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 Genesis 19. This chapter recounts the wickedness of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Their wicked sin of homosexual lust (Gen. 19:5) manifested itself in desperate and depraved actions (Gen. 19:11). In response to their iniquity, the Lord sends judgment upon them (Gen. 19:23-29). 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. Jude 7).
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” (Leviticus 18:22). 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 Romans 1:18-32 Paul reveals mankind’s sinful condition. Romans 1:26-27 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 1 Corinthians 6:9 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 1 Timothy 1:8-10. In verses 9 and 10 he lists specific sins that violate God’s holy law. In the midst of this list is “men who practice homosexuality” (1 Tim. 1:10).
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.