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A man wanted to see how deep he could dive into water without oxygen. He dived but no one ever heard from him again. Experts explain that a person deep in water can lose all sense of direction. The person may think he is coming up but is instead going deeper. That helps to explain what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote to the Romans. He describes the world as hopelessly confused without God. He then explains how it happens. He says it begins with ingratitude–when people do not reverence or give thanks to God for who He is and what He has done. They take credit for their achievements without acknowledging God as the source of their wisdom and abilities. Ingratitude is the first step away from God. Once away, they begin to substitute other ideas and objects for God. They create lifeless objects as gods, or they crave things that satisfy their sensual desires, things that promise a sense of security or control over others. In their quest to satisfy these drives, they lose all sense of what is right or wrong. They have no moral compass and pursue whatever comes to their minds–good or bad. Paul says when people reach this depth of evil God leaves them to their own devices–as a judgment. They then suffer the consequences of their own choices. The only way out of the morass is by repenting and turning to Jesus Christ. He alone is the way, the truth, and the life.

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