In these three verses, there are three deliveries to divine justice. The first is the delivery to unbeliever reversionism. The second is the delivery to perversion. The third delivery is to the function of evil.
In view of what has happened in the previous verses with regard to negative volition at God-consciousness and Gospel hearing, the justice of God must act. This action is toward the unbeliever reversionist. Unbeliever reversionism (heathenism) has been the downfall of many national entities in the past. Sodom and Gomorrah are the classic biblical examples of the destruction that comes as a result of unbeliever reversionism, perversion and the function of evil.
The Greek word for gave them over is “paradidomi” and means to deliver, to entrust, to hand down, to transmit, to allow, to permit. In this case, it means to deliver over to the justice of the supreme court of Heaven for judgment. Here, God judges by simply allowing unbeliever reversionists to destroy themselves and/or their nation. God will never violate the free will of mankind. If mankind chooses a path of self-destruction and ignores the warnings of God, God has no other recourse but to allow them their freedom of choice. This is a judgment in itself (self-induced misery).
They are delivered over to a status of immorality, which in this case is a total alienation from God. The Greek word for immorality is “akathartsia,” which means morally unclean, impure or immoral. The Greek word for desires is “epithumia” meaning strong desire of any kind or lusts. In this case these strong desires or lusts are evil in nature because they violate the moral law of God for the human race. We will see in context that these lusts are patterns of immoral thought and behavior, which is consistent with rebellion against God and His mandates.
We see the unbeliever reversionist continuing down the road to destruction as he/she gives in to the lust pattern of the sin nature. This is where blackout of the soul becomes scar issue of the soul, as this person degrades his/her our body in sexual impurity.
The Greek word for dishonored is “atimazo” meaning to degrade, treat shamefully, insult or disgrace. When God begins to judge the reversionism of the unbeliever, He judges them by permitting them to enter into a system of dishonor. This judgment is perpetrated on their own bodies. Where sexual immorality has become a way of life, national destruction soon follows. There are also all types of sicknesses and diseases associated with these immoral acts. The phrase among themselves tells us that this is not ordinary immorality, such as adultery. This is the deviant behavior of perversion.
We see in this verse the progression from reversion to perversion. This happens when the unbeliever reversionist exchanges divine truth for satanic lies. The Greek word for exchanged is “metallasso,” and is a good translation. The truth referred to in this verse is the truth that the unbeliever receives at Gospel hearing regarding salvation and chooses to reject. The result is a decision to believe the opposite of divine truth, which is satanic lies (works for salvation).
Satan is the “Father of Lies” and uses the tactic of lying to gain an advantage over the human race, as he did in the case of Eve in the Garden of Eden. The subtle but effective lie that deceived Eve was that God was withholding something good from her. (John 8:44)
Once the reversionistic unbeliever exchanges the truth of the Gospel for a satanic lie, he begins to worship and to serve the “liar” (Satan). The Greek word for worship is “sebazomai,” which means to honor, to reverence or to show respect. Whether the unbeliever knows it or not, failure to believe the Gospel results in the worship of Satan, his demons or his programs. The Greek word for served which is “latreuo” sheds further light on the result in its meaning. “Lartreuo” means to serve for hire. The unbeliever literally hires himself to Satan (consciously or unconsciously) to do Satan’s bidding. In our context, worship and serve refer to the idolatry of heathenism (Satanism, demonism, etc.).
The Creator is a reference to Jesus Christ Who we know is the creator of all things, including Satan and his demons (fallen angels). Jesus Christ is God and infinitely greater than the greatest of creatures. Satan revolted against his Creator. Rejection or negative volition at either God-consciousness or Gospel hearing opens the vacuum of the soul, resulting in the entrance of “the lie.” The lie, evil, and strong delusion are synonymous terms. The negative volition of Lucifer (Satan) created a vacuum in his own arrogant being and therefore the delusion of evil entered and possessed Satan. Demon possession never occurs before delusion possession, the function of evil in the soul of the reversionist. So the delusion comes first, and as the ruler of this world system, Satan’s policy of evil is strong delusion. (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:10)
Paul adds the phrase “Who is blessed forever. Amen,” referring to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Greek word for blessed is “eulogetos” meaning praised or blessed. The adjective is called doxological. In other words, God is not blessed by anyone else; God is blessed by His own being. The adjective, being doxological, is never used for men in the New Testament. This sometimes means the object of praise, but it means that in His own being there is nothing but blessing. God is perfect happiness within His own being. So “eulogetos” means much more than mere praise from mankind. The word takes on the special sense of connoting the attributes of God and indicating that every attribute of God is unchangeable, which produces and contributes only happiness to the whole essence of God. God is perfect happiness and perfect blessing. So, blessed means that the integrity of divine attributes of Christ are incorruptible forever and ever.
Forever means for the ages. It is a Greek idiom of duration of time. Amen means to believe, to be stabilized or to be sure. It is used to attest the praise of God in response to a doxology. It acknowledges the validity of doctrine as binding. Therefore, it connotes what is sure and valid. It is used to terminate both prayers and doxologies, meaning “I believe it,” or better, “I am sure of it.”
When a person trusts Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, a potential is established for blessing from God. Salvation is based on the grace of God, apart from any human merit, as is the Christian Way of Life. (Titus 2:11-12) Therefore, the potential for blessing is based on the grace of God. A blessing is a benefit bestowed upon the believer by God.
Why does God bless or bestow benefits on believers? Since blessings were given to us in eternity past and based on the grace of God (Ephesians 1:3), it is impossible for the believer to earn or deserve the blessings of God. In others words, God does not bless you because of your works, even if they are legitimate divine production (i.e. witnessing, giving, praying, etc.). God blesses you on the basis of His righteousness resident in your soul (Matthew 6:33, II Corinthians 5:21). This allows God to be just and in keeping with His grace policy (even if you are not living your spiritual life). You cannot coerce God into blessing you by what you do or do not do. However, it is your choice to access or appropriate these blessings. The way to access divine blessing is to increase your capacity to receive blessing by learning and applying Bible doctrine under the control of God the Holy Spirit. And remember that the production of divine good is itself a divine blessing.
Increasing capacity in your life is a grace function. Under your right pastor-teacher, you study and apply Bible doctrine, which produces growth and increases capacity. Remember that God is not going to give you more than you can handle. Therefore, divine blessing comes as a result of compliance with God’s system of blessing. Is your volition involved? Absolutely! You are the one who must choose to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior, you must choose to study and apply the accurate teaching of God’s Word to your life, and you must choose to allow God the Holy Spirit to control your life. Accordingly, God is waiting to send blessings to each of us. (Isaiah 30:18)
So, how does the unbeliever receive blessings? Under God’s grace policy, certain principles or divine laws were established to ensure the function and the perpetuation of the human race. These principles or laws are called Divine Establishment and are given by God to believers and unbelievers alike. Within these laws there is no discrimination based on race, nationality, gender or any other factor. God’s laws of divine establishment apply equally to all members of the human race in all Dispensations. This means that anyone, believer or unbeliever, can have a peaceful, happy life if they apply these principles. On the other hand, failure to abide by these principles or laws by individuals or nations brings only disaster, as we will see.