(Ephesians 4:19) “Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”
In Paul’s day, the unsaved Gentiles were buried in pagan religion permeated with sexual and violent rituals. Sex was part of their worship and blood sacrifices were common. Over and over again they performed these acts to appease the god of this world. Anything in their conscience that indicated these practices were wrong had long since been buried in desensitivity. In fact, the more they did these things, the more they wanted to do these things. There was no ultimate satisfaction. There was only a pursuit of more.
This is the state of the conscience that has been repeatedly violated. Have you ever sensed something was wrong but committed the act anyway? You may have a sense of guilt after the first time and maybe even after the second time. But it becomes easier with each repetition. Pretty soon, you no longer feel the guilt and become established in a habit that you once couldn’t even imagine doing. This is the result of violating the conscience – that God-given indicator built inside of each one of us that guides towards right and wrong.
Notice what the verse says – “past feeling have given themselves over…” The sense of wrong has been buried enough that a callous is formed on the conscience. A conscious decision is made to throw self into the immorality without feeling. The flesh is temporarily satisfied but very soon wants more of the same with an even heightened emotional payoff. Isaiah describes this condition in the religious leaders of Israel in his day – (Isaiah 56:11) “Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.”
The world has worn many of us down and we are just okay with the standards the world offers as a system of morality. We need a renewed conscience in the Body of Christ today. We need a renewed sensitivity to what is right and wrong. Not a legalistic adherence to a set of rules but rather a God-conscious, God-centered preference for what is holy and just. Where do you stand today?
Renewed Thought – We cannot be sensitive to the Lord and His standards while satisfying our flesh with the world’s standards.