Why Prayer is Necessary: #3 – To Help Us Stand Firm Against the Devil

Jesus said, “Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation; the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41).  Jesus knew that prayer was absolutely necessary to resist temptation, that without it we are weak and vulnerable to the attacks of Satan. 

Paul tells us in Ephesians 6 that we are in a struggle, not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in heavenly places.  He therefore suggests that we put on the full armor of God so that we may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 

As we see in Ephesians 6:18, prayer is part of this full armor.  But we should not look at prayer as just one piece of the full armor, as if to have a little significance.  Prayer, in fact, is significant for the correct use of each piece of armor.  Moreover it energizes the armor and holds each piece of armor in place.  In the final analysis, it is our power for victory.1

Prayer, as it is used in verse 18, is not just of one kind; it is “all prayer.” All kinds of prayer, therefore, are to be used against the enemy.  And with “all prayer” we are to pray “at all times.”  That is, we must pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17).   What is meant here, according to Warren Wiersbe, is that we must “always be in communion with the Lord.”2  And this infers that we must always be drawing on His strength.  Yes, we must be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might (Eph. 6:10), which cannot be accomplished without unceasing prayer in the Spirit.

Also, when we pray, we must “be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all saints” (v.18), knowing that the devil is on the prowl, seeking to destroy God’s people. We must therefore, be watchful and pray, not just for ourselves, but also for all other believers who are subject to the same temptations as we are.  And when we are faithful to pray for others, God will be faithful to bless us and give us His strength.


1 Warren Wiersbe, Be Rich (Wheaton, Illinois: Victor Books. A division of SP Publications, Inc., 1976),  p. 172.

2 Ibid., p. 172.

Why Prayer Is Necessary: #2 – For Spiritual Growth 

Prayer helps in these four areas of spiritual growth:

1. Growth in understanding God’s ways.   In James 1:5 it says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally…”  It seems from this verse (and the previous verses), that wisdom, which is really an understanding of God’s ways, is gained through prayer as well as through experience; for as we encounter various trials (verse 2), we pray and ask God for an understanding of what to do (verse 5).  Therefore, both experience and prayer are needed. 

Experience (including all the trials we go through) keeps us in touch with reality, and prayer keeps us in touch with God, who in turn helps us understand all that we experience—which is wisdom. 

Experience allows us to grow in endurance as we encounter various trials, and prayer keeps us trusting and in touch with God—who is really the source of all our help.  As we encounter various trials through our experience, they will serve to move us toward prayer.  But unless we pray, all the experience and all the trials will do us no good; that is, they will not produce in us true wisdom.  The old person, who says, “I am wise because of my many years of experience,” is nothing but an old fool if he has rejected God.  True wisdom, no matter how much experience one has, comes only to those who pray and ask for it.    

2. Growth in understanding God’s Word.  In Psalms 119:18 we read, “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.”  Here the Psalmist prays to God that He would open his eyes and cause him to understand wonderful things from His Word.  As we may observe in this verse, there is nothing said about any personal effort of study to gain understanding.  The Psalmist expects all his understanding of the Word to come directly from God through prayer.

Now we know that the Bible tells us to study and meditate on the scriptures (2 Tim. 2:15, Ps. 1); therefore, our effort should not be disregarded.  All our effort in study, however, will prove vain and worthless without prayer.   But by prayer all that we have studied and pondered will make sense.

3.  Growth in developing a hatred for sin and a love for righteousness.  This time we will turn to Psalms 51.  Here we see that David was intensely grieved over his sin. In verse four he prays, “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight…”  Then in verse 10, he prays, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

As we see in this chapter, David believed in prayer; he counted on God in prayer to clean up his heart and restore his relationship with Him. 

We can count on God in prayer just as David did.  And the more we pray for purity in our life, the more God will give it to us, and thus the more we will grow to hate sin and love righteousness.           

4.  Growth in becoming more like God’s Son. In Romans 8:29 it says, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.”  At first glance we may think that we don’t need do anything to bring about our transformation, that since it is already predestined to happen, God will make it happen without our effort.  Well, ultimately, I suppose that is true. But, along the way, God chooses to involve us in the process.

No, we cannot idly stand by and think that God will handle it all.  Transformation comes with the hard work of renewing our mind (Rom. 12:2)—which includes Bible study, meditation, and prayer.         

And the more we give ourselves to the work of study and prayer, the more we will behold Him as He really is.  Hence, in our beholding Him we are being transformed from one degree of glory to another (2 Cor. 3:18).

Seeing the Fall of Man through Ducks

She takes the lead and listens to the wrong voice. Big mistake.

Genesis 3:2-5

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'”

4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

She breaks away. He watches and follows her lead.

Genesis 3:6-7

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

She wanders off in shame.

He is alone and ashamed.

Genesis 3:7-8
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Sin’s Foul Bondage

In this post we will return again to Matthew 6:19-24, and we will focus on the evil result of laying up for ourselves treasures on earth.

Matthew 6:19-24

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 “The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

I have been following the sermons of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in his book, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount. In this particular study he gives us four points, or four things that sin does to man.

I. Sin Upsets the Normal Balance in Man

When man was created God made his mind (with his spirit) to be the highest faculty, which was the ability to think and reason and understand things. Then the next highest faculty was the heart, or the feelings and desires. This is man’s normal God-created function: to understand things, then to let our feelings and desires come later, being controlled by our understanding.

However, says Llyod-Jones, “The effect of the Fall and of sin upon man has been to upset that order and balance.” Hence, man, because of the Fall is no longer governed by his mind, he is governed by his desires and affections. John 3:19 is proof of this: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

I think we can see this disturbance in the order of things not only in the non-Christian, but in the Christian when he is not walking in the Spirit. And there are so many examples of this. In so many ways we make decisions based not on a correct understanding of things but on how we feel and what we like. We buy food based on our taste and appetite. We buy clothes based on the latest fashion. Our choice of a mate may be wrongly influenced because we rely more on our desires than our understanding. And we find in every case that because we put the heart before the mind, we make wrong decisions.

II. Sin Blinds Man to the Truth of Things

A good Scripture for this is in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

So, this is what sin does—through the heart. Here are some examples of this blinding.

  • We don’t see that our personal appearance will fade away, and so we place way too much value on our appearance.
  • We are blinded to the fact that we can’t take our money with us.
  • We are blinded to the fact that time is limited and eternity is endless, yet we give ourselves mainly to the here and now and ignore the eternal.
  • We are blinded to the value of man and God. Man seems to be valued more than God.
  • Man is blinded to the value of things. Earthly wealth is valued more than eternal wealth.
  • We are blinded to the fact that we cannot mix light and darkness, good and evil, God and mammon; yet we are always trying to do it. We even do it in the church. We have seen the churches ruination since the days of Constantine—a terrible tragedy! And we are still doing it in our effort to keep people in the church. Yet I think the world is confused by our efforts; and when they turn to Christ, they take the world with them. And so, you have a worldly Christian. And in most cases, they don’t have an assurance of their salvation.

III. Sin Makes Man a Slave to Things that were meant to Serve Him

God gave us food, clothing, and family and friends in order to serve us. But because of sin in the heart, we have become their slaves. We are mastered by the very things and appetites that God has given us to enjoy.

IV. Sin Causes the Ruination of Man

Jesus said, if your eye be single (pure) your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye be evil (sinful, with double vision and corrupt) your whole body will be full of darkness (Matt. 6:24). Here the light of the body is the mind and the understanding. But because of the control of the heart and of lust, the great design of God in us (the mind controlling the heart) has become perverted and ruined.

The result of this ruination in man is that he will reject God and His leadings; he will laugh at religion; he lives in the present; and he is deceived in his thinking, as he thinks that he is led by his mind when he is really led by his heart and lusts. Some at the end of life may see that the things he has trusted in were worthless and that he has been a fool all his life. A very sad situation.

But for all that seek God and repent, there is hope—even for the elderly. Let the Holy Spirit come in and change you. He can and will make your mind clear and pure, and give you a true understanding of things. This will be your true conversion and salvation.

Revealing How Evil Most Senate Democrats Are

A top news story just came out in the Washington Free Beacon entitled Senate Democrats Defeat Bid to Protect Abortion Survivors. And then it was cited by Koening’s World Watch Daily as Evil: Senate Democrats Defeat Bid to Protect Abortion Survivors. Here is their version:

Evil: Senate Democrats Defeat Bid to Protect Abortion Survivors

Senate Democrats defeated legislation Wednesday that would have protected infants who survive abortions.

The Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act failed because nearly every Senate Democrat voted against the measure, which requires doctors to provide medical care for newborns who survive abortion attempts. The act received 52 votes, falling 8 short of the 60-vote threshold necessary to break the filibuster. Democratic senators Joe Manchin (W. Va.) and Bob Casey (Pa.) crossed the aisle to vote for the legislation.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R., Neb.), who introduced the legislation, decried the partisan vote. “This legislation isn’t red vs. blue, it is simply about giving every baby a fighting chance. Every baby deserves care. This isn’t about abortion, it’s about human rights,” he said.

I have heard testimonies of full-grown, very successful people who were aborted survivors. But it seems now that these democrats will remove all chances of any more survivors. Why? Because people don’t want to be inconvenienced? Because they say it’s the best thing for the mother? There is no good reason; they are just letting evil run its course. They don’t want any evidence of a failed abortion, or evidence of a life that they tried to abort, because that life would be a living testimony of a sinful attempt and something that would forever cause them guilt (they would be a living reminder of their sin).

Well, in this vote we have a revelation before us of how evil these democrats are by voting and defeating this legislation. For many things we would have to wait until the judgment day for evil to be revealed, but here it is already revealed. They stand before you in the senate. Fifty-two Democrat senators revealed to us that they wish an aborted survivor will not be cared for when born. They say that they wish that infant who just barely survived an abortion would now die for lack of care! If that is not evil, I don’t know what is.

Joe Manchin did not vote against the legislation, which is another reason why he might decide to be a republican.

The Sins We Commit in Prayer – Matthew 6:5-8

In Matthew 6:1-4 Jesus taught us how not to practice our righteousness, mainly in terms of our giving to the poor. Then in verses 5-8, He tells us how not to practice our prayers. He said,

“When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.  8 “So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

From this passage we may identify two sins while going to prayer, or even in prayer. The first is that we may pray to be known and seen by others. We can call this sin…

1. Putting the Focus on Self When We Pray

So, first of all, when you hypocrites pray you are anxious to be known by others as being a great prayer warrior, or a holy man of prayer. Perhaps in your prayer group you get pleasure knowing that people think of you as a person of prayer. And so, thinking that they may regard you that way, you do everything possible to support their thoughts. Thus, you are quick to be the first to pray, and you will pray extra loud so that they can hear you.

But not only is the prayer-hypocrite anxious to be known by others as a person of prayer, he also wants to be seen as a man or woman of prayer. So, you may position yourself to be seen praying. Do you have a prayer room in your church? Do you enjoy having people see you go into the prayer room?

Prayer should not be that way. Prayer, Jesus said, is to God only. It is not for the eyes and ears of others. We should work on not being conscience of each other’s praying—that is, how they pray. Rather, when we pray, we should be carried on the wings of prayer so that we are always thinking on God.

The second sin we often commit in prayer is…

2. Thinking Too Much on The Form and Length of Time We Pray

We think that we will be heard for our beautiful words of prayer. You may think of this as “vain repetitions.” Perhaps you have heard of the terms “counting beads,” or “prayer wheels,” or “walking a labyrinth.” And many take great pride in repeating prayers over and over, thinking that this impresses God or others, or even yourself.

In all of what is said here, it is all the sin of self and pride—even in prayer. It is the sin of self-worship and self-adulation. When we try to worship God in our pride, we are actually worshipping self. Now we know that the best picture of man is to look at him on his knees waiting upon God. But even in that picture man sins if he thinks about himself as performing a holy act before God. Hence, sin is something that follows us into the presence of God.

So, when you pray try to shut out and forget yourself or what other are thinking about you.  Instead realize that you are in the presence of God and that He is listening to you and wants to meet your needs. Realize that He knows all your needs already and He desires to give you what you ask for.

Who Is to Blame for the Coronavirus?

Much of the media places the blame on Donald Trump, and even has called the virus “Trumpvirus.” But let’s get real. China is to blame. It was manufactured in China.

But if we look at it more broadly, I think we can call this virus a plague. And if we recall from the bible, plagues were always brought on people who sinned against God. Therefore, from a biblical perspective, plagues are a result of our sins of disobedience to God, and they are sent from God to punish our sin.

I took the time to do a little bible study. I found the word plague over 50 times in the bible.

In Exodus 11: 1-3 God brought plagues on Egupt for enslaving Israel.

In Lev. 26:2, Nu. 11:33, 14:37, 16:46-50, and 25:9 (and many more ref.), God brought plagues on Israel for sin and disobedience.

In Zech. 14:12-15, Rev. 11:4-7, 16:21, God, in the future, will bring many more unimaginable plagues for the sins of all people.

I find it so interesting that the media is blaming President Trump for the virus, even though we know it came from China. Also, I don’t know what more President Trump could do to prevent it from coming or to slow it down. As early as Jan. 31st he declared the virus a public health emergency and issued a travel ban from China. And he has taken so many more steps to protect Americans: like buying some 500 million respirators, putting in place national guidelines, giving us 2,000 ventilators, restricting nonessential boarder traffic, and much more. How much more can a president do? And he has been doing this at the same time that these George Floyd riots have been going on. No other president could do more.

Conclusion

Donald Trump is not to blame for the coronavirus. And though the virus was hatched in China, they alone cannot carry the blame.  No. I think we should put the blame on all sinners, particularly on those who are blatantly disobedient to God. Yes, I think God has released this plague on the entire world because of our disbelief and disobedience. And He has used China to do it.

But there is hope. If we repent and turn to Him, He may stop the plague. No, we humans will not be able to stop it by waring a mask over our faces, or by separating ourselves from each other, or by any other means. The only way to stop it is by our repentance and by prayer—asking Him to save us from our sins and from the virus.

If you remember, in Egypt, when God sent a plague on the land and the people, He spared the Israelites by telling them to put lambs’ blood on their door posts. That blood represented Christ’s blood. And now, if we believe in Him, His blood will save us from our sins—and no plague will come near us (Ex. 12: 13). Though some, even believers will get sick and die from the coronavirus, if they believe in Him and His blood, they will meet Him in heaven and share eternal glory with Him.

Psalm 91:9-16

9 For you have made the Lord, my refuge,

Even the Most High, your dwelling place.

10 No evil will befall you,

Nor will any plague come near your tent.

11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you,

To guard you in all your ways.

12 They will bear you up in their hands,

Lest you strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra,

The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

14 “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;

I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.

15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble;

I will rescue him, and honor him.

16 “With a long life I will satisfy him,

And let him behold My salvation.”

Defund the Police: An Indication of His Coming

There are certainly many indications today that we are living in the last days, and that we are inching closer and closer to the coming of Jesus Christ to rescue the godly ones from this evil world. One of these indications (or signs) is the increase of lawlessness spoken of in Matthew 24:12. In this context Jesus is speaking of that period of time called “the Tribulation,” in which many false prophets will arise and mislead many (v. 11); and because of lawlessness (sinfulness), people will grow to hate and betray one another (vv. 10-12).

And during that time of tribulation there will arise one called the “lawless one,” who is known as the antichrist. At first, during the first part of the Tribulation, he will be restrained by God from doing his great evil; but at the midpoint of the Tribulation those restraints will be removed, and being empowered by Satan, he will then be free to do great lawlessness (2 Thess. 2:3-12).

Of course, we are not now in the Tribulation; but, as I said, we have indications that we are fast arriving. I say that mainly because of the present attitude we have toward law enforcement and the police department. Certain groups like Black Lives Matter, along with many liberal democrats and the media, are now pushing the idea of defunding the police department and even abolishing it. Can you imagine what will happen if that idea becomes a reality? There would be chaos and no law and order—lawlessness!

According to Scripture (2 Thess. 2:7), “The mystery of lawlessness is already at work.” This means, according to John MacArthur, that the “The spirit of lawlessness [is] already prevalent in society, but [it is] still a mystery in that it has not been fully revealed [in the coming antichrist].”

Hence, what I get from that, is that this attitude we have in society about wanting to be free of the police, is in our sinful spirit. But we do not see what is coming and how damaging that spirit can be in us. In a sense we all want to be free of the law, because we are all sinners. But we often fail to see how God has given us authority figures like the police to help us and keep us safe.

I think this country should do all it can to shut down this radical idea of defunding the police department. But if it happens that we are not able to do it, or if our government isn’t willing to do it, we Christians need to be aware, and even comforted in the fact that His coming is near!

The Mortification of Sin

Prayer A to Z

Jesus deals with this topic of the mortification of sin in Matthew 5:29-30.

“And if your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 “And if your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off, and throw it from you; for it is better for you that one of the parts of your body perish, than for your whole body to go into hell.

Some do not identify this passage as one that deals with the mortification of sin, but D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, in his book, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount insists that it does. And notice that it comes directly after verses 27-28, which deals with the sin of adultery; or more precisely, adultery in the…

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Help for The Sexually Abused

When I was about 14 years old I was sexually abused.  I won’t go into it, but it happened 3 or 4 times and it has had a very disturbing and harmful effect on my life. I know that many have been abused (and raped) much more than me, and my devastation is small compared to theirs. I can imagine the pain and bitterness and anger they feel, and how they have cried out to God and found no help. I know that there are many young girls and boys who have gone through much—much more than me. And we should pray for a them that God will hear their cries. 

The Outcry to the Lord against Sodom and Gomorrah

When Abraham was called by the Lord to go into the land of Israel, he brought with him Sarah his wife and his nephew Lot. And, as it happened, Lot settled in the beautiful valley of the Jordan near the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. And the men there were wicked and sinned greatly against the Lord (Gen. 13:13). Well, the bible tells us that the outcry to the Lord against Sodom and Gomorrah was so great that He decided to destroy the cities (and the people) by fire (Gen. 18:20; 19:13).

I’m not sure if we know for sure who was crying out to the Lord. At first I assumed it was all the people in the cities who were being sexually abused. Then I thought that since the wicked abusers also suffer a penalty for their perversion (Rom. 1:27), they may also be crying out. I also have considered that it could be angels who have witnesses the evil doings and have cried out. I’m not sure if we can know for certain; but certainly, it would come from the innocent young people. 

Nonetheless, if you read the account of the evil there (from Gen. 18:20-19:29), it will make you sick to read just how lustful and perverted the men of Sodom were—both young and old, and how they came at Lot and his two guests (angels who looked like men) in order to have sex with them.  Those cities were undeniably wicked; and by the description, the people had given themselves over to unnatural lusts and homosexual perversion. Thus, God had no option but to destroy them all, except Lot and his two daughters; they were spared.

God Will Hear Our Cries and Bring Justice

Let the people cry out, and God will hear them. It may take a while, but He will hear us and He will bring justice and vengeance to our enemies. In the book of Revelation (Rev. 6:10-11), during the Tribulation, many will be martyred for their faith, and from heaven they will cry out to God to avenge their blood. It says.

And they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, should be completed also.

In this passage we see that justice is so important. That God will not let the guilty go unpunished. He will hear the cries of those who have been sinned against, and He will judge the guilty.

God’s Commandment to Us Regarding Homosexuality

We have already seen (in Genesis) how God treated the people who were inflicted with that sin. It became so bad that He had to destroy them all. Eventually God rose up a people who would follow Him and be His own. Through them he would show the world His will. It was through His servant Moses that He gave this commandment to all men: Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

The Progression of Sin Leading to And Beyond Homosexuality

In Romans 1:18-32, Paul shows us the progression of sin, and through it all how His wrath is revealed against the sinner. Note how the sin of unnatural affection, or homosexuality, comes about through man’s own choices. Here is the passage followed by the 7-point progression.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and 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.

28 And 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, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and, 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.

  1. They suppressed the truth by their wickedness. The truth about God was plain to them, but they chose not to believe it.
  2. Their foolish heart was darkened. They became blind to the truth.
  3. They became idol worshippers. They chose to worship other things instead of God.
  4. God gave them up to their sinful desires. They chose sexual impurity with one another.
  5. God gave them over to shameful and unnatural lusts and unnatural relations. Men had sexual relations with men and women with women.
  6. They received the due penalty in themselves for their perversion. We are not told what this is, but we may assume it is guilt, sorrow and disease.
  7. God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they would do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, etc. (from vv. 29-32).