Selwyn’s verses for reading and meditation, come from Paul’s letter to the Romans 1:24-32 (NIV): ” … Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised. Amen.
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.
Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. … ”
You may hear at times, various people trying to downgrade the meaning of Paul’s words – but there is no room for misunderstanding what he is saying.
In short, the people who do not have a moral/ethical compass – those people who live as if there is no God, eventually reach the point where Paul’s words apply. That is – if God is not directing your life then Satan is in full control of your heart.
In my Western culture – Selwyn’s introduction especially applies: ‘Not many people in today’s world are willing to face up to God’s moral and ethical question – “What is this you have done?” ‘
Those people who have been placed in positions of (church) leadership carry the added responsibility of ensuring that they teach what’s in Scripture; and, they must not attempt to minimise God’s Word by saying: ‘Times have now changed from when Paul wrote – we need to re-intrepret what he wrote, in the light of today’s culture’. God’s Word will never change – it will be ‘in effect’ right up to the time when our Lord Jesus returns.
As Selwyn says: “Special rebuke is reserved for all those who positively approve of the practice of things condemned by God.” For example, any church minister who calls on God to bless a relationship, which is clearly forbidden in Scripture – will fall into the hands of an angry God – if, they don’t turn away from their lies, repent and seek forgiveness.