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Jesus Offers Release From The Bondage Of Same-Sex Attraction

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releaseFor people who actively fight against same-sex attraction, the inspired apostle gives a word of hope,

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. (1 Cor. 6:11, NASB).

The word “were” means some of the Christians in Corinth were rescued from the sins that were described in the previous two verses,

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, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9-10, NASB).

In this letter, Paul uses two Greek words to refer to homosexuality: malakoi (effeminate) and arsenokoitai (homosexuals). Effeminate, which literally means “soft,” refers the passive, submissive partner in a homosexual relationship. In ancient Corinth, there were probably male prostitutes who helped facilitate the “worship” in the temple of Aphrodite. David Lipscomb says this word may refer to men who are “kept to be prostituted to others” (86).[1] Homosexual, which literally means “one who lies with a male as with a female,” indicates an active partner in the homosexual relationship. Paul uses two words to describe same-sex attraction, rather than one, thus incorporating all related behavior into that which is condemned.

Homosexuality is contrary to what God intended for human relationships from the beginning of time (cf. Gen. 2:24-25). Throughout history, God enacted specific laws against embracing homosexual urges (cf. Lev. 18:22-30) in order to protect His people from sexual idolatry and, eventually, total apostasy from Him. It is described as being “against nature” (Rom. 1:26-27, NKJV). Simply put, embracing homosexuality is to blatantly reject the Creator and His design for creation.

It is wrong to call homosexuality a “disorder” or a “disease” because it takes away the hope that Christ offers to those who are plagued by same-sex attraction. While God doesn’t always heal people in this life of physical ailments, He does promise to heal the brokenness of sin.

There is good news. Just as former adulterers, idolaters, thieves, and drunkards in Corinth were forgiven and transformed, so can everyone who seeks God (even those who experience same-sex attraction). Because God calls homosexuality “sin,” the blood of Jesus can cleanse and redeem everyone (cf. 1 John 1:5-7).

Jesus didn’t come to save ‘good’ people or ‘heterosexual’ people. He came to save sinners (Matt. 9:13; Luke 19:10; 1 Tim. 1:15). For that reason, everyone has hope because Jesus is the solution to any struggle with sin.

This doesn’t mean some Christians immediately stop struggling with same-sex attraction. The fight to overcome temptation may continue for a long time. As we try to fulfill Christ’s command to “make disciples of all people” (Matt. 28:19), our job isn’t finished when souls are converted. We must teach souls how to “walk by the spirit” in holiness and how to effectively fight the temptation of sin. We must do this with love and compassion, since we must all bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2).

When we call sin “sin,” we offer hope to Christians who – though they have been delivered from the bondage of sin – still remain tempted. Strength in Christ is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). The wonderful news is that the reality of God’s boundless grace encourages Christians as they continue to take up their respective crosses and follow their Savior daily (Luke 9:23).

Your comments are welcome and encouraged, even if they are in disagreement. However, please keep your comments relevant to the article. For my full comment policy, click here.


[1] Lipscomb, David. A Commentary On The New Testament Epistles: First Corinthians. 1935. Gospel Advocate Company, Nashville, Tennessee.

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One Response to Jesus Offers Release From The Bondage Of Same-Sex Attraction

  1. Diane Tucker August 13, 2013 at 1:45 PM #

    Great article on this topic/sin and this sin is no greater than others. We all struggle with some form of temptation or another but it is like you say we must look to Christ and draw closer to Him for our strength and our brothers and sisters in Christ who can encourage us along the way. Keep on studying and writing God’s will to help others. I am proud of you.

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