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:
For exchanging God’s glory for the glory of creation, God lets go of you and unclean desires and motives come into your life. (vv. 23-24)
Then you exchange truth for a lie, and God lets go of you further and then vile affections start to take hold of your life. (vv. 25-26)
This is the next huge step in the spiral downwards for a nation or community or individual.
Let’s look at this phrase vile affections and find out exactly what it is. The Greek word for vile is atimia which means literally “without honour”. It means to be completely ignored, to be without any reputation or regard, or to have no value whatsoever.
The Greek word for affections is pathos. This word means a desire or a passion for something. It is a neutral word in classical Greek, but in the New Testament is only ever used for negative passions: sexual lust. It means the desire for what is forbidden.
As we said when discussing Romans 1.25, this spiral is a gradual path. It goes from clean to unclean, then unclean to forbidden.
In the context of the rest of Romans 1.26 (and verses 27 as we shall see), this is referring in particular to homosexual and lesbian behaviour.
Whenever an individual or a community or a nation is involved in and is condoning or promoting homosexual behaviour, then you know that they are spiralling away from God at a furious speed. In the United Kingdom, it is at the stage where people are interviewed by the police just by saying that it is their opinion that homosexuality is a sin! Our nation is spiralling away from God.
The first step (and this can be historically proven for the UK and any other nation or community or individual) is to be sexually immoral. Sex stops being for marriage and marriage stops being for life. Divorce is more common and more commonplace, and is condoned and even celebrated. Sex before marriage becomes normal, not strange. Just watch evening television to know this has happened.
Then at some point, the nation or community (or individual) makes a jump from immorality to vile passions. Immorality is the correct passion out of control. It is correct for a man to desire a woman – it just needs to be kept in control. Vile passions is incorrect desires – a man desiring a man, a woman desiring a oman.
Notice that the Bible says here very plainly that homosexuality is against nature. The word for nature in the Greek is physis. This means nature or it can mean the state you are born in.
It is not natural to be homosexual – and it is NOT THE STATE YOU ARE BORN IN! There is no homosexual gene, there is no-one who is homosexual from birth.
The sexual desire is one of the easiest to manipulate. Advertising people know this and make their adverts accordingly. Studies done in the 1980s showed that if you take a teenage boy and show him pornography with woman wearing a particular brand of trainers, it only takes 20 minutes of fixating on this pornography for this boy to become aroused whenever he sees those trainers for the rest of his life.
That is why people become homosexual: they have homosexual experiences and are manipulated into it – just like the young men with the trainers. It is that simple. But mentally those people have to first stop thanking God, stop glorifying God and exchange truth for a lie. This has happened on a national scale in the UK and is increasing.
Now, do not get confused. Our nation is not under God’s judgment (and neither is your nation – wherever in the world you are reading this!). God has already placed all judgment and wrath on Jesus Christ. We are redeemed from the curse and God has given us the message of reconciliation to preach to the world, not the message of judgment!
All that happens is this: we wrestle with God to get away from Him, He loves us so much He lets go. And we end up unable to tell the difference between truth and lie, and we end up in sexual immorality. Then something happens: we reap what we sow. We chose a nation without God and we have it. But He still loves us and cares for us and adores us and the moment a single individual chooses to follow Him and thank Him and glorify Him and worship Him, that individual is delivered from the death spiral and filled with Him and His goodness.
If you are reading this and you have been involved in homosexuality, the Lord loves you. But your vile passions are proof that you are not right with God, not grateful to your own Creator and Maker, not giving Him the glory He deserves, and not listening to His voice and His Word. So repent and change your attitude, start to be grateful to God, start to worship Him and start to praise Him and your life will be changed. Forever.
Glory and freedom,