Posts Tagged ‘heart-brain’


Total Health

is “the dynamic and harmonious interaction of spirit, soul and body in the absence of mental, emotional or physical sickness or disease”.

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it”. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

To be sanctified is to withdraw your spirit, soul and body from the unhealthy entanglements of our corrupt culture and experience true fellowship with the God of peace.

We are made of three distinct parts: spirit, soul and body. Total Health involves an understanding of how these interact with each other.

We are made in God’s image, and that means we are like God who “is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and truth”.

There are three different laws operating within us-law of the spirit, law of the mind (soul), and the law of sin in the body (Romans 7:22-8:1)

When these three laws are in conflict with one another, we will experience stress, disease and even premature death. When they are in harmony with one another, we will experience health, peace and life.

“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace”. Romans 8:6

“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul”. 3 John 1:2

The Goal of Total Health

Total Health is not perfect health. Perfect health is not possible for we are all in the process of dying physically.

Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16

Total Health is the ability to fulfill the purposes for which God created you. Before we were even born, God designed us to carry out great works.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Our identity and fulfillment in life is to carry out these great works. We do not want any sickness or disease to hinder us from carrying out our life purpose. We have a limited number of days in which to accomplish the great works for which God brought us into this world. Our focus should not be on having better health but on completing our life purpose.

We were designed before conception

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalms 139:13-14

God promised His people that if they would love Him and keep His commandments, He would bless them more than all the other peoples of the earth:

And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.’ Deuteronomy 6:24-25

You shall be blessed above all peoples. There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your livestock. And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict on you, but he will lay them on all who hate you. Deuteronomy 7:14-15

“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. Deuteronomy 28:1-6

Total Health: Being Made “Whole”

On the way to Jerusalem, he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests”. And as they went, they were cleansed (katharizo). Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:11-19

1. Cleansing the Blood

As they went, they were cleansed.

katharízō; from katharós , pure. To cleanse, free from filth[1]; “to cleanse, make clean”,[2]

In a physical sense, this would refer primarily to the circulatory system, because the “life of the flesh is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11)

In a spiritual sense, to purify from the pollution and guilt of sin (Acts 15:9; 2 Cor. 7:1; Eph. 5:26; Titus 2:14; Heb. 9:14; James 4:8; 1 John 1:7, 9;[3]

In a spiritual sense, ‘katharizo’ refers to the removal of the pollution and guilt of sin.

2. Healing the Flesh

One of the lepers looked at his flesh and saw that he was healed which is “iáomai”; to heal, cure, restore to bodily health.[4] The physical symptoms of the disease had disappeared.

When our blood is cleansed of its impurities, the flesh can be restored to health.

3. Achieving Wholeness

Simply removing the distressing condition of the disease is not total health. Total health involves a restored relationship with God and the accompanying signs of joy, freedom, and inward peace.

The leper who returned to give thanks was the only one that Jesus told, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well”. Well or whole is the word ‘sózō’.

Sózō; to save, deliver, make whole, preserve safe from danger, loss, destruction. Sózō occurs fifty-four times in the Gospels. Fourteen relate to deliverance from disease or demon possession. Twenty instances, the inference is to the rescue of physical life from some impending peril or instant death. The remaining twenty times, the reference is to spiritual salvation[5]

Three Aspects of Salvation

1. Salvation of the Spirit

Eternal Salvation of our spirit. This is the New Birth spoken of in John 3. This is what Paul described in Romans 10:

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (sózō). For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (sózō)”. Romans 10:9-13

2. Salvation of the Soul

The regeneration and salvation of our spirit is instantaneous. The salvation of our soul (mind, will and emotions) is a continual process. It is accomplished through the control of the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the washing of the Word of God. As we read and meditate on God’s Word, we build a Biblical belief system. This is what James was writing about:

Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save (sózō) your souls. James 1:21

The wholeness, soundness and health of our soul has a direct effect upon our physical health. This is the meaning of John’s greeting:

“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul”. 3 John 1:2

3. Salvation of the Body

The “wholeness” or “wellness” of our physical body is contingent upon obedience to God’s moral standards.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8

When a member of the Corinthian church committed gross immorality, Paul commanded

When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 5:4-5

Three Primary Factors that Contribute to Health

1. Genetic Tendencies

We all inherit tendencies toward certain diseases based on weaknesses in our genetic makeup. They do not have to become diseases if we follow God’s way of life.

The challenge of finding hereditary disease genes:

Our expectation is that the characterization of a disease- instigating gene will greatly assist our understanding of how and why it causes a malfunction in the body. It makes good sense to go to the root of the problem. But to learn a gene’s secret, first you must find it. And finding it is not so simple. It is much easier to locate the neighborhood in the genome where a gene resides than it is to determine its exact address.

Lilliput and Brobdingnag: Beyond Gulliver’s Travels. The magnitude of the challenge arises from the vast amount of DNA contained in the diploid human genome, which includes all of a person’s genetic material. If strung out, the DNA in a single human genome would stretch to about two meters, but the diameter of the strand would amount to only about two billionths of a meter, 20 angstroms, a span a hundred times smaller than a wavelength of light. If the DNA from a single cell from every human being on the planet — 6 billion people — were stitched end to end, the resulting string would girdle the earth about 300 times. If the genomes from every cell of the 6 billion people were laid out end to end, they would extend 700 billion, billion miles — enough to wrap around our galaxy more than 700 times.

To understand the enormous problem of finding a gene somewhere on an individual’s strand of DNA, imagine that a single human genome is long enough to circle the globe. On this scale, the amount of DNA in a chromosome would extend for a thousand miles. A gene would span just one twentieth of a mile, and a disease-causing defect — a point mutation, a change in only one DNA base pair — could run as short as one twentieth of an inch. What we are thus searching for is comparable to a fraction of an inch on the circumference of the globe! In this immense morass of DNA, finding the exact address of a gene and pinpointing its fault makes for extremely tough going, and it requires all of the creativity and ingenuity of everyone engaged in the quest.[6]

An example of genetic tendencies in one family:

We were looking for a large extended multigenerational family in which we could observe many instances of the Huntington’s disease gene or its normal counterpart being passed on — and we knew of just such a family. Members of the kindred live in Venezuela in three rural villages — San Luis, Barranquitas, and Laguneta — on the shores of Lake Maracaibo. Because it is situated in the northern region of Latin America and Lake Maracaibo is actually a huge ocean gulf, Venezuela has long communicated directly with Europe, and many European genes have appeared in the local population. Story has it that some sailor with Huntington’s disease came over to trade and left his legacy, but we do not know if this is apocryphal.

We have been able to trace the disease as far back as the early 1800s, to a woman appropriately named Maria ConcepciÛn. We know that Maria lived in the “pueblos de agua,” villages built on stilts in the water next to shores too marshy, jungly, and inhospitable to accommodate human life. Laguneta, where many of Maria’s descendants live, remains such a stilt village.

Maria was the founder of a kindred now numbering close to 11,000 people, living and deceased. In the pedigree, there are 371 persons with Huntington’s disease, 1,266 at 50 percent risk and 2,395 at 25 percent risk for the disease. Of the 11,000, 9,000 are living and the majority are under the age of forty. In these small and impoverished towns, we estimate that there are over 660 asymptomatic gene carriers who are too young to show symptoms, but as years pass — if no treatment is found — they will surely die. It is crushing to look at these exuberant children full of hope and expectation, despite poverty, despite illiteracy, despite dangerous and exhausting work for the boys fishing in small boats in the turbulent lake, or for even the tiny girls tending house and caring for ill parents, despite a brutalizing disease robbing them of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins — they are joyous and wild with life, until the disease attacks.[7]

2. Physical Constitution

We can inherit a strong physical constitution from our parents, yet through immoral or wild living pass along a weaker constitution to our children and grand children.

In the 1940’s Francis M. Pottenger (not Pottinger) M.D. began a ten year study using 900 cats to determine what effects processed foods have on the body, and to examine the genetic propensity of passing degenerative disease traits from generation to generation. The cats were divided into five groups with two of the groups fed raw whole foods and the other three groups cooked enzyme less foods. The cats were observed over a four generation period and the following results were documented by Doctor Pottenger:[8]

POTTENGER CAT EXPERIMENT SUMMARY

GROUP A B C D E
FOOD FED Raw meat Raw milk Pasteurized milk Evaporated milk Condensed milk
1st Generation Remained healthy Remained healthy Developed diseases and illnesses near end of life
2nd Generation Remained healthy Remained healthy Developed diseases and illnesses in middle of life
3rd Generation Remained healthy Remained healthy Developed diseases and illnesses in beginning of life; many died before six months of age;
4th Generation Remained healthy Remained healthy No fourth generation was produced: either third generation parents were sterile, or fourth generation cats were aborted before birth

Source: Pottenger’s Cats, a Study in Nutrition

3. Various Stresses

Whether our genetic tendencies and weak constitution will result in diseases will be determined primarily by stresses in our lives (because of what we say, think and do).

There can be many causes of stress, such as time constraints, having too much to do, and having too many bills and not enough funds.

However, the greatest stresses come from inward attitudes such as anger, guilt, lust, bitterness, greed, fear and envy. These destroy the immune system.

Is Total Health Healing?

Total healing is not possible on earth, because the sentence of death and the curse of sin have been placed on the physical body of every person.

Total Health refers to fulfilling the number of years for which God designed us to serve Him and the quality of life we need to carry out the work He has created us to accomplish.

There are three types of illnesses given in Scripture. When you develop an illness, discern which of these types you are experiencing. Then, carry out the appropriate Biblical responses.

1. Sickness unto Death

As a believer in the Lord, you are indestructible until your work on earth is done. As one preacher said: “you are bulletproof!” Once you finish your work, there is no point in staying around here. It is far more glorious to be in the presence of the Lord!

If a believer has what the doctors describe as a terminal illness, but he believes that his work is not yet done, he can appeal to God for healing-not just to extend his life but to accomplish the work that God has called him to do.

This was the basis for David’s prayer in his old age:

O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come. Psalms 71:17-18

In order to have this outlook on life and death, we must be good stewards of the time God has entrusted to us. We should be continually looking for better ways to redeem every hour by keeping it from going to waste and choosing the most profitable activities to advance God’s Kingdom.

If you were told today that you have a terminal disease, what reason would you give God for keeping you alive?

2. Sickness unto Chastisement

There are physical, emotional and spiritual consequences for violating God’s Laws. The most severe come to those who chose to violate His laws dealing with morality. If we cater to our fleshly wants, we shall reap the corruption of the flesh as Galatians 6:7 states.

The Bible also mentions specific consequences to those who dishonor their parents (Prov 30:17), violate God’s dietary restrictions (I Peter 1:15-16, Leviticus 11:44ff)

There are cause and effect health consequences when we violate God’s commands. In His mercy, God has established the communion table a place for thorough self-examination. Carry it out with the utmost care.

Careless Communion results in what Paul described:

“For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 1 Corinthians 11:29-30

If you are sick, ask yourself, is this God’s way of chastening me for not following His way of life? Consider the state of your soul as well:

  • Am I withholding forgiveness from someone who has hurt me deeply?
  • Am I resentful or regretful over something in my past, either because of someone else or my own actions?
  • Is there anything in my past for which I cannot bring myself to thank God for?
  • Are there any private sins that I cherish without confessing and repenting before Holy God?
  • Is there anything in my past that I have not found forgiveness for, and when reminded, I immediately jump on the Ferris wheel of regret?
  • Am I quick to get frustrated and even angry when certain situations arise?
  • Are there areas of my life I refuse to submit to God’s control?

3. Sickness unto the Glory of God.

God uses infirmities, sickness and disease to bring glory to Himself.

a) He Provides Supernatural Healing

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9:1-3

This infirmity was designed years before Christ healed him. Therefore, we must never attribute sickness, disease or impairment as sin on his part or his parents fault.

b) God’s Glory is Manifested in our Weakness.

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

God often gives us physical and even mental weaknesses to prevent us from depending on our own strength or ability rather than the supernatural working of His power.

The Five Factors Which Determine our Total Health

Sickness and disease can be associated with one or more of the following five factors. When proper care is given regarding these factors, you have the optimal potential to avoid or clear up the related diseases. The first three are the most important, according to Scripture.

1. What We Think

Intellectual thoughts travel through the limbic system of the brain, directly effecting many bodily functions. Research has proven a connection between the limbic system and emotional memory, which includes positive thoughts such as love, joy and peace; and negative thoughts such as anger, guilt, lust, bitterness, greed, fear and envy.

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” Matthew 15:18-20

There are two parts of the nervous system that are especially significant: The limbic system and the autonomic nervous system. The Limbic System The limbic system is a complex set of structures that lies on both sides and underneath the thalamus, just under the cerebrum. It includes the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, the amygdala, and several other nearby areas. It appears to be primarily responsible for our emotional life, and has a lot to do with the formation of memories.[9]

All emotional memories are stored and can be consciously or subconsciously stimulated by the senses. The brain, the heart and the intestinal tract release neuro-transmitters that result in physiological changes. The thoughts of the heart prompt the greatest changes in the body, as it is stated in Scripture:

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. Proverbs 23:7

Neurotransmitters Receptors

Neurotransmitters exert their effect by binding to specific receptors on the neuronal postsynaptic membrane. A neurotransmitter can either ‘excite’ its neighbouring neuron so increasing its activity, or ‘inhibit’ its neighbouring neuron, suppressing its activity. In general, the activity of a neuron depends on the balance between the number of excitatory and inhibitory processes affecting it, and these can occur simultaneously. Most neurotransmitter receptors can be divided into two types – ligand-gated receptors and G-protein linked receptors.

Stimulation of a ligand-gated receptor  enables a channel in the receptor to open and permits the influx of chloride and potassium ions into the cell. The positive or negative charges that enter the cell either excite or inhibit the neuron. Ligands for these receptors include excitatory neurotransmitters, such as glutamate and, to a lesser extent, aspartate. Binding of these ligands to the receptor produces an excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP). Alternatively, binding of inhibitory neurotransmitter ligands, such as GABA and glycine, produces an inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP). These ligand-gated receptors are also known as ionotropic or fast receptors.

G-protein linked receptors are indirectly linked to ion channels, via a second messenger system involving G-proteins and adenylate cyclase. These receptors are neither precisely excitatory nor inhibitory and modulate the actions of the classic excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters such as glutamate and glycine. These receptors tend to have an inhibitory effect if they are linked to the Gi protein in the cell membrane, and a more excitatory effect if linked to the Gs protein. G-protein linked receptors are known as metabotropic or slow receptors and examples include GABA-B, glutamate, dopamine (D1 and D2), 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT1D, 5-HT2A,5-HT2C receptors.

Serotoning receptors

Type Distribution Postulated Roles
5-HT1 Brain, instetinal nerves Neuronal inhibition, behavioural effects, cerebral vasoconstriction
5-HT2 Brain, heart, lungs, smooth muscle control, GI system, blood vessels, platelets Neuronal excitation, vasoconstriction, behavioural effects,depression, anxiety
5-HT3 Limbic system, ANS Nausea, anxiety
5-HT4 CNS, smooth muscle Neuronal excitation, GI
5-HT5, 6, 7 Brain Not known

Noradrenaline receptors

Type Distribution Postulated Roles
Alpha1 Brain, heart, smooth muscle Vasoconstriction, smooth muscle control
Alpha2 Brain, pancreas, smooth muscle Vasoconstriction, presynaptic effect in GI (relaxant)
Beta1 Heart, brain Heart rate (increase)
Beta2 Lungs, brain, skeletal muscle Bronchial relaxation, vasodilatation
Beta3 Postsynaptic effector cells Stimulation of effector cells

Dopamine receptors

Type Distribution Postulated Roles
D1, 5-like Brain, smooth muscle Stimulatory, role in schizophrenia?
D2, 3, 4-like Brain, cardiovascular system, presynaptic nerve terminals Inhibitory, role in schizphrenia?

Acetylcholine receptors

Type Distribution Postulated Roles
M1 Nerves CNS excitation, gastric acid secretion
M2 Heart, nerves, smooth muscle Cardiac inhibition, neural inhibition
M3 Glands, smooth muscle, endothelium Smooth, muscle contraction, vasodilation
M4 ?CNS? Not known
M5 ?CNS? Not known
NM Skeletal muscles neuromuscular junction Neuromuscular transmission
NN Postganglionic cell body dendrites Ganglionic transmission[10]

[11]

The heart and brain

However, following several years of  research, it was observed that, the heart communicates with the brain in ways that significantly affect how we perceive and react to the world. It was found that, the heart seemed to have its own peculiar logic that frequently diverged from the direction of the autonomic nervous system. The heart appeared to be sending meaningful messages to the brain that it not  only understood, but also obeyed (Lacey and Lacey, 1978).

Later, neurophysiologists discovered a neural pathway and mechanism whereby input from the heart to the brain could inhibit or facilitate the brain’s electrical activity (McCraty, 2002)

The brain in the heart:

After extensive research, Armour (1994) introduced the concept of functional ‘heart brain’. His work revealed that the heart has a complex intrinsic nervous system that is sufficiently sophisticated to qualify as a ‘little brain’ in its own right. The heart’s brain is an intricate network of several types of neurons, neurotransmitters, proteins and support cells similar to those found in the brain proper. Its elaborate circuitry enables it to act independently of the cranial brain – to learn, remember, and even feel  and sense. The heart’s nervous system contains around 40,000 neurons, called sensory neurites (Armour, 1991).

Information from the heart – including feeling sensations – is sent to the brain through several afferents. These afferent nerve pathways enter the brain at the area of the medulla, and cascade up into the higher centres of the brain, where they may influence perception, decision making and other cognitive processes (Armour, 2004).

Thus, it was revealed that the heart has its own intrinsic nervous system that operates and processes information  independently of the brain or nervous system. This is what allows a heart transplant to work. Normally, the heart communicates with the brain via nerve fibres running through the vagus nerve and the spinal column. In a heart transplant, these nerve connections do not reconnect for an extended period of time; in the meantime, the transplanted heart is able to function in its new host only through the capacity of its intact, intrinsic nervous system (Murphy, et al, 2000)

The heart’s magnetic field:

Research has also revealed that the heart communicates information to the brain and throughout the body via electromagnetic field interactions. The heart generates the body’s  most powerful and most extensive rhythmic electromagnetic field. The heart’s magnetic component is about 500 times stronger than the brain’s magnetic field and can be detected several feet away from the body. It was proposed that, this  heart field acts as a carrier wave for information that provides a global synchronizing signal for the entire body (McCraty, Bradley & Tomasino, 2004)

Heart field interactions between individuals

There is now evidence that a subtle yet influential electromagnetic or ‘energetic’ communication system operates just below our conscious awareness. Energetic interactions possibly contribute to the ‘magnetic’ attractions or repulsions that occur between individuals, and also affect social relationships. It was also found that one person’s brain waves can synchronize to another person’s heart (McCraty, 2004).

Communication via hormones: the heart as a hormonal gland

Another component of the heart-brain communication system was provided by researchers studying  the hormonal system. The heart was reclassified as an endocrine gland when, in 1983, a hormone produced and released by the heart called atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) was isolated. This hormone exerts its effect on the blood vessels, on the kidneys, the adrenal glands, and on a large number of regulatory regions in the brain. It was also found that the heart contains a cell type known as ‘intrinsic cardiac adrenergic’’ (ICA) cells. Theses cells release noradrenaline and dopamine neurotransmitters,  once thought to be produced only by neurons in the CNS. More recently, it was discovered that the heart also secretes  oxytocin, commonly referred to as the ‘love’ or bonding hormone. In addition to its functions in childbirth and lactation, recent evidence indicates that this hormone is also involved in cognition, tolerance, adaptation, complex sexual and maternal behaviours, learning social cues and the establishment of enduring pair bonds. Concentrations of oxytocin in the heart were found to be as high as those found in the brain (Cantin & Genest, 1986).[12]

2. What We Say

God states, “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue”[13]. Positive words produce energy for health and peace, whereas negative words result in confusion and disease.

Positive words can be expressed in praise, verbal blessings, audible prayers and cries to God. The Words of God are alive and powerful:

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

We are also instructed:

My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:20-23

Negative words are expressed by such things as curses, ridicule, mocking, gossip and false accusations. God compares such words to poison, fire , venom and arrows because of the effect they have on the physical body.

A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow. Proverbs 25:18

So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:5-8

who whet their tongues like swords, who aim bitter words like arrows, Psalms 64:3

“Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” Romans 3:13

Negative words must be neutralized with verbal blessings, or they will do greater damage to our health. We are told by Christ and Paul:

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you”. Luke 6:27-28

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them”. Romans 12:14

3. What We Do

God designed man to function in intricate cause and effect sequences. He prescribed a way of life that is consistent with His holy standards. If these standards are violated by our lifestyle or behavior, we will experience corresponding consequences in our health and length of life.

Many times a lifestyle of promiscuity destroys the immune system and introduces destructive viruses to the body with the result of fatal diseases.

4. What We Eat

Our body needs proper nutrition. Note: your ability to digest food and assimilate its nutritional value is determined by what you think, say and do.

5. What We Inherit

Each of us inherits a genetic predisposition to death through Adam’s transgression. We each have genetic tendencies toward certain diseases. We also have in our body opportunistic agents that are ready to spring into action just as soon as our immune systems are too weak to stop them. These disease factors include Bacteria, Viruses, Parasites and Fungi.

When the stresses of anger, guilt, lust, bitterness, greed, fear and envy are resolved by obeying the commands of Christ, the sickness or disease they caused often clears up.

Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:8


[1] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 793.

[2] William E. Vine, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1940), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Purge”. See Hebrews 9:14 & 9:22

[3] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1993), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 793.

[4] Ibid, under “iáomai”.

[5] Ibid, p. 1353.

[6] Nancy S. Wexler, Clairvoyance and Caution: Repercussions from the Human Genome Project. The Code of Codes: Scientific and Social Issues in the Human Genome Project. D.J. Kevles and L. Hood (Eds) Harvard University Press, 1992, 211-243 at http://www.hdfoundation.org/html/clair.php

[7] Ibid.

[9] Boeree, C. George, Ph.D. “General Psychology”. Epublication, 4/21/2008 found at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/6004602/general-psychology-etext

[13] Proverbs 18:21a

For more information get “How to Resolve 7 Deadly Stresses” published by the Institute in Basic Life Principles, Inc, 2008. www.iblp.org

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Visit with seasoned saints and it doesn’t take long for someone to ask the question “what is wrong with this world?” Especially when the conversation turns to gay marriage, immorality of politicians or athletes or movie stars or teenagers or anyone for that matter. God has given us the answer to “what is wrong with this world?”. It is found in Romans 1:18-32. Basically the world is thinking upside down, and our attitude toward God is the determining factor! God has let us peek into the way He works when we react to Him the way we do. The bottom line is that our spiritual, emotional and mental health depend upon a right relationship to Him. Anything less will result in thinking and living that is “upside down” as far as God is concerned.

FOUNDATION of WORTHWHILE LIVING

“Listen, Israel: Yahweh is our God; Yahweh is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Deuteronomy 6:4-6 (HCSB)

Both God and the Jews consider this foundational truth for living a a life that is worthwhile.  Jehovah God must be honored with all or our life, beginning with His place in our heart. Romans 1:18-23 paints the big picture of what happens when we do not properly honor God, fail to see Him at work in our lives (thank Him) and exalt ourselves over Him (vain thinking).  Their foolish hearts become darkened and they become fools-‘moraino’-worthless and good for nothing to God!

The God we worship depends upon our heart, and what we hold dear in our heart. From our heart proceeds reverence or dishonor. That feeds our emotional soul and results in a thankful attitude. An irreverent heart results in resentment and bitterness in our emotional being. Our emotional soul feds our mind and either empowers us to set our minds upon God or upon ourselves. If we set our minds on ourselves we will worship a god of our own making.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isa 26:3

But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Matthew 16:23

Furthermore, if we chose to worship God in only one or even two of these areas of our life, wrong worship will be the result:

  1. If we honor God in our heart alone and neglect our emotions and thinking, we will love ANY god.
  2. If we honor God with our emotions yet withhold our heart and our mind, we will be emotional about EVERY god.
  3. If we set our mind on God without giving Him our heart and our emotions, we will make our OWN god.

PARADIDOMAI AND EVIL SHADOWS

Because men would not glorify God, would not make God part of their life by remembering to thank Him, and then ignored Him by becoming vain in their thinking, Creator God “gives them up” to the consequences of their unbelief – the control of sin.

“Gave up” is paradidōmi: “to give into the hands of another, to give over into one’s power or use.” Since men chose to give up God and worship the creature, God issues not only a permissive sentence, but a judicial one, whereby men discover that failure to worship God and seek after him leads to enslavement to the most hideous things, things which they thought were worth worshipping.

Remember the Movie “GHOST”?

“Paradidomi” pictures a man being delivered to prison to be subject to the power and authority of a wicked warden. If you are a fan of “Ghost” picture the scene toward the end where the evil “shadow spirits” come and take Carl Bruner (the villain) away to eternal torment. We are all applauding to know such a horrible man finally gets what he deserves.

Wuest points out that this “giving up” was first begun by man. “These people had already willfully deserted God who merely left them to their own self-determination and self-destruction, part of the price of man’s moral freedom.”

The sad truth is that any man who rejects God as God, and fails to worship His Glory, is subject to the same fate. Not just “murderers” like the character Carl Bruner. God says that any man who fails to honor and worship Him in their heart is a worthless “MORON!” Actually the word is ‘moraino’, but the same meaning is implied. Most translations use the word “FOOL.”

I COULD USE THE WORD “FOOL”, BUT I LIKE USING MORON.

God wants us to have a vivid picture of what happens when we neglect Him or deliberately fail to Worship Him. He gives us Three Pictures of the Downward Descent of Mankind when they forget God and go their own way. The evil shadow spirits are allowed to dominate and control MORONS.

Three times Romans 1 records that God “paradidomi” man. Three times God gives man up to the control of sin. Each time the consequences are frightening. The shocking image of the “evil shadows”  of “Ghost” are nothing compared to the images we will paint this morning.

Perhaps it is unfair of me to call your sister or your brother a moron. There is nothing personal about this at all, it is simply using a graphic “English” word for “moraino”, which is what people become when they “exchange the glory of the incorruptible God for … anything else. (Rom 1:22-23)

What Does God Deliver Morons to Be Tormented By?

GOD DELIVERS MORONS UP THREE TIMES TO THREE EVIL SHADOWS

But we are without excuse. These “evil shadows” are not outside of man, blending in with all the shadows of dark and light. These ‘evil shadows’ lurk within the wicked heart of every man. We can never say “the devil made me do it!”, for we make decisions that allow these ‘evil shadows’ to take our heart, and then all sorts of wickedness begins.

The First Place These Shadows Rule Will Always Be Your Heart!

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5 (ESV)

Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes. Psalms 36:1 (ESV)

But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; they have turned aside and gone away. They do not say in their hearts, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives the rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest.’ Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have kept good from you. Jeremiah 5:23-25 (ESV)

“But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” Matthew 15:18-20 (ESV)

“the land of gloom (is) like thick darkness, like deep shadow without any order, where (even) light is as thick darkness.” Job 10:22 (ESV)

These Evil Shadows lurk DEEP inside the heart of man, and when unrestrained and allowed to control us, procede to corrupt our emotional health and then our mental health.

God’s ways are above ours, and usually just opposite of what we would think. We think that as mankind becomes more enlightened, more educated, the more civilized we will become. We believe it is the enlightened mind that guides society. Therefore we place great emphasis on education and training our minds. We believe if you think right you will act right.

GOD ALWAYS STARTS IN OUR HEART

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. Psalms 14:1-2 (ESV) and also Psalms 53

But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” 1 Samuel 13:14

Our heart has a brain of its own, one that is not educated by thought but is educated by what we say, see, touch and do. The heart influences our thoughts, our actions, our health, and our influence upon others. God knows that faith begins in your heart. If you believe in your heart…Romans doesn’t address the mind until chapter 12. God deals with the sin that is our heart nature. God desires to be worshipped in spirit and in truth. The world will tell you that God doesn’t make sense to a rational thinking man, but your heart will tell you otherwise. You mind will tell you that what happens in your life is all happenstance, that God doesn’t care or have control, so it is fruitless to give Him thanks. But your heart rejoices in Him anyway and gives Him thanks. Your mind can’t make sense of pain and tragedy, but all of a sudden your heart will burst forth with joy in the midst of sorrow. God tells us in Prov 23:26, my son, give me your heart! When we refuse to be converted to His way and His truth, our heart is easily taken over by our sin nature, by the lusts that lurk in every corner of our heart, in every corner of the world.

A heart that believes and trusts in God and His Word can escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.

For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 2 Peter 1:4 (NASB)

THE FIRST GIVING OVER RESULTS IN:

I. Uncleanness, Impurity, and Filthiness

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. Romans 1:24-25 (ESV)

  • Neither English word conveys what first century people would think when they heard the Greek word akatharsia.

akatharsia from a = without + kathairo = cleanse) literally describes any substance that is filthy or dirty and could refer to the pus around an open, infected wound or even a decaying corpse.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness (akatharsia). (Mt 23:27)

Akatharsia describes a filthiness of heart that makes the person defiled.

Other Verses:

  • Romans 6:19 “I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh, for as you presented your members as servants to uncleanness and to wickedness upon wickedness, even so now present your members as servants to righteousness for sanctification.”
  • 2 Corinthians 12:21 “that again when I come my God would humble me before you, and I would mourn for many of those who have sinned before now, and not repented of the uncleanness and sexual immorality and lustfulness which they committed.”
  • Galatians 5:19 “Now the works of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness”
  • Ephesians 5:3 “But sexual immorality, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be mentioned among you, as becomes saints;”
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:7 “For God called us not for uncleanness, but in sanctification.”

Given these, we can draw some conclusions about what this word might have “meant” to a first century Greek-speaking audience. Most everyone views decomposing bodies as disgusting and unclean, but for a Jew, this type of uncleanness would have had an additional ceremonial dimension. To a Jew you would not even be fit to approach the Temple. You would be ceremonially unclean and physically a leper, unfit to worship.

When we say “impure” and “unclean” English people get a picture of Ivory Soap or a dirty bathroom.

Let me suggest two possible alternatives:

Corruption- The most common meaning of corruption centers around political dishonesty. We complain about “corrupt” officials. However, it can also be used to describe physical decay. Consider these definitions from the Random House Unabridged Dictionary: “moral perversion; depravity”, “perversion of integrity” and “putrefactive decay; rottenness”.

Defilement-This word is rarely used in English, and carries with it an explicit religious connotation. “To defile” is the exact opposite of “to consecrate”. Random House gives these definitions for defile: “to make foul, dirty, or unclean; pollute; taint; debase” and “to make impure for ceremonial use; desecrate”. So “defilement” is essentially “impurity”, but a special kind of impurity; one that is religious or sacramental. If I had to pick an exact opposite for the word “sanctification” in English it would be “defilement”.

GOD’S GIVING OVER MANKIND TO LUST IS DONE IN TWO WAYS.

IndirectlyGod gives them over simply by withdrawing His restraining and protective hand, allowing the consequences of sin to take their inevitable, destructive course. Sin degrades man, debases the image of God in which he is made, and strips him of dignity, peace of mind, and a clear conscience. Sin destroys personal relationships, marriages, families, cities, and nations, and churches…

Directly-God gives over rebellious mankind by specific acts of judgment. The Bible is has many accounts of God’s wrath being directly and supernaturally poured out on sinful men. The flood of Noah’s day destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Ge 18:20, 19:24,25, 26), for example, were not indirect natural consequences of sin but were overt supernatural expressions of God’s judgment on gross and unrepented sin. God often allows men to go deeper and deeper into sin in order to drive them to despair and to show them their need of Him. (MacArthur, J: Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Press)

What Results When Evil Shadows Take Control of our Heart?

  • Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, Romans 1:24
  • because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. Romans 1:25

Uncleanness and depravity is the result of the lust within their own hearts, and results in dishonoring our bodies, abusing our bodies, abusing others. When we fail to honor the Truth of God, and instead worship what we chose, or what we think is right, corruption and depravity will be the natural result.

  • “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9 (NKJV)

The First Giving over to results in hearts being wicked to the point of accepting and tolerating immoral behavior.

The first mark of wickedness in a godless society is widespread sexual immorality — the degrading, or the dishonoring, of the body. Note that the sentence begins with the word therefore. This immorality is a result of the idolatry into which men fall. Idolatry is common in our day. We do not worship idols and images so much anymore, but concepts and ideas are idolized and deified as much as any of the idols of the ancient world.

  • Idolatry usually results in sexual immorality.

Pastor Ray Pritchard has an interesting insight:

“Why is illicit sex singled out as the first major step away from God? The answer is not hard to find. Sex is closely related to the human spirit. The way you conduct yourself sexually is a good barometer of what’s going on in your heart. After all, what is sex but the desire to be worshiped by another person? Sound strange? It shouldn’t. When two people come together, they are seeking much more than physical release. At a very deep level, they are looking for love, acceptance, fulfillment, freedom and meaning in life. By giving themselves to someone else, they hope (and secretly pray) that through this self-giving, they will discover a way to fill the void within. They “worship” through sex hoping someone will “worship” them back. Sex and worship are thus closely related in their ultimate purpose. It is as if God is pulling back the covers in order to show us how empty our hearts are without him. By turning to illicit sex, instead of fulfilling our dreams we only expose the emptiness within. It never works out like we hope it will. Immorality never satisfies…

Many people think this account describes all the evil things men do and then says that God, in effect, gives up on the people who do them. They think God washes his hands of them because they are so filthy and dirty. That certainly is not what this account says. But because men run after other gods and refuse the testimony of their own hearts and the world of nature around them, because they run after other gods and do not glorify or thank the true God, God removes his restraints from society so that what is done in secret is allowed to break out into openness and acceptability. That is the mark of the wrath of God at work.

The first sign of wickedness in a civilization is that sexual immorality becomes widely tolerated and even accepted.

THE SECOND GIVING OVER RESULTS IN:

II.   Vile Affections, Degrading Passions and Shameful Desires

“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions.” For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. Romans 1:26-27

  • The Greek words for degrading passions are atimia pathos.

Atimia: means to lower down from a place of honor. A picture is painted of something which is literally not honorable, not worthy of respect, reverence or esteem. It emphasizes the loss of honor that was once enjoyed = cf man originally created in God’s image), disgrace (to be a source of shame to & often implies humiliation and sometimes ostracism), ignominy (deep personal humiliation and disgrace, disgraceful or dishonorable conduct, quality, or action. This noun stresses humiliation).

Pathos: Pathos means passion and comes from the word pascho which means to suffer; to experience a sensation or impression (usually of a painful nature). A passion is a drive or force that does not rest until satisfied. These are internal desires (emanating from our fallen sin nature) cause the victim to suffer and that have to be satisfied or they drive you crazy. A passion describes intense emotion compelling action; intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction; ardent affection; sexual desire or an emotion that is deeply stirring or ungovernable. The word “desires” (when used as noun as in the present context) means to have a longing for and stresses the strength of feeling and often implies strong intention or aim; conscious impulse toward something that promises enjoyment or satisfaction in its attainment.

We all have desires and passions. They are influenced by our heart, not by our mind, for they emanate from our heart. When our heart is corrupted, these desires can run wild, and corrupted passions result in degradation, falling from a place of honor as God’s Creation, into something corrupt and dishonorable. The natural end of those corrupted passions running wild is the ultimate dishonor upon God’s design for our bodies-to procreate, to love a wife or husband in covenant marriage, to raise up Godly generations after us.

GOD’S DESIGN IS CORRUPTED

“As distinguished from epithumia (lusts) in verse 24, pathē (passions), is the narrower and intense word. epithumia is the larger word, including the whole world of active lusts and desires, while the meaning of pathos is passive, being the diseased condition out of which the lusts spring.

  • epithumia are evil longings; pathē, ungovernable affections.

Thus it appears that the divine punishment was the more severe, in that they were given over to a condition, and not merely to an evil desire.”Wuest’s.

  • When hearts become corrupt, immorality results from unrestrained lust.
  • When passions become degraded, perversion results because we become diseased.

MEN WHO “ABANDON” OR “LEAVE”

Abandoned  (aphiemi from apo = separation, dissociation + hiemi = send) conveys the basic idea of an action which causes separation and thus means to send away or to let go from oneself. Aphiemi was used for example of the action of dismissing a wife. The idea is to let go from one’s possession!

The verb abandoned is aorist tense (action at a moment in time, speaks of effective action) and active voice (subject makes a choice of their will to carry out this action). Thus these men made a deliberate, conscious choice of their will to abandon the natural for the unnatural.

Pastor Ray Pritchard once more:

More than anything else, homosexuality is a willful choice. No one can say, “I was born that way.” No one is born homosexual. No one. Anyone who argues otherwise is either ignorant of the Bible or has deliberately perverted its teaching. You can talk all you want about genetics, the size of the hypothalamus, about absent fathers, over-protective mothers, about early sexual confusion, and even about sexual abuse. Some of those things may indeed create a predisposition to this particular sin.

But the fact remains: Every act of homosexuality—whether in word or deed or in lustful thought—every single act is a personal moral choice. Temptation is not the issue because temptation in and of itself is not a sin (cp James 1:14-note).

But giving in to temptation—whether mentally, verbally or in actual deed—is a sin (James 1:15-note). That’s a moral choice for which God will hold you 100% accountable. You can’t blame your choices on your hypothalamus! You can’t even blame your father for his failure to be there when you needed him…As a society moves away from God, one mark of its drift into judgment is widespread homosexuality. The tragic fact is that this is exactly where America is today. (Romans 1:24-32 When God Gives Up)

The Second Giving Over results in Emotions and Passions becoming Vile, Degraded and Out of Control.

The heart is corrupted and no longer guides the emotions into that which is right. SO emotional health becomes vile, even depraved, and wrong, even abominable passions result. Emotional Disease Results. Our emotional psyche becomes conditioned to depravity. Christans, God doesn’t want us to know about or even talk about these vile passions. We are to be simple, and experts in that which is good! We are to “Walk in the Light!”

  • “I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.” Rom 16:19
  • Walk as children of light…Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. Eph 5:8-12

THE THIRD GIVING OVER RESULTS IN:

III.   Reprobate, Debased, Depraved Mind

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. Romans 1:28-32 (ESV)

The result of the refusal in Romans 1:18-32 was the “reprobate mind.” Paul uses the phrase: “adokimos nous”.

Adokimos: Debased, depraved, REPROBATE (adokimos) refers to that which is rejected after examination. The basic meaning of adokimos is that not standing the test or failing to meet the test and hence worthless, base or unqualified.

  • a counterfeit coin that fell below the standard weight,
  • a cowardly soldier who failed the test in the hour of battle,
  • a candidate for office who the citizens regarded as useless
  • a sword or knife, that once the blacksmith had completed, would place it on his anvil and hit it with his hammer to test whether it was tempered correctly.
  • a stone rejected by builders because of a flaw which made it unfit for construction,
  • the rejected stone being clearly marked by a capital “A”.

Look at the end result: “they refused to have God in their knowledge (ouk edokimasan),” and “God gave them up to a reprobate (= unacknowledged, adokimos) mind.” So God let them have a mind that is void of any divine characteristics.

  • Paul is saying that the mind that finds God worthless becomes worthless itself.
  • The rejecting mind becomes a rejected mind and thereby becomes spiritually depraved, worthless and useless!

The Reprobate Mind has a giant “A” stamped on their head and heart.

They are tried and rejected by the Master Architect and of no eternal value to Him in building His kingdom. This should break our hearts that these men and women in Romans 1:28 are so depraved.

  • 1 Corinthians 9:27 but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.
  • 2 Corinthians 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you– unless indeed you fail the test? 6 But I trust that you will realize that we ourselves do not fail the test. 7 Now we pray to God that you do no wrong; not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, even though we should appear unapproved.
  • 2 Timothy 3:8 And just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose (literally set themselves against) the truth, men of depraved (destroyed, ruined, corrupted = kataphtheiro) mind, rejected (adokimos) as regards the faith.
  • Titus 1:16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient, and worthless (adokimos – unfit, of proven inability to do good) for any good deed.

The Third sign is that Society has lost their spiritual mind and doesn’t even realize it.

More Dangerous Than Sin Itself:

These men had ”tested” God and did not want to believe in Him. The ultimate test of life is usefulness, and the man whose influence is ever towards that which is unclean is of no use to God or to his fellow-men. Instead of helping God’s work in the world, he hinders it and uselessness always invites disaster. It speaks of a mind that is so clouded by sin that it is no longer able to make reliable moral judgments. Here we have gone beyond deliberate iniquity to something much more frightening. At this stage man has lost the ability to think right. He has “lost his mind” (morally or spiritually speaking) and doesn’t even know it.

So the idea in Romans 1:28 is of a mind that isn’t quite right, that has some flaw in it that affects its ability to make right judgments. It speaks of a mind that is so clouded by sin that it is no longer able to make reliable moral judgments. The result is a world that has left God far behind. It is a society with all restraints removed, a culture devoid of all sense of right and wrong, where every man is doing what is “right in his own eyes.”

“God gave them up,” “handed them over”—to punishing angels? No, to themselves and the life they have chosen. A life of falsehood, alienated from the true God and the true world he has created, is punishment enough.

13 STEPS TO HAVING A REPROBATE MIND

13. Argumentation – reprobate mind given to perversion – judgment certain
12. Justify immorality – cannot think clearly
11. Re-examine Scripture – doubt
10. Frustration over drives – confusion
9. Religious compensation – rationalize
8. Incomplete repentance – feeling sorry is not enough; root sin of self on the throne
7. Response to guilt – suppress the truth
6. Awakening of guilt – conviction
5. Violation of conscience – law in the heart
4. Questioning Scripture – dangerous; Eve’s root sin
3. Sensual focus – eye toward lust
2. Awakening of conscience – reasoning with the mind – dangerous
1. Natural curiosity – nothing wrong with this – God gave to Adam and Eve

(From IBLP-Bill Gothard)

MAN’S THINKING IS TURNED UPSIDE DOWN

  • People who are turned upside down in their thinking refuse to acknowledge God as God and furthermore, refuse to thank Him for being God and loving them the way He does.
  • They became Morons (foolish, and showing no thought) in their argumentations, and plunged their silly minds still further into the dark.
  • They argue stupidly and vainly against God and His Word. Their silly minds become darker and sillier.
  • These reprobates believe they are wise, because their thinking is “upside down”. Instead of wise they are now MORONS, worshipping stuff of no eternal Value, or their pet idols or belief’s. They push God out of their lives or leave him in a dark corner, or even create their our own god.
  • God gives up on them up, allowing their foul desires to become addictive to the point of dishonoring their bodies. Life becomes a game with no real meaning or purpose.
  • These people no longer know the truth of God. They can’t even begin to comprehend it, so “upside down” are their minds. They are prey for liars and deceivers. God hands them over to be dominated and controlled by their sinful and unrighteous passions.
  • Sinful perversions warp the souls of the reprobate. They are no longer in control of their mind, will and emotions.
  • Reprobates are slaves of their degenerate (upside down) minds.
  • Reprobate minds have no shame over their actions, no matter how vile, and in fact give approval to others who do the same things.

THEY FILL THEIR LIVES WITH:

According to Romans 1:29, this person’s life will become “filled with” unfitting and inappropriate practices. “Being filled with” is from the Greek word pleroo (play-ro’-o) meaning a life so full of itself it will be full of these things listed as the consequence. “All” can be inserted in front of each to express the extreme influence of a “reprobate mind” upon a life. God gives us twenty-two characteristics of this last degree of unbelief in an individual’s life and in a perverted and reprobate society.

  • “Unrighteousness” is from the Greek word adikia (ad-ee-kee’-ah) referring to the violation of justice.
  • “Fornication” is from the Greek word porneia (por-ni’-ah) referring to illicit sexual practices.
  • “Wickedness” is from the Greek word poneria (pon-ay-ree’-ah) referring to a depravity in purposes and desires.
  • “Coveteousness” is from the Greek word pleonexia (pleh-on-ex-ee’-ah) referring to a growing, greedy desire to have more and more.
  • “Maliciousness” is from the Greek word kakia (kak-ee’-ah) referring to a desire to injure someone or a wickedness that is not ashamed to break laws.
  • “Envy” is from the Greek word phthonos (fthon’-os) meaning life actions always prompted by envy.
  • “Murder” is from the Greek word phonos (fon’-os) meaning a life full of slaughter.
  • “Debate” is from the Greek word eris (er’-is) meaning a life filled with strife and contention.
  • “Deceit” is from the Greek word dolos (dol’-os) referring to deceptive, crafty manipulation.
  • “Malignity” is from the Greek word kakoetheia (kak-o-ay’-thi-ah) referring to bad character and bad morals.
  • “Whisperers” is from the Greek word psithuristes (psith-oo-ris-tace’) referring to a secret slanderer.
  • “Backbiters” is from the Greek word katalalos (kat-al’-al-os) meaning a person who secretly defames another or speaks evil of them.
  • Haters of God” is from the Greek word theostuges (theh-os-too-gace’) referring to a person who is exceptionally impious and wicked.
  • “Despiteful” is from the Greek word hubristes (hoo-bris-tace’) referring to a person who is insolent and who either heaps insulting language upon others or does them some shameful act of wrong.
  • “Proud” is from the Greek word huperephanos (hoop-er-ay’-fan-os) refers to thinking of one’s self as superior to others. This often expresses itself in prejudices by despising others or even treating them with contempt (disrespect).
  • “Boasters” is from the Greek word alazon (al-ad-zone’) referring to a vain and pretentious person.
  • “Inventors of evil things” is from the Greek words epheuretes (ef-yoo-ret’-ace) kakos (kak-os’) referring to a person who schemes in his thinking and imagination of ways to undermine or harm another person.
  • “Disobedient to parents” is from the Greek words apeithes (ap-i-thace’) goneus (gon-yooce’) referring to a person who obstinately resists the authority of his parents. The idea goes into insubordination against all who have authority over him.
  • “Without understanding” is from the Greek word asunetos (as-oon’-ay-tos). It goes way beyond ignorance, referring to a person who lacks any real understanding of the realities of life (including spiritual realities) and therefore makes decisions without any consciousness to those realities.
  • “Covenantbreakers” is from the Greek word asunthetos (as-oon’-thet-os) referring to a person who cannot be trusted to keep promises.
  • “Without natural affection” is from the Greek word astorgos (as’-tor-gos) referring to a person who is incapable of loving anyone but himself.
  • “Implacable” is from the Greek word aspondos (as’-pon-dos) referring to a person incapable of making commitments (let alone keep one).
  • “Unmerciful” is from the Greek word aneleemon (an-eleh-ay’-mone) referring to a person unwilling to help the needy or a person without any compassion for others regardless of the severity of their predicament.

THEY KNOW JUDGMENT IS COMING

The closing statement of Romans 1:32 informs us that the Holy Spirit has fully convinced this person of God’s pending judgment on his/her life. “Knowing” is from the Greek word epiginosko (ep-ig-in-oce’-ko) meaning this person has a thorough perception of what will happen to him once he dies yet he has no fear of God about it because he continues to deny the inner witness of his conscience to God’s truths and existence.

“Judgment” is from the Greek word dikaioma (dik-ah’-yo-mah) referring to a sentence by a judge for a crime committed. The intent here is that this person is fully convinced in his conscience about the eternal death sentence upon him (Romans 6:23). Yet he lives in denial of that cloud of doom over his life. Because of this denial, he not only continues on this pathway to destruction, he forms a partnership with others involved in the same practices which reinforces both his sinful practices and theirs.

WE WILL ALL DIE and FACE GOD

History tells the story of the renowned atheist, Voltaire, one of the most aggressive antagonists of Christianity. He wrote many things to undermine the church, and once said of Jesus Christ, “Curse the wretch. In 20 years, Christianity will be no more. My single hand will destroy the edifice it took 12 apostles to rear.”

  • Voltaire died a terrible death. His nurse said: “For all the money in Europe I wouldn’t want to see another unbeliever die! All night long he cried for forgiveness.”
  • Sir Thomas Scott, once president of the English Lower House said: “Up until this time, I thought that there was no God neither Hell. Now I know and feel that there are both, and I am delivered to perdition by the righteous judgment of the Almighty.”
  • The great evangelist D. L. Moody, on his deathbed, said, “I see Earth receding and heaven is opening. God is calling me.”

Are You Ready to Face God?

For many years John Wesley professed to be a Christian and yet when he truly examined himself realized he was not “in the faith” as illustrated by this brief excerpt from his sermon entitled “The Almost Christian”:

I did go thus for many years, as many of this place can testify; using diligence to eschew all evil, and to have a conscience void of offence; redeeming the time; buying up every opportunity of doing all good to all men; constantly and carefully using all the public and all the private means of grace; endeavoring, after a steady seriousness of behavior, at all times, and in all places: and God is my record, before whom I stand, doing all this in sincerity; having a real design to serve God; a hearty desire to do his will in all things; to please him who had called me to “fight the good fight,” and to “lay hold on eternal life.”

Yet my own conscience bears me witness, in the Holy Ghost, that all this time I was but almost a Christian.”

Is your thinking “upside down?” Could you be a moron, useless to God?

Take the Moron Test for backslidden Christians:

1. Do you ENJOY reading the Bible?

2. Do you allow God to speak to you and guide you through His Word?

3. Do you go days without even thinking about God and what He wants you to do?

4. Do you do things today that years ago you said you would never do?

5. Do you hear about immorality or watch immorality without it bothering you?

6. Are there things you do that friends and relatives would be shocked to learn about?

7. Do you find yourself thinking that God loves you just the way you are?

8. DO you find yourself arguing with other Christians about what behavior is OK?

If you don’t care what the results are, or what God thinks about your heart, YOU ARE A MORON!