God loves every single person on the planet and has demonstrated that love to all of us. He sent His Son Jesus on a mission to ransom us from enslavement to sin. It was an exchange of His own life and blood for our freedom and cleansing. There is no greater love than that love. Through the death of Jesus we were purchased from being owned by sin and darkness, and through His resurrection He has enabled us to live free in His power.
God has demonstrated that He has and will do anything to free us from slavery of every kind. The death of Jesus signified both the enormous cost of sin, and the depth of love that He has for us. Jesus said that through His mission on the earth, He came to “release captives, set free those who are oppressed, save that which was lost, give eternal life, forgive us of our sins and destroy the works of the evil one” (Luke 4:18, John 3:16, John 10:10, Matt 18:11, Matt 26:20, 1 John 3:8).
In the beginning when God made the first man, He created Him to live forever, never to experience death. When God recognized that this eternal man needed an intimate companion to live his life on earth with, He uniquely handcrafted a beautiful woman – a person significantly different from the man but perfectly suited for him in every way. Adam and Eve were anatomically and emotionally opposites, but God designed them to fit together and compliment one another physically and emotionally, in ability and purpose, in love. One level of intimacy and love that God made for man and woman to enjoy was sexual pleasure. Through that enjoyment of one another they became participants in the greatest miracle of creating another human being – a baby. Marriage was then one man and one woman enjoying one another physically and through that enjoyment, life came forth miraculously. This is the natural way that God intended for marriage. Loving, committed, fun and life giving.
When Adam and Eve chose to reject their Father and His ways by listening to and following Satan when he deceived them, they sinned. This was the first sin. Sin simply means to “miss the mark.” In other words, sin is to stray or rebel in thought, word or deed from what God intended and communicated. Sinning or missing the mark results in death. It’s a bit like someone being given a car and instructed to drive it on the road. However, if that person drives it off the road and over a huge cliff, they have missed the mark, strayed from the path and the result is death. Similarly, God created our bodies and the path for our bodies to live upon. When Adam and Eve “drove” off of the path that God showed them, death was the result.
After Adam and Eve rejected and rebelled against God, first in thought and then in action, sin quickly multiplied from there to include a multitude of “missing the mark” mindsets and behavior, all producing death and further enslavement. God has clearly spelled out for us what kind of things are sin and off course from His design. Of the many things that are sin, such as pride and envy, the purpose of this writing is to focus upon sexual sin in particular:
“…You shall not have intercourse with your neighbor’s wife, to be defiled with her…..You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. Also you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion.” Leviticus 18:20 & 22
In these two verses in the Old Testament, God addresses three specific sexual sins. The first is adultery (sexual intercourse with another man’s wife). The second is homosexual behavior. To “lie” with a male means to have sexual relations between a male and another male. The third sexual sin identified here is bestiality, or sexual relations between a man and an animal, or a woman and an animal. Adultery, homosexual behavior and bestiality are the three sexual sins listed here in this passage that are clear variances or perversions of what God intended. All three miss the mark.
Moving from the Old Testament to the New Testament, the list of sexual sin identified includes not only physical sexual conduct, but any sexual conduct in thought, word or deed outside of marriage between one man and one woman.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 says:
“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.”
In this passage that includes sexual and non sexual sin, the Apostle Paul adds in “fornicators,” or anyone who engages in physical sexual activity outside of marriage. He also says “Do not be deceived” to warn the Corinthians that there may be some deception regarding people who embrace sin but still think they are going to inherit the kingdom of heaven. He is bringing clarity and highlighting the seriousness of unrighteous or sinful behavior.
In the book Galatians, sexual sins are again discussed when the Apostle Paul says in Galatians 5:19:
“Now the deeds of the flesh (carnal, sinful nature) are evident, which are: immorality (“Porneia” in Greek, which means to indulge unlawful lust, homosexuality, fornication, adultery or incest), impurity (Defilement of Moral Character, Uncleanness in thought word or deed), sensuality (Licentiousness – flagrant disregard of sexual restraints “outrageous conduct”)…”
“Immorality” covers a wide range of sexual sins that include those mentioned previously in Leviticus and Ephesians. All sexual conduct outside of marriage between a man and a woman is considered “immorality” here and fleshly activity that is not condoned by God. “Impurity” and “Sensuality” also refer to sexual behavior in fantasy or thought, along with physical sexual activity outside of marriage between one man and one woman.
In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus raises the bar from the Old Testament description of physical sin by saying that it’s not just physical adultery that is sin, but also the adulterous thoughts in our hearts that is also sin. We are instructed to take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor 10:5). God has always been after and interested in what is going on in our hearts and minds, not just what we are doing with our bodies (1 Sam 16:7, 2 Chron 16:9, etc). He desires that we “love Him with all of our heart, mind and strength,” and if we love Him, we will align our minds and behavior with His ways.
Regarding homosexual behavior specifically, the book of Romans discusses that due to people rejecting God and not giving thanks to Him, degrading passions have emerged within them:
“… for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.” Rom 1:26-27
This is another clear biblical passage that identifies homosexual behavior as sin, missing the mark and unnatural. Just as it is completely unnatural for a person to have sexual relations with an animal, a man and a man together sexually is also unnatural. A woman and another woman together sexually is unnatural. Homosexual behavior is not what God intended just as bestiality or adultery is not what God intended. All sexual sins are harmful to our relationship with God, harmful to our own bodies (1 Cor 6:18), harmful to one another, harmful to our spiritual health and harmful to our eternal life.
We fully realize that in the last several years homosexual and adulterous behavior have been accepted by a growing number of people, including government institutions and some churches. However, the scriptures define morality, truth and what is natural, not by opinion, “progressive thinking” or deception as Paul warned us about.
Just as God loves every person, we here at Awake also love every person. Our desire is that each person that attends Awake Church would receive Jesus into their lives, enter into fellowship with their heavenly Father and experience His freedom from sexual sin of every kind. That freedom is available. We recognize that people involved with adultery, homosexual behavior, bestiality or any other immorality need help and are the very people that Jesus came to help, save and set free. There is no judgment or criticism from us toward people involved with these sins, because all have sinned and every person is in desperate need of Jesus and the forgiveness, grace, and love that He gives. There is hope for every person involved in any sin, sexual or otherwise when we take ownership of our sin, repent from it and embrace Jesus and His ways.
For those involved with or struggling with homosexual behavior specifically, we know that there are numerous reasons for their involvement in this lifestyle and behavior. Some people became involved because they feel that they were born that way and have never felt “normal” or that they fit in anywhere else. Some have been horribly abused or manipulated physically and emotionally by another person during their childhood, which initiated unnatural attractions toward people of the same sex. Others with very sensitive natures and creative giftings may have just felt accepted by homosexuals and possibly rejected by a church or Christians. Regardless of the reason for being involved in homosexual behavior, we are very sorry for whatever damage, abuse or rejection that anyone has experienced during their life and we want them healed. Even though the reasons vary for those involved in homosexual behavior, what is the same for every person is this – Jesus has provided a way to be cleansed, freed and healed in body, soul and mind. Jesus said that He came to “set every captive free” and to give us “life abundantly.” He has that abundant life for every person who is involved with sexual sin or addicted to anything.
This writing isn’t just a statement of what we believe, but also a heart-felt appeal and invitation for every person to experience the freedom and love that Jesus provides. We want to be a part of your freedom. Please let us know if you would like prayer or someone to help you.