Sunday, November 18, 2018
What Scripture Says about Homosexuality
Our culture is convinced that homosexuality is an appropriate lifestyle.
But Scripture says otherwise.
Satan wants to ruin lives, and Christians who approve homosexuality join him in that effort. The most hateful thing a Christian can do is condone something that God says damages people's bodies, minds, and spirits.
Let's take a look at Scripture's teaching on homosexuality so we don't fall prey to this serious error.
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. 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.”
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.
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.
It 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
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