Romans 1:26-28 For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
Before I get into these verses, allow me to establish the following:
- Hatred of any people groups is scripturally a sin. There is no bases for it. A radical Christian is one who radically loves like Jesus did. He never taught hatred although He did often come down hard on the religious leaders who were doing wrong and knew better.
- Much has been written over the past years to either scripturally support or judge homosexuality. I do not wish to rehash everyone elses commentary. I have no desire of anyone’s opinion. What does the Word of God say.
- There is no question that Paul is referring to the act of homosexuality in these verse. Therefore, all that is left to do is to discover what hidden truths are deeper inside of these verses.
What I am attempting to present is outside of my normal nugget notes. I want to present a commentary of a portion of Romans 1 to establish a principle that, I believe, is the bases from which we can discover all nuggets of God’s truth in scripture and nature. You may agree or disagree with me, but be willing to following all the way to the end to really read what I am trying to unveil.
Contextually, there is an outstanding message here. It is all based on the understanding that God has been leaving us messages since creation. The Jewish Feasts have God’s messages all in them. The actually alphabet in the Hebrew text has God’s messages in them. Creation has God’s messages in them. The stars have God’s messages in them. Every story in scripture are detailed with God’s messages in them.
If we understand this, then we can more clearly understand that the just shall live by faith (vs 17). Faith in what? The revelation of God and who He is as revealed in everything around us and in scripture. At least, that is what Paul goes on to say in chapter 1. It is the unrighteous, or those who have no direction, who attempt to suppress the truth, the messages of God (vs 18).
According to verse 19 the truth is suppressed by the lost ones because that truth reveals everything about who God is, “what may be known of God.” They do not want God to be known. They do not want God’s messages discovered and understood.
Are the messages that God has left us clear? That’s what Paul says. He says that the messages are so clear that there is no excuse not to be able to read them (vs 20).
He goes on to further explain. In reality, it was not that they did not understand God’s messages nor see them. It was that in spite of seeing them they chose not to acknowledge the significance of the messages. They chose to ignore the evidence. Rather than be thankful for who God is they became foolish and would not allow light to enter into their understandings, into their hearts (vs 21). Although they could see God in nature, they refused. Although they could see God in the seasons, they refused.
What made it worse was that they did all that they could to present themselves as wise, but in their futile attempts they only revealed their foolishness. (vs 22). They did this by making their God into the likeness of created things such as a bird, a man, or some other kind of created being. That would be like giving glory to a 1964 Mustang for inventing the automobile.
Because they chose to ignore truth and to cover it up so that it would be distorted for others to see; because they did all that they could to present themselves as wise through their dark hearts; and because they debased God, making Him nothing greater than a created being, God then turned them loose.
He turned them loose to lustful uncleanness to dishonor their bodies.
Take a look at the collection of these words; lustful, uncleanness, bodies. What is he describing? I am concluding that he is describing sexual desires.
Sex is a wonderful thing. God created it and gave us the instructions to multiply. I believe that it was more than an instruction, but that Genesis 1:28 was the very creation or the activation of the drive that was put within us. We have a sexual attraction which pushes us to multiply and we enjoy the process. God made it good.
So, when does sex become something bad? When does it become a punishment? Wouldn’t this be sexual freedom instead? Wouldn’t this be the freedom to release your sexual expressions?
He let them loose to lustful uncleanness to dishonor their bodies. What I am reading is that their sexual desires perverted the message of God. Remember, “God has been leaving us messages since creation.” In order to understand the perversion of God’s message we have to understand God’s original message.
What would be God’s message to us in the very act of sex? Here are some suggestions:
- In God there is pleasure.
- Our walks with God should be intimate.
- Our greatest gift to God is doing all we can to bring Him pleasure.
- Our time spent with God will always produce or reproduce results.
But then Paul brings in a description in verse 26-28. It’s a woman lusting after a woman and a man lusting after a man. Is there anything wrong with this? Some say no. That this is our right.
Allow me to take you to Genesis 2:24 and I want you to see, not only a physical message, but a spiritual one too. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
The physical or natural message is the description of a healthy marriage.
The spiritual message is Jesus, the groom, will join with His wife, the believer.
The unity between a man and a woman is no less of a message to us as scripture itself. If Genesis 2:24 is a message from God to us then it is a message that has been lived out in every society since the beginning of man. Paul clarified it in his letter to the Ephisians in chapter 5.
- The husband is the head of the wife, (message) as also Christ is head of the church.
- The wife is subject to the husband, (message) just as Church is subject to Christ.
- Husbands are to love their wives (message) as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her.
- As Adam said to Eve, (message) we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
Then he quotes Genesis 2:24 to establish what I have already mentioned and then he says this, “This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
Even Paul understood that Genesis 2:24 and the understanding of marriage is the revelation of Jesus Christ and His marriage to US. If this is true, then is it possible for me to say that to participate in any other kind of marriage is a distortion of that message. Every marriage is God revealing His message of Christ being married to us. A marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman who become ONE.
In a homosexual marriage you have a bride and a bride or a groom and a groom. What message is now given? That Jesus is only interested in Himself or that we are only interested in ourselves? Would this be “suppressing the truth in unrighteousness” as found in verse 18? Just a question. Think about it.
If I am right and the marriage is sacred because of God’s message in it, then homosexuality says that we are our own salvation. Can we mess with the message of salvation?
This is not propaganda against same sex marriage. This is not a hate speech. I am only talking about God’s messages that He has placed all around us. There is a message in marriage between a bride and a groom. This is why God said that He hated divorce in Malachi 2:16.
God instructed Hosea to marry a prostitute to symbolize the spiritual prostitution that Israel was committing. It was another message. But, if Hosea would have married another man, what message with that have been? Nor did God instruct Hosea to have sex with another woman. That would have been a message of unfaithfulness. I am not convinced that God would have instructed such a thing because it is contrary to His message.
Instead, God told Hosea to go find his wife and bring her back home. Why? It was God’s message to Israel that He still loved her and wanted to bring her home where she belonged.
So, what was Paul describing in Romans 1?
- This was an act that stemmed out of the denial of who God really is (vs 21), not wanting to give glory to Him.
- This was an act that was based upon lust that dishonors their bodies (vs 24).
- This was an act that grew out of exchanging the truth for a lie (vs 25).
- This was an act that was described as against nature (vs 26).
- This was an act that was motivated out of burning lust (vs 27).
- This was an act that carries with it consequences, penalties that are earned (vs 27).
Could we then not say that homosexuality is a message of the selfishness of a society?
What do I say about those men and women who fight homosexual urges. If they have the urge, does it make it right? Or, is it proof that they are unrighteous?
No and no. Urges have nothing to do with what is right. Discipline fights off urges. (James 1:15) Everyone has urges of one kind or another. And just because those urges are there does not mean that you are sinful. Paul says later in chapter 7 that he wrestled with wanting to do what he knew was wrong and had to try hard to do what was right.
The spiritual implication of Romans 1 is that leaving the natural desires of the opposite sex redefines God’s message in marriage. And, yes, there is a message in singleness. Paul described it as saving yourself completely for God.
So, are homosexuals the same as a eunuch? Not according to the Old Testament. The Hebrew word for eunuch means crushed. These are men that have been castrated or born impotent. Therefore, eunuch has to do with impotence and homosexuality has to do with sexual desires.
By the way. I can never bring myself to sharing Ephesians 5 without sharing 1 Peter 3:7. Too many misunderstand Ephesians 5 and use it to support their belief that their wife is their slave. Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
Christ, our husband, understands us. Therefore, husbands need to understand and honor their wives or their prayers could be hindered.
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