Grace and Forgiveness
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27).- Genesis 1:27
It is all too easy to come across as “holier-than-thou” when we condemn sexual sin. Yet no person merits forgiveness (Eph. 2:4–7), and we sin if we portray ourselves as guiltless, explicitly or implicitly, or think we are less deserving of wrath than others (Luke 18:9–14).
As ambassadors of Christ, we are called to extend love and the hope of restoration to all people. His Great Commission does not send us to some transgressors and not others; we are to preach the Gospel to all people (Matt. 28:18–20). Our Father can free those in bondage to homosexuality just as He frees other sinners. We must love those enslaved to homosexuality and seek their redemption.
True love in this case involves calling homosexual behavior a sin. We may be ostracized when we do this, but we cannot let fear of persecution hinder us from speaking the truth. True love compels us to tell all impenitent people, whether or not they engage in homosexual activity, that they are on their way to hell (Ps. 7:12–13).
Helping those enslaved to homosexuality requires basic knowledge of its contributing factors. Christian counselors and pastors recognize that failure to identify with one’s own gender can lead to homosexual acts. Homosexual men, for example, look for their masculinity in homosexual relationships. Childhood sexual abuse and rejection by the same-sex parent often reinforce gender identity problems, but they do not excuse sin.
Vital ministry to those who face homosexual temptations happens when we urge them to address past traumas in counseling. Even if we lack professional training, we can proclaim the Gospel to those engaged in homosexual activity. We can direct those struggling with homosexuality to biblical passages like Genesis 1:27 to affirm God’s original intent in creating us male and female. Moreover, a person who commits homosexual acts shows that he does not identify with his gender and cannot relate properly to his own sex. Homosexual activity is a heinous sin, and it must not be excused under any circumstances. Therefore, we must preach repentance and faith to those engaged in homosexual activity.
When Paul exhorts women to train women, and by implication, men to train men (Tit. 2:1–8), he is not speaking of doctrinal matters as if they are unconnected from everyday life. God wants godly men to teach and model all aspects of life, including godly masculinity, to other men. He also wants women to teach and model godly femininity to women. We should all be looking for opportunities to learn these traits and teach them to others.
Passages for Further Study