What are the effects of sin? In Romans 1 the Apostle Paul gives us the answer to this question. There is a progression of sin and Paul says it starts when we:
Step 1: Romans 1:18 = Reject the truth. When we reject the truth of the Scripture we ultimately start down the road to destruction. When we reject the truth the next step is …..
Step 2: Romans 1:21 = Distorted thinking. Paul writes that their thinking “became futile” and in doing so their “hearts became darkened.” They claim to be wise; but they became fools. When there are no absolutes in the world and we take God out of the equation; our thought processes are faulty; our conclusions are inaccurate; and our bad decisions begin to bring judgment upon us. Distorted thinking leads to ….
Step 3: Romans 1:24-25 = Idolatry. Our distorted thinking makes us look into ourselves instead of looking up to God. When we make our thoughts; ideas; and opinions the law of life instead of the will of God we ultimately become self-centered and not God-centered. What does modern day idolatry look like? Where do you spend the majority of your time and money? Who/What does our society worship? Idolatry always leads to …..
Step 4: Romans 1:26-28 = Sexual immorality and moral perversion. Idolatry always leads to sexual immorality and moral perversion. Look around our world. Pornography is a multi-million dollar business. Recent studies show that the sale pornographic material is greater than the NBA; NFL and major league baseball combined. Internet pornography is climbing the charts as one of the leading causes of divorce in our country. Child sex trafficking is a growing business and Atlanta is the center of commerce. Rejecting the truth; distorted thinking; idolatry; and moral perversion lead to …….
Step 5: Romans 1:29-31 = Chaotic lives and society. In these verses of Scripture; Paul; tells us that sin brings us to a place of no restraint. We become a people and a society that is corrupt and without self-control. The next stage is …..
Step 6: Romans 1:32 = Complete Impenitence. When sin is full swing and at it’s worst; society; begins to approve of (even applaud) the sins of others. This is also the state of the person who has no conscience of God. They’ve turned from God (the truth) for so long they loose the ability to see truth.
This is a sobering picture of what happens when we deliberately turn from the truth and we expel God from our thinking.