Let the Scriptures Speak: What God’s Word Says Regarding Homosexuality— 1 Timothy 1:10

If you have not read the introduction to this series, please do so: Let the Scriptures Speak: What God’s Word Says Regarding Homosexuality—Introduction)

We are now at the last post in this series, and I hope they have been helpful and edifying for my fellow Christians who might be unsure as to what the Bible teaches regarding this subject. There are those from the pro-homosexual position who are quite crafty and articulate, demonstrating what seems to be a clear, persuasive argument stating that the Bible is in favor of Christians actively living out a homosexual lifestyle. However, I believe when the Bible is given the chance to speak for itself, as it has in these posts, it is quite clear that it is not in favor of that position.

As for those who believe that being gay and Christian is acceptable in the faith, I hope that these posts have either led to a complete change in heart, or, they have become the stone in your shoe that forces you to think more about this subject in your walk pursuing truth.

Because these verses are similar to 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, an in-depth examination is not needed. Furthermore, the pro-homosexual argument is the same, and the exegetical material I have already done is as well, so I am just going to post the verses, give a bit of context, and wrap it up with some important points we should take away from all of these posts.

1 Timothy 1: 8-11

8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 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, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

After his customary greeting in the opening of his letter, Paul wastes no time getting to the heart of the matter—the teaching of sound doctrine. He says to Timothy,

“As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.”

False teaching has been, and always will be,  a constant threat to the church until the Lord returns in glory. In fact, it is because of false teaching that we have the epistles of the New Testament.

Paul speaks of those whom Timothy is to rebuke and also avoid: they who speak and teach “irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called ‘knowledge'” (1 Timothy 6:20b). In their profession of this knowledge, they have swerved from the faith, which is the deposit entrusted to Timothy (1 Timothy 6:20-21).

In the context of his letter, these false teachers were using the law, which is holy and good (Romans 7:12), unlawfully. It was being used against those who are no longer under it (1 Timothy 1:9). So, Paul reminds us who the law is intended 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,
. . . the sexually immoral,
. . . men who practice homosexuality,
. . . enslavers,
. . . liars,
. . . perjurers,
. . . and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine” (vv.9-10).

The law is used to rebuke sin, and in this list of sins, men who practice homosexuality, as Paul writes, is “contrary to sound doctrine in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted” (vv.10-11).

It is again important to point out that the sin is in the practicing of homosexuality. The acts themselves of same-sex intercourse is contrary to sound doctrine.

Why is that?

Because it is a violation of purpose.

Back in Romans 1, we saw that idolatry is what lead to the spiral of chaos in the depravity of man. Mankind exchanged the glory of God for that of an idol. Man exchanged God for himself; therefore, God gave man over to himself. Man’s sinful heart distorts the purposes of God’s design for man and woman, reflecting an image not of God but of an idol.

The Bible says when God created man, he “created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).

And Genesis 2 expounds further on this:

22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed (2:22-25).

When God formed the woman after the man, the image was now complete. And the command immediately followed, “Therefore [which when you see a therefore or a so that in Scripture, it lets us know that what follows is a purpose clause (statement)] a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Man and woman were designed to unite as one. Jesus never mentioned homosexuality in the gospel accounts, but he did mention God’s plan for relationships.

This uniting is, as Christ says, a uniting that “God has joined together” (Mark 10:9a, italics added). And this joining together, Christ also says, “let not man separate” (10:9b).

Separating what God intended for man and woman fractures the image of God in man, which he purposed to be reflected in their uniting, and that is why it is an abomination to him.


Conclusion

One important point I need to state is that if one has homosexual thoughts and temptations, one can still be a Christian; one just cannot be a practicing homosexual and be a Christian, just as one cannot be a practicing adulterer or thief or murderer and be a Christian.

We all have sin issues that we need to constantly take to the foot of the cross. There are those who prior to conversion struggled with drugs, alcohol, pornography, greed, serial promiscuity, etc. But the power of the gospel has taken root, stripping away those desires and urges to act on those sinful thoughts as they once used to. The Spirit gives the believer discernment to see his sin and turn from it,  clinging to Christ. And in that turning away, there is also a putting on of the new self (Colossians 3:10), which enables the believer to fight the power of the flesh.

I encourage you all to read Colossians 3: 5-17. In this section of Scripture, Paul is speaking to Christians, exhorting them to put to death sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desires, and covetousness, which is idolatry . . . anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscene talk, and lying (vv. 5,8). He says, as we saw previously in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, “in these you too once walked, when you were living in them” (Colossians 3:7, italics mine). We don’t live in sin; we live in Christ (Romans 6:11).

There is no sin bad enough nor heart hard enough to resist the grace of God.

The Christians he is exhorting have sinful behaviors they need to put to death. They are saved but still have sin problems they need to work through. They have to “put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (vv.9,10, italics added). We are to “let the word of Christ dwell in our hearts, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16a).

But it is only through the grace of God that one can put off the old and put on the new.

Turn to Christ; taste the sweetness of Christ; submit to Christ; cherish Christ; obey and love Christ; love others as Christ loves you; meditate on Christ; soak up the spiritual nourishment in the pages of his Word; pray and commune with him without ceasing; fellowship with the family of God; cast each others burdens on each other; seek the will of Christ . . .

and whatever you do, do all things to the glory of God.

Romans 11:36

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Let the Scriptures Speak: What God’s Word Says Regarding Homosexuality—Genesis 19:1-11

(If you have not read the introduction to this series, please do so: Let the Scriptures Speak: What God’s Word Says Regarding Homosexuality—Introduction)

I apologize if I left some of you hanging on the introductory blog post regarding this series I am writing—that was kind of the purpose! Well, actually, I thought it was important to set the stage before diving into this series. I don’t want those reading these posts to think I am just presenting my opinion. Now, I am not so dumb as to think that I don’t have presuppositions and opinions when coming to the biblical texts—we all do. However, if you don’t think you do, then you do ☺.

I want to be as plain as possible, presenting the texts in their entirety, setting the proper context, even using other translations on those more difficult and controversial passages, just so you can see the common consensus among translations. And lastly, I plan to be succinct and clear, giving you a diamond already gleaned from the rough that edifies you in your knowledge of the Lord and his Word.

This blog post, due to the length of the passage we are looking at, will probably be the longest post of the series. Again, my goal here is to really not say much. I want to let the Scriptures speak.

Genesis 19: 1-11 — The Homosexual Argument:

“The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah had nothing to do with homosexuality; it was for the gross sin of violating the ancient rules hospitality.”(1)

Genesis 19: 1-11 — The Scriptures:

19 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 2 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.” 3 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.

4 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. 5 And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” 6 Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, 7 and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 8 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.” 9 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.”

Ok, so what is going on here?

We see two angels came to Sodom in the evening time and were greeted by Lot. Lot showed himself to be quite hospitable and offered his home for them to spend the night in. They refused but Lot insisted, so they stayed. Now, here is where trouble comes.

Verse 4 says, “. . . the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house.” So, we get the impression that there was a very, very large group of men (That is important). These men called out to Lot, asking, “Where are the men who came to you tonight?” (v.5a). The very large group of men came looking for them? Why is that? If it were to see if they had a place to stay the night, then it should have been obvious that they did. Before going further, at this verse in my Bible, there is a cross-reference note to Genesis 13:13:

“Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD.”

What is the context of this passage? In chapter 13, Abraham and Lot decided to part ways to find their own land to plant their families and their herds. Originally they dwelled together, but “the land could not support both of them . . . and there was strife between the herdsmen” of each one’s livestock (13:6-8). Lot sees the lush lands of the Jordan Valley, where the city of Sodom is located. The author makes an aside note, stating, “This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (v.10).” Lot then chose the Jordan Valley, settling his tent in Sodom, and Abraham settled in the Canaan (vv.11-12). And then we come to our cross-referenced verse, 13:13. The author makes it a point to let his audience know that Lot’s residing in Sodom was before the Lord destroyed it, and he also informs us that “the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the LORD” (13:13).

So, the question we need to answer is, “What was so wicked about the men of Sodom?”

If we look back to Genesis 19, I believe the context of the situation will demonstrate the kind of wickedness Genesis 13:13 is referring to.

We already saw that the men of Sodom, “all the people to the last man,” surrounded the house. This does not seem like a welcoming party. When a large group of men surround your house, it’s because they want to make sure you don’t leave. The men then say to Lot, “Bring them out to us, that we may know them” (v.5).

What does that mean? Maybe they want to greet the newcomers? Maybe they are looking for a couple of men that caused an issue and are checking to see if these men fit the bill?

The Scriptures let us know:

6 Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, 7 and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly (emphasis added).”

What wickedness is he referring to?

8 Behold, I have two daughters who have not known any man (emphasis added).”(2)
Lot’s daughters have never known any man. Does he mean they have never known a person that was a man? Or, have they never known the name of a man? Or, does he mean they have never known a man as a friend? The second sentence of this verse is pretty clear what Lot meant regarding his daughters:

“Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please (emphasis added).”

What conclusions are we to draw from this text? Another cross-reference, this time to Judges 19:24, will help us understand.(3)

In this chapter, we are seeing the deterioration of the people of Israel due to the lack of a just, moral king at the throne (It’s really because they don’t what the LORD as their king). In verses 22-25, the story is similar to what happened in Genesis 19:1-11, this one with a little more detail.

A man living in Gibeah saw two travelers coming through town and inquired of their travels. They said they needed a place to stay, so the man let them stay the night, providing food, wash, and feed for their donkeys (19:16-21).

22 As they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, worthless fellows, surrounded the house, beating on the door. And they said to the old man, the master of the house, “Bring out the man who came into your house, that we may know him.23 And the man, the master of the house, went out to them and said to them, “No, my brothers, do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, do not do this vile thing. 24 Behold, here are my virgin daughter and his concubine. Let me bring them out now. Violate them and do with them what seems good to you, but against this man do not do this outrageous thing.” 25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man seized his concubine and made her go out to them. And they knew her and abused her all night until the morning. And as the dawn began to break, they let her go (emphasis added).”

We see in the italicized portion an additional phrase, key to our understanding of what knowing means, in this case, “do not do this vile thing.” They wanted the man; not the concubine.

Just like in Gibeah, the men of Sodom in our Genesis narrative did not want the women; they wanted the men in the house. But in this case, Lot and the men in his house went unscathed.

“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.”

They were accusing Lot of judging them for their wicked practices, saying that they will do worse with him than with the two men. Could their wickedness really just be a lack of hospitality?

We can see how depraved these men are that even while being struck blind by the angels, they still groped for the door handle to get in and do their wickedness. If I were struck blind, I would be freaked out! I would stop and yell for help.

Their sinful practices had completely defected their view of the created order of man and woman. They had no interest in Lot’s virgin daughters, which at the time, were a precious gem to be sought after. Instead, the men had distorted the mark, reverting to strange flesh as their top priority.

Here is what we need to see in all of this:

The owner of the home (in Genesis 19 and Judges 19) knew that the act against the man was viler than that same act against the woman. Why is that? Rape of any kind is awful, right? But here the owners knew sexual intercourse with a man was truly vile. It was so vile to the point that they offered their daughters, who God created and designed to be sexually compatible with men, to be used by the group of men as they pleased.

As bad as rape is, it wasn’t the acts of rape that made them wicked and under the wrath of God. It was their lustful desire for what was unnatural (Romans 1:24). Lot the “righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard” (2 Peter 2:8).

Ultimately, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. Why? Because it was a wicked and depraved land. It was so depraved that Jesus,(4) and the writers of the New Testament, refer to their destruction in multiple passages:

In 2 Peter 2, the author speaks of the sure judgment to come for false teachers, comparing it to the judgment that came to godless peoples of the past, making the point of the surety of it. In that same vein, speaking of the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah, he writes, “6 if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard)” (2 Peter 2:6-8).

Likewise, in the book of Jude, the author referencing the story of Sodom and Gomorrah as an example of what will happen to the ungodly in the great day of judgment, writes, “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” (Jude 7).

Conclusion

My purpose here is to let the Scripture speak for itself regarding the issue of homosexuality. It seems clear that the practice of it is sinful. As you can see, the issue was not a gross negligence in hospitality. And while the act of rape is horrific, for that has been an angle taken by those holding the homosexual argument, it was considered worse if it were a rape involving of a homosexual nature. Why is that? Because man-man sexual relations was considered vile.

That is what the Scriptures say.

Sin is a progression. Homosexuality sets the bar of sexual satisfaction to a level that cannot be met by normal heterosexual intercourse. Tolerating this behavior just downplays its reality, and condoning it encourages sinful human beings to explore what satisfies their depravity best.

It is only Christ who alone can set us free from our sin, recreating us into new creatures. Our treasure is in Christ. All actions void of God’s plan result in destruction. God doesn’t send gays to hell because they are gay; rather, like all of mankind (yes, me and every person who ever existed, except Christ), they have fallen short of his glory and worship an idol instead of the true God (Romans 3:23; 1:25). And because of that, there is wrath and judgment waiting for all of us. Man is depraved and needs the light of truth to shine on his heart, opening his eyes to see the beauty of God’s mercy and grace before him.

—Romans 11:36

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1.This quote is not a direct quote; rather, it is a summation statement of this common argument advanced by the gay scholars and laymen. See, “Transcript – Matthew Vines,” accessed November 1, 2014, http://www.matthewvines.com/transcript/. “The Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego / Listen, Look, Learn / Homosexuality & The Bible,” accessed November 8, 2014, http://themetchurch.org/#/listen-look-learn/homosexuality-the-bible. “Evangelicals Admit the Sodom Story Has Nothing to Do with Homosexuality.,” accessed November 8, 2014, http://www.gaychristian101.com/Sodom.html.
2. I am choosing not to go into the study of the Hebrew word yada, which means to know. Generally it refers to knowing someone intimately, engaging in sexual intercourse. It has become a red-herring in this debate; however, the context of the Scriptures clarify the intentions of the men of Sodom and Gibeah; a word study is not necessary. Here are how other major translations render this verse: NIV, “Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man.” NLT, “Look, I have two virgin daughters.” NASB, “Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man.” KJV, “Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man.” HCSB, “Look, I’ve got two daughters who haven’t had sexual relations with a man.” NET Bible, “Look, I have two daughters who have never had sexual relations with a man.”
3. For other verses to compare, see ch. 20:6; Gen. 34:7; Deut. 22:21; 2 Sam. 13:12; [Josh. 7:15]
4. Matt. 10:15; 11:23, 24; Luke 10:12; 17:29 [cf. Rom. 9:29]

Let the Scriptures Speak: What God’s Word Says Regarding Homosexuality—Introduction

Being a follower of Jesus Christ means that I have turned from sin, the slave master of the world, and have given my life to him. Not only is he my Savior, he is also my Lord. And because he is my Lord, I am to submit to him and his will. Some may find this language appalling, but who or what in the world is worthy to receive submission? Only the One who is the Source of truth, love, and perfection, “the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2), is worthy of such allegiance.

When the Son of God took on flesh, he came with authority. The authority of Yahweh in the OT came with full force in the person of Jesus Christ, for he is the Logos (John 1:1)—the Word, and the Wisdom and Power of God (1 Corinthians 1:24). His lordship over my life means I am committed to his Word, and his Word alone, as the sole authority over anything else.

In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul writes, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” These verses teach us that all of Scripture is God breathed, meaning directly from the mouth of God. All Scripture is profitable for teaching; All of Scripture is profitable for reproof; All of Scripture is profitable for correction; All of Scripture is profitable for training in righteousness, so that (a purpose statement) the man of God may be complete and may be equipped for every good work.

God’s Word is inerrant. God’s Word is self-authenticating, meaning the words themselves claim to be of God, and “it authenticates itself to the Christian heart.”[1] The authors of Scripture were “carried along by the Holy Spirit,” producing written revelation according to his will, not man’s (2 Peter 1:21). And since God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18; cf. Titus 1:2), his words are truthful. Furthermore, the Bible is perspicuous, meaning it “is a plain book.”[2] The Word of God has been revealed to his people in such a way that even a child can understand its message (2 Timothy 3:14-15).

So, you might be wondering why I am starting a blog article on what the Bible says regarding homosexuality in this manner. Well, it is important to understand that the Bible is from God, inerrant, truthful, understandable, and is complete to answer the question pertaining to the topic. I don’t have to twist words around or do exegetical gymnastics to squeeze a meaning out of the text that is not plain to the naked eye. However, there are some things that are hard to understand (2 Peter 3:16), but for the most part the Scriptures are quite clear, as they should be, since God chose this medium to personally reveal himself to those he made in his image.

However, if it is not the Word of God, then why spend time or even really care about what it says regarding homosexuality or any sin for that matter? I know there are many who don’t believe in God or don’t believe what the Bible says and that is fine; I just want to present an accurate representation of what the Bible does say regarding this topic. My purpose is, as the title says, to let the Scripture speak for itself.

This topic will be addressed through a series of postings, eight I believe, which will cover the primary verses associated with this topic. I want my fellow Christians to have a succinct and clear response to those who question what the Bible says on homosexuality. I want the Scriptures to be the authority, not my opinion, for my opinion does not matter, only the Lord’s. In each blog post, I will open with the common objection(s) to the verse being examined, and then I will just let the Scriptures speak, using Scripture to interpret Scripture as all Christians should do. I pray that those who don’t believe God’s Word will at least see that what is plain to the naked eye, is truly plain to the heart and mind.

Charles Spurgeon, known as the Prince of Preachers (he is the prince because Christ is the King of Preachers), on defending the Scriptures says,

“Defend the Bible? I would as soon defend a lion! Unchain it and it will defend itself.”

The first post will examine Genesis 19.

I pray that the Lord opens the hearts and minds of those reading this, shedding clarity on such an important issue.

—Romans 11:36

Entire series below:

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1. Broughton Knox and Tony Payne, The Everlasting God, 1ST ed., 0 (Matthias Media, 2009), 18.
2. Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Volume I (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2008), 183.