Would you think less of Jesus if you learned He’d been tempted in the area of homosexuality while He was on earth? Homosexuality has become a hot button that divides families and churches. How are Christians to treat it? How do we relate to those who wrestle with it? How do we treat those who flaunt it?
First, the Bible is clear that God condemns the practice of homosexuality. He also bans sex outside of marriage, gossip, pride, greed, and showing favoritism, to name a few (1 Cor. 6:9-12). If we shunned everyone who’s ever messed up in the areas the Bible calls taboo, there would be no one left. As James 3:2 says, “We all stumble in many ways.”
As Christ followers, we need to differentiate between those who struggle against temptations and movements that applaud and promote behavior the Bible bans. Jesus was a friend of sinners. He came for those who need a doctor (Mark 2:17).
To those who struggle with homosexual desires.
Take heart. Jesus understands. “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses since he had the same temptations we do, though he never once gave way to them and sinned,” (Heb. 4:15 NLT).
It is not a sin to be tempted. Did you get that? Jesus was tempted with the same temptations you and I have. That means He knows how to help us overcome them (Heb. 12:2,4).
Some people say they were born gay. Others are born demanding, impatient, and insecure. It is part of our fallen DNA. We inherited it from Adam (Romans 5:12). But Jesus died so we could be born again with a new nature like His.
Most of us don’t choose our weaknesses. But, by the grace of God, we can choose not to obey them. Paul said he learned to boast in his weaknesses, because in them he learned how to experience the power of Christ (2 Cor. 12:8-10).
Christopher Yuan, author of Out of a Far Country, said his freedom came when he realized God wasn’t calling him to heterosexuality. He was calling him to holy sexuality.
There is a distinct difference between being tempted and sinning.
To those who don’t struggle with homosexual desires
We all have struggled with some weakness. Did you know self-sufficiency and not seeing yourself as God sees you is sin? You see, sin is missing the mark. It is falling short of the glory of God. Anywhere we don’t express Christ’s attitude and actions, we fall short.
Ask your High Priest to help you sympathize with those who struggle in areas different from your own.
To those who’ve given in to homosexual desires
Proverbs 8:6 reminds us that “he who sins against me [biblical wisdom] injures himself.” God created us and knows what harms us. Following His wisdom protects us.
Every time we give into temptation—any temptation—it is harder to resist the next time but not impossible. Our High Priest promises to supply grace to help us in our time of need. As we obey Him in each small step of life, our ability to resist sin grows and we are transformed.
To all of us
Our High Priest understands, sympathizes, and provides the grace we need to resist temptation, to love those we don’t understand, and to be cleansed.
Carefully read the following description and promise of our High Priest.
“But Jesus the Son of God is our great High Priest who has gone to heaven itself to help us; therefore let us never stop trusting him. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses since he had the same temptations we do, though he never once gave way to them and sinned. 16 So let us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive his mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16 Living Bible (TLB)
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Deborah W. Wilson
Update: Christopher Yuan and Rosaria Butterfield will be speaking in Raleigh, NC on September 11, 12, 2015 at the Transforming Grace Conference. Early bird ticket pricing ends August 25.
Photo by: andronicusmax
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