The subject of homosexuality has caused a great deal of confusion for many. It is a controversial subject in our society, but it is not a new question for the Church of God. The early New Testament Church dealt with it.
Scripture clearly shows that homosexual behavior is sin. You may befamiliar with 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 9 Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
American King James Version×. The Amplified Bible adds clarity: “Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrong doers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality… will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God.”
Another plain New Testament passage that addresses the subject is Romans 1:26-27 Romans 1:26-27 26 For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
American King James Version×.
Paul, in 1 Corinthians 6, goes on to state: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (verse 11,NKJV).
That is, members of the Church of God in Corinth had committed some or all of the sins listed—including homosexual conduct—but later converted and turned from their sin. This verse shows that homosexual behavior can be overcome. Of course, it is surely better to refuse something that is sin rather than to have to repent and change from it later.
Sin begins with temptation to do what is wrong. One practical necessity is to avoid exposure to material that typically provokes sexual temptations, including pornographic literature and sexually explicit television programs and movies. Paul's practical advice to the Corinthians is applicable—run away from factors that bring on temptations. “Flee sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18 1 Corinthians 6:18Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is without the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body.
American King James Version×).
Equally important is the necessity to put uplifting information and images into our minds (2 Timothy 2:22 2 Timothy 2:22Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
American King James Version×). Select your reading material and entertainment wisely.
The apostle Paul candidly spoke of his ongoing struggle against human nature in Romans 7:14-25 Romans 7:14-25 14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent to the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
American King James Version×. Overcoming doesn't mean that we're always able to put aside temptation, never to experience it again. To the contrary, it's more common that we have to battle against familiar temptations repeatedly.
The necessity to fight this battle shouldn't discourage us, for, as Paul brings out, we can count on victory through Jesus Christ. The battle against sin must be fought largely in the mind, before temptations give way to sinful thoughts and, eventually, sinful actions.
Think on Paul's words from 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
American King James Version×: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. “We must all control our sexual desires.