Romans 1:27 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 1:27, NIV: "In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error."

Romans 1:27, ESV: "and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error."

Romans 1:27, KJV: "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 recompence of their error which was meet."

Romans 1:27, NASB: "and likewise the men, too, abandoned natural relations with women and burned in their desire toward one another, males with males committing shameful acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error."

Romans 1:27, NLT: "And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved."

Romans 1:27, CSB: "The men in the same way also left natural relations with women and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the appropriate penalty of their error."

What does Romans 1:27 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has revealed some remarkable things in this section. God's wrath is actively being expressed against humanity in very specific and surprising ways. For instance, God is said to have responded to our refusal to acknowledge and worship Him as creator, and our worship of created things, instead, by giving humanity up to our own sinful desires (Romans 1:18–23).

Specifically, Paul seems to have said that God removed some restraint within human beings about how we express our sexual desires with and to each other. Unchecked, we as the human race, have fully indulged our lusts by dishonoring our bodies together. This applies to all forms of sex outside of marriages between men and women.

God has also given us up to homosexual passions, leading women to have sexual relationships with other women (Romans 1:26) and, now, men to have sexual relationships with other men. This "giving over" by God resulted in men being consumed with passion for other men and indulging that passion without shame.

Paul adds a note that, in the case of male homosexuality, men have received some kind penalty for their actions "in themselves." It's not clear what this means. What is clear is that even though God has given humanity up to these desires and sexual actions of all kinds, He still holds us responsible for our choices to indulge in the corruption of sex as it was intended for us by Him. That, too, is part of the expression of His wrath. In large part, the consequences of those actions are natural—they are the expected result of such an unnatural practice.

As normalized as sexual sin is in our culture, it seems to have been even more normalized in Paul's day. It was built into the worship of all kinds of pagan gods and idols. Paul has not written Romans to condemn sinners as irrevocably lost—otherwise, all of us would be lost (Romans 3:23)! He has written to present the joyful gospel message that all can be forgiven and redeemed through faith in Christ, no matter our sinful choices, past and present (1 Corinthians 6:9–11).