Homosexual Lust (Excursus 4)

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Audio (4:53) |

In response to my teaching on "looking lustfully" (Matthew 5:27-30), I received this question:

"Am I correct in interpreting your words as saying that God accepts homosexual love?" -- Joanne

Here is my response:

Dear Joanne,

Here in California, where I live, when people talk about homosexual love, they are talking about sexual desire for someone of the same sex. I don't believe that God accepts homosexual lust, that is, a burning sexual desire for a member of the same sex. No more than he accepts heterosexual lust, burning sexual desire for one you are not married to. They are both wrong and damning.

But I believe God can enable those who have homosexual leanings to learn how to love purely with "agape" love. Just as he can help those heterosexuals burning up with lust for women who not their wives to learn to love women in a pure way.

Each of us has different weaknesses. Perhaps 3% to 5% of men seem to have a sexual attraction to other men and develop a lifestyle characterized by homosexual lust. A much larger percentage of men have a serious problem giving into heterosexual lusts. These are both weaknesses. Both are "abnormal" if we define "normal" as the way God has created us to be -- whole.

But our God is a freeing, delivering, redeeming God. The wonder of the Gospel is that he loves us. As messed up as we are, he loves us. And more than that, he has extended himself way beyond what we deserve in order to pull us up from the dregs of sin in which we have lived.

"He himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness. By his wounds we have been healed!" (1 Peter 2:24)

The gospel is good news to sexual addicts of all stripes -- whether lust in the heart or acted out lust. For it tells us that, finally, we are accepted.

"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you." (Romans 15:7)

This does not mean that our sins are acceptable. They are not. But that our sins, even the deep sins of the heart, are cleansed and forgiven through Christ's sacrifice for us, and so we are accepted.

If we can believe the Gospel that God accepts us, it will begin to remove the intense sense of shame and guilt that we feel. This will begin to evaporate as we lay hold of the truth. And a clear conscience will gradually be restored (Hebrews 10:22).

And as our minds are renewed, and we begin to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to reject lust and strive for real love, agape love, our hearts will be purified by the Holy Spirit. This is a process of renewal (theologically we call this "sanctification") that doesn't happen overnight. But it does happen.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is more powerful than lust! That is good news!

Sermon on the Mount: The Jesus Manifesto, by Ralph F. Wilson
Sermon on the Mount: The Jesus Manifesto
is available in paperback and ebook formats

Copyright © 2024, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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