26 For this reason God gave them over to shameful passions. Because their women exchanged the natural sexual relations for unnatural ones, 27 and likewise the men also abandoned normal relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done. 29 They are filled with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, malice. They are rife with envy, murder, strife, deceit, hostility. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, disrespectful, arrogant, boastful, dreamers of all kinds of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 senseless, covenant-breakers, heartless, coldblooded. 32 Although they are fully aware of God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but also commend those who practice them.
a depraved mind
What the world today seems to be flaunting as an acceptable lifestyle, Paul calls the result of God giving unbelievers over to a depraved mind. Bear in mind, Paul is building up his argument against those in Rome who disapprove of homosexuality, and judge them. He will make his point in chapter 2 that those who condemn the depraved ones are just as guilty as those who commend them. All of us need grace and God’s righteousness through Christ.
But that does not mean that God does not care about our sexual preference. The fact that all of us are sinners does not change the sinfulness of the homosexual lifestyle. It is an abomination. It is the result of a mind that has emptied itself of God, and accepted depravity as normal. Paul’s point is that God’s way of escape is the same for those who are depraved, as well as those who judge them. Christ’s death on the cross is the way out for both groups of sinners.
LORD, take our eyes off the sinfulness of others long enough for us to admit that we are in need of Christ, too.