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)
Comment: I’d love to here from you. Click here to share your thoughts.
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.
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Thank you for writing this post. The Bible tells us that Jesus was tempted in all points as we are, so He knows our struggles whether that is gossip, gluttony, addiction or homosexuality, etc.
Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to save it (John 3:17). He modeled this again and again when He was here on earth. He never condemned — He loved.
If anyone is struggling with homosexuality, I urge them to go to http://syrogers.com/. Sy was set free from sexual sin because the love of Jesus was modeled to him — not because someone told him how bad he was or how ashamed he should be or that God hates him because he is a sinner. We need to love sinners and not condemn them. Hate the sin, but love the sinner. Sinners flocked to Jesus because He is love!
Have a Victorious Day!
Debbie Wilson says
Thank you Marianne. I believe you have expressed the heart of Jesus. I’m not familiar with this site. Thanks for sharing it. No past or struggle is to difficult for our High Priest. He is in the business of setting the captives free.
Thank you so much for communicating this difficult topic with such grace and truth. I really appreciate you standing for the truth of scripture and for addressing not only those who struggle with homosexual desires, but also those who don’t as well as those who’ve given into homosexual desires. For we are all sinful and though we may not struggle with this particular sin of homosexuality, we do all have sin and struggle in certain areas. I am so thankful we have a great High Priest who understands us because He has been tempted in every way, yet was without sin. Praise that He provides the way to stand up against the temptation to sin. I pray this would bring hope to those who read it.
Debbie Wilson says
Thank you for sharing, Annette. And yes, praise to our wonderful High Priest who endured the cross so we can have victory over sin.
Christopher Yuan says
Thank you so much for writing this article.
I am indeed very thankful for our merciful God who can turn our past for his glory. The purpose of us writing our book, “Out of a Far Country”, is to remind many that there is hope in Jesus. As illustrated in our book, reconciliation with God is possible whenever we seek him. He is truly our sovereign Lord!
You can also download the first 2 chapters of our book for free here. http://yuan2.us/s9
Debbie Wilson says
Thank you so much for commenting and sharing a link to you and your mother’s story. I encourage everyone to read your book and go to hear you speak when you are in their area.
Stephanie sudano says
Debbie thank you for this post. It is so well written and clear and of course Gods truth. I don’t know how I missed seeing the original posting …all the better that you re-posted:)
Debbie Wilson says
Thank you, Stephanie!
Dee Schmitt says
So was Jesus also tempted to become a pedophile?
Debbie Wilson says
Dee, the point is not the specific temptation, but that Jesus felt the powerful pull of temptation. He stayed on the cross when He had the power to come off the cross. Imagine holding your hand on a hot burner until it burned up. He extends grace and real help to overcome whatever temptation we face. Instead of judging others and ourselves by our temptations we should bring our struggles to Jesus and receive help. Giving in to sin strengthens its grip (Rom. 6:16-18). Don’t limit Jesus or pull away from Him because you’re ashamed of your temptation. Jesus is able to help all who come to Him.