Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the book of Romans. Tonight is study #48 of Romans 1, and we are reading Romans 1:26-28:
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
I will stop reading there. We have been going along, verse by verse, through Romans 1, and the things we are reading here are like the daily newspaper. We hear about homosexuality, gay marriage, and many other sins that are listed beginning in verse 29. They are everywhere present in the world today and, yet, that was not always the case throughout the history of the world, even though the sin of homosexuality was present in Biblical history, in Sodom and Gomorrah. And Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed over 4,000 years ago, so it is not that these things did not exist until now.
But that sin is being presented to the people of the world in a vastly different way than ever before in history. That is the unprecedented thing – it has come out of the closet, as it were, and now that which was previously shameful, and which could ruin a person’s life is now celebrated and lifted up. It has also seen change, as far as the “morality” of it, as people have rejected the commandments of God and God’s Law, and they have instituted their own law, making homosexual marriage legal. It is seen as a good and wonderful thing, and so many in the world speak well of these things that were never spoken well of before, and it was certainly never embraced and celebrated and brought to the surface to this degree.
And that is what sets Romans 1 apart, because God is prophesying here. Remember, the book of Romans was written in the first century A. D. when the world of our day would have been unimaginable. It would have seemed horrific to people back then. They had decency and a standard of morality because God’s Spirit was suppressing the evil nature of man, the desperately wicked heart, and He would suppress it up until the year 1988. So to write these things and record them in the first century, and then for them not to come to pass until the 20^th^ and 21^st^ Century, is demonstrating that God knows “the end from the beginning,” and He knew exactly what would take place at the time of the end. And He is also using it as a signal or indicator: “When you see these things happen and iniquity abounds and, in particular, when the sin of homosexuality comes to the forefront and is lifted up and celebrated, you can know you are living at the end of the world.” Again, this is a signpost, like a red signal flag that time is almost finished. The time for this world is almost over.
That is one thing we see, but we also see the language here, where God makes it very clear that the sin of homosexuality is not a “natural act.” It is not as the world says it is, and it is not as certain men and women are instructing, including how they want to teach it to children as being “just as normal” as male/female relations, and how it is all fine and good. But, no, there is a “natural order” to the world, God’s creation. God created that natural order, and that is why He says, “for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature.”
We saw that the word “natural” is a Greek word “phusikos,” Strong’s #5446, and it comes from another Greek word, “phusis,” which is Strong’s #5449. And these are the words from which we get our word “physics.” And as I looked up this word and what people in the world say about it, with the word “phusikos,” one might speak of physical philosophy, which we now call “science.” So science is the study of physical things or physical philosophy. It is why they refuse to look at the idea of God, because God is not physical and visible. Physical things are visible things. God is invisible because He is Spirit and, therefore, they automatically reject the idea of God as being “unscientific,” because they study the observable, physical world – that is science.
But when scientists who study physical things study the world around us regarding mating habits of creatures, what do they find? I mentioned this before, but when you look at cows, eagles, owls, elephants, spiders, ants, whales or dolphin, or any creature you can name, males will mate with females. That is the natural order that God has established, and it is the natural order for mankind.
This is why societies of various cultures and civilizations have always upheld male/female relationships in marriage, and never same sex marriage. Never in the history of the world has this practice elevated to the point it is now and made legal. It just did not happen during the many thousands of years of earth’s history. It did not happen in Communist countries. It did not happen under dictatorships, and it did not happen under democracies. It did not happen because people are creatures, and God established a natural order for creatures to procreate by mating with one another. God made Adam, and then He took a rib and made Eve, a female, and He brought them together in marriage, as God instituted the marriage relationship. He made it clearly “male with female,” and not “male with male.” He did not establish that kind of order. That is “disorder.” It is not normal to the pattern that God created in the creatures that we see all around us, and the natural study of those creatures proves it. When you look out at the world and if you saw that there were 50% of the creatures that were mating male with female, and another 50% was male with male and female with female, but, no, you do not see that. Overwhelmingly, it is male with female.
And, you know, it is no longer “science,” but it has become their philosophy or law, and because they will it to be so, they even change the “science.” So it is not true science. Science is only true when it is in support of what the Bible says, because the Bible is truth, and if science goes against something the Bible says, then it is not true science. Also, if science goes against something the Bible says, the Bible is to be trusted far above it, and infinitely more than science of men, because God is true and every man a liar. So we do not trust men and their philosophies and sciences when they contradict the Word of God. But they have gotten it in their heads that this is how they want to live, so now they want to try to change the “science,” so now they try to seek an exception out there in nature.
We could look at it this way. God allowed some creatures to reproduce in a way that is out of the ordinary way of things. It is the same with the way He wrote the Bible in a way that allows Scriptures to be misused or misapplied.
There are some rare examples that some scientists grab ahold of and they highlight them. “You see, here are some penguins, and they are engaged in male-to-male sexual activity.” Do they look at the vast numbers of creatures? No – it does not go along with the thing they want to prove. So they downplay that, and they lift up this “exception” and they present it as scientific proof. That is not “science,” but that is a very faulty study of physical things, and (true) science would not support it.
That is why God, who is always true, said, “for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature.” And then He goes on to say in Romans 1:27:
And likewise also ; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
So the men also leave the natural use of the woman, and burn in lust one toward another. So it is very certain that God is speaking of homosexual relations here, because He is speaking of men, one with another, having lust toward one another, and that would certain be homosexual activity. And He says, “men with men working that which is unseemly.” At first glance, the word “unseemly” does not seem too horrible. It sounds like something a British nobleman might say of something he was displeased with: “Oh, that is unseemly.” But, actually, this Greek word is only found twice in the New Testament, and the one other place it is found is in Revelation 16:15:
Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
It is the word “shame” here, so that is how we can apply it: “men with men working that which is .”
It is shameful, and in Revelation 16:15, “to walk naked” points to one’s sins being exposed and naked before the eyes of God. And covering “nakedness” can be a picture of salvation. So to be “naked” and to have your “shame” exposed, spiritually points to someone whose sins are uncovered. He has no righteousness. He lacks the cloak of Christ’s righteousness to cover his dirty deeds (his sins), and this is to his shame.
So when it says, “men with men working that which is ,” this word brings a strong emphasis on its sinfulness and its wickedness. It is iniquity and transgression of God’s Law, and it is used by God to describe someone who has broken His commandments and is in rebellion against Him, disobeying the Word of God. When men are engaged in this kind of activity, they are in rebellion against God, and their sins are bare before God.
And, of course, this would mean that there is no way that a man who is truly born again can be married to another man (or a woman married to another woman), or even involved in same-sex sexual activity and not married. The Bible will not allow for that.
Someone might ask, “What if a person was a homosexual and they got married, and then God saved that person prior to May 21, 2011? Is it not just like a man who married a divorced person and then he became saved and realized that it was against the Law of God to marry a divorced person?” But the Bible says they cannot divorce in that second marriage. They must stay married. We recognize that, and we understand that someone in that kind of circumstance could truly have all their sins forgiven (in salvation), including that adulterous marriage, because Christ washes away all sin.
So someone may ask, “Would it not be the same for a homosexual who was in a same-sex marriage, and is he not married in God’s sight? Is he not to stay married to his partner?” No – because the Bible does not recognize homosexual marriage as a marriage, whereas the Bible does recognize heterosexual marriage, divorce, and remarriage (even third and fourth marriages) as a legitimate marriage, even though they are violating certain principles of marriage. That is, when you are married to one spouse, you are not to divorce and remarry, and to remarry while the former spouse is still living means they have engaged in an adulterous marriage because there is a former spouse still living, and it is like he has married a second woman. But when we read the Old Testament, we find that God recognizes all of David’s wives as wives, or He recognized Jacob’s wives – Leah, Rachel, Bilhah, and Zilpah – as wives. Or, even with Solomon, we find that God recognized Solomon’s thousand wives and concubines as wives. I do not know how God does that, although I know the spiritual meaning why He does it, but He does acknowledge and recognize multiple marriages as being marriages, even though sin is involved.
Yet we cannot say the same thing for homosexual marriage, because of what we read in Matthew 19 when the Pharisees came to Jesus, tempting Him. It says in Matthew 19:3-6:
The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that , And said, ? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
God has established the marriage relationship between a male and a female. They are to come together, and when they come together, they are one flesh in marriage. You see, it can only be according to nature, because the way the male and female come together to be one flesh through sexual relations, it can only happen between male and female. So God has made no provision or Law anywhere in the Bible that says that two men or two women can be joined as one flesh. That is an impossibility, despite what governments and the laws they make may say.
So here are two same-sex people that have gotten married, and they are married in the eyes of the law of men, but they are not married in the eyes of God. So let us say there was an elect child of God who got married prior to his salvation (this would have had to happen before May 21, 2011), or let us say that God saved someone just before May 21, 2011, and that person was unaware of it because he is one of that great catch of fish that are yet to be drawn. So maybe this person got married in 2015, but God had saved him prior to May 21, 2011, but he married a same-sex person, and he thought it was fine, but then he begins to be drawn to the Lord Jesus and the truth of the Word of God, and he realizes his sin. At that point, he is to leave that situation. It is not an actual marriage. Maybe for the benefit of the nation and earthly government, he would get a divorce, but there is no need to get a divorce in the eyes of God because God does not recognize the marriage. So a divorce does not matter, as far as God is concerned. It is not the same situation as male with female marriages and the natural order of marriage.
You see, this is the “mess” that man’s sinfulness gets him into, and it just makes life complicated, chaotic, and troublesome, and it is a burden. It is a burden when man goes down the road of sinfulness, and one sin begets another sin, and it is like a “tangled web of iniquity.” When God has saved someone and He is bringing that person to Himself, that person has to remove himself from all the tentacles of sin that he has been wrapped up in, and it is not an easy matter. But, at that point, by God’s grace, that person can thank the Lord for forgiveness of sins. We read in 1Corinthians 6:9:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor ,
That phrase “abusers of themselves with mankind” is a translation of a compound word that is “male-bed,” and it carries the idea of sexual activity between men and, therefore, “homosexuality.” Then God adds, in 1Corinthians 6:10-11:
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. : but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
So we were all sinners. We have all done wickedly. We have all done evil, we were all filthy in our sins. But by the grace and mercy of God through the faith of Christ, He washed certain ones and cleansed us from the guilt and penalty of those sins.