2020 Summer Evening, Romans Series, Part 49, Verses

  • | Chris McCann
  • Audio: Length: 28:03
  • Passages covered: Romans 1:27-31, Luke 17:26-30, Romans 1:27, Hebrews 13:4,
    1John 4:1-6, John 8:45, 2Thessalonians 2:9-11, 2Thessalonians 2:12.

| 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 |

Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the book of Romans. Tonight is study #49 of Romans 1, and we are reading Romans 1:27-31:

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; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

We are continuing in our study of Romans 1, and we are currently in verse 27 where God emphasizes the particular sin of homosexuality that would be in evidence at the time of the end of this world. And it is not only based on Romans 1 that He says that, but it is also found in Genesis 19 when God was about to destroy the city of Sodom, and the sin of homosexuality was one of the chief sins of the city of Sodom. Anybody can see this by reading that chapter, and the Lord refers to Sodom and Gomorrah in relationship to the time of His coming at the end of the world. That reference can be found in at least one place I will mention, in Luke 17:26-30:

They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

God ties together the destruction of Sodom with the day when Christ is revealed as the Judge of the earth, and we are living at that time now. The Lord Jesus, the Word, is actively judging all unsaved people of the earth. So the sin of homosexuality is in view with Sodom and Gomorrah and God’s judgment upon them.

And, here in Romans 1, God says He “gave them up,” and when we look up that word translated as “gave them up,” we saw that it identified with being delivered up for judgment, and one of the forms of God’s final judgment on the churches, as well as on the world, is to turn man over to his lusts and evil desires, and the things man’s heart had always wanted and sought after, and God is letting him have his fill. And we read in Romans 1:27:

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

This word is only used twice – once here, and once in Revelation 16:15, where it is translated as “shame,” so it is saying, “working that which is shame.” Then it goes on to say in Romans 1:27:

…and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

The Greek word translated as “meet” would probably be better translated as “must needs be.” We will not go to any examples, but it is something that has to be a consequence or result. That is what it is conveying. These men who are engaged in homosexual activity are “receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which must needs be.” I do not know if we can pinpoint in the Bible exactly what is in view, but it appears to be related to the AIDS/HIV epidemic that took place starting in the 80s, and has been ongoing for some forty years. And over the course of that time, there have been about 32 million people that have died of it, and there are many others that have become ill with AIDS. Not all were homosexuals, but very large numbers of people that had HIV or AIDS and it is a disease that has been connected to homosexual activity. So the “recompence of their error which must needs be” seems to be according to God’s natural law, as when people go outside the boundaries of God’s law. And this also happens with heterosexual acts of fornication, as well as homosexual acts when people go outside the bounds of God’s Law for sexual activity. And the Bible is clear that the only lawful place for there to be sexual activity is in the marriage bed, between a man and a woman that have come together in the union of marriage that God instituted. Now God recognizes that union, and they are one flesh, and God says of the marriage bed in Hebrews 13:4:

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

Marriage is the place for sex. That is what God is saying. But, of course, that is too limiting to the people of the world. “It is too old-fashioned! It is Puritanical.” That see it as oppressive and that which holds back “love,” and people’s desire for others. Man has a thousand ways of justifying his evil deeds, his evil desires, and the things he wants to do. And often, he wants to do them precisely because they are evil, just as was the case back in the Garden of Eden. They were told not to eat of just one tree. How many trees were in the Garden? We are not told, but there were probably great numbers of trees of all sorts – wonderful trees; beautiful trees; fruit-bearing trees. And there were no limitations on all of those trees, but God set one tree off limits, and God said, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it.” The Lord gave it a mysterious name and placed His Law on it, but it was only that tree. And, yet, with man’s curiosity, Satan took advantage with his lies and ability to deceive, and he came and got Eve to look at that tree. And the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and Satan said, “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods.” So she set her eyes on it and she did eat, and Adam also ate, so he was just as guilty. And he was the figurehead of mankind, so all people were in the loins of Adam, and we all ate, in that sense. None of us would have done any differently, and that is man’s perverse nature – he does not go to the thousands of other trees that had fruit just as good, and of which he could eat lawfully, but he was drawn to the thing that he was not to do and what God had prohibited him from doing. That is the perverse nature of sin.

So would two men come together if God had not said that a man should not lie with a man because it is abomination? We do not know. Would people be so excited to experiment with sexual relations outside of marriage if God had not called it adultery and fornication, and if He had not commanded that it was not to be done? We do not know, but certainly there would not be so much interest in that kind of activity if God had not set a Law around it. But it is because there is a Law around it that man is drawn to the thing that is protected by the boundary or the “ancient landmark” of the Law of God which says, “You shall not cross this boundary or marker. If you do, you will have transgressed the Law of God.”

In every generation the children grow up and they are confronted with these Laws and boundaries, whether they were instructed about them from their parents or from their church or pastor during the church age, or whether it was the Law written upon their hearts (and they knew it is wrong). Inevitably, what does man do? He breaks that marker. He goes beyond the boundary, and he transgresses the Law of God and becomes a Law breaker. And the Bible says that whoever breaks the Law on one point is guilty of all. That is all that is necessary to bring the “wages of sin” against oneself, and to come under the wrath of God, just as it was with Adam and Eve when they broke that one Law. There was only one Law at that time, but they broke it, and they brought death upon themselves and all their seed.

When people do these things, and when they get involved in wrongdoing and sinful activities, it is not just that it is spiritually wrong and brings spiritual death, but often there is “safety” in God’s Law. There is protection built into the Law of God for those that observe to do it and obey it. Sometimes when you hear reports of crime, it is often (not always) because someone was some place they should not be. For example, they are drinking and out at 3:00 in the morning, and as they are engaged in sinful and wrong behavior, other wrong things happen. You see, they have exposed themselves by going beyond the borders of God’s protection, in a way.

But, again, at this time in history with this sin-cursed earth and with iniquity abounding across the face of the earth, I am not trying to say that if any individual kept the Law of God, no harm would come to him. But I am just saying that if someone follows the Word of God, the Law of God, they are less likely to have those things happen, although they could still happen.

There are also areas of sexual activity that brings diseases, and it happens with heterosexual couples, as well as homosexual individuals. They engage in sexual activity which God has set off limits, and people get sexually transmitted diseases. So I think the Lord is referring to that: “…and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet (needs be).” It is sort of “according to” the natural law of the world when people do things that are wrong, and they place themselves in situations where some additional wrong can happen.

The word “error” is Strong’s #4106, and it is found 10 times in the New Testament. One place is in 1John 4:1-6:

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

The spirit of truth is Christ. It is the Holy Spirit. The Bible is truth, and the Spirit operates through the Word of God, the Bible, and brings truth to His people. Truth is declared to all, but it is only the elect people of God that “hear” the truth, recognize it, and are changed and saved, and follow it.

Also, in the world is the working of Satan, and Satan is the father of lies, so he brings the “spirit of error,” and we see this all over the place. There is no need for us to go into it. But this is our word “error.” And when it says, “that recompence of their error,” they are believing “the lie,” and people of the world prefer the lie over the truth, as Jesus actually said to the Jews, who were supposed to be the people of God, so you can just imagine the case for those that are not the people of God. He said to them in John 8:45:

And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

The very reason they did not believe Him was due to the fact that He did speak the truth. If He had spoken a lie, they would have believed Him. Why? It was because they were not able to hear the spirit of Truth. They did not have ears to hear. They lacked the Holy Spirit. They were not God’s elect. They were unsaved and possessors of desperately wicked, deceitful hearts, and they were of their father, the Devil, and in that chapter, Christ said that to them. Therefore, they had the “spirit of error,” where they would zealous for the traditions of their fathers and the laws of men and uphold those things as if they were true. And that is the fallen nature of man.

And people in religious circles do this in various religions, as well as the “Christians” in the churches and congregations of the world today, as well as the secular world with their idea of the Big Bang and evolution. The things the world believes today concerning marriage between two men, concerning abortion, and concerning gender identify are all coming from a “spirit of error,” and, in this case, where God says, “that recompence of their error which is meet.”

Let us look at one other Bible verse where this Greek word translated as “error,” #4106, is found. It is translated a different way, and it is in 2Thessalonians 2:9-11:

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

The word “strong” is actually a word that would be better translated as “working,” and our word is the word “delusion,” which is translated as “error.” So it is saying that God shall send them working error, “that they should believe a lie,” and then it goes on to say in 2Thessalonians 2:12:

That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

We saw that here in Romans 1, regarding those that have pleasure in those that do these things (after God listed a long list of iniquities). So, here in Romans 1, God is giving up man to his sin – his ugly, filthy sin nature. It was what had been in the hearts of men, but it was restrained throughout the history of the world. But now at the end, it is as if God is saying, “Very well – this is what you wanted all along.” So, first, God started with the churches, and He removed His Spirit from the congregations, and they went after their evil heart’s desire and their insane pursuit of everything under the sun except the truth of the Word of God. They follow everyone and everything except Christ.

Then on the day of transition on May 21, 2011, judgment on the churches transitioned to judgment on all the unsaved people of the earth. God lifted His hand of restraint even further, and now the world is casting off more and more restraints as we go along. There are few restraints on marriage, and now it can be two men or two women, and we have to wonder what is to come because there are still some restraints on marriage, as far as incestuous relationships. Will they cast that restraint off because it comes from the Bible, too? That is the Word of God. God laid down the Law that close relatives are not to marry. I would not be surprised. Or, regarding bestiality, God has laid down the Law that man is not to lie with beasts. There have already been “rumblings” concerning these things. How far will it go? That is what I mean when I say that God’s hand of restraint is coming off more and more, but it is not total – at least, not yet. But it is possible as we go further into the darkness of Judgment Day, and as man sinks deeper into the depths of the depravity of his own heart. And those depths seem to just go down, down, down, and we may just see horrendous things before it is all over.

And, yet, with each casting off of restraints, man rejoices, joins parades, and has celebrations: “Now we are free!” Well, people have been saying that for quite a while, even in the 60s and 70s. “We are free to have free sex.” And it has just brought misery and pain. Man has no understanding of “freedom,” and, certainly, no understanding of that which is right and good, and which will bring him happiness. He just makes himself all the more miserable and ruins life on earth, and ruins his inheritance and the little time he has left to enjoy it.