Unlimited: Shameful Lusts
Apr 29, 2022 131
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 (Romans 1:26–27).
In v.24, Paul used the expression “God gave them over” to refer to how God withdrew his restraining presence and allowed people to fall into the sexual impurity that they chose. Now he uses this strong expression again.
Paul refers here specifically to the “natural” sexual relations of women in contrast to those that are “unnatural.” Similarly he refers the “natural” relations of men with women in contrast to men being “inflamed with lust for one another.” Paul is clearly referring here to heterosexual relationships between men and women as being “natural,” while condemning homosexual, lesbian, and other kinds of relationships.
God gave them over to shameful lusts.
Today, Paul’s position on this is likely to be considered outrageous and even shameful in many circles. It is interesting to note that it would have been seen in the same way two thousand years ago as well. In the Graeco-Roman world, homosexual and lesbian relationships were considered to be normal, even much more so than in our society today.
While Paul clearly disapproves of these kinds of relationships, keep reading in his letter to the Romans to understand the broader context in which he views this issue. It’s not exactly as you might think!
What is your attitude towards people who practice the things that Paul describes here? Is your attitude in line with the Gospel?