I didn’t choose to be like this, I was born this way. This is just who I am. So how can it be wrong?
This morning I preached a message on homosexuality and our hope in Christ to change. But many homosexuals say they were born that way, so how can it be wrong, or how can they hope to change?
In 1 CO 6.9-11 Paul says that homosexuals, the sexually immoral, adulterers, drunkards, the greedy, revilers and swindlers won’t go to heaven. Then he makes a stunning statement:
And such were some of you. 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.
Did you catch that? “And such were some of you.” Past tense. They “were” at one time, but weren’t any longer. Some had been drunkards but were no longer. Some had been adulterers, but were no longer. Some “were” homosexuals, but now they were no longer. They had changed when Jesus washed, sanctified and justified them.
In a sense, homosexuals are born that way, because we are all born with a fallen nature which leads us into various kinds of sin. Some tend to lust after the opposite sex; others toward the same sex. Some tend toward anger or drunkenness or greed. In every case, it feels “natural” because it springs from our sin nature.
When I’m tempted to lust, it feels like I can’t help it. When I’m angry, it just surges up from within me. It’s not like I make a conscious decision: Hmmm, let’s see. That person is really provoking me. Should I get angry? No, anger just “naturally” boils up within me.
Ephesians 2:3 says we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath. These powerful sinful “passions” and “desires” feel “natural” because they spring from our fallen nature. They truly are our desires. But we must remember this truth:
God’s Word must be our standard of right and wrong, not our feelings or desires.
Because our feelings and desires are a poor barometer of the truth.
In fact, God commands us to do all kinds of things that run counter to our feelings: to rejoice in all things, to love our enemies, to be humble, to die to ourselves. None of these are natural.
The whole Christian life is about trusting and obeying God’s Word by the power of the Spirit, and not trusting our feelings or our senses. The “good fight of faith” is the fight to trust God’s word rather than our circumstances or emotions.
Jesus is the hope of homosexuals – and adulterers and slaves to pornography and alcohol and anger and money and pride. If we ask, Jesus can change who we are to past tense – “And such were some of you.”
photo by Charlie Jobson (too busy!)