Expounding the More Perfect Way….Jesus Christ and Him Crucified Acts 18:24-28

By J. Swaggart

THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION IS NO!

We will address ourselves to that to a greater degree momentarily.  There are several places in the Word of God that addresses itself to this perversion (Gen.
19:1-13; Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Deut. 23:17-18; Judg. 19:22; Rev. 22:15); however, we will address ourselves primarily to Romans 1:24-28.
Hopefully in these passages given by the Holy Spirit to the Apostle Paul, your questions will be answered.

SEXUAL UNCLEANNESS

Paul said, “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves”(Rom. 1:24).  The phrase, “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts,” presents mankind not merely drifting toward,but actually, in a sense, being shoved by God in that direction.  Since men chose to give up God and worship the creature, God could do nothing but givemen into the control of the sinful things they preferred. In other words, God would not violate man’s will and force him to do something he did not want to do. When men persisted infollowing their totally depraved natures, God allowed them free rein. The natural result was immorality of the vilest kind.  Biblical scholar Henry Alford says of God’sact of delivering mankind over into the control of utter human depravity, “Not merely permissive, but judicially, God delivered them over.
As sin begets sin, and darkness of mind, deeper darkness, grace gives place to judgment, and the divine wrath hardens men, and hurries them on to more fearful degrees of depravity.” God, in other words, delivered man to uncleanness.  The word lusts is epithumia in the Greek text, and means, “a passionate craving, longing, desire,” and in this sense, an inordinately sinful one.  Alford again says, “Not by or through the lusts; the lusts of their heart were the field of action, the department of their being in which the dishonor took place.” In other words, this was what their hearts wanted.  The phrase, “To dishonor their own bodies between themselves,” carries with it more thanmere profligacy in the satisfaction of natural lusts, but rather bestiality, which refers to impurity in the physical, and not only in the social and religious sense. In other words, man is grossly immoral.  It speaks of adultery, fornication, pedophilia (sex with children), bestiality (sex with animals), lesbianism, and homosexuality. In other words, this “dishonor” includes all of these things mentioned.

CHANGING THE TRUTH OF GOD INTO A LIE

Paul said, “Who changed the Truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, Who is blessed forever. Amen” (Rom. 1:25).  The phrase, “Who changed the truth of God into a lie,” refers back to Verse 23, which speaks of spiritual and sexual uncleanness. In the realm of idolatry, it refers to the images of men, birds, cattle, dogs, crocodiles, frogs, and snakes, which are common among all idolaters. Such idolatry has been the root of all the abominable immoralities of the heathen. The idols have been the patrons of licentiousness. When they formed their gods in human shape, they endowed them with passions and represented them as slaves to disgraceful sex perversions and aspossessing unlimited powers of sexual gratification.
However, this condition of men’s hearts in purposely refusing the truth of God, led to the Lord using no restraining force over man whatsoever, allowing him without restraint to push headlong into this lie of darkness, which, in effect, is the same as God giving man a push. Considering man’s already depraved condition, the slide even further downward was terrible, to say the least!As we see here, the words, “God also gave them up,” as given in Verse 24, is a restraining force exercised by God even on unregenerate mankind, unless refused, which it was and continues to be.As well, there is far greater restraining force on believers as should be obvious (Job 1:10; Ps. 91; Rom. 8:28).  However, this restraining force even on believers can be removed, as well, through disobedience and rebellion. The phrase, “And worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator,” (Rom. 1:25) presents that of which Paul spoke in his message to the Athenians (Acts 17:29-30).  For man to worship and serve the creature, means he is doing such to something he has made with his hands and is, therefore, less than him.Regarding the “creature,” even if man worships himself or other men and women, which most of the world does, still, what good does that do him?  The phrase, “Who is blessed forever,”should have been translated, “bless-ed,” because it refers to God.  The word blessed refers to one receiving a blessing, in which, as should be obvious, God needs nothing.  The two syllable wordbless-ed, in effect, refers to the One doing the blessing, in this case, the Lord. The idea is all true blessings come exclusively from the Lord, with idols or anything else for that matter, able to produce none at all.  The word “Amen” means that this is anchored in the Word of God, and, as such, will not change.

WOMEN AND HOMOSEXUALITY
“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” (Rom. 1:26).  The phrase, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections,” presents once again the people purposely and with forethought rejecting God, desiring instead a way of gross evil, with the Lord removing His restraints and,
therefore, giving them unimpeded access to their desires. It must be remembered that the way down picks up speed as it goes, therefore, making it more and more difficult to stop or
turn around, even though desire to do so may ultimately come about. I speak of the untold millions who are hooked on alcohol, drugs, immorality, gambling, or any vice one may name.
It begins oftentimes as a lark, but as the acceleration downward increases, it becomes more and more difficult to stop, actually impossible without the help of God.
DISHONOR

The word vile in the Greek text is atimia, and means “dishonor, ignominy, and disgrace.”The first word in this meaning is dishonor, and looking at the meaning of its opposite “honor,” means to evaluate the worth of a person and to treat him with the consideration, respect, and love due his character and position.  Conversely, to dishonor a person is to either put an incorrect appraisal upon his worth and treat him accordingly, or, having properly evaluated his character, to refuse to treat him with the respect and deference that are his due.
Paul is using this in the sense of the world putting an incorrect estimate upon the sacredness, dignity, and purity of the physical body which was made by God and, in effect, in God’simage, and thus, using it in a way which dishonors it.  In that this is what the world wanted, they were given over to a “condition,” and not merely to an evil desire. It is one thing for an individual to do something which is very evil, but something else altogether for that person to “become” what they do, which is always where sin leads one

As stated, the problem can only be rectified by the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

LESBIANISM

The phrase, “For even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature,” in short, speaks of lesbianism unnatural sexual relations between women (homosexuality).

Several things are said here: »The word women as used here is not the word used as in John 4:9, which simply speaks of designation, but rather the Greek word thelus which means “a female.” In other words, the Holy Spirit through Paul is pointing to the gender, meaning that it is to stay that way.  That women tried to “change” the purpose of their gender, is the reason that Paul used the Greek word for female. They were not trying so much to change the gender, but rather its purpose respecting the sexual sense.  Consequently, they were changing what God had designed, and doing so in a rebellious, base, and ignominious way. They went from a far higher use down to a far lower use.  Even though this is one of the worst, or possibly the very worst example, still, this is the great sin of man, changing God’s ways for man’s ways, and in every capacity.  The “natural use” presents that intended by God, in this sense, the way sexually that women were

originally created.  The word natural in the Greek is phusis, and means “the nature of things, the force, laws, order of nature, as opposed to that which is monstrous, abnormal, perverse.”

That which is “against nature” respects that which is against nature’s laws, or God’s laws, which are one and the same.

MEN AND HOMOSEXUALITY
Paul said, “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 recompense of their error which was meet” (Rom. 1:27). The phrase, “And likewise also the men,” presents the word men used in the same fashion as the word women in the previous verse.
The Holy Spirit through Paul is not pointing out the mere designation of man, but rather the male as distinguished from a female. These terms are used because only the distinction
of sex is contemplated. The phrase, “Leaving the natural use of the woman” speaks of the sex act which is to be performed between the man and his wife. This natural wayformed and made by God, is set aside, in favor of that which is far, far lower.  Let it ever be understood, man can never improve upon that which God has done. He cannot add to it, or takeaway from it, at least with any
positive results. He always drops down to a lower level, which is the problem with the world, and always has been since the fall.
The Holy Spirit through the apostle is using this example of lesbianism and homosexuality, because it portrays in the most glaring way, the obvious truth of these statements. In other words, this example portrays in the worst way the folly of changing God’s designed direction, and designed, I might quickly add, for our good and not harm. Actually, this is one of Satan’s greatest ploys, even as he tempted Adam and Eve in the garden. He tried to make them think that God was withholding some good things from them, exactly as men think

today; however, let it ever be known, that all good things are found in the ways of God, and not outside those ways.  Satan has no good ways, only bondage. While he is able to offer some pleasure and can titillate the flesh somewhat, without exception, his efforts will lead to destruction. In other words, the Marlboro man dies of cancer.
The phrase, “Burned in their lust one toward another,” refers to that which is terrible in its intensity. The word burned in the Greek is ekkaio , and means “to burn out,” and can be explained as “the rage of lust.”  New Testament Greek scholar A. T. Robertson defined it as, “to inflame with lust.” In other words, this type of lust satiates or consumes theentirety of the individual. It is an all-out endeavor to satisfy their totally-depraved natures. Once again, we are speaking here of homosexuality.  The phrase, “Men with men working that which is unseemly,” specifies its direction.

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