For God hath shewed it unto them,” means that in Creation is His Signature.

As we have stated, the Gospel reveals a Righteousness from God on the principle of Faith, as opposed to merit. Those who reject this Righteousness are justly exposed to the Wrath of God not only because they are without Righteousness, but because they are wholly unrighteous and corrupt and desire to remain that way. As well, all humanity is declared here to be sunken in this corruption.

The heathen world then as now, debased the gift of reason, degraded God to “a creeping thing,” and conduct being determined by creed, they gave themselves to vile affections.

Twenty-four of these are particularized, to which we will address ourselves momentarily, all of them together proving fallen human nature to be sunken into an appalling abyss of moral putridity.

This true picture of sinful man is fiercely denied by modern thinkers, as energized by the evil author of ancient and modern thought.

The Greeks and Romans who were the Disciples of Philosophy, condemned the heathen. One of the greatest of the Greek Philosophers was Socrates, and one of the most celebrated of the Romans was the Emperor Marcus Aurelius. But these cultured Nations disobeyed, degraded, and corrupted the wisdom which they had, for while applauding virtue they practiced vice, and taught that man being impotent to do what was right was not to be condemned if he practiced what was wrong.

To the Hebrew people was granted by Divine Election the most precious of all gifts—Revelation. Since man is a creature it was reasonable that his Creator should have made a Revelation of Himself to him. But just as the Rationalists and the Philosophers degraded the Light given to them, so Israel corrupted the Law, and became proud and self-righteous.

Thus, all men are by voluntary action subject to the Wrath of God; and the Holy Spirit places this terrible Truth in the forefront of the Gospel in order that the Doctrine of Justification by Faith might be based upon the fact of universal guilt and condemnation, and so open wide the door of boundless Salvation.

For the Gospel can only be truly preached, or embraced, as being the Good News of Life and Pardon to all who are lost beyond recovery and know it.

So the first Foundation Doctrine of the Gospel which the Apostle preached (vs. 15) announced the Wrath of God (vs. 18). This dogma angers self-righteous man (Williams).

~JSM

Romans 1:1

(1) “PAUL, A SERVANT OF JESUS CHRIST, CALLED TO BE AN APOSTLE, SEPARATED UNTO THE GOSPEL OF GOD,”

The phrase, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ,” in effect, has Paul labeling himself as a “bondslave” of Christ. This refers to one who is the entire property of another (Mat. 20:27; I Cor. 6:19–20; II Cor. 4:5).

As well, if it matters, Paul is the only one of the Bible Writers who discarded his Jewish name (Saul) for his Gentile name.

Actually, his Gentile name gains the ascendancy on his first Missionary Journey as he deals with the Roman Officer on Cyprus, and thereafter marks him out as the Apostle to the Gentiles, which was his Calling (Acts, Chpt. 13).

The word “servant” or doulos in the Greek Text, actually denotes, as stated, a slave, even in the most abject and servile of meanings.

The word designated one who was born as a slave, one who was bound to his master in cords so strong that only death could break them, one who served his master to the disregard of his own interests, one whose will was swallowed up in the will of his master.

Paul was born a slave of sin at his physical birth, and a bondslave of his Lord through Regeneration. The cords that bound him to his old master Satan, were rent asunder in his identification with Christ in the latter’s death. The cords that bind him to his new Master will never be broken since the new Master will never die again, and is Paul’s New Life, and ours as well, I might quickly add.

Paul’s will, at one time swallowed up in the will of Satan, now is swallowed up in the sweet Will of God. In this he calls himself “A bondslave of Christ Jesus.”

Actually, there were certain individuals in the Roman Empire designated “Slaves of the Emperor.” This was a position of honor. One finds a reflection of this in Paul’s act of designating himself as a slave of the King of kings. If one is to notice, he even puts this ahead of his Apostleship (Wuest).

The phrase, “Called to be an Apostle,” actually says in the Greek “A called Apostle.

The word “called” in the Greek is kletos and means “called to an Office and Divinely selected and appointed to fill it” (I Cor. 1:1; Gal. 1:15). In other words, his calling came from the very Highest Source, the Lord Himself.

In fact, the three statements of verse 1, emphasize the Apostle’s independency of the Twelve at Jerusalem, or anyone else for that matter. He was chosen by the Holy Spirit. He was not their servant, neither was he chosen by them to be an Apostle, nor ordained by them to preach the Gospel.

However, in no way is the Salutation meant to impugn the Twelve, or anyone else for that matter, but is simply meant to state that God is the One Who does the calling, and as it held true for Paul, it holds true for all others as well.

Paul wished to emphasize, for the sake of his authority and the authority which his position would give the letter he was writing, that he was already in possession of the Office of the Apostle, and exercising the authority it conferred upon him. The word “Apostle” means “sent on a commission.” The noun was used of an envoy, namely, one sent on a commission to represent another person, the person sent being given credentials and the responsibility of carrying out the orders of the one sending him. Actually, our word “Ambassador” adequately translates it. Paul thought of himself as an “Ambassador of the King of kings” (Wuest).

The idea and tenor of Acts and the Epistles regarding all those called by God, always denote the Call as independent of human instrumentation; consequently, the Called one must answer first of all to God. In fact, the only thing the Called one owes to his brother and sister in Christ, and this would hold true for all Believers, is to “Love one another” (Rom. 13:8).

Of course, and as should be overly obvious, if one truly loves another, one would never do anything to hurt or to harm that person in any fashion.

~JSM

Romans 1:24-28

(24) “WHEREFORE GOD ALSO GAVE THEM UP TO UNCLEANNESS THROUGH THE LUSTS OF THEIR OWN HEARTS, TO DISHONOR THEIR OWN BODIES BETWEEN THEMSELVES:”

The phrase, “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts,” presents mankind not merely drifting toward depravity, but actually in a sense being shoved by God in that direction.

Since men chose to give up God and worship the creature, God could do nothing but give men into the control of the sinful things they preferred. In other words, God would not violate man’s will and force him to do something he did not want to do. When men persisted in following their totally depraved natures, God allowed them free reign. The natural result was immorality of the vilest kind (Wuest).

Alford says of God’s act of delivering mankind over into the control of utter human depravity, “Not merely permissive, but judicially, God delivered them over. As sin begets sin, and darkness of mind, deeper darkness, Grace gives place to judgment, and the Divine Wrath hardens men, and hurries them on to more fearful degrees of depravity.” God delivered man to uncleanness.

The word “lusts” is epithumia in the Greek Text, and means, “a passionate craving, longing, desire,” and in this sense, an inordinately sinful one.

Alford again says, “Not by or through the lusts; the lusts of their heart were the field of action, the department of their being in which the dishonor took place.” In other words, this was what their hearts wanted.

The phrase, “To dishonour their own bodies between themselves,” carries with it more than the mere profligacy in the satisfaction of natural lust, but rather bestiality, which refers to impurity in the physical, and not only in the social and religious sense. In other words, man is grossly immoral.

It speaks of adultery, fornication, pedophilia (sex with children), bestiality (sex with animals), lesbianism and homosexuality.

(25) “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.”

The phrase, “Who changed the Truth of God into a lie,” refers back to verse 23, which speaks of spiritual and sexual uncleanness.

In the realm of idolatry, this refers to anything that is placed before Christ.

Most people presently are not inclined to make idols out of pieces of wood as they did many centuries ago; however, if we allow anything to come between Christ and us, whether we realize it or not, such becomes an idol. That’s why John the Beloved said, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (I Jn. 5:21).

However, this condition of men’s hearts in purposely refusing the Truth of God, led to the Lord using no restraining force over man whatsoever, allowing him without restraint to push headlong into this lie of darkness, which in effect is the same as God giving man a push. Considering man’s already depraved condition, the slide even further downward was terrible, to say the least!

As we see here, the words, “God also gave them up,” as given in verse 24, is a restraining force exercised by God even on unregenerate mankind, unless refused, which it was and continues to be.

As well, there is a far greater restraining force on Believers as should be obvious (Job 1:10; Ps. 91; Rom. 8:28).

However, this restraining force even on Believers can be removed as well through disobedience and rebellion.

The phrase, “And worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator,” presents that of which Paul spoke in his Message to the Athenians (Acts 17:29–30).

For man to worship and serve the creature, means that he is doing such to something he has made with his hands, and is, therefore, less than him.

Regarding the “creature,” even if man worships himself or other men and women, which most of the world does, still, what good does such do him?

The phrase, “Who is blessed for ever,” should have been translated, “bless-ed,” because it refers to God.

The word “blessed” refers to one receiving a Blessing, in which as should be obvious, God needs nothing.

The word “bless-ed,” in effect, two syllables, refers to the One doing the Blessing, in this case, the Lord.

The idea is, all True Blessings come exclusively from the Lord, with idols or anything else for that matter, able to produce none at all.

The word “Amen” means that this is anchored in the Word of God, and as such, will not change.

(28) “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;”

The phrase, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge,” carries the idea of the human race putting God to the test for the purpose of approving or disapproving Him.

They wanted a God to their liking, and finding that He did not meet those specifications, the world refused to approve Him as the God to be worshiped, or have Him in its knowledge.

The “knowledge” spoken here, in the Greek is epignosis,” and means “full and precise knowledge.” In other words, their knowledge of God, due to their rebellion against Him and, therefore, going into deep sin, was only a dim memory, and that perverted!

If one wants to know what is wrong with the modern School System in America, despite the fact of hundreds of billions of dollars being thrown at this ever-worsening situation, it is because Educators “did not like to retain God in their knowledge.” So, and speaking of the Public School System, we have Godless schools, which means that the schools are filled with Satan. We have Godless education, which means that what knowledge the students do have is largely warped and twisted, ill preparing them for life. We have Godless direction, consequently we have erroneous ways.

The phrase, “God gave them over to a reprobate mind,” presents the third time such a statement is used (vss. 24, 26). Once again, humanity wanted that which was licentious and evil and the Lord took away the restraining forces, allowing them to have what they desired.

The words “Reprobate mind” in the Greek Text is adokimon noun.” It carries the idea of the human race putting God on trial, and because it rejected Him after trial, God gives it a “trialess” mind, in other words, one incapable of discharging the functions of a mind with respect to the things of Salvation (Wuest).

As they did not think it fit to keep God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a mind which has no way to comprehend God. In other words, Light rejected is Light withdrawn. The one thing answers to the other.

Virtually, they pronounced the True God disapproved, and would have none of Him, and He in turn gave them up to a disapproved mind, a mind which is no mind and cannot discharge the functions of one, a mind in which the Divine distinctions of right and wrong are confused and lost, so that God’s condemnation cannot but fall on it at last.

This speaks of people who are completely perverted, and as the Canaanites of old, who did their abominations unto their gods, then the last deep of evil has been reached.

The phrase, “To do those things which are not convenient,” concerns wrong direction which will affect the person in every capacity, and in a very negative way.

The Greek word for “convenient” is katheko,” and means “It is becoming, it is fitting.” So, the human race does things which are not fitting.

It is like an old abandoned building, the home of bats, spiders and snakes, not a very pleasant place to be (Robertson).

~J. Swaggart Ministries