A Right Understanding of Homosexuality

NOTE: This post is the fourth in a 5-post series by Andrew Courtis, Pastor of Hills Bible Church. In it, Andrew discusses some of the most contentious issues facing society. In response to these issues, he turns to the Scriptures to present the biblical perspective on each.


 

What does the Scripture say on the matter of homosexuality? There are five key passages in the Scriptures that directly address this. These passages span over many years and at varying stages of God’s progressive revelation indicating a continuity of thought on this issue. In this post I will not be thoroughly examining them, but want to simply point out what they are saying with some brief comments.

Sodom and Gomorrah
The first passage of consideration is that of . This chapter recounts the wickedness of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Their wicked sin of homosexual lust () manifested itself in desperate and depraved actions (). In response to their iniquity, the Lord sends judgment upon them (). Despite the attempts by some scholars who claim their sin was not homosexuality but rather rape or as one says, inhospitality – the text of Scripture makes it clear that the judgment came as a result of the sin of homosexuality (cf. ).

Mosaic Moral Code
In a series of moral law codes against sexual sin, the Lord commanded, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination” (). This clear and straightforward statement revealed that homosexuality is a sin and God’s estimation of it is that it is “an abomination.

The Judgment of God
In Paul reveals mankind’s sinful condition. contains a specific expression of mankind’s manifestation of utter depravity. The sin of homosexuality is described as “dishonourable passions” in which “natural relations” are exchanged for those “contrary to nature” (v. 26). This reveals that the homosexual desire (not just the act) is  sinful and is “contrary to nature” because it goes against the natural order of creation. In addition to the passions being dishonourable, the act of homosexuality is called “shameless” (v. 27). The consequence of such activity is that they who practice this receive “in themselves the due penalty for their error” (v. 27b). This penalty can be manifested spiritually, emotionally and physically.

Will not inherit the Kingdom of God
In Paul makes the clear statement that “the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God.” He goes on to give specific examples of unrighteousness. He says, neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality” will inherit the kingdom of God.

Against the Law
Paul raises the usefulness of God’s law in revealing that which is sinful in . In and 10 he lists specific sins that violate God’s holy law. In the midst of this list is “men who practice homosexuality” ().

The Scripture is clear on the matter of homosexuality – it is sin. However, there is hope for the homosexual. This will be discussed in the final post of this series.

19:1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. 10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.

12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. 13 For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.

15 As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” 18 And Lot said to them, “Oh, no, my lords. 19 Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. 20 Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!” 21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22 Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.

29 So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.

30 Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 And the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father. He did not know when she lay down or when she arose.

34 The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight also. Then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 35 So they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 36 Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab. He is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi. He is the father of the Ammonites to this day.

And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.”

11 And they struck with blindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.

23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.

29 So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.

just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 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.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 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.

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,

Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,

understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers,

10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,

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Andrew Courtis

Andrew Courtis

ANDREW - Serves as Pastor of Hills Bible Church. I am married to Dianne and we have three children (Kate, Emma and Jack). I was born and raised in Melbourne, moved to Adelaide to undertake theological studies (BMin.), and have completed additional studies with the Australian College of Theology (MATh.). I have served in pastoral ministry in both Melbourne and Sydney and am a qualified school teacher. I am committed to expository preaching and making the word of God known and understood.

4 thoughts on “A Right Understanding of Homosexuality”

  1. I’m curious. If its so important, why did Jesus never say anything on the matter? Ever.

    1. Hi Michael. That is a very good question. It is true that when we read the gospel narratives the Lord Jesus doesn’t specifically address the topic of homosexuality. However, this does not imply His acceptance or affirmation of homosexuality as there are many sins Scripture addresses that He doesn’t mention. It is certain that He affirmed the Divine design of marriage (which is between a man and a woman as mentioned in previous posts) in and the repetition of the fifth commandment. Furthermore, by means of other Scriptures outside of the gospel narratives Christ still speaks (), so when we read , , and we are also hearing Christ’s words through Paul. For a helpful post click on the following link: http://thecripplegate.com/is-it-true-that-jesus-never-addressed-homosexuality/

  2. Hi Michael, thanks for reading and asking this question. It is true that if read the gospel narratives that the Lord Jesus doesn’t specifically mention the topic of homosexuality.

    However, this doesn’t imply His acceptance or affirmation of it. In fact, there are many sins Scripture speaks of that He didnt mention. It is clear that He affirmed the Divine design for marriage (a man and a woman) in and by repeating the fifth commandment (this was discussed in an earlier post). Ultimately Christ does speak on this issue. When you read , and , Christ is speaking through Paul (). Seeing that all Scripture is God’s word, and Jesus Christ is God () the Lord Jesus Christ has much to day in this topic!

    For further reading see this link for a great post.

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