Romans 1:26-27 (NIV): 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 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.
“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.” – The list of mankind’s habitual sin goes on. Whereas lust has already been deemed sinful by Christ (Mt. 5:28), this verse speaks of another lust: lust for the same sex. This passage is explicitly stating that homosexuality is “unnatural,” “shameful,” and deserving of “due penalty.” This is without a doubt a controversial topic within our culture. However, despite what our governing laws may say to rationalize homosexuality, God, the ultimate governor has already spoken.
“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,” – Whether man or woman, homosexual relations have already been judged by God to be considered unnatural. There are many verses throughout Scripture that speak clearly on this topic: 1 Tim. 1: 8-11, 1 Cor. 6: 9-11, Lev. 20:13; 18:22. Scripture is persistent in mentioning this sin, and often does so by listing it amongst many other sins: murder, theft, lying, covetousness, drunkenness, and idolatry. Regardless of the offense against God, it is sin.
“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife (Mk. 10:6-7).” Since the beginning of mankind’s creation, God not only made man and woman, but He then deemed that they were made for each other – for heterosexual relationships.
“and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” – What is the due penalty? Whatever it is, it says that they have “received it in themselves.” I believe this is referring once again to the wrath of God, and that it is being revealed by God “giving them over.” That is, their penalty is their slavery to sin (Jn. 8:34), for they “received [it] in themselves.” What God has made to be natural and good has been unnaturally defiled.
This country was founded on Judeo-Christian values, however our culture now seeks to eradicate these values. Let it be known, we are living in a Post-Christian nation. When the U.S Supreme Court legalized gay-marriage in all fifty states on June 26, 2015, it was a direct attack at God’s law. This nation now continues to slowly, but relentlessly attack Christianity.
Persecution in America is commonly perceived to be rather weak, however be warned: Scripture promises that Christians will be persecuted for their faith (2 Tim. 3:12). Our country’s independence may have been founded in the name of our Creator, but that same independence and freedom is being used to elevate the status of humanity and to decrease the authority of God.
Bernie Sanders, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, made a verbal assault on Christianity just recently. Sanders claimed the Gospel is “indefensible, it is hateful, it is Islamophobic, and it is an insult to over a billion Muslims throughout the world.” Ladies and gentlemen, these are the words of a man who ran for president. This should not be taken lightly. Please pray for our country, for our government officials, and for God to ignite a revival in this country.
All sin is detestable in God’s eyes, and regardless of the sin, it is in need of forgiveness. We may not all have committed murder . . . oh wait (Matt. 5:21-22), never-mind. Nonetheless we are all sinners and we need to accept Christ as our Savior, allow Him to come into our lives, and follow Him. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).
Feel free to use the discussion questions below for a group Bible study and if you would like, the commentary above to help facilitate the discussion.
- What does it mean for God to “give them over”?
- What comes to mind when you think about “unnatural sexual relations?” Why is homosexuality considered a sin?
- What does the phrase “received in themselves the due penalty for their error” mean?