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Leaving God Out

by Submitted by Sandra Naugle

Copied from the Highland Community Nov. 8th Church Bulletin

Romans 1:28-32

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a depraved mind, to do those things that are not proper, 29 people having been filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, and evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unfeeling, and 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 approve of those who practice them.

     There is hardly any passage which so clearly shows what happens to a man when he leaves God out of the reckoning. It is not so much God who sends a judgment on a man, as a man who brings a judgment on himself when he gives no place to God in his scheme of things. When a man banishes God from his life, he becomes a certain kind of man, and here in this passage is one of the most terrible descriptions in literature of the kind of man he becomes. Such men do the things which are not fitting for any man to do. The Stoics had a phrase. They talked of ta kathekonta, by which they meant the things it befits a man to do. There are certain things which are essentially, naturally, instinctively, inherently part of manhood, and there are certain things which are not. The man who banishes God not only loses godliness; he loses manhood too. –William Barclay

Without natural affections (astorgos)

     Storge was the special Greek word for family love. It was quite true that this was an age in which family love was dying. Never was the life of the child so precarious as at this time. Children were considered a misfortune. When a child was born, the child was taken and laid at the father’s feet. If the father lifted up the child that meant that he acknowledged it. If he turned away and left it the child was literally thrown out. There was never a night when there were not thirty or forty abandoned children left in the Roman forum. Every night in life children were literally thrown away. Even Seneca, great soul as he was, could write: “We kill a mad dog; we slaughter a fierce ox; we plunge the knife into sickly cattle lest they taint the herd; children who are born weakly and deformed we drown.” The natural bonds of human affection had been destroyed. –William Barclay

Condoning the sins of others

     Paul says one last thing about these people who have banished God from life. It usually happens that, even if a man is a sinner, he knows it, and even if he allows something in himself, he knows that it is to be condemned in others. But in those days men had reached such a level that they sinned themselves and approved of others who did so and encouraged them to do so. –William Barclay




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Philippians 4:13