III. SEPARATION IN LIFESTYLE BECOMES ALL THE MORE NECESSARY GIVEN THE OUTWORKINGS OF THE DEPRAVED HEART.
We are commanded “not to walk” as the unconverted Gentile. Their problem is not just one of the mind and heart but it is also one of practice. That which their heart and mind contemplates must be seen in their actions and deeds. See what Paul says is the consequence of having the understandiug darkened and the heart blinded.
1. The sinner is past feeling. Literally “beyond feeling”. They cannot feel that which a living soul feels. Why did not David “feel” his sins? Because for a time he was under the rule of the old nature which is devoid of such feelings. The sinner has no sympathy or empathy with the saint and his fears and dreads. Public morality is a morality “imposed” by Christians. That is why it constantly resisted and eroded. Unconverted members of a family outwardly abide within the parameters of acceptable behaviour but inwardly desire the ways of the flesh.
2. They have willingly become the slaves of depravity. “Given themselves over”. Thus they pass from one sin to another without restraint. “For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries,” 1 Peter 4:3. “How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?” Job 15:16. That the world has not swiftly sunk down into a Sodom is due to the restraints exercised by God through the witness of His people rather than any lack of zeal or desire on the part of the wicked, Romans 1:24, 26.
3. Sin is the business of the sinner. That is what he works at.He works at uncleanness and that with greed. He has a large and insatiable appetite for sin. From such we must, for our own safety and for the honour of the Lord, withdraw.
The way of the child of God takes them on a different path altogether as the next section of the chapter sets forth.