Parades of Pride, Glorying in Their Shame

Isaiah 3:9; Romans 1:26-28; Philippians 3:19

They declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.

For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): There is such a thing as judicial blindness. If men can see, and yet will not see, God is at last so provoked by their wickedness that He takes away the light altogether, and removes from them the very faculty of sight.

JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): They will not receive the love of the truth―and for this cause God delivers them up to strong delusions, vile affections, base and beastly practices; as committing and defending of sodomy, and such like abhorred filth, not once to be named among Christians.

THOMAS COKE (1747-1814): They who are slaves to their lusts are the worst of slaves, and stop at nothing to gratify them.

JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): Many rush into such excesses of lasciviousness, as to glory in their shame.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): Though the world always lies in wickedness, yet there are some times in which it may be said, that iniquity doth in a special manner abound; as when it is more extensive than ordinary, as in the old world, when “all flesh had corrupted his way,” Genesis 6:12; and when it is more excessive than ordinary…When wickedness abounds, and goes barefaced, under the protection and countenance of those in authority―who, instead of putting the laws in execution against vice and injustice and punishing the wicked according to their merits, patronize and protect them, give them countenance, and support their reputation by their own example―then “the wicked walk on every side,” Psalms 12:8; they swarm in all places, and go up and down seeking to deceive, debauch, and destroy others; they are neither afraid nor ashamed to discover themselves; they declare their sin as Sodom and there is none to check or control them.

JOHN TRAPP:  Now may they do what they will―for no man must find fault; and they are glad of this.

ADAM CLARKE (1760-1832): They glory in their iniquity. This is the highest pitch of ungodliness.

JOHN CALVIN: Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time,” Amos 5:3. When therefore Amos says, that the time would be evil, he means, that such audacity would prevail, that all liberty would be denied to wise men. They would then be forced to be silent, for they could effect nothing by speaking, nay, they would have no freedom of speech allowed them: and though they attempted to discharge their office, yet tyrannical violence would instantly impose silence on them. Similar was the case with Lot―he was constrained, I have no doubt, to be silent after having often used free reproofs; nay, he doubtless exposed himself to many dangers by his attempts to reprove the Sodomites. Such seems to me to be the meaning of the Prophet, when he says, that the prudent would be silent, because these tyrants would impose silence on all teachers—visiting them with some punishment, or loading them with reproaches, or treating them with ridicule as persons worthy of contempt.

C. H. SPURGEON: Sodomites cannot have much love for righteous men…They do the same today.

JOHN CALVIN: But we must see how Sodom rushed forward to that degree of licentiousness so as to be horrified by no enormity. God says that they began by pride, Ezekiel 16:49―and surely pride is the mother of all contempt of God and of all cruelty.

MATTHEW HENRY: It was the pride of the Sodomites that they despised righteous Lot, and would not bear to be reproved by him; and this ripened them for ruin.

MATTHEW POOLE (1624-1679): Their pride, and wantonness, and impiety manifestly shows itself in their very looks and carriages, and will be swift witness against them both before God and men. They declare their sin; they act it publicly, casting off all fear of God, and reverence to men, and they glory in it. They hide it not, as men do who have any remainders of modesty or ingenuity.

C. H. SPURGEON: Deep is our shame when we know that our judges are not clear in this matter, but social purity has been put to the blush by magistrates of no mean degree.

HORATIUS BONAR (1808-1889): Nay, we glory in this as “progress,” “culture,” and “enlightenment,” as freedom from the bigotry of other centuries and the narrowness of our half-enlightened ancestors.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): The problem is not so much immorality but the total absence of morality—amorality, a tendency to doubt all types of moral standards. Indeed, some would go so far as to say that all those who acknowledge moral standards live an incomplete life and do an injustice to their personalities. These people claim that what was once called sin is nothing but self-expression. The old foundations are being shaken, and the old boundaries and hedges are being swept away…This has become an amoral or a non-moral society. The very category of morality is not recognized at all, and men and women are virtually in the position of saying “evil be thou my good.”

CHARLES SIMEON (1759-1836): But I would affectionately remind them, that confidence in error will not make error cease to be what it is; and that a pertinacity in error may cause God to give them over to judicial blindness and hardness. We read that God gives over some “to a strong delusion, to believe a lie, that they may be damned, because they believe not the truth, but obey unrighteousness,” 2 Thessalonians 2:11,12. Their “believing a lie” does not make it true; nor does its being “a delusion” prevent their being “damned” for yielding to it.

JOHN CALVIN: We may further observe, that men have then advanced to the extremity of evil, when reception is no more given to sound doctrine and salutary counsels, and when all liberty is sternly suppressed, so that prudent men dare not to reprove vices, however rampant they may be, which even children observe, and the blind feel. When licentiousness has arrived to this pitch, it is certain that the state of things is past recovery and that there is no hope of repentance or of a better condition.

MATTHEW HENRY: When wickedness has come to the height, ruin is not far off. Abounding sins are sure presages of approaching judgments.


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