24Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
25For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator,who is blessed forever. Amen.
26For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,
27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
29being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
31without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;
32and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
Today God is highlighting verses 24 & 32 for me. 24 because of questions I recently answered for a small group workbook and 32 because of a habit I am trying to break within myself.
Paul speaks about dishonoring your body. As you read on we think about sexual immorality and suddenly he hits us with *gasp* the topic of homosexuality. Can you think about anything else that dishonors your body? Eating, drinking, smoking…these things can contribute to the decline of your health. What about the body of Christ? Ever think of THAT body? “Christ doesn’t have a body anymore, He’s in heaven.” No silly – I’m talking about the church. I know, i know, Paul didn’t mention the church here, but I’m using it as a segway. Stick with me…
What is it that we do that makes Christ’s body, the church, dishonored? How do we speak? How do we act? Do our words and actions match up? Do they match up with the word of God? Please don’t think I’m judging anyone here, for we’re all hypocrites. We all have been in the past and in the future, we will be to some degree. My point here is if we can realize what it is we do that poisons the body of Christ, why do we still do it? Paul will discuss later that the flesh is weak. This is why we must turn it all over to our Higher Power, Jesus Christ. I can’t control my actions on my own, but He can if I give it to Him. I’ll tell ya, I quit tobacco many times, only to recommit. It wasn’t until I prayed to God to show me how to quit that he simply took the desire to do it away from me. Sure, I still occasionally get the thought in my head that I want to do it again…it gives me an opportunity to pray.
Secondly, let’s take a peek at verse 32 before I ramble on. but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. I’m terrible at this, how about you? No, I don’t go out and cheer people on in binge drinking contests, or clap when someone is smoking a cigarette. Tell ya what I don’t do, though…if someone makes a crass remark, curses incessantly, uses God’s name in vain: I don’t do anything. If a joke offends me, I laugh anyway. If something someone says bothers me, I ignore it. Now, I’m not saying to go out there and thump people on the head with your bible that tick you off and don’t follow “the law”. But, I’ve been talking to alot of friends who lately have more and more stood up for their beliefs in Christ. They’ve asked people to watch their language around them, they’ve stated why they don’t like ridiculous jokes, they’ve stood steadfast in their convictions against temptations of the flesh in a God honoring way. Not judgmental, not condemning, just trying to be a representative of Christ. Christlike. That’s something I’ve wanted to be since I heard the term years ago. What about you?