7.12.15 | Rev. Darin pesnell | Romans 1:18-2:1; 1 Peter 3:15
On Jul 12, 2015, pastor Darin preached from Rom 1:18-2:1; 1 Pet 3:15. There has been an unprecedented shift in the culture regarding the issue of homosexuality in every sphere of society. While we believe the Bible considers homosexual behavior to be sinful, we want those struggling with same-sex attraction (SSA) to know that the church, while it does not condone same-sex practice, nevertheless has compassion for those who struggle with this. Christ demonstrated His love for sinners through His death on the cross that we might be delivered from the dominion of sin, and He calls us to submit to His Word, not the culture or even our own ideas about sexuality. With that in mind, there are three things to consider from our text:
1. What is the origin of SSA?
a. Scientists have not found a genetic link yet. This is not surprising since even from a purely un-biblical evolutionary perspective, things that do not tend to procreate die out. Reflection: even from a purely humanistic perspective, if homosexual practice were the norm, the species would eventually not survive.
b. Genesis 19 (Sodom and Gomorrah) serves as the background Romans 1. 1) 1:18 – “wrath of God revealed from heaven…” Literally seen in Gen 19.
2) The word “exchanged” is repeated throughout Romans 1. Sodom was condemned because they exchanged God’s beauty for idol worship.
c. Reflection: The origin of SSA, and all sinful desire, is the sinful heart of man who refuses to submit to the Creator, but wants to be his own god and worship the creation.
2. What is the meaning of same-sex acts?
a. Rom 1:24 - God gives them up to their dishonorable passions that war within them.
b. Unnatural desires have one goal: humiliation of God’s creation/your body. Homosexual sin is one particularly grave example of this.
c. Homosexual practice defiles the true beauty of God’s intended order of marriage between one man and one woman, which itself is a picture of the union of Christ and His church, and how Christ lays down His life for her.
d. In rejecting God’s created order, we are objecting to the way God has made us. God judges the community by giving them over to these desires, where sinful pleasures are preferred to the glory of God.
e. Romans 1:19-32, 2:1 – Paul lists many sins that we struggle with. So, none of us can sit in judgment over anyone. All sin is a rejection of God’s glory and created intention.
3. What should the church respond?
a. Christian’s must respond to those struggling with SSA with the compassion of Christ. This does not mean that we approve of the behavior, nor that we abrasively raise our voice in disapproval.
b. The proper response is seen in 1 Peter 3:15.
1) When we honor Christ as holy, we will be driven to repentance for our own sin.
2) We give a defense of the hope that is in us that should be so clear that people are compelled to ask us about it.
3) We give our reason for our with gentleness and respect.
Conclusion: We must remember the power of Gospel that we have and share it boldly, winsomely with others. The Gospel tells us that no matter what I have done, God says that I can be His. My sins, though they are scarlet, can be as whiter than snow. Through faith in the crucified and risen Christ, I can have a new identity as my sins are cast as far as the East is from the West, and I am delivered from the bondage of my sinful desires. May we turn to the Lord today, and submit our desires then to Him, trusting that He can heal our hearts, and that He will work in us to will and to do that which is pleasing in His sight.