(The following is the June 15 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read Romans 1 and pay close attention to verses 24-32.)
Evil and depravity are readily apparent in our world. All that is required for people to sin is to do what comes naturally as sinners. Anyone with a sinful human nature can make disgusting decisions in rebellion against God and his Word. Because of this sinful nature, we desperately need the transformation of heart, soul, and mind that only comes by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
Paul described this inherent depravity and its dire consequences. In response to people’s rejection of God, he “delivered them over in the desires of their hearts” (v. 24). For hearts that don’t know Christ, those desires are sinful. God didn’t force sin upon those Paul wrote about; he merely left them alone to wallow in the sinful lives they chose. “For this reason God delivered them over to disgraceful passions” (v. 26). People willingly indulged their lusts, ignoring God’s beautiful plan for marriage and sexuality. “God delivered them over to a corrupt mind” (v. 28) so that they did wrong rather than right.
Christians sometimes focus on particular sins in conversation and teaching. Sexual sins may frequently be on that list, but all sin is repugnant to our perfect heavenly Father. Therefore, Paul also lists other evidence of a depraved mind: unrighteousness, evil, greed, wickedness, envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, malice, gossip, slander, hating God, boastfulness, pride, arrogance, disobedience to parents, senselessness, lack of trustworthiness, and lack of love and kindness. Worse yet, depraved people not only do these things “but even applaud others who practice them” (v. 32). Does that sound familiar?
Nobody needs to teach us how to sin. We are natural experts. We must, therefore, become new creations in Christ so that he replaces our sinful nature with a new one that seeks to honor and please God.
In what ways was your sinful nature evident before coming to know Christ? Are there behaviors you exhibit or desires you still harbor that need the transformation only Christ can provide?