Unchanging Standards

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, February 4, 2015 1 comments

by Logan Ames

“I haven’t done anything wrong because it’s not illegal.”

These are the words recently spoken to me at work by a man who found a way to legally do what most of us would consider to be creepy at best and reprehensible at worst. He shared with me that he felt he was being treated unfairly by the court in a custody situation because no one was approving of what he did. His words above were in response to me asking him why he feels people should approve of it. After he spoke those words above, I said, “That may be true, but you and I both know that not everything that’s wrong is illegal”. He continued to argue with me that if what he did was wrong, somebody would have made a law against it. What he failed to mention in this conversation is that there ARE laws put in place to limit or even prevent what this man did, but he simply found a way around them. In this case, the man-made laws were powerless to stop him from doing something immoral and unnatural.

This situation illustrated for me how human beings will find ways to get around every man-made law or standard that there is. But the one standard we can never get around is God’s standard of holiness. As we are continuing to go through the beginning of the Book of Romans, we are seeing clearly that man cannot contend with God’s standard of righteousness on his own and is therefore in need of savior. It’s easy for us to look at what’s happening in Romans 1 and point fingers as if the people are somehow separate from us. But when I look at verses 26-32, I see that there isn’t any difference between some of the things that I’ve done in my life and what many would say are “worse” sins.

First, the Apostle Paul specifically addresses the acts of homosexuality in verses 26-27. Is that because this sin is worse than those that follow in the passage? Absolutely not! And if you are someone who struggles with homosexual desires or even finds yourself engaging in such activities, I encourage you to seek truth, but also read this entire post because you will see that we don’t condemn anyone. We know that we are all unholy without our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ and don’t stand a chance in God’s presence if not for his death and resurrection. We know that if we condemn others, we ourselves would be condemned by the same standards we are using.

That being said, I encourage you to click on the link for those verses above and read verbatim what Paul writes regarding the exchange of “natural sexual relations for unnatural ones”. What does this mean to you? Are you open to an honest discussion about those verses? Why would the Holy Spirit inspire Paul to refer to something that feels normal and natural for many as “unnatural”? Why would he refer to such acts as “shameful” and why would there be a “due penalty”? If these words anger or offend you, please understand that I did not write them. They come directly from the NIV translation of God’s Word. I encourage you to reflect on what God’s heart for you is as you read this passage. In the context of the entire Book of Romans, you will see that these acts are just some of many that cause us to “fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and force us to rely on the gift of Jesus as our Savior.

Every human being that has ever walked this earth, except One, has tried to find ways to get around God’s standards. We love to push boundaries to see what we can “get away with”. We speak in the name of “progressive thinking” that science, culture, and history should change what we think about God and his standard of holiness. But the rest of this chapter lists a whole bunch of things that some of us do on a daily basis, then says, “Those who do such things deserve death” (v. 32). That makes our God sound very harsh and unreasonable, but the fact of the matter is that Paul says this started with a disinterest in retaining the knowledge of God (v. 28). In other words, progressive thinking is exactly what got them into this mess! If they “did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God”, that means they once had it. Somewhere along the line, they decided that what they wanted to do and what made sense to them was of greater value than the knowledge of God.

For those out there who point the finger at homosexuals or others who do things that maybe make you personally uncomfortable, you must humbly acknowledge that you are no different if you’ve ever committed any of the sins listed in verses 29-31. These would include greed, depravity, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossip, slander, arrogance, boasting, and disobeying your parents! Wow! At first glance, you might wonder why all of these seemingly “minor” things are listed alongside MURDER. While different actions carry different earthly consequences, God’s Word is clear that all sin is deserving of death and leads us straight to it! If you’ve so much as gossipped about another human being or disobeyed your parents, you have not kept God’s standard of holiness and you need to depend on Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

Paul also says in v. 30 that these people who once had the knowledge of God “invent ways of doing evil”. That pretty much puts to rest the excuse of “well it’s not directly addressed in the Bible so I guess it isn’t sin”. Our society and even our laws will continue to change to accept certain things that are against the knowledge of God, but his standard will not and cannot change. The good news is that no matter who you are or what you’ve done, if you’re reading this blog that means you are still alive. And if you’re still alive, you have hope and can receive the free gift of salvation offered to you by Jesus, who walked the earth just as we do yet was able to bear that standard of holiness as God in the flesh. Don’t reject him and continue on the path to a certain death. Accept him as both Savior and Lord and let him restore your desires for the knowledge of God and give you victory over all other desires!


JD70 said...

A link to think about along with today's post

Just copy and paste in your browser.