Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Forbidden lust

I recently had an exchange with a professing believer in Christ who asked about lusting after the same sex. As expected, he re-labeled his sin as 'same sex attraction'. This exchange lasted for a few days, I would present Scripture, and he would respond by rearranging words to make it look like he was battling his sin. 

I did make the mistake of saying temptation isn't sinful; however, if that were true, why battle it? I admitted my mistake, giving James 1:13-14 as proof texts. I also included commentary from John Gill, "Here the apostle uses the word "tempted", in another sense than he did before. Before he speaks of temptations, as matter of joy and boasting, here of temptations, which are criminal, and issue in shame and death; the temptations he before makes mention of, being patiently endured, denominate men happy, but here such are designed, which are to be deprecated, and watched against; before he treats of temptations, which were the means of trying and exercising grace, and of purging away the dross of sin and corruption, but here of temptations to sin, and which are in themselves sinful."
This man brought up Christ and He being tempted; the Lord had no sin nature, as we do. His temptation did NOT originate from within, as ours does. This man didn't acknowledge this; he does claim that he battles against his same sex lust, but I question why he continues to battle the same besetting sin. Colossians 3:5 is very clear, 'Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.' Here is brief commentary from Barnes,"licentious passions; Rom_1:24." If you put something to death, if you mortify your lustful thoughts, why would they continue to keep coming back? When something is put to death, it should no longer be an issue, and yet, it is a continual, ongoing battle with this man.
He also referenced to a prior post I did on Nick Roen and his claim that God hasn't taken his lust from him, here are Roen's exact words, ", I have experienced exclusive same-sex attraction (SSA). Despite counseling and countless prayers, God has not seen fit to change my orientation."  from http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/an-alternative-script-for-same-sex-attraction

The man left believing he was okay with his lust, refusing to even call it lust. He really wasn't looking for answers, he was looking for approval.
 I've decided to post an article from Don Green concerning this matter...



Forbidden Desires

Is it okay to be attracted to the same gender as long as you don't have sex? Short answer? No. The sin of homosexuality is more than the external behavior. The disposition toward homosexuality is also sinful. This may surprise you if you have approached Christianity as a series of rules to be kept and going to church on Sunday. But biblical righteousness is far more than avoiding physical sin. 

The Bible Condemns Sinful Desires

The Bible teaches that God looks on hearts, not just behavior:
God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)
It’s rooted in the tenth commandment:
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor. (Exodus 20:17)
Jesus condemned heart sins like anger and lust:
You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent. 
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 
(Matthew 5:21–28)
What keeps people from going to heaven?
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19–21)
Notice the “things like these.” God condemns promiscuity and sensuality. We make no provision for them.
Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. (Romans 13:13–14)
This is not unique to homosexuality. Sinful desires provoke God’s wrath, not just sinful deeds. We can’t reduce the sin of homosexuality to homosexual acts. The desires themselves are sinful. 

Sinful Desires Come from Sinful Hearts

A sinful heart produces sinful desires that produce sinful deeds.
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man. (Mark 7:21–23)
What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. (James 4:1–2)
We are to be pure from the inside out. We cannot whitewash sinful desires; otherwise we reproduce the spirit of the Pharisees.
But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness. You foolish ones, did not He who made the outside make the inside also? (Luke 11:39–40)
He condemned the Pharisees for making of show of external compliance while inside being full of robbery and wickedness. God forbids us to want things that are contrary to His will. Homosexual desires and behavior are sinful because they violate God’s created order. 
For a man to desire a man as a sexual companion is to sin from the heart against God’s order that a woman be the sole sexual companion of a man, and that in the context of a marriage relationship. 

But I Didn’t Try to Be this Way!

It is common to hear homosexual stories that say, “I was always this way. I noticed I was different from the youngest age. I didn’t choose to be this way."  The implication is that therefore I am not responsible for my immoral behavior.  That is the wrong conclusion. The truth is just the opposite. The fact that those desires come so easily simply shows how badly sin has infected the human race.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— (Romans 5:12)
When Adam fell into sin, he brought a whole host of evil upon the human race. We all share in the responsibility for it. We inherited a guilty nature from him, and we are responsible for that. Even more, we add to our own guilt with our own sin. 
Why do some people feel same-sex attraction early in life? They were born with sinful hearts. When they act on their sinful desires, they develop sinful habits that gradually take control of them.  It’s the old saying: sow a thought, reap an act. Sow an act, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny. 
The fact that sinful desires come naturally is not unique to homosexuals. Anyone who has raised children understands this.  Even though no one has taught them to do so, children instinctively know how to lie when they get into trouble. They instinctively get angry if they don’t get their way.  No one teaches children to be naughty. They just naturally are naughty. It’s not genetic. They’re born with sinful hearts. No one says that lying and anger should be unrestrained.  The fact that wicked desires come naturally shows how lost we are. Christ must save us because we cannot save ourselves.

Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good Who are accustomed to doing evil. (Jeremiah 13:23)
The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
These are different manifestations of the same root problem of sin and our fallen natures. The fact that sin comes naturally to us doesn’t excuse our guilt. It proves our guilt.  The nature of the manifestation of our sin differs from individual to individual. One might struggle with homosexual lust; another with heterosexual lust; another laziness; another gossip. 
Paragraph 6.2 and 6.3 of the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 states it like this:

6.2 Our first parents, by this sin, fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, and we in them. For from this, death came upon all: all becoming dead in sin and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body.
6.3 They being the root, and by God's appointment, standing in the room and stead of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, and their corrupted nature conveyed, to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation.
Without being taught to do so, some people will rebel against God’s will for sexuality. When you combine a sinful heart with other issues like early molestation or other environmental factors, you have a recipe for ingrained homosexuality even early in life. Sadly, homosexuals have misunderstood the spiritual significance of their experience. Their childhood desires were not innocent. They manifested a corrupt nature.  When they act on that corrupt nature, sin subtly takes control of their lives.  Sin does not become righteous simply because it comes naturally to us. Homosexuality is sinful. Those who practice or desire it are guilty, even if they did not originally and consciously “choose” to go that route. God will still hold them accountable.  I realize this sounds depressing. But sin is inherently enslaving. It’s shocking to realize that we can be slaves without even knowing it. 
Homosexuals are no different than the rest of us. They were born into a condition of slavery.

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin." (John 8:34)
What is the answer to that enslaved condition?

Homosexuals Need the Gospel

The recognition that homosexuality has a hold on you should not lead you to justify it. It should lead you to flee to Christ and cry for mercy. You are enslaved to sin that offends a holy God, and you cannot save yourself from it.  Homosexuals are just like other sinners. They must confess their sin and repent or they will perish.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:3–4)
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 Corinthians 6:9–10)
God will not allow unrepentant homosexuals into heaven. But there is mercy in the condemnation. Christ calls all sinners—not just homosexuals—to deny themselves and follow Him. He offers eternal life to everyone who believes in Him.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels. (Mark 8:35–39)
We gladly point homosexuals to the same Savior that redeemed us from our sins—the Friend of sinners who came to seek and save the lost.
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10)
Christ washed us from our sins; He can wash, sanctify, and justify every homosexual who humbly comes to Him as well.
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 Corinthians 6:11)
We say without apology that homosexuals must repent of their homosexuality. We say with confidence that Christ will receive you, forgive all your sins, and graciously give eternal life to you.
All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. (John 6:37)
When Christ says that, He means it. He will forgive all your sins. He has authority to make that promise because He paid for sin at the cross.
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
When you come to Christ, He will give you power to overcome sin. That doesn’t necessarily mean you will be instantly relieved of homosexual temptation.  But He will give you the Holy Spirit to break the power of sin, to cleanse your conscience, and give you hope.
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28–30)
Come to Christ. Make today the day of your salvation.

2 comments:

Darrel said...

I remember the thread and the guy who constantly made excuses for the sins of another, which was a smoke screen to excuse his own sins. Sadder still is the fact that such a thing indicates the lack of salvation. One truly redeemed will want to get rid of all their sins, no matter the struggle or the "cost". Sin should be repugnant to a believer, and not something to be winked at, coddled, or excused.

Having been introduced to the false gospel of the SBC at an early age I knew enough to know that my sins were wrong, but there was no way that I could overcome them, no matter how I tried. I really didn't try very much, because I liked what I was doing. I can remember telling God that "no matter how bad it gets (how many sins I would commit) He was obligated to bring me to heaven when I died because I prayed a prayer and asked Jesus into my heart." I was wrong, eternally wrong, and did not know how wrong I was until He saved me years later.

May it please our Lord to open the eyes of the self-deluded church members/attenders to the folly and deceitfulness of their own sins and the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

lyn said...

That's why the false gospel of free will is so dangerous, as you well pointed out Darrel.
This man was a lot like jamsco, the gentleman you and I encountered. This latest episode between me and Chris was similar. Only Chris is a homosexual. It was very telling that he refused to call his 'same sex attraction' lust. I knew right then he was cherishing a 'pet sin'. Instead of hating his sin, he was looking for loopholes to cling to it. I gave him none, so he left in a huff. He accused me of confusing him, but he confused himself because of his love of sin. He would ask questions like how long should he struggle with 'ssa', he didn't really want answers, he only wanted approval. May God give him eyes to see. Articles like the one from Nick Roen are dangerous, they give the impression one can stay in their sins and it's okay. God have mercy on Nick Roen as well.