Chapter 8 How does God view Christians who practice homosexuality or gender change?

 

“If the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, then He who raised Jesus shall also give life to your earthly bodies through His Spirit, which is implanted in you. So then, brethren, you are debtors, but not debtors to the flesh, for if you live according to the flesh (various sinful desires), you will continue to experience spiritual death. However, if you live according to the Spirit, then you will find that because of the Spirit’s presence, you will try and put to death the deeds of the flesh. And in so doing you will experience the spiritual life God always intended for you to have. Therefore, as many of you who are being led by the Spirit, you are called God’s sons, daughters, and children.” Romans 8:10-14 [rbk]

This chapter is based on 34 verses in 18  passages of Scripture

Note: All Scriptures in parenthesis appear in my book, Revealing God’s Design with Love, or can be looked up in any Bible.

Since homosexuality and gender change are sins according to the passages listed in Chapter 1, how is it possible for some Christians to claim these acts are okay? Disappointingly, many call themselves Christians who are simply not saved, yet, they think they are, for many different reasons. Some respect the life and ministry of Jesus but only think of Him as a great teacher or man, perhaps even the greatest ever. But, for the most part, they do not consider Him God, and, if they do, He is not the only God or path to salvation or heaven.

According to the Bible, if anyone or any church holds to this belief of Christ, they are likely “cultural Christians,” but not genuine followers of Christ, even if they involve themselves in various charitable ministries or loving pursuits or go through the motions of weekly Christian worship.

Yet for us, there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him. I Corinthians 8:6

Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6

Therefore, they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God that you believe in Me whom He has sent.” John 6:28-29

Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house, and it fell, and great was its fall. Matthew 7:26-27

Christians are those who begin their lives with repentance of all sins, none excluded, and faith in Christ. Nothing more is needed to be a Christian and nothing less. This new life begins to grow and develop proportionately to our obedience to God’s written Word in all aspects, including its teaching on issues like homosexuality and gender change.

In our growth, God also gives Christians the Holy Spirit to help conquer old sins and patterns of wrongdoing. Salvation is never lost in this process, but what is gained is a new strengthening from the Spirit to do what is right, as well as His constant forgiveness and grace when we don’t. (John 14:16-17; 26; I Thessalonians 1:5; John 10:28; Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20)

The Spirit primarily uses the Scripture, the counsel of other Bible-believing Christians, and an inner sense of His presence to help us live according to God’s will. When we feel troubled, anxious, or even guilty about sins like homosexuality or gender change, it is good because it shows the Spirit is at work in our lives. The quick solution is to ask for His immediate forgiveness, let Him be the Lord of us again, and walk in the Spirit as we go ahead with our lives.

For Christians who refuse to abide by the Spirit’s work, they will struggle greatly, for part of the Spirit’s ministry in us is to do battle with our flesh when we give into it. Some of the things we may experience in our struggles include increased depression, guilt, loss of vision, sickness, and even death. Remember though, in the midst of all of these possible consequences, God’s love never wavers, nor does He ever bring back any guilt that was taken care of at the cross. But He will, through the Spirit, do whatever is necessary to get us to abandon the flesh and return to walking in the Spirit which is the only thing that can bring peace to our lives.

The following Scriptures describe the inner struggle the Spirit allows or puts into our hearts as Christians when we sin. One comes from David, and the others are from Paul.

When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night, Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord, and You forgave the guilt of my sin. Psalm 32:3-5

If you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:13

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, and the one who wants to do good. But I also see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?…There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus Romans 7:18-19, 21, 23-24, Romans 8:1

Last Thought

How should Christians work with other Christians who claim to be homosexual, or have changed their gender? Although reprimands, rejections, and various reproofs are not easy to receive, they are appropriate and necessary for Christians to give to each other when these and other sins are committed. The Scriptures tell Christians to hold one another accountable when sins are committed. This kind of judging is okay, for it is not determining whether a person is going to heaven or not. Jesus alone is in charge of that.

Disciplining one another for regressing to old sins, or committing new ones is right to do, as long as it is done with prayer, love, and within the guidelines of the Bible. Failure to do so harms not only those who are sinning but the entire church which can be influenced by these wayward Christians.

The following Scriptures validate this kind of corrective-judging, one by James, one by Paul, and the last by Luke.

My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. James 5:19-20

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us. II Thessalonians 3:6

Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, “I repent, forgive him.” Luke 17:3-4

What do we do with Christians who say, “I am a believer and a homosexual; I feel comfortable about this and have no conflict or inner struggle from within with God?” What do you do with a Christian who has changed their gender and says the same thing? The absence of an inner struggle with sins like homosexuality or transgender change, strongly indicates the Spirit may not be residing within these proclaiming Christians, because the Spirit always goes to war within the heart of every Christian when the flesh is allowed to surface, live, and take control again. This whole inward battle is supported in Galatians five, which also lists many of the fleshly sins Christians encounter. Homosexuality, cross-dressing [forerunner to gender change], and being effeminate [forerunner to gender change] is not mentioned in this list but are in other Scriptures describing sins of the flesh. (See I Timothy 1:8-11, I Corinthians 6:9-11, and Deuteronomy 22:5 referenced and quoted below).

16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:16-17, 19-21

When Christians enter into sin and let the flesh reign once again, this also grieves the Spirit greatly. Since He lives in us, and always will, we should begin to feel His grief and eventually enter into it with Him. Hopefully, this grief will be another reason to abandon our flesh. If a Christian claim to be homosexual, and there is no grief within, the absence of the Spirit is once again very possible. And if there is no Spirit, then there can be no genuine salvation experience.

30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:30-32

In ministering to those who claim to be Christians but have fallen into homosexuality or changed their gender, it is best to treat them as non-Christians because likely that is what they are. In doing this, we don’t need to reject them, but love them the best we can, spend as much time with them as possible, help them when help is needed, pray for their salvation, and present the Gospel to them as if they had never heard it before. After all of this, we should repeat the process again and patiently wait for them to believe, repent, or change. During our waiting we should never accept their homosexuality or gender change as right, for that would be contrary to what the Spirit is doing within them.

Should they ask us how we feel about them being gay, we should tell them the truth about it as lovingly as we can and be sure to point to the Scriptures when we do this. If they repeatedly reject what we say, then it may be time to move on to others who need discipling or Jesus’ message of salvation. There are too many in this world who need Him, and we don’t want to neglect them for the sake of those who continually hang onto their own sins and refuse to put their faith in God.

Scriptural References for Homosexuality and Gender Change

I Timothy 1:8-11 8 But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for the murderers 10and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

I Corinthians 6:9-11 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [a forerunner to gender change], nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you, but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Deuteronomy 22:5 A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God. [Forerunner to gender change]