Sin's Slippery Slope of Ruin

Bill Brinkworth

Romans 1 details a terrible, downward spiral in which many find themselves today. Many find out too late that one sin leads to another, and that no one gets away with sin’s dreadful wages.

The seven fold decline described in the chapter starts when people do not recognize and honor God for His creation. All around them are the glorious things that only God could have made: the innumerable stars that are placed all over the vast universe, an Earth that has all the necessities of life, life itself, living creatures that do remarkable things, man and all he is capable of doing, and flowering and food-supplying plants. Yet, so many explain away His marvelous handiworks with their imaginative ideas, and theories of how they think those things came to be. They do not give God the credit for what he has done and certainly are not thankful for what He has done.
“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.” Romans 1:21

Because they have explained God’s wondrous works away with concocted myths, fables, and theories of evolution, an unrighteous person becomes unthankful for what God has done for him. Further deterioration results in the sinner’s being proud of things that really do not matter and  having a life that is fruitless and ineffectual.  A person can lose sight of the God that has created him and finds himself on his own with imaginative answers and solutions to situations he faces, and the trials life throws at him. In all this, his foolish heart is darkened and hardened to ever hearing and understanding the truths God has for him.  There, many a ruined lives find themselves without answers, without a hopeful future, and without the guidance and protection of an all-knowing, wise, and loving God. Yet, in the condition he finds himself, he often does not recognize his depraved, weak condition.

In many situations, since he is measuring himself with his own standards or comparing himself to others, he thinks he is so smart and successful. However, what he may think is wisdom in his own eyes is actually foolishness in God’s eyes. 
“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,” Rom. 1:22

However, man’s decline often does not stop there. Since he does not have God to worship, obey, and follow, he often creates his own gods to worship. Sometimes it may involve worshipping a man-made idol, as in idolatrous religions that some even call Christian. Others even find themselves worshipping the creation rather than the Creator. The earth is reverenced, as are animals, trees, etc.
“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.” Rom. 1:23

When man finds himself at this stage of depravity, he usually has justified there is no God or that He does not need to be heeded. The sins of that rebellious person increase.  One sin usually leads to others, and the rest of the chapter verifies this.  Verses 24 to 31 list at least 27 sins that can result from the original sin of not glorifying God and all He has done.

In the description of man’s sinful decline it is mentioned three times that God “gave them up” and “gave them over” to their sins.  The words in those phrases mean “surrendered”.  God saw that their mind was set on “doing their own thing”, not on acknowledging Him and certainly not obeying His commandments; so God took His guiding, protecting hands off them and let them face the consequences of their own sin.  They wanted their sinful lifestyle, so God “surrendered” them over to the wages of their own unrighteousness. How hopeless, vulnerable, and lonely it would be to have the great God give up on helping and protecting a person; yet this is a reality for many

This progression of unrighteousness described in this chapter explains why sin is rampant throughout the world today. Most, when they first come into this world, look around at all their eyes reveal to them and know what they see, hear, and feel can only be there by some creative Hand.  Soon the majority learn that there is a God, and He has made everything. 

As they get older, soon that feeling is explained away. God is forgotten and then the regression to a life devastated by sin results. God may have every reason to take his guiding, protecting hand off lives because of their sin, but He is still a loving and forgiving God.  There is always an opportunity to once again recognize the true, living God, ask His forgiveness and turn back to what was once believed.  There is a way back to having Him direct and help us through this life – no matter how far down sin’s spiral one has plummeted.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences."
— Robert Louis Stevenson

This article was featured in The Bible View #602.

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