The SCOTUS ruling on California’s Proposition 8 is no secret, and it is now especially important, as Exodus Internal shuts down, to consider what the Bible says about the Christian, homosexuality, and the government. You can read about the SCOTUS ruling on Fox here. This is the first of three blogs that ParkingSpace23 will be writing: (1) The Bible and Homosexuality; (2) God’s Design for Marriage; (3) The Christian, Homosexuality, and Government.
Make no mistake, I have no authority to define whether homosexual behavior is wrong or sinful. You have no authority to define it as such. Neither does the U.S. Supreme Court. The Bible, as God’s Word, is the only authority.
The Bible Defines Homosexuality as a Sin
Homosexuality is sin and is an affront to God, to His holy character. Homosexuality is a perverse sexual behavior. The Bible is the Christians only authority and the Bible makes this clear. The LORD defines homosexuality as a sin in the Old Testament:
- Then the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is immense, and their sin is extremely serious. I will go down to see if what they have done justifies the cry that has come up to Me. If not, I will find out.” (Gen 18:20-21)
- You are not to sleep with a man as with a woman; it is detestable (Lev 18:22)
- If a man sleeps with a man as with a woman, they have both committed a detestable thing. They must be put to death; their blood is on their own hands. (Lev 20:13)
Some will object to using the Old Testament to define homosexuality as a sin. But all Scripture is God-breathed and profitable (2 Tim 3:16-17). The Old Testament clearly states homosexuality is a sin against God. However, the national judicial system of ancient Israel is not administered by the Church. The Church is not Israel. The Old Testament clearly presents homosexuality as a sin (cf. Deut 23:18; 1 Kings 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7) that deserves the wrath of God like every other sin. However, it is not our job to administer divine punishment for sin but to lovingly proclaim the gospel.
The New Testament affirms the sinfulness of homosexuality.
- This is why God delivered them over to degrading passions. For even their females exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. The males in the same way also left natural relations with females and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Males committed shameless acts with males and received in their own persons the appropriate penalty of their error. (Rom 1:26-27)
- We know that the law is not meant for a righteous person, but for the lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinful, for the unholy and irreverent, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral and homosexuals, for kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and for whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching based on the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was entrusted to me. (1 Tim 1:9-11)
- Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or anyone practicing homosexuality, no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom. (1 Cor 6:9-10)
Too often however Christians can condemn homosexuality without providing the great hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul clearly continues to state in 1 Corinthians 6:11, “And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
There is Hope in the Gospel of Jesus Christ
1. Desires Gone Wrong
Homosexuality is a sin that sits at the end of a long line of ungodly choices. Strong desires lead to enticement and evil desires bring about sin.
- But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death. (James 1:14-15)
James 1:14-15 indicates, homosexuality is a process through sinful choices. Just as a man does not wake up one day and decide to leave his wife. Rather, leaving his wife was the final sin in a long line of sinful thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, and actions.
2. Hope Found: The Gospel of Jesus Christ
There is great hope in the gospel. Paul continued in 1 Corinthians 6 by saying:
- “And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor 6:11)
In other words, sins like homosexuality, adultery, thievery, drunkenness, et al, can be replaced by a new life (Tit 3:5), a holy life, and a life rooted in Christ’s righteousness (Rom 3:26; 4:22-25) through faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. When one comes to believe in Jesus we have redemption and every spiritual blessing (Eph 1:7-12). We know that as Christians, “we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10). Furthermore, in Christ a person is “born again” (John 3:3), a “new creature” (2 Cor 5:17), has a new Father (2 Cor 6:18), has a new name (Rev 2:17), and a new destiny (John 14:2). Although the Christian may struggle with sin, sin does not characterize his life (1 John 1:5-10). Only through the gospel is there hope to live according to God’s will (1 Cor 10:13).
If you struggle with homosexuality, I beg you to confess your sin to God. Homosexuality is clearly a sin that deserves the wrath of God as all sins do. Cry to God for mercy! This is the time to repent, turn to Christ in faith and bow your knee to Christ as the Savior and Lord of your life that He might save you from the penalty and the power of your sin. He can bring you into a right relationship with God. Jesus was crucified for sin, that God’s wrath might be poured out on Jesus for your sin. He was buried and resurrected so that you might be rescued, redeemed, and reconciled to God. So that you might have a new life committed to knowing Him, becoming like Him, and being used by Him. Find community in a bible-teaching church. Look for those who can counsel you with His word. Identify your own sinful lusts. Commit yourself to change through the gospel. Christ demands a new lifestyle, God-honoring desires, motives, behaviors, relational patterns, and serving patterns (Eph 4:17-32). Like other sins, it may be lifelong process and a lifelong battle seeking to glorify God but there is hope in Christ (1 Cor 6:11)
If you are a Christian struggling with homosexuality, I encourage you to have repentant worship. Go to God in the Word and in prayer for God “will not despise a broken and humbled heart” (Ps 51:17). Repent of your sin. You need to delight in Christ and devote yourself to the Word and to prayer. Find a solid local church and faithful godly pastors to confess sinful desires and seek biblical counseling so that you might maintain joyful fellowship with the saints and with Christ.
If you are a parent, pastor, or friend of someone struggling with homosexuality: (1) remember the good news of the gospel (Rom 3:10-12; 6:23); (2) remember that God is working in you (Rom 8:28-29); (3) confess/repent of your sin (Rom 2:4), special your sexual sin; (4) seek forgiveness in all areas of your life (Matt 5:23); (5) pray often (Phil 4:4-6); (6) be bold, humble (1 Pet 5:5), and patient (1 Thess 5:14); (7) be there to shepherd them through change (Eph 4:29-32). Finally when you counsel them: (1) listen (Prov 18:13); (2) don’t approve of homosexuality; (3) demonstrate love/compassion; (4) give hope (1 Cor 2:14; 10:13); (5) remember the gospel (Tit 2:11-12); (6) show him/her how to change biblically (Eph 4:22-24).
A great resource for its own material and also a resource that offers several great resources is Men Counseling Men: A Biblical Guide to Major Issues Men Face, General Editor John D. Street.
3. A Life Long Pursuit of Godliness
God’s grace is a marvelous thing. The Lord allowed Paul to have a thorn in his flesh stating “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). By God’s grace, sometimes when a believer is identified by a certain sin before conversion that temptation is fully removed. Sometimes, the temptation remains so that God’s sufficient grace might be on display. This is true of the one who struggles with drunkenness, pornography, homosexuality and any sin. Sometimes God’s glorious grace is displayed by the removal of the temptation. Sometimes God’s grace is on display in the struggle with the temptation and there “power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor 12:10).
- No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.(1 Cor 10:13)