What Scripture Says about Homosexuality

The most loving thing we can do is understand what the Bible teaches about homosexuality and stand with God in this highly controversial area. This 1-minute devotion shares what Scripture teaches. #homosexuality #BibleLoveNotes #Bible

As an introduction to this study, please read the short devotion God's View of Homosexuality. It explains how our culture is convinced that homosexuality is an appropriate lifestyle.  

Satan wants to ruin lives, and Christians who approve homosexuality join him in that effort.  There's even a movement among some Christians to "revise" or "redefine" the truths found in Scripture. You can read more about that in the Gay Revisionist Collection of Bible Love Notes.

But the most hateful thing we can do is condone things that God says damage people's bodies, minds, and spirits. So let's take a look at Scripture's teaching on homosexuality so we can faithfully represent God in our thinking, our prayers, and our words.

Old Testament Commands

The Old Testament condemns any sexual relationship outside married, heterosexual partners.

Leviticus 18:22-24: “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable. Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion. Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled.”

Sometimes people discount the Old Testament laws because not all were permanent. It's true that sacrificial and dietary laws were fulfilled in Christ. In addition, some Old Testament laws were civil laws given specifically to the nation of Israel. These laws represent an enduring principle, but we are no longer commanded to obey them.(1)

The passage below was one of Israel’s civil laws. We are no longer commanded to kill homosexuals - that was a civil law for the nation of Israel. But the principle behind the law is permanent - homosexual relationships are harmful to individuals and to the community at large.

Leviticus 20:13: "If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” 

To read more about Old and New Testament laws, see: Which Old Testament Laws Apply?

New Testament Commands

Because Old Testament commands can be harder to navigate, it's helpful to see how clearly homosexuality is condemned in the New Testament.

Romans 1:26-27: “God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 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.”

Scripture says you cannot be a practicing homosexual and be saved. Some people claim that the word "homosexual" isn't found in Scripture or they claim that only homosexual orgies are addressed in Scripture. See The Word Homosexual in Scripture.

Those claims are completely unfounded. In fact, the verse below contains the Greek word "arsenokoites" which translates "a man in bed with another man; a homosexual."

1 Corinthians 6:9-11: “Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

For a more thorough look at this passage see Don't Overlook Verse 11

The passage below talks about the fact that the righteous man, the man who knows Christ, has the law written on his heart. God's Spirit corrects and rebukes him. He doesn’t need the external law like the unrepentant sinner needs it. 

The most loving thing we can do is understand what the Bible teaches about homosexuality and stand with God in this highly controversial area. This 1-minute devotion shares what Scripture teaches. #homosexuality #BibleLoveNotes #Bible
1 Timothy 1:8-11: “We know that the law is good when used correctly. For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.” 

False Teachings that Seek to Justify Homosexuality:

1. The sin of Sodom wasn't homosexuality.

A new teaching about Sodom and Gomorrah has recently become popular. It claims the condemnation of Sodom and Gomorrah was due to their lack of hospitality, not homosexuality. The Scripture below puts that ridiculous teaching to rest. 

Jude 1:7: "In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire." 

To read more about this teaching, read False Teachings about Sodom and Gomorrah.  

2. People are born homosexual.

Some people argue that people are born homosexual. Since Scripture calls it a sin, that means God designs some people to be hopeless sinners.

Not true. People may have certain tendencies toward sin and/or their environment may encourage sinful tendencies. But no one is born homosexual any more than someone is born an adulterer. Sin is always a choice (James 1:13-15).

3. Homosexuality is no worse than gossip.

It has long been popular to claim that God sees all sins the same, but this is absolutely false. God clearly differentiates between sins in both the Old and New Testament. For example:

1 Corinthians 6:18-19"Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;"

For a more thorough look at this subject with numerous Scriptures see All Sins are Not the Same.

4. Biblical morals change.

Sometimes people try to discredit Old Testament laws by claiming that God's view of sexuality changes. After all, He allowed polygamy in the Old Testament.

We don't fully understand why God allowed polygamy in Old Testament times, but polygamy was always heterosexual and never shown in a positive light. 

The most loving thing we can do is understand what the Bible teaches about homosexuality and stand with God in this highly controversial area. This 1-minute devotion shares what Scripture teaches. #homosexuality #BibleLoveNotes #BibleIt caused rivalry between wives (Hannah and Peninnah: 1 Samuel 1:1-8, Rachel and Leah: Genesis 29:30-33). It caused jealousy, murder, and rape between siblings from different mothers (Jacob’s family: Genesis 35:22-25; Genesis 37:12-36; David’s family: 2 Samuel 13). And, despite his many wives, David seems to have spent his later years without a meaningful relationship with any of his wives (1 Kings 1:1-2).

In addition, Titus 1:6 and 1 Timothy 3:2 explain that leaders in the church are required to be husbands of one wife. Some translations simply say "faithful to his wife," but the Greek says "one wife." 

Since elders are supposed to model God's standards, we can trust that God's New Testament standard is heterosexual monogamy. That was God's original design.

Mark 10:6-9: “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

See also Genesis 2:24 and Ephesians 5:31.

To read more about this: Why Did God Allow Polygamy in the Bible? 

God’s design is the only one that is right and pure and holy. Those who engage in premarital sex, extramarital sex, homosexuality, or transgender sex bring God’s judgment upon themselves. It should be our heartfelt desire to prevent people from damaging their souls. And that means standing firmly on the principles of Scripture, not bending with the approval of culture. 

For Scriptures about these other sexual sins, see Sex Outside of Marriage-What Scripture Says, What the Bible Teaches about Transgenderism, and God's View of Sex 1-Minute Archive.

Let's pray for people caught up in sexual sins of any kind, and let's stand with Jesus against everything that damages people's souls.  

copyright 2018, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com, edited and updated 2021

Bite Size Bible Study


  1. This is such s timely post. Christians allow themselves to be fooled by false teaching on homosexuality. I have a dear friend whose family had embraced the homosexual community and it causes her such pain. They tell her she is a hypocrite because she is divorced and remarried. How can she reconcile divorce and being a Christian? Are they both sexual sin? Your posts are such a blessing. I print them out and share them with my daughter. I wish you would publish them.

  2. Thank you so much for this post!! I want to be loving and kind to all people but as a Christian I only want to follow God's laws and what is pleasing to Christ. It makes me sad that so many deny the truth and I know eventually will pay the price for it.

  3. I am thankful for this timely teaching, but I do have a question to ask. I agree that homosexuality is a sin, so how do I tell someone that I disagree with their lifestyle and yet show them Christ's love outside of praying for them?

    1. Hi Brenda,
      Prayer is probably the most important thing we can do, and as we pray, God may also give us opportunities and methods for sharing His truths with gay friends and family members. We really need to depend on the Holy Spirit.

      We have a homosexual family member, and we have done things wrong at times, but I think the most valuable conversations we've had have helped her see that whether she agrees with us or not, our motive is a love for her and a desire to see her in heaven with us.

    2. šŸ’”šŸ’”devastating....I have told my beloved daughter (who served the Lord full out with our family, before she chose a homosexual partneršŸ˜¢) that God loves her but not her sinful lifestylešŸ˜­...she knows it all...
      What more can I do??

  4. Thank for encouraged and emphasized topic with understanding the meaning of God's word

  5. Thank you for the quick but truthful words. This has been a topic that I have been thinking recently and how it relates to the Bible.

  6. I am currently studying theology through an accredited college in South Africa. Their take on homosexuality is that it was only a sin if done while worshipping other gods. I was required to answer a question on this in one of my assignments, and I simply couldn’t agree with that stance. Andy Stanley’s series on twisting the truth explains how we twist scripture to fit in with the moral standards of society, and it’s my belief that this is what people do when they try to explain away the sin of homosexuality.

  7. I remember a teaching Charles Stanley gave over 20 years ago. He said God created a space within us that is meant to be filled by only Himself. What anyone does that contradicts His Word, His Way is taking up room in that space. By feeding ourselves poison, we starve and have to keep eating more and more of the vileness to satiate the hunger. Of course, it is never satisfied and one starves to death. I liken this to an old Star Trek episode called The Trouble With Tribbles: The Enterprise was transporting grain to a colony, and it was poisoned. Someone had smuggled the tribbles on board; tribbles reproduce by eating, the more they ate, the hungrier they got ( that was how the poison worked). They kept eating and kept reproducing all the while starving to death. Remember, God put the boundaries up for us in GOOD places. Adhere to those boundaries and evolve from sheep to sons and daughters in Christ.

  8. I have a family member who is a practicing lesbian. I love her with all my heart and I always had thought of it as it was not for me to judge. I felt as though I just didn't want to see it and she has respected me to not ever be disrespectful to me to do so. I try not to judge but recently although I have bit my tongue, i did voice my opinion out loud. Am I wrong?

    1. Hi Q&A,
      Scripture doesn't tell us not to judge. In fact, it tells us to judge many things. But Scripture does tell us how to judge (We should not judge harshly or hypocritically).

      Christians must judge homosexuality as a sin because our God says it is a sin. But we can still love our homosexual family and friends.

      We have a homosexual family member. And we initially explained our concerns when she became a lesbian. She got very angry, even though we didn't tell her our beliefs in a mean way. Since that time, we've never brought it up. However, throughout the years, there are times she has brought it up and asked what we believe (perhaps she thinks we will change our mind) and each time we've told her that we love her but we don't agree with her lifestyle because we believe it's against God's design and God warns against it because it is damaging to her soul. She has sometimes gotten angry with us, but we have continued to treat her kindly and she usually moves on.

      I think there are right times to say something and wrong times to say something, but it will be different for every situation. I just encourage you to let the Lord guide you.