What the Bible Says About Homosexuality
By Bobby Blakey on July 24, 2022
What the Bible Says About Homosexuality
By Bobby Blakey on July 24, 2022
I want to invite you to open the Bible and turn with me to Romans chapter one. And we're going to talk about a topic here today that God is saving people out of. Romans chapter 1 verses 26 and 27. So if you're new, if you're just joining us, we're preaching through the book of Romans. It's Paul's masterclass on the gospel. And we're going through chapter 1, and we're now at verses 26 and 27. And so I want to invite everybody, open your Bible, and I also want to invite those who are out on the front lawn, or in an overflow room, or watching online, I know we got some brothers and sisters home sick, or traveling. Well, you open your Bible to Romans, 1:26-27. And let's all stand up for the public reading of Scripture. This is a very important passage that we want to really focus on. This is the word of God. So, let's give it our full and undivided attention. Romans 1:26-27.
“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
That's the reading of God's word. Please go ahead and have your seat. And just by reading those two verses, you know that the topic we're addressing here is homosexuality. And you know that this is a controversial topic. So, I'm asking everybody listening to this, what we're going to do right now is we're just going to study what the Bible says about this. I'm not here to hate on anybody; I'm not here to judge anybody. I'm just here to study the Bible and explain clearly what it says. And I'm asking that no matter what you think, if you will just give a listen to what the Scripture says on this topic right now. And one thing I will say is that many Christians have said hateful, hurtful, and unhelpful things when it comes to the topic of homosexuality. And so, we're going to address that as well. We're going to study what the Bible says, and then how we should think about, how we should interact with someone who would identify as a homosexual. So, I really hope that you will actually listen to what the Bible says. A lot of people listen for what they want the Bible to say. We're going to try to listen to what it actually says. What is God's teaching on the topic of men, with men or women with women? How would scripture teach us to think according to God's revelation, not our own thoughts or opinions?
So, I need everybody turn with me all the way back to chapter 1. We're going back to Genesis, chapter 1. And we're going to look at what the Bible says about homosexuality. I hope you'll stick with me all the way through, don't walk out halfway through because the best parts at the end, Alright, are you with me? Are you with me to the end? I hope so. Let's go to Genesis chapter 1. Why are there so many pages before chapter 1 in our Bible? Have you noticed that like, what's all this stuff? So, the first page that we have the law of Moses, Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” And specifically, we want to look at Genesis 1:27-28. So, when God is telling us about his work of creation, this is something he wants us to know. Genesis 1:27-28. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” So, God makes us in his image, which I don't know if you've really thought about that before that you are made in the image of God. But God is Spirit, and those who worship him worship him in Spirit and in truth. We've already learned in Romans chapter 1, if you've been here, and we've been going through it. We talked about the fact that God is invisible. So, we think of God, and we're made in his image, but he doesn't have a physical body like us, so to speak. So, to be made in the image of God, is to mean that we have a Spirit in the same way that God is a Spirit. The way we like to say it around here is we, we are souls. Yes, we have bodies, but we are souls. We are spiritual beings made to worship our Creator, and God made us male and female. And his plan was that the male and the female would come together and have babies and fill the earth. That's what it says.
Chapter Two gets even more specific about the creation of the first man Adam and the first woman, Eve. And look at Genesis 2:24. This is a verse that everybody needs to know this is God's love plan for man. God made marriage and here's how it's described to us. Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” So, notice again, we have a man, he leaves the family that he grew up in, he leaves his father and mother, he is joined together with a female, with his wife, and the two of them become one. That's God's plan.
So, let's get this down. If you’ve got the handout there in your bulletin, and you want to take some notes, let's start with: God made marriage for a male and a female to become one flesh. It's this awesome thing that God does when he joins two people together, and they become one. So, if we're going to the Bible, and we're just like, what does God want us to do about human relationships? What does God want us to do about marriage? If we went to the source material, in Genesis, we would see that God created us male and female. He was expecting us to have families and to fill the earth, and that this was his plan that the man would be joined to the woman, and the two would become one.
Now turn with me to Matthew chapter 19. Everybody, hopefully you’ve got a Bible; you can flip over to Matthew from the first book in the Hebrew part of the Bible to the first book in the Greek part of the Bible. So, I hope you know that the Bible was written primarily in Hebrew in what we call the Old Testament. And then later on, it's written in Greek, and what is commonly referred to as the New Testament. And so Jesus in Matthew 19, he's going to refer back now to Genesis. So, when it comes to the topic of homosexuality, one of the things people are going to say, is Jesus had nothing to say about the topic of homosexuality? Well, Jesus had something to say, when it came to God making marriage. And he affirms Genesis 1 and 2. In fact, look at Matthew 19:3. It says, “The Pharisees came up to him, and they tested him.” Okay, so this is what a lot of people do when they come to Scripture, God's revelation. When they come to Jesus, they're not coming and saying, hey, I wonder what the Bible says, or what God has to say. What did God reveal on this topic? People already have their bias; they already have their idea. They already have their thought or personal opinion. And they come to the Bible looking to validate their own thoughts or to disagree with the Bible. That's what's happening here. These guys are trying to test Jesus. They're trying to trap Jesus, they're trying to bring up the topic of divorce the topic of marriage, because they know it'll be controversial. And maybe they can trap Jesus in what he says and get him in trouble. So, people will stop following Jesus and come back to them as the religious leaders. So, hey, is it okay for us to get divorced? They're trying to test Jesus. But look at how Jesus responds in Matthew 19:4. I love these first four words that he gives us here in Matthew 19. For Jesus answered, “Have you not read?” If you're taking notes, write that down. Jesus is expecting that they would already know what Genesis says. He's like, wait a minute, why are you asking me about marriage? Hasn't God already told us his love plan for man? Hasn't God already revealed how he created us? So, he's saying, “Have you not read?” Like, wait, why are you coming after me? Don't you already know what Genesis says? And then he reviews what we just studied in Genesis, that he who created them from the beginning, made them male and female. There he is referring to Genesis chapter 1. And now he's going to quote Genesis 2:24. “Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?” Now notice, there's a question mark at the end of that, not because he has a question about Genesis 1, or Genesis 2. The question is, have you not read this? Don't you know that this is why God made us male and female? And this was how he designed it to be. Now, at least at this time, in the first century, in the Jewish culture, Jesus was expecting that people would know what God's plan was from Genesis, and then he says this in verse 6, “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Or as they used to say, back in the day, “let no man tear asunder.” Anybody ever heard that one before? Right? When you were making those vows if you've been married, and you can you believe back in the day at weddings, they used to say, and if anyone objects to this couple, speak now or forever hold your peace. Can you believe they used to say that at weddings, right? I mean, it was a big deal. Your God and Jesus says here, that anybody who's married, it's not like it's just theory, it's not like it's just this concept out there. No, it's real. God has joined a male and a female together as one. This is now true of you if you are married before God, and before these witnesses here today, till death do us part; if God has joined youtogether, let no one separate. Let no one tear asunder; let no man separate what God has put together. Here's Jesus, affirming Genesis, expecting people to know Genesis, and applying that God made marriage not just in a theoretical way, but every single person who's married, God made you marry that male, that female; you are one flesh before God. So that's what the Bible teaches. If you just studied that, you would have a clear understanding. If you were just like, I wonder what the Bible says, you would not come away from the Bible thinking that God planned or designed for men to be in a relationship with other men or women, to be in a relationship with other women. You would not come away with that conclusion just based on God's plan. In fact, not only does God give us his plan for marriage.
I just want to take you through on your handout. You've got five dashes; I want to quickly go through with you five times that the Bible explicitly gives us statements. Not even all the stories we could get into about homosexuality, just the statements where God says, this is the way to think about men being with men, or women being with women. So, not only does he give us his plan of a male and a female coming together in marriage, but then he also gives us five other statements. This is why if you hear somebody say, well, Jesus didn't have anything to say about homosexuality, and they're trying to use that almost like, well, because just Jesus didn't make a specific comment about men with men or women with women, therefore, Jesus was okay with it. No. Actually, based on what the Scripture says, If Jesus was okay with homosexuality, he would have needed to have said something, to have taught us that we shouldn't have gone with what the law had already said. So, the silence of Jesus means that he's rolling with what the law says, not that he's okay with it. Because Jesus said over and over, I did not come to abolish the law, I came to fulfill the law.
And so, the first statement is in the law. It's in Leviticus chapter 18. And I need everybody to write that down if you want, and then turn there with me, Leviticus 18:22. That's the first one that we're going to. And there are many things in this law that are the old covenant between God and Israel, and we're living in the new covenant with Jesus. But there are also things in this law that reveal to us who God is, and what he thinks. And we studied Leviticus 18, we went through this whole chapter, and a sermon called “What's Wrong with America?” We read this in January 2020. So that was before the pandemic. Does anybody remember what life was like way back then? Some of you may not remember that time in world history back in January of 2020 when we went through Leviticus 18. We went through the whole chapter. And we saw that even though the law is God's, a covenant with Israel, in this law, God talks about what he thinks about all nations, any nation on planet earth. He talks about Egypt, where they had come from. He talked about all the nations in Canaan, in the Promised Land, where they were going. And there were certain things, a whole list of things, okay. And a lot of the passages were going to go to… homosexuality is not singled out; it's listed among many other things. And it is like, if the nations are doing these things, God is not going to be okay with it. In fact, he says they are abominations, they are things that he hates, that he is against. And when the nations do these things, they're going to be judged. So, Israel, make sure that you don't commit the abominations of the nations. And he warns them about the other nations at the beginning of Leviticus 18. And then he strongly says, don’t be like those other nations, at the end of Leviticus 18. But starting in Leviticus 18:6, going all the way to verse 23. He specifically refers to many sexual kinds of sins, many ways that people would be engaging in sex outside of marriage. And one of them that he mentions is in verse 22, “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” So, this is one of those things that the nations are going to do, that God is not okay with is when a man lies with another man like with a woman, that is not okay with God.
And then turn over to Leviticus 20:13. This is our second passage. Leviticus 20 gets into the consequences of these kinds of sins. Now, if you've ever read through Leviticus or the law of Moses, you know that sin was taken very seriously, and for many sins, there was the death penalty. I know the death penalty has become very uncommon in our culture, and this law in Israel, the death penalty was the consequence for many different sins. And it says that here in Leviticus 20:13 “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.” So, we have here two clear statements that if a man lies with a man like he would lie with a woman, well, not only is God not okay with it, but there is a consequence for that. Now, if you read through all of Leviticus 20, it's saying many different consequences for many different sins. And also, it's saying you shall be holy, because God is holy. So, what it's saying here is based on the character of God. if God calls something an abomination, telling us he is in no way okay with this, is God going to change his mind later and be okay with it? Surely, if Jesus is bringing in the new covenant, and God was against men lying with men, but now God is okay with it, surely Jesus would say something about that. But Jesus doesn't say anything about that.
In fact, now we're going to go back to Romans 1:26-27, and we're going to see that Paul is going to reaffirm what we have seen in Genesis and Leviticus in the same way that Jesus reaffirmed God's plan in Matthew 19. Paul is going to reaffirm what we're supposed to think about women with women or men with men here in our third passage, Romans 1:26-27. And I'm going to take some time to explain this one, because this is our passage that we're at in the book of Romans. So, before we get to those verses, let's just go back to Romans 1:21. And let's start reading through, just in case you're just joining us, or maybe it's been a few weeks. So, Romans 1:21-25: “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” So, there's this idea in Romans 1 as he's describing how people exchange God. And then they come over here and try to live their life their own way; so, they don't worship the Creator for giving us life. No, they go and try to find their own life in the creation. So, the first exchange we saw in verse 23 was exchanging the immortality of God for mortal man. Here's God who can offer us life forevermore, but we come over here and say, we're going to find our own life. And we talked about that a few weeks ago. And because of that exchange, it says in verse 24 … So, there are three exchanges in Romans 1, and then three times it says, “Therefore, God gave them up.” So, when people don't worship God, which is happening all around us, they're looking for life in the creation rather than the Creator. God then gives them over or gives them up to their sin. And we saw that led to impurity that led to dishonoring their bodies because they exchange, this time, there's truth in God, but they have exchanged the truth about God for a lie. The lie that is spreading all around us is that you can find life in whatever you want to do, whatever feels good to you, whatever is you expressing yourself. That's where you're going to find life. That is the lie that is driving America in the summer of 2022. You do you and then you'll be happy, rather than the truth that we were created by God; we've made in His image, we have a soul and we're going to find satisfaction and life and joy in a relationship with God. Well, we've exchanged the truth about God for a lie. And so now we get to Romans 1:26. This is our passage. “For this reason, God gave them up.” So, now we're to the second time it says you've made an exchange of God for some kind of life without God. Okay, well, then that means God gives you up and specifically here, he gives you up to dishonorable passions. You want to go do whatever you want to do, okay? God's going to give up to you, that give you up to that. But the problem is the things you have passion to do, they're not honorable things to do.
This word passions here pathos. When it is used in the Greek New Testament, it is not a good thing. If you want to write down some cross references Colossians 3:5 says that as believers who have a new life in Christ, we need to “put to death therefore what is earthly in us,” including our passions, our sexual immorality, our idolatry. In 1 Thessalonians 4:5 it says that we should not live “in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.” So, if you do not worship God, and you exchange him for a lie, well, God will give you up to doing what you want then, and you will start living out your passions. And in this case, it's talking about women are now having a passion for women and men are now having a passion for men. And it gives us now our third exchange here in Romans 1:26-27. You can see it says, “For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another.” So, they exchanged immortality for mortality, they exchanged the truth for a lie. Well, now we've got the third exchange, we exchanged what is natural for what is unnatural. This word, what is natural, or nature, as it says, see, this is a good example of how you have to learn how to study the Bible in its original context. Because the way that we're using the word nature, and we're describing what is natural today is a lot different than what Paul meant in the first century when he wrote this in Greek.
Okay, is it Shark Week? Is it or is it next week? Is that what's going on? Shark? Is it Shark Week? Can I get a confirmation on that? Can I hear it from over here? Okay, so Shark Week, you're going to talk about the apex predator, you're going to hear all this stuff about how impressive these sharks are. And they are the greatest threat in nature. Now, when today, when people use the word nature, what they're going to talk about is they're going to talk about this awesome world that we live in that God made, but we're going to leave God out of it; let's just talk about nature. That's what they're going to do. Nature today means like, let's live in a world that God didn't make. And let's talk about how amazing it is. And look at the level of detail, look at the intelligence, look at the design. But let's just pretend there was nobody intelligently designing it. And let's just act like it's cool in and of itself. That's how we use nature, and to do what is natural in our mind, to do what is natural, well, that's just you being you, that's you do and whatever you feel like, whatever comes naturally to you. See, we would even go so far as to use phrases like Mother Nature, or we would give nature some other source of origin besides God. What he is saying is God made what is natural, God made nature, God created a male and a female to be joined together as one, and we have exchanged the nature that God made, his created order, the way that God knew would be best for human flourishing. We are exchanging that for something else. And women are exchanging what God made to be natural for something that is unnatural. And, in fact, the statement today is it is natural. If that's how you feel if that's the way that you were born, then you should just be that way. But he's saying no, that's an exchange that we're making. God created it to be the way that it is. And we're exchanging women with women and men with men. That is not what God intended. And look what he says here at the end of verse 27, when he's describing the men, and he clearly meant he makes it clear what's happening. Men are not having their natural relations with women like God designed to in Genesis. Know now they're committing shameless acts with men. They're consumed with their passion for one another, it says so clearly, we're talking about a man lying with a man like it said in Leviticus, and then it says these phrases, “men committing shameless acts with men.” So, the idea there of the shameless act is like, it's something that they should be ashamed of, but they are not ashamed of. It's something you could translate that word, like It's indecent or it's disgraceful. So, the word that it's using here to describe these acts is not a positive word. It's not saying this is good. It's saying, this is indecent. This is disgraceful. And then it goes on to say they're “receiving in themselves, the due penalty for their error.” So, there's like a consequence that comes with it. There's some kind of recompense when you exchange what is natural for what is unnatural, and you live in a way that is not how God created you to live. Well, it's not the right thing to do and, and there's like a consequence that comes along with it. In fact, it says “due penalty for their error,” for their wandering like this is off the path. This is off the nature, the way that God created things to be. So, you can see here that Paul, he is affirming what we would have already thought from Leviticus.
In fact, I want to just talk about the original language, because you're going to hear, if you start reading or you start studying what people are saying about the Bible and homosexuality these days. They're going to start saying all kinds of accusations like people who've never studied Greek before, all of a sudden know what Greek means in this conversation. And so, let's just talk about the original languages. We've already said that the Genesis was originally written in … what language everybody? Hebrew. And Romans and all the New Testament is written in … what language everybody? Greek. And so, what they did at this time that Paul is writing Romans is they translated the Hebrew Bible into the language of their day, Greek. Does anybody know what the translation from the Hebrew into the Greek it's called? The What does anybody know? Septuagint. Okay. And so, have you read what Paul wrote here in Romans 1:26-27, and you were reading Genesis 1 in Greek in the Septuagint, you would notice perhaps, that he's using the same words for male and female here in Romans 1:26-27, that they use to translate it all the way back in Genesis 1. And these are not the most commonly used words in Greek, for male and female. So, he seems to really be saying that the natural way that God created it is for a male and female to be joined together in marriage. It seems like he's affirming what the law of Moses says. And Paul is going to go on in two other verses.
Go to 1 Corinthians 6:11, to other passages, where he mentions homosexuality specifically. And I just want to highlight again, it's in a list of many sins. And we're going to come back to 1 Corinthians 6 here in a minute. But I just want to read it to you right now. 1 Corinthians 6:9, he says, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous[b] will not inherit the kingdom of God?” Okay, this is what we heard in our video testimony at the beginning of this sermon just a few minutes ago. You cannot have one foot in with God and one foot in your sin. Don't you know that? You can't be living in unrighteousness and thinking at the same time, I'm in the kingdom with God. That's not how it works. And then he's going to say, do not be deceived, and people are being deceived. We're going to talk about neither. And now here's a list of ways that people live where you cannot be right with God, you cannot be in the kingdom. Neither “the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” So, here's a long list of ways that you can't live and be right with God. And then just included in a list of many sins is this practice of homosexuality. Now, one of the Greek words that Paul uses and he uses it here, and he's going to use it in the fifth and final passage is this Greek word arsenkoitus, okay. And in Greek, it's like some people even think it's a compound word that Paul might have made up because what it does is it takes the word for a male and the word for lying or bed arsen, male, koitus, lying or bed, and it jams these two words together like male lying with male is the idea that word. That's the same exact way Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 are translated into the Greek. So, if you were reading the whole Bible in Greek, you would think Paul's using the same phrase, the same two words put together here in 1 Corinthians that Leviticus was using. So, you would see that this idea that God is not okay with his created order being exchanged, that is an idea throughout the Scripture.
Go to the last one, 1 Timothy 1:10. Another list of sins that the law exposes, that the law convicts us of. If you're living this way, you need to be saved by the gospel of Jesus. And it mentions many different things in this list. Start with me in 1 Timothy 1:9, “understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane.” The law is going to expose or reveal our sin. The Holy Spirit might use the law to convict us of sin, and now it's going to give us specific examples of sins, many of these sins would have been attached to the death penalty back in the Law of Moses. Well, here they are listed now again, “for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral.” And then here it is “men who practice homosexuality,” arsenokoitus and “enslavers,” that's like man stealing people and then selling them as slaves. That's a sin listed there, “liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine.” These are not the way the Bible is teaching us to live. In fact, what we need, if you're living in that sin, you need the gospel of the glory of the blessing of God, which Paul has been entrusted.
So what we can say, let's get this down for what the Bible says if we're studying what the Bible says, the Bible says, men should not lie with men and women should not lie with women. We can come away, we can see not only does God reveal what his plan is in five different occasions, it makes it very clear what his plan is, men should not lie with men and women should not lie with women. That's what the Bible says about homosexuality. But this is where a lot of people go wrong, including a lot of people at a church like this. That's not what the Bible says about homosexual people themselves. Okay, go back to Romans 1. There's a key distinction I want everybody to see here. Okay. And what I mean by this is, we’ve got to separate the “they” from an individual soul, because in the context of Romans 1. In fact, go back to verse 18 with me in Romans chapter 1, because we've been talking about this now for many weeks. It’s taking us a long time to go through the book of Romans, and we're still in chapter one. Does anybody else feel like that like, we're going slow? I mean, we're not going slow. Paul is taking his sweet time, everybody. I mean, he wants to really explain the full gospel of Jesus. So, we've got bigger space over here. Lord willing, we're going to be able to raise the money, start the construction. Let's say this is the worst construction project in the history of church construction projects. Let's say it takes years to get this done. We're still going to be preaching through Romans when we move into this building. Alright? this is long term. Alright? Because he is trying to show this … he's explaining, and people are getting it. People have gotten saved while we've gone through Romans chapter one, because people are understanding this is the world that we're living in, in America, in 2022, that there is a God and people should worship him. But they are exchanging God for a different kind of life. And therefore, God is giving them up to their sin, and people are like, wow, that is explaining what is happening in the world. So that is the point. Go back to Romans 1:18: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” So, from verse 18, in Romans 1, all the way down to verse 32, he's talking about the world out there. And this has been true at many different times in many different nations. And it's been true for us here in America. Even in our lifetime, we could say we have seen Romans 1:26-27 proves to be true on a macro level. So, we're talking about what happens in the group of people among the world around us that, yes, America is exchanging the truth about God, and they are going for a lie. They are exchanging what is natural, what God created, and they are now doing what is unnatural and embracing it and practicing it and approving of it. We're talking big picture. I can remember when I was growing up, and people would make fun of homosexuals. And I knew that was wrong to make fun of them. And I heard a lot of it when I was growing up. And I knew hey, that's not okay to make fun of that person. But people were doing it all around me, and in my lifetime, just being here in America with you, I have seen it go from people making fun of homosexuality, to now if you don't want hundred percent accept homosexuality, you are the hater. You are a bigot. You are the worst kind of human being that you do not accept homosexuality, and that change has happened right here in our, that has happened in our lifetime. And we have seen God give up. They are our culture, our country. Now people are practicing it and people are approving of those who’re practicing it. Okay. Now here's where we go wrong. If somebody takes that, that macro truth, and so then they start applying it to a specific individual person, and they look at this person who is identifying as a homosexual, and they say, see this person, God has given them up. In fact, they might even say something like, God has given them up not only once to their lust, but he gave them up. And so, they're acting like this whole idea that we're studying in Romans 1 did not apply to this specific individual, and this individual has been given over to their sin. And you'll start to hear Christians say things like homosexuality, that person who struggles with homosexuality as a temptation as a sin in their life, like somehow now Christians are talking like that person has a worst sin than other sins. And the way they get there is they use Romans 1:26-27. See, God gave them up. And so, now they're not talking about America anymore. Now they're talking about that individual person with a name and an address and a phone number, and they're acting like, look at them, look at what they've done. No.
Go back to 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and let's find out together what they have done is exactly what we all have done. Okay. This is not a sin to be singled out, like some kind of sin means that person is a worse sinner than other people. Okay? If you want to just judge “they” like in Romans 1 as it's describing what they do. If you want to just judge “they,” you're not going to like Romans chapter 2, when he goes off on the church, people judging everybody else. You're not going to like Romans chapter 3, when it makes it very clear how many righteous people are walking around, how many people are born right with God. He says there is no one who is righteous. No, not one. What Romans is going to make clear to every single one of us is all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Can I get an Amen from the congregation? Okay. So we are all sinners. We were all born in such a way that we would never be right with God unless God comes and does something to save us, unless he offers his one and only son as a sacrifice for our sins, and lets Jesus lays down his righteous life, and sheds his pure blood as an offering for us. Not anybody here would ever be right before God. That's the truth. And then when we read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, we are all in here. So, if you are in some way, referring to “they” as some bad people out there, and they're the real problem with America, let it be said here today, we are “they,” that's who they are. It's people just like us. And God saved us out of that. That's who we are if you are making them the enemy. Let me just tell you right now, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, “they” are not the enemy. They are the mission. They are why we're still here. We are here to show them that God is mighty to save, and he can save anybody who's a sinner. You want to know how I know that? He saved me. And I was one of the “they” and look what he did in my life. The quote it says here in 1 Corinthians 6:9, “do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?” I.e., how many people are born right with God? The answer is no one, no, not one. And the inheritance, see, this is again, we got to get our minds into the way that the Bible thinks the context of Scripture. The inheritance was the big deal. The father, especially among the Jewish people, the father is going to give all the things that he has, all that the family has, the father will pass it on to the son, that's why it was like so and so, son of so and so, so on, and so on. So, because it's all about keeping the family line going, having that son, giving that son the inheritance, and what the Bible is saying is that the Father in heaven is going to give all things to his son, Jesus, and everyone who believes in Jesus, everybody who comes to see Jesus dying on that cross for their sin, everybody who sees Jesus rising up from the dead to offer them a new and eternal life, when you put your faith in Jesus, see, then you will receive the inheritance that the Father is going to give to the son, and you will have treasure in heaven forevermore, and you will be in a kingdom and everlasting kingdom that no one can destroy. Where there is love for all people and everything right is taking place, the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, that will be where he will reign forevermore. So, but you're not born that way. In fact, if you don't leave your sin behind, if God doesn't save you out of your sin, you can't just go to heaven. You can't just be in the kingdom of righteousness. Now you're not born that way. And then it says this very important thing, “Do not be deceived.” And the deception is all around us, the deception is not even all around us in America. The deception is now very common in the church in America, where people are giving other people at church on a Sunday, the impression that if you are continuing in sin, if you're okay with that sin in your life, don't worry about it, God will be okay with you. And many people are being deceived. And they know they've got sin in their life. They know they feel bad, but they think God's going to love me just the way I am. It's going to be all right. And it's saying, no, don't believe that. You can't keep living a sinful way and be right with God. You can't keep walking in the sin that you were born in and expect to enter the kingdom and receive the inheritance. Don't you know this? Do not be deceived. Someone's going to try to deceive you into thinking that your sin isn't that bad. And God's going to be okay with what you do know. Don't be deceived. Watch out for that deception. Let's make it very clear. And then find yourself in this list here. Neither the sexually immoral, okay, that's anybody doing something sexual outside of God's context of marriage. That's people who are getting into pornography. That's people who are getting together before they get married. No, and neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters, you don't like the way God created things to be. So, you want to set up an idol who will let you do whatever you want. And you may be … a lot of people's idol is themselves, like I'm going to live to do whatever I want to do. No, that's not going to work. Nor adulterers. I mean, God made marriage and if you are married, God's will is for you to stay married. There are many people who have committed adultery, even that go to church, nor then it says, nor men who practice homosexuality. If you at any point in your life identified as someone who was a homosexual, you will not inherit the kingdom living that way. But you can be saved out of that sin just like anybody else here got saved out of there sin. It continues, feeds people who aren't working. They aren't getting their own money through good honest work. No, they're taking from other people to get for themselves. Well, thieves, they're not going to be in the kingdom, nor the greedy.
How about a convicting phrase right there for Orange County, California? Right? See, I mean, God's made it so clear, you cannot serve God and money. You can't be like, oh, I can't wait to get the spiritual inheritance when I die and go to heaven. But right now, I'm living to get everything I can for myself. And I'm putting myself and my finances above other people and above what God is doing in the world right now. No, you can't have it both ways. You can't be all about the love of money, and this desire to be rich that comes from a greedy heart, that's not in the kingdom. And it says drunkards, people who keep going back, they're trying to drown out their sorrows trying to find life in a place that they're not going to find it, but they keep trying to find life. Nor revilers. How about this one people always going off on other people? You meet a reviler, is not the problem. They are the problem. Revilers, they'll tell you right away oh, so and so, oh, they're a problem. These people over here, they're a real big problem. These people over here, you'd say the reviler. Have you ever considered that you're the common denominator in all of your relationships? No, don't say that to the reviler. The reviler is doing just fine. Everybody else though, they’ve got a lot of problems out there. And then you get to the swindler. Here's a con man, here's somebody who's offering something that's fake, just to take from people, just to get for themselves. Any of these people, hey, do not be deceived. Nobody who lives like this, nobody will inherit the kingdom of God.
Okay, so we need to make it very clear here today, that there is only one way for anyone in this room, anybody watching this video, there is only one way that any of us get saved, and his name is Jesus. Okay, and this verse, this is an intense passage like, well, this is an intense sermon. We're saying very clearly what God is not okay with. Yes, but look at verse 11. Because this is where it becomes so beautiful, so precious, and it says “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” Do you see what it's saying here? We here at church, we are the “they”; we are those out there lost in sin. We were all born into sin, and can you believe what God has done in our lives that he is mighty and such were some of you? I'm not going to ask for people to raise hands or stand up. But I can read through that list of sins. And we could have sexually immoral people stand up. We could have adulterer standing up. We could have drunkards and greedy people and revilers, we’re homosexuals, we could all stand up and we would all be right here at church. You want to know where we came from? We came from being dead. We came from people who exchanged God for a lie and praise God, he did not give up on people like us. Praise God. He sent Jesus, his one and only son that he loved. And Jesus was willing to die in place for a sinner like you and now you are washed, sanctified, justified. You’re going to walk around like you're better than somebody else. That's what a lot of Christians are doing. Christians acting like they're better than other people, like other people's sins are worse than your sin.
That's not what it's saying here. It’s saying we were right there among the worst of sinners. And the only reason that we're saved is, but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified. So, we all get saved the same way. And it's God doing His work to save us. It's not based on what our sin was, or anything we did to get out of our sin. No, it's in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Let's get this down for point number one: Every one of you got saved the same way. Every one of you got saved the same way. You meet somebody and they're a sinner, please don't politicize sin. Please don't start making like they're some issue that needs to be addressed. You meet somebody, and they're a sinner, you know what you can offer them. You can offer them salvation the same way that God saved you. And you could share the good news with them. Yeah, there's a lot of us sinners, there’s a lot of us sinners, we get together over here at this church. And you know what? Look at these three things. What an encouragement for our souls here today, you were washed, whatever your sin was, whatever you were born into, whatever defined your lifestyle before Jesus. Can we praise the Lord here today that he washed all of our sins away? This is not just talking about the public expression of baby getting baptized, and the symbol of being cleansed from our old life of sin and rising to a new life in Christ. This is talking about the actual cleansing of your inner soul, that you have been cleansed, you have been washed no matter how deep that stain was, no matter how big that spill was, no matter what your sin was, if we could now see who you really are inside your body and your soul, we would see you washed as white as snow. We would see your sin blotted out. We would not even be able to see any stain, any residue, any leftover effect because your sin has been washed away. That's what the Scripture says. And when God forgives you, he forgives you for all of your sin. He blocks it out, he does not remember it anymore. It's like we go to the end of the pier, and we throw all your sin off the pier, never to be washed back up. But to fall to the bottom of the sea and to stay there forever. That's the idea. You have been washed. Like the people in that video, John, Chris, Amber, Johnny, they're telling us who they were before. If you would meet them, they wouldn't smell like that anymore. They wouldn't look like that anymore. You'd be like, where's the stain? Where are all the scars? How come I still can't see your sin on you anymore because they've been washed clean from who they used to be. And then it says you are sanctified. You were sanctified, it’s the work that God does, it's a work of separation, he sets you apart, sanctified; he makes you holy as he is holy. You no longer belong to the “they” not because you got yourself out of the “they,” but God came and he set you apart from the “they”. He brought you out of your sin and he set you apart for a new purpose. Instead of doing things that were dishonorable and unclean and unknowable, well, now he's got you for an honorable purpose. Now he's cleansed you so that you can be useful to him. And God has now got something he's going to do. He's going to start doing good works through your life, he's going to start radically changing who you are on the inside; your desires are going to be conformed to Jesus. No, you are sanctified. See, there was an old you and now there's a new you in Christ. And then it says, you were justified. I mean, this is the theme that we're eventually going to get to when we get to the end of chapter 3 and chapter 4 and chapter 5 of the book of Romans, God has declared you righteous, that's what justified means. It means that if you were a sinner and you went up into heaven, and you were standing there before the very throne room of God, man, talk about a place you don't belong. Talk about a place that you're going to realize what's a person like me doing in a place like this? And instead of saying you're guilty, instead of saying condemnation, you know what God has said about everybody who's covered by the blood of Jesus, everybody who's put their trust in Jesus, you have been declared righteous. The righteousness of Jesus has been given to you through your faith in Jesus, you want to talk about an exchange, he takes all of your sin, you get his righteousness. Once you are declared righteous in heaven, that is how you are forevermore. And it comes when you believe in the name of the Lord Jesus.
See, it doesn't matter what your sin is, it doesn't matter what on that list convicts you, what on that list makes you feel in your heart that you know, you haven't lived God's created order, you haven't lived the way that God intended. Now, all of us, we all get saved the same way. Because there is one name given among men under heaven by which any of us are saved, there is only one who was righteous, and his name is Jesus. And that's the name that we get saved. And if you meet somebody, and you can tell they're a sinner, and they’re may be letting you know they're a sinner, they may be even letting you know that their kind of sin is homosexuality, hey, you’ve got good news for that person. Because that person can get saved the same exact way you got saved. I mean, this verse says three amazing things that God has done to us, washed us of all of our sin, set us apart for his purpose, declared us righteous in his sight, forevermore. And he did it in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, who died and rose again. And then look what it says, I don't even know if everybody here really believes this. It says, by the Spirit of our God. See, this is talking about rebirth. This is talking about a work that God does called regeneration, where at the moment that you believe in Jesus, at the moment of your salvation, we could say, God, he gives you a new heart. And the Bible is clear about this. God puts His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit that inspired men to write all of the truth of God, he puts that Spirit in you. See, I know many people who claim that they believe in Jesus. But if you say, well, then the Spirit must be really changing your life, the Spirit must be really bearing fruit, you then must have the Spirit of the Living God causing you to walk in a new life in Jesus and making you careful to obey God's commands. See, not everybody understands that no one was born right. But when you are born again, you are made right by God, and he puts His Spirit in you. And it is now the spirit of the living God in you. That is the only reason you can obey Jesus and walk in his commands. And anybody who gets that spirit, I don't care who they are, where they came from, what their sin was, anybody who, in the name of Jesus, gets washed, gets sanctified, gets justified, and gets the Spirit put in them, you will not recognize that person from who they used to be. That's what he's doing. And he's doing that in all of us. And it's a mighty work that God does. So, I hope that here at this church, we can all agree that we are the “they” who needed to be saved. And if God has saved us, then yes, he surely can save our fellow Americans. And we have good news to share with them. Let me pray for us.
Father in heaven, we just need to come before you and praise you for being so mighty in your work of salvation. God, you had a plan, you created the world. You showed us what your plan was. And then we exchanged the truth for a lie. We exchanged immortality for mortality, we exchanged what was natural for unnatural, and even we've seen you give us up to our sin. And yet, even then, Father, your Son, Jesus is willing to exchange our sin for his righteousness. And he's willing to save all who call upon his name. Father, we just want to praise you for your love, that we can see your truth, and how you've made it clear in your word, what your standard is; there is no compromise with your standard. We need to all know that the unrighteous will not inherit your kingdom. And yet at the same time, we all know that at least all of us who believe in Jesus, because that's who we were when you saved us when you washed us. When you set us apart for your purpose, when you declared us righteous in the name of Your Son, Jesus, you gave us your Holy Spirit. God we're here to worship you now for your mighty work of salvation. God we're here to say that we were with the worst of sinners and thank you God for saving us. Father, as we come now to respond we just need to confess that we're only saved by your grace. And if we're thinking that other people are somehow worse than us, God, I pray that you would humble us. God, if there's if there's some judgmental spirit here among us, we're ready to go off on there and act like they are the problem. And I pray that you would give us your compassion. And I pray that you would give us a sense that we were once lost, that we were once as blind as could be, that we were born into sin just like everyone else. Look at how you loved us, look at the grace that we could see when you opened our eyes to the face of Jesus. So, Father, let us see what we have freely received. And let us freely give. Father, I pray that this church would be a place where we're not here to judge people for their sin; we're not here to tell them about their sin. And we're here to tell them the good news, that in the name of the Lord Jesus, they can be washed, they can be sanctified, they can be justified that there's a way that we know because that's what you did for sinners like us. As a father, we're here today to worship you for your amazing grace. We thank you that even though we were wretches, you have been so good to save us. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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