May 25, 2015

The Bible And Homosexuality XIX: Jesus Loves Gays

Towards A Biblical Conclusion

We have now turned the corner on this series. I’ve completed my examination of Scripture and will now discuss what we should probably take from the last 18 posts and discuss probable applications of what has been presented. Having the information is one thing, using it in a culture that is hostile to the conservative Christian view is another thing altogether. 

By rounding the corner we now set a direction that will steer us directly to Jesus Christ and the Gospel. The first thing we should discuss are the theological and logical consequences of sin since I have clearly shown over the last 18 posts that homosexuality is first and foremost a sin against God Himself, not other people.

The Theological and Logical Consequences of Sin

It is Scriptural fact that humanity (homosexual or not) cannot do things to save themselves from their sins as there is nothing in our natures that is good or righteous before God (Grudem 497). Humans cannot they make themselves more righteous or holy without the assistance of God (Erickson 326, Grudem 753-754). Romans 3:9-20 and then 3:21-26 does an excellent job of showing this.

Romans 3:9-20 “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for god; all have turned aside, together they have become useless, there is none who does good, there is not even one. Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths, and the path of peace they have not known. There is no fear of god before their eyes.” Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to god; because by the works of the law no flesh will be justified in his sight; for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.

We see many things in this lengthy passage but we see a few crucial theological items.
(1) There are none righteous (not heterosexual nor homosexual). 
(2) There are none who do good (neither heterosexual nor homosexual).
(3) There is no fear of God before their eyes (not heterosexual or homosexual).
(4) This means humans in their natural state [1 Cor. 2] that have rejected God have no Godly wisdom since to fear God is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10).
(5) This is because a human’s carnal (sinful) mind is enmity against God or hostile towards Him (Romans 8:7). 
(6) Therefore, it is only through faith in Jesus apart from the Law (human works) and not our acts that we break free of sin in God’s eyes.

This is regardless of what sin we are dealing with, homosexuality, thievery, adultery, etc. Obviously, we will not stop sinning but from a legal/divine standpoint our sins can and will be overlooked if we repent and seek the Lord. What is ironic about the Romans 3 passage is that it leads a sinner directly to the answer for their sin in its finale (v.21-26).

Romans 3:21-26 “But now apart from the law the righteousness of god has been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, even the righteousness of god through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom god displayed publicly as a propitiation in his blood through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because in the forbearance of God he passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of his righteousness at the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

The answer or antithesis to sin is the righteousness of God apart from the Law in Jesus Christ (Enns 244, Erickson 317, Grudem 204). Specifically it is by grace through faith in Christ (lest any should boast) that we receive His righteousness and that pardons the sin that we cannot rid of ourselves of. There is no distinction between sins in this passage, not heterosexual adultery nor homosexual immorality. All humans have sinned and all are guilty before God (Erickson 204, 311; Grudem 498).

This should give all people pause to reflect before deciding to point the finger at anyone else’s sin. A person who commits a homosexual act is no different than the one who cheats on his wife and commits heterosexual sin outside the boundary of their marriage. In the end, we are justified and redeemed in salvation through Jesus Christ and this is a free gift of God through faith (Ephesians 2:8).

God’s wrath passes over people’s sin that repent and seek His Son Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19). There needs to be a heart change and this is exactly what Paul says about the sins listed in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 which included homosexuality. In other words: To take hold of the righteousness of Christ requires an admission of guilt of a person’s sin and a desire to seek repentance. It means that there should be desire to stop committing sin and if one does commit sin, they are remorseful for doing so. There is no other way to escape the judgment of wrath of God that we deserve for our sins (Erickson 260, 262; Grudem 580).

After our conversion our salvation is further worked out in a joint effort with the Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact, it is the Holy Spirit that is the seal or assurance that this conversion has taken place (Ephesians 1:14) and an assurance that we are children of God (Romans 8:16) (Enns 267, 279-280, 352; Grudem 644). The signs or manifestations that the Holy Spirit is at work in us working out our salvation through process of sanctification are the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) (Grudem 804). In opposition, the signs that He is not in us are the sins or deeds of the flesh which include immorality (by implication: sexual, homosexual).

It follows that an unrepentant active / practicing homosexual cannot possibly be Christian. Only someone who is convicted of their sin and are repentant can be saved and this repentance must continue throughout life (Grudem 717). Therefore we cannot be accepting of or allow active homosexuals to stay within the Body of Christ without an expectation that they will at least attempt to cease their behavior in a conscientious manner (1 Corinthians 6). '

To help a sinner by allowing them into the Church and expect them to change is biblical, to bring them into the Church and not expect change/repentance is to be an enabler of sin. We thereby become enablers of sinners. This means that churches that allow practicing homosexuals into leadership or are accepting of overt homosexual behavior without rebuking and correcting it are effectively accomplices of said sin. We are then propagating or enabling unbiblical ideas within the church and we become false teachers and false witnesses of Christ and biblical truth.

2 John 10-11 ~ If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching [the Gospel, Jesus Christ], do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

The sine qua non of this series ends up being the same as that of Scripture. It is not what humanity does that makes them align to God. It is what God has done and still does for us. It boils down to sin and the thing that forgives or annuls it: The Gospel. To accept the Gospel requires that the one acknowledge their need for it. This requires that one realize they are a sinner that continually commits sin.

So yes, God loves gays. So should we. Don't forget, Jesus was a friend of sinners. Jesus dined with tax collectors and befriended prostitutes. As a matter of fact He loved gays enough to die for them to atone for their sin. Sin which He clearly hated and still does. He expects them to repent of their sin (1 Cor 6) and turn from it continually, just as He does with all sinners and their sins also. There are no exceptions.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...