Romans 1:26 NASB
26 For this reason a God gave them over to b degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is 1 unnatural,
For this reason
God gave them over to degrading passions;
a) for their women exchanged [natural for unnatural]
the natural function (-)
for that which is unnatural, (+)
in the same way also
the men abandoned the natural function of the woman (-)
b) and [the men] burned in their desire toward one another, (+)
men with men
committing indecent acts
and receiving ... the due penalty of their error.
in their own persons
Study - Romans 1:26
The main idea of the next sentence is found in v. 1:26 - another repetition of the thought that God gives these men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, over to their degrading passions. It is a restatement of what Paul just said in v. 1:24 - God gives them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity. “For this reason” points back to the grounds, or reason, why God does this, and refers back to v. 1:23 and v. 1:25 - becoming fools, they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and they exchanged God Himself for idols. It is precisely in where their passions and lusts lie that we see their worship and service manifest. Their passions and lusts - the things that enslave them - is precisely what overcomes them (2 Peter 2:19), and this is what they act out. Why? Because it is from the heart that "evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders" come (Matt 15:19). Paul goes on to describe their passions - their impurities - to which God gives them over. As a part of the natural revelation that God makes clearly evident to every person, is the natural function of a woman in God's creation order. One man, one woman. They shall become one. Anything other than this is an abomination before God - "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination" (Leviticus 18:22). In their ungodliness, these people insist on exchanging what is clearly natural for that which is clearly unnatural. They will claim that it is just who they are, that they can't help it, and some will even say that God made them that way, otherwise they would not have those passions. If that were true, we could say the same of a liar, a thief, an adulterer, a pedophile, etc. God did not make us sinners - we choose to be sinners, and repentance is a conscious act of the will to turn away from sin, and turn back to God. What Paul describes here, is the exact opposite - a conscious act of the will to embrace sin. The end result and consequence of this persistence, is that God gives that person over to the sin he or she insist on choosing over God. This is also directly opposed to what Paul says real believers should (and will) do, in Romans 12:1-2 - 1. “Present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice” - these men and women present their bodies as sacrifices on the altars of their sin and lusts and passions. It is pure idolatry (Col 3:5). 2. “acceptable to God” - We see the evidence of God's opinion - it is abominable before Him (Lev 18:22) - played out here in His judgment - He gives them over to that which they want and desire the most. 3. “which is your spiritual service of worship” - they worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator. 4. “do not be conformed to this world” - they conform to the lusts and passions of the world. Homosexuality and sinful sexual expression is something the world actively and aggressively promotes, and the world will quickly brand you as “unloving” and “judgmental” if you go against it. 5. “but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” - they are transformed, but by the corruption of their mind - they not only suppress God's revealed truth, but they even exchange it for lies. 6. “so that you may prove what the will of God is” - what is God's will? The bible clearly tells us - “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Are these men and women doing the will of God? Accepting and acknowledging truth means that we would need to subject ourselves to it. These men are not willing to subject themselves to it, and thus they reject it. They hate the light, because it would expose their deeds, and their deeds are evil (John 3:19-21). Romans 12:1-2 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.