"God Gave Them Up"
When man refuses to see the abundant proof of God's "eternal power and divinity" in the created world he "glorifies Him not as God, neither is thankful." (Rom. 1:19-21)
This asserts that the Creator has so demonstrated Himself in His product that, even without the inspired word, we should be able to see that the "First Cause" must have always existed (arguing it always will exist) and is therefore "eternal." And this leads us forcibly to the conclusion that this "First Cause" is of a nature different from that of His creatures; has a divine nature. All who so recognize God "look up" to Him with the honor so justly due Him, and reckon themselves subject to Him. Such a respect for the Creator has a sobering effect upon mankind. We "live, move, and have our being" in His presence; aware that "all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." (Heb. 4:13) Perhaps this is basis enough to conclude that except we walk circumspectly before Him, we "sin against Heaven" and must repent. (Acts 17:28f)
When man denies the presence of the eternal and divine God, (does not like to retain God in his knowledge) God (1) gives him up to uncleanness; (2) gives him up unto vile affections; (3) gives him over to a reprobate mind. (Read Rom. 1:21-24-26-28) This seems to be another way of saying God allows man to "stew in his own juice" or reap the consequences of his own folly. Man is incomplete without God. It is "not in man that walketh to direct his steps." (Jer. 10:23) On this basis alone we should see that "righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people." (Prov. 14:34) A nation that tries to substitute fear of punishment, respect for law, patriotism, or even Emperor- worship to upgrade the state and its citizens, will fail. There is no satisfactory substitute for faith in and respect for the God of us all.
Godless Evolution, and other materialistic concepts which enthrone human reason and seek to leave God out of the universe -- these must bear much of the blame for our a-moral and immoral society.
Religions which place their stress upon social welfare seem, on the surface, to be so "relevant;" so intent upon solving current problems. But to the extent they divert the attention and resources of the church from its chief function -- the promotion of spiritual values -- faith in the real, personal God to whom belongs our full and complete allegiance -- to this extent these religions join hands with all other soul and nation wreckers.
"God gave them up" "God gave them over" -- re-read those verses from the Roman letter. "Like a terrible refrain" says Lenski. "This is more than permission to fall into uncleanness, and it is less than causing the fall. God's action is judicial...Thus God uses sin to punish itself and the sinner."
When man does recognize and respect His Creator, even as he sees Him in the universe, he is ready to hear God's word, and obey Him.