Due Penalty for Perversion—Romans 1:26-27
“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion” (Romans 1:26-27)
Do you ever wonder why sin is so prevalent in today's society? Every year, sin becomes more acceptable and blatant than before. None of this is new as the same sins still exist; however, our society has normalized and incorporated it into everyday life. Paul says this has been the case from the beginning. Humanity exchanged the truth of God for a lie, so God gave us over to the desires of our hearts (Rom 1:24-25).
We let sin turn our world upside down and continuing in this way brings us to the point of not being able to recognize truth from a lie.
From the beginning, God created male and female and instituted marriage before the fall of mankind. Eve was joined to Adam in the garden (Gen. 1:27-28; 2:22-24). God gave us the incredible gift of marriage to bless us and provide the platform with which to procreate.
However, sin corrupted God’s beautiful design. What was given as a blessing was perverted by sin’s power. When proving his case against humanity that we are all guilty before God, Paul states both men and women exchanged the natural order of things for what was unnatural.
Here’s the heart issue, all of this is a result of buying into the lie that God is not God (Rom. 1:25). When we believe this, then we let sin turn our world upside down and continuing in this way brings us to the point of not being able to recognize truth from a lie.
In this passage, Paul is using the example of homosexuality, but he is also referring to idolatry (vs. 23, 25), godlessness (vs. 18), wickedness (vs. 18), murder (vs. 29), envy (vs. 29), gossip ( vs. 29), and being disobedient to one’s parents (vs. 30), among other things. Many times, we want to isolate this one sin and use it to beat people over the head, but Paul is merely showing the descent that humanity took away from God after the Fall.
We want to isolate this one sin and use it to beat people over the head.
We are told that, because of this, we received in ourselves the due penalty for perversion (Rom. 1:27). Paul is speaking about the emotional and physical consequences of sin. When a person willfully chooses to go against God’s established natural laws, we will suffer the consequences. For example, on earth we operate in the natural law of gravity. If we choose not to, the result could kill us. Choosing to jump off a building goes against the law of gravity. The result of this choice is the penalty for violating a natural law.
The same is true of the consequences of sin. When we choose to sin, we are going against the natural order of things put in place by God. The result of those choices can bring about devastating results as Paul points out, and in this way we receive the due penalty for perversion.
Here’s the good news: God loves every person equally, regardless of what sin is in our lives. He is in the business of restoration. So no matter where we are on the spectrum, now is a good time to turn toward God and choose Him. Let His redemptive work make a difference in the choices you make. He gives us a choice, but he also gives us the answer, “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deut. 30:19). Today, choose God, choose life.
Original article published May 26, 2009.