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There may be circumstances in your earthly lot which at this moment are peculiarly trying. You look around and wonder how this or that circumstance will terminate. At present it looks very dark–clouds and mists hang over it, and you fear lest these clouds may break, not in showers upon your head, but burst forth in the lightning flash and the thunder stroke! But all things are put in subjection under Christ’s feet! That which you dread cannot take place except by His sovereign will–nor can it move any further except by His supreme disposal. Then make yourself quiet. He will not allow you to be harmed. That frowning providence shall only execute His sovereign purposes, and it shall be among those all things which, according to His promise, shall work together for your good. None of our trials come upon us by chance! They are all appointed in weight and measure–are all designed to fulfill a certain end. And however painful they may at present be, yet they are intended for your good. When the trial comes upon you, what a help it would be for you if you could view it thus, “This trial is sent for my good. It does not spring out of the dust. The Lord Himself is the supreme disposer of it. It is very painful to bear; but let me believe that He has appointed me this peculiar trial, along with every other circumstance. He will bring about His own will therein, and either remove the trial, or give me patience under it, and submission to it.”

Source: J.C. Philpot

(The Subjection of All Things Under the Feet of Jesus)

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“My Trial”

by Brock Schueren

gavel

I am surrounded on all sides by beings unfamiliar to me. Some are clothed in pure white with golden crowns upon their heads. Others are as living flames. With two fiery wings they fly, but their feet and faces are hidden by the fires of their other wings. Still there are other beings: beings covered in a multitude of eyes.

These beings I see as I stand in a courtroom awaiting a trial. It is my trial. I am to be judged today. I am not worried about what will happen. I’m a pretty good person, and certainly not as bad as those who have gone before me or those who will come after me. Compared to them, I’m doing just fine.

There’s a commotion in the room. I turn to see someone entering. I know who he is. He’s the accuser, my adversary. I feel a twinge of anxiety but it quickly fades away. I remember that he is just here to do his job, the same job that ended up putting away all those bad people who came before me. He won’t be too hard on me, and even if he is, there isn’t much dirt on me for him to dig up anyway.

He points at me and begins a long rant against me. I’m nervous, but most of the things he accuses me of are minor and easily justified. They are certainly no big deal. As he continues speaking, my mind begins to wander. I think it’s odd that the judge isn’t here to listen to the prosecution. I would have thought he would want to hear this. Oh well, I’m sure he will turn up at some point for just long enough to let me go. Maybe he knows that all these accusations aren’t a big deal so he hasn’t even bothered coming to listen? Whatever the reason, it doesn’t hold my attention for very long.

My mind wanders again. I look around and try to count the number of people gathered in the court. But the fiery beings distract me. They fascinate me to no end. They are certainly like nothing I have ever seen before. I wonder if they are hot. Are the flames real flames that would burn me? Again I am distracted – this time by the beings covered in eyes. They unnerve me. Can they see out of all of those? Can they look at me, at the accuser, and at the other beings all at the same time? Can their eyes see more than flesh? Can they look into my soul? I am more ashamed by their gazes than I am by the one who accuses me.

He continues his list of accusations: “You are a blasphemer, a liar, a hypocrite. You lust in your heart. You are sexually immoral. You hate your neighbors and seek the destruction of those who do you harm. You cheat, steal, and covet what is not yours. You are an idolater and practice wicked things. If the judge is just, you will not leave here except in shackles, and will be led away to your destruction.”

I think this man is crazy. I’m really not that bad. No one in his right mind would punish me. If I’m this bad, think of what all the really awful people are doing – the evil people who murder or rape. Or those who practice black, despicable magics. Or those who sacrifice children. Or who eat people. Trust me; I’m fine.

The Adversary continues in this fashion for so long that I now have no idea how long it’s been. Minutes, hours, even days or weeks may have passed while he’s continually spewed forth all my faults, failings, and transgressions. My mind wanders from one topic to another, alighting on anything that will distract me from his tireless assaults. I know all of these things are true, but they do not faze me. Why would they? I know each one. I am, after all, the one who did them. They aren’t surprises to me.

But then something changes.

Suddenly I sense a difference in the air. It smells the same, but somehow it’s more potent. The ground feels at once both cooler and warmer. My skin begins to tingle. I hear a change in audience. They sound quieter even than their initial silence. The light begins to change. It gets brighter and whiter each moment. I glance at the fiery beings. Their flames flicker ever so slightly differently, almost as if they are trembling. The Adversary continues speaking, but his words do not come as fluently. Even he is attuned to the differences, but he does not stop his railings.

Then the spectators break their silence. First one, then another. Soon I can hear them all. They are shouting, wailing, crying out in voices like peals of thunder. But I hear another noise. The figures in white are throwing down their crowns and kneeling on the floor. I look about in bewilderment. The light continues to increase. It is now so bright that I cannot bear it. I cast my eyes downward to shield them. It doesn’t work; I close them entirely. The wailings increase. My ears are deafened. I attempt to open my eyes and look up. Suddenly I see the train of a robe. It seems to have filled the room. My eyes follow it to the seat where the Judge is now sitting. I gaze upon Him and am ruined. I fall at his feet, utterly undone.

I am overwhelmed by my sins, transgressions, iniquities, and failings. “It’s me!” I cry out. “I have done all these things.” I am now fully and completely ashamed of what I have done. Even the tiniest lie now seems to me as the blackest scar in the presence of this bright Judge. I know who I am in His presence. I am a filthy rag soaked in putrid blood. I am a wretched stain more odorous than a thousand rotting carcasses. I can make no excuse. Who now cares what others have done before me or will do after me? I do not. I am crushed beneath the weight of my sins. I cannot bear them. I cannot breathe. I can think of nothing but my guilt and shame. I am afraid.

Then I hear Him speak, and His voice tolls throughout the chamber, engulfing the cries of the beings, the Accuser, and me. “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins,” He says. But my blood is vile and cursed by my iniquities. I know he will pronounce me guilty and discard me as the waste that I am. He must.

But then I see the crowd parting, and I behold a lamb without blemish, spotless as newly-fallen snow. He is pure and clean. Marvelously white. Surely his blood is innocent. Surely he is perfect. If anyone were to deserve life and blessing it would be this lamb. He would not be condemned.

As I gaze upon his beauty, he is transformed into the likeness of a man. And as this happens I hear the Judge speaking again, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” The man stands next to me now as I cower on the ground at his feet. Before us the Judge is seated, high and lifted up upon his mighty seat.

I can still hear the wailing and gnashing of the assembled host. They are crying out the majesty and the splendor and the holiness of the Judge. I know my doom is coming. He opens his mouth, ready to speak. I know the verdict. “Guilty!” He pronounces. The word echoes off the walls and reverberates across the foundation. My heart races, fearful of the fate before me. I will die, rightfully, for the many sins I have committed.

But wonder of wonders, the man next to me is led away. I see him shackled and tied up. He is beaten, bruised, bleeding. He is bearing the penalty for what I have done. He was condemned, and he is dying for me. Soon I see him dead, his body broken and his blood poured out. This perfect man, spotless lamb, lies dead before me.

But more wonderful still, and unbelievable to my eyes, I see this man raised from the dead. The power of death could not hold him; he has been raised to life.

I am still on the floor, wallowing in the muck of my blood and the stains of my iniquities. Someone approaches me and places something upon me. It is a robe: pure and white like the wool of the lamb. It covers me and my stains. I am wrapped in it perfectly. A hand reaches down to me and lifts my face. My eyes turn upward where I see the Lamb who was slain. He says to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

“My Savior and my God!” I cry, and cling to his feet.

“Come,” He says and leads me before the Judge where I stand clothed in the perfect righteousness of the Lamb.

“I find this man innocent,” proclaims the Judge. “Enter now into eternal life,” he says to me. Then the crowd begins a new noise, praising God that justice has been served and mercy also.

Are not the justice and mercy of God entwined so perfectly in the person and work of Jesus Christ? The justice was poured out upon Christ through his death for us, and mercy was granted to us who believe in His finished work. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who has born the wrath of God in your place. Only through him and his sacrificial death is there forgiveness of sins. And by his life are we raised to new life in him. “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” –Romans 5:10-11

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What is the biblical evidence for the imputation of Adam’s Sin?

The doctrine of the imputation of Adam’s sin means that when Adam first sinned, that sin (and its blame) was rightly regarded by God to be our sin as well.

John Piper writes:

The problem with the human race is not most deeply that everybody does various kinds of sins—those sins are real, they are huge and they are enough to condemn us. Paul is very concerned about them. But the deepest problem is that behind all our depravity and all our guilt and all our sinning, there is a deep mysterious connection with Adam whose sin became our sin and whose judgment became our judgment. (John Piper, “Adam, Christ, and Justification: Part 1“)

God ordains that that there be a union of some kind that makes Adam’s sin to be our sin so that our condemnation is just. (“Adam, Christ, and Justification: Part 5“)

The biblical basis for this doctrine of imputed sin is discussed thoroughly in John Piper’s five sermons on Romans 5:12-21. Here we will simply seek to summarize some of the primary evidence from this text.

Sin Entered the World Through One Man
First, Paul states in 5:12 that all sinned in Adam: “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Paul seems to be equating the “because all sinned” with “through one man sin entered into the world.”

Sin is Not Imputed Where There is no Law
Second, in verses 13-14 Paul adds a clarification which confirms that he does indeed have the imputation of Adam’s sin in view in the phrase “because all sinned” rather than our individual sins. He states: “For until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.” In other words, Paul concedes that personal sin was prevalent in the world before Moses (“until the Law sin was in the world…”). But he adds that these personal sins were not the ultimate reason people died in that time period: “But sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses.” As Piper summarizes:

People died even though their own individual sins against the Mosaic law were not the reason for dying; they weren’t counted. Instead, the reason all died is because all sinned in Adam. Adam’s sin was imputed to them. (John Piper, “Adam, Christ, and Justification: Part 2“)

Death Reigned Even Over Those Who Did Not Sin Like Adam
Third, Paul’s statement at the end of verse 14 further clarifies that he does not have personal sins in view as the reason for human death: “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam.” Piper notes:

In other words, yes Paul concedes that there are other kinds of laws before the Mosaic Law, and yes people broke those laws, and yes, one could argue that these sins are the root cause of death and condemnation in the world. But, Paul says, there is a problem with that view, because death reigned “even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam.” There are those who died without seeing a law and choosing to sin against it.

Who are they? I think the group of people begging for an explanation is infants. Infants died. They could not understand personal revelation. They could not read the law on their hearts and choose to obey or disobey it. Yet they died. Why? Paul answers: the sin of Adam and the imputation of that sin to the human race. In other words, death reigned over all humans, even over those who did not sin against a known and understood law. Therefore, the conclusion is, to use the words of verse 18: “through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men.” (Ibid)

So the purpose of verses 13 and 14 are to clarify verse 12 in this way:

At the end of verse 12 the words, “death spread to all men, because all sinned” mean that “death spread to all because all sinned in Adam.” Death is not first and most deeply because of our own individual sinning, but because of what happened in Adam. (Ibid)

Paul’s Emphasis Upon the One Transgression
Fourth, at least five times in the following verses Paul says that death comes upon all humans because of the one sin of Adam:

Verse 15: by the transgression of the one the many died

Verse 16: the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation

Verse 17: by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one

Verse 18: through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men

We are all condemned not ultimately because of our individual sins, but because of one sin (verse 18). We die not ultimately because of personal sins, but because of Adam’s one transgression (verse 17). It is not ultimately from our personal sins that we die, but rather “by the transgression of the one the many died.” Paul states over and over again that it is because of one sin that death and condemnation belong to us all. In other words, we are connected to Adam such that his one sin is regarded as our sin and we are worthy of condemnation for it.

The Direct Statement of Verse 19
Fifth, verse 19 provides us with a direct statement of imputation:

For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

Paul here says that we are made sinners by the sin of Adam. Due to his disobedience, we are regarded as sinners. We cannot take “made sinners” here to be referring to original sin in which we become inherently sinful because it is paralleled with “made righteous.” The phrase “made righteous” in this context is referring to the great truth of justification. Justification does not concern a change in our characters, the infusion of something inherent in us. Rather, it involves a change in our standing before God. In justification, God declares us righteous because He imputes to us the righteousness of Christ–not because He makes us internally righteous (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:21). Thus, when Paul says “made righteous” here, he means “imputed with righteousness” not “infused with righteousness.” Since “made sinners” is paralleled with “made righteous,” it must also be referring to imputation. Thus, Paul is saying that we are all made sinners in the sense that we are imputed with Adam’s sin.

-sermon by John Piper (www.desiringgod.org)

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It is ironic that in the same chapter, indeed in the same context, in which our Lord teaches the utter necessity of rebirth to even see the kingdom, let alone choose it, non-Reformed views find one of their main proof texts to argue that fallen man retains a small island of ability to choose Christ. It is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

What does this famous verse teach about fallen man’s ability to choose Christ? The answer, simply, is nothing. The argument used by non-Reformed people is that the text teaches that everybody in the world has it in their power to accept or reject Christ. A careful look at the text reveals, however, that it teaches nothing of the kind. What the text teaches is that everyone who believes in Christ will be saved. Whoever does A (believes) will receive B (everlasting life). The text says nothing, absolutely nothing, about who will ever believe. It says nothing about fallen man’s natural moral ability. Reformed people and non-Reformed people both heartily agree that all who believe will be saved. They heartily disagree about who has the ability to believe.

Some may reply, “All right. The text does not explicitly teach that fallen men have the ability to choose Christ without being reborn first, but it certainly implies that.” I am not willing to grant that the text even implies such a thing. However, even if it did it would make no difference in the debate. Why not? Our rule of interpreting Scripture is that implications drawn from the Scripture must always be subordinate to the explicit teaching of Scripture. We must never, never, never reverse this to subordinate the explicit teaching of Scripture to possible implications drawn from Scripture. This rule is shared by both Reformed and non-Reformed thinkers.

If John 3:16 implied a universal natural human ability of fallen men to choose Christ, then that implication would be wiped out by Jesus’ explicit teaching to the contrary. We have already shown that Jesus explicitly and unambiguously taught that no man has the ability to come to him without God doing something to give him that ability, namely drawing him.

Fallen man is flesh. In the flesh he can do nothing to please God. Paul declares, “The fleshly mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:7, 8).

We ask, then, “Who are those who are ‘in the flesh’?” Paul goes on to declare: “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you” (Rom. 8:9). The crucial word here is if. What distinguishes those who are in the flesh from those who are not is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. No one who is not reborn is indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. People who are in the flesh have not been reborn. Unless they are first reborn, born of the Holy Spirit, they cannot be subject to the law of God. They cannot please God.

God commands us to believe in Christ. He is pleased by those who choose Christ. If unregenerate people could choose Christ, then they could be subject to at least one of God’s commands and they could at least do something that is pleasing to God. If that is so, then the apostle has erred here in insisting that those who are in the flesh can neither be subject to God nor please him.

We conclude that fallen man is still free to choose what he desires, but because his desires are only wicked he lacks the moral ability to come to Christ. As long as he remains in the flesh, unregenerate, he will never choose Christ. He cannot choose Christ precisely because he cannot act against his own will. He has no desire for Christ. He cannot choose what he does not desire. His fall is great. It is so great that only the effectual grace of God working in his heart can bring him to faith.

Excerpted from Chosen by God by RC Sproul

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I woke up early this morning with the following song on my mind. May the words serve as a fresh reminder of our position in Christ:

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“Before the foundations of the earth He knew you, and it’s not because He looked in some crystal ball, or down the corridors of time and saw you in the future.

 

The bible never speaks of a crystal ball, and it never speaks of corridors of time or God looking into a book that talks about the future… it never does. It never talks about God looking into the future.

 

God does not know the future because He’s looked ahead and seen it… God knows the future because He’s Lord over it, and directs every molecule, every fiber of being, every bit of matter towards the purpose He has ordained.

 

That is a God my friend.

 

Not a god who looks into the future and then reacts, not a god who makes choices based on choices of other men He’s seen in the future.

 

No.

 

A god who is The God and Lord and Author of the future.”

 

-Paul Washer

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  To most readers, the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans contains the Bible’s clearest condemnation of same-sex relations–both male and female.  Recent scholarship, though, reads the same text and finds just the opposite–that homosexuality is innate and therefore normal, moral, and biblical.

Reconstructing Romans

      In Romans, Paul seems to use homosexuality as indicative of man’s deep seated rebellion against God and God’s proper condemnation of man.  New interpretations cast a different light on the passage. 

      Paul, the religious Jew, is looking across the Mediterranean at life in the capital of Graeco-Roman culture.  Homosexuality in itself is not the focus of condemnation.  Rather, Paul’s opprobrium falls upon paganism’s refusal to acknowledge the true God.

      It’s also possible Paul did not understand the physiological basis of genuine homosexuality.  John Boswell, professor of history at Yale, is among those who differ with the classical interpretation.  In Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality he writes:

The persons Paul condemns are manifestly not homosexual:  what he derogates are homosexual acts committed by apparently heterosexual persons….It is not clear that Paul distinguished in his thoughts or writings between gay persons (in the sense of permanent sexual preference) and heterosexuals who simply engaged in periodic homosexual behavior.  It is in fact unlikely that many Jews of his day recognized such a distinction, but it is quite apparent that–whether or not he was aware of their existence–Paul did not discuss gay persons but only homosexual acts committed by heterosexual persons. [emphasis in the original]

      Paul is speaking to those who violate their natural sexual orientation, Boswell contends, those who go against their own natural desire:  “‘Nature’ in Romans 1:26, then, should be understood as the personal nature of the pagans in question.”[emphasis in the original]  

      Since a homosexual’s natural desire is for the same sex, this verse doesn’t apply to him.  He has not chosen to set aside heterosexuality for homosexuality; the orientation he was born with is homosexual.  Demanding that he forsake his “sin” and become heterosexual is actually the kind of violation of one’s nature Paul condemns here.

Romans 1:18-27   

      Both views can’t be correct.  Only a close look at the text itself will give us the answer.  The details of this passage show why these new interpretations are impossible:

    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

    For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.  For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

    Therefore, God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them.  For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

    For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

      Let me start by making two observations.  First, this is about God being mad:  “For the wrath of God [orge] is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men….” 

      Second, there is a specific progression that leads to this “orgy” of anger.  Men “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (v. 18).  They exchanged “the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (v. 25).  Next, “God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity…” (v. 24).  They “exchanged the natural [sexual] function for that which is unnatural (v. 26).  Therefore, the wrath of God rightly falls on them (v. 18); they are without excuse (v. 20).

      This text is a crystal clear condemnation of homosexuality by the Apostle Paul in the middle of his most brilliant discourse on general revelation.  Paul is not speaking to a localized aberration of pedophilia or temple prostitution that’s part of life in the capital of Graeco-Roman culture.  He is talking about a universal condition of man.

      Regarding the same-sex behavior itself, here are the specific words Paul uses:  a lust of the heart, an impurity and dishonoring to the body (v. 24); a degrading passion that’s unnatural (v. 29); an indecent act and an error (v. 27); not proper and the product of a depraved mind (v. 28).

      There’s only one way the clear sense of this passage can be missed:  if someone is in total revolt against God.  According to Paul, homosexual behavior is evidence of active, persistent rebellion against one’s Creator.  Verse 32 shows it’s rooted in direct, willful, aggressive sedition against God–true of all so-called Christians who are defending their own homosexuality.  God’s response is explicit:  “They are without excuse” (v. 20).

Born Gay? 

      What if one’s “natural” desire is for the same sex, though.  What if his homosexuality is part of his physical constitution?  There are four different reasons this is a bad argument.  The first three are compelling; the fourth is unassailable.

      First, this rejoinder assumes there is such a thing as innate homosexuality.  The scientific data is far from conclusive, though.  Contrary to the hasty claims of the press, there is no definitive evidence that homosexuality is determined by physiological factors (see “Just Doing What Comes Naturally,” Clear Thinking, Spring, 1997).

      There’s a second problem.  If all who have a desire for the same sex do so “naturally,” then to whom does this verse apply?  If everybody is only following their natural sexual desires, then which particular individuals fall under this ban, those who are not aroused by their own gender, but have sex anyway?  Generally, for men at least, if there is no arousal, there is no sex.  And if there is arousal, according to Boswell et al, then the passion must be natural.

      Third, this interpretation introduces a whole new concept–constitutional homosexuality–that is entirely foreign to the text.  Boswell himself admits that it was “in fact unlikely that many Jews of [Paul’s] day recognized such a distinction,” and that possibly even Paul himself was in the dark. 

      If Paul did not understand genuine homosexuality, though, then how can one say he excepted constitutional homosexuals when he wrote that they “exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural”?  This argument self-destructs.

      Further, if Paul spoke only to those violating their personal sexual orientation, then wouldn’t he also warn that some men burned unnaturally towards women, and some women towards men?  Wouldn’t Paul warn against both types of violation–heterosexuals committing indecent acts with members of the same sex, and homosexuals committing indecent acts with members of the opposite sex?

      What in the text allows us to distinguish between constitutional homosexuals and others?  Only one word:  “natural.”  A close look at this word and what it modifies, though, leads to the most devastating critique of all.

Natural Desire or Natural Function?

      Paul was not unclear about what he meant by “natural.”  Homosexuals do not abandon natural desires; they abandon natural functions:  “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another…” (1:26-27)

      The Greek word kreesis, translated “function” in this text, is used only these two times in the New Testament, but is found frequently in other literature of the time.  According to the standard Greek language reference A Greek/English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other  Early Christian Literature, the word means “use, relations, function, especially of sexual intercourse.”

      Paul is not talking about natural desires here, but natural functions.  He is not talking about what one wants sexually, but how one is built to operate sexually.  The body is built to function in a specific way.  Men were not built to function sexually with men, but with women.

      This conclusion becomes unmistakable when one notes what men abandon in verse 27, according to Paul.  The modern argument depends on the text teaching that men abandoned their own natural desire for woman and burned toward one another.  Men whose natural desire was for other men would then be exempted from Paul’s condemnation.  Paul says nothing of the kind, though.

      Paul says men forsake not their own natural desire (their constitutional make-up), but rather the “natural function of the woman..”  They abandoned the female, who was built by God to be man’s sexual compliment.

      The error has nothing to do with anything in the male’s own constitution that he’s denying.  It is in the rejection of the proper sexual companion God has made for him–a woman:  “The men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts….” (v. 27)

      Natural desires go with natural functions.  The passion that exchanges the natural function of sex between a man and a woman for the unnatural function of sex between a   man and a man is what Paul calls a degrading passion.

      Jesus clarified the natural, normal relationship:  “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female and said ‘For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh [sexual intercourse].’?”  (Matthew 19:4-5)

      Homosexual desire is unnatural because it causes a man to abandon the natural sexual compliment God has ordained for him:  a woman.  That was Paul’s view.  If it was Paul’s view recorded in the inspired text, then it is God’s view.  And if it is God’s view, it should be ours if we call ourselves Christian. 

 

 

 

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