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.
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.
Entire series below:
- Let the Scriptures Speak: What God’s Word Says Regarding Homosexuality— 1 Timothy 1:10 (part 6)
- Let the Scriptures Speak: What God’s Word Says Regarding Homosexuality—1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (part 5)
- Let the Scriptures Speak: What God’s Word Says Regarding Homosexuality—Romans 1:24-27 (part 4)
- Let the Scriptures Speak: What God’s Word Says Regarding Homosexuality—Leviticus 18:22 (part 3)
- Let the Scriptures Speak: What God’s Word Says Regarding Homosexuality—Genesis 19:1-11 (part 2)
- Let the Scriptures Speak: What God’s Word Says Regarding Homosexuality—Introduction (part 1)