A Closer Look at Romans 1: the Nature of Human Relations

Rom 1:26 “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.  27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.  Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”

I will preface this article by saying that the Bible forbids us from hating any group of people.  We are commanded to love our neighbor, and at the same time to preach the truth about God’s love, and the repentance from any and all sin.

Whenever an in-depth look is undertaken into any Bible passage, one must use a word-for-word translation like the ESV or the NASB, and possibly look at the Hebrew or Greek text using tools such as Strong’s dictionary among others.  We will take a look at this passage and focus on the way apostle Paul uses the derivatives of the word “nature” in the context of homosexual relations.

One of the most important points of the gay agenda is to proclaim the idea that homosexual relations come naturally to the persons who subscribe to that orientation.  This has been implied even by some evangelical leaders like Rick Warren… but not in so many words.  A closer look in Romans 1 reveals that same-sex relations are not only sinful, but they are against nature the way God ordained it.

The context of Romans 1:18-32 is very important because it further solidifies this position.  The theme here is God’s wrath against the depravity of mankind, making the point that idolatry is unnatural.  It says that men committed an unnatural act in that they “exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man. (verse 23)”  We see the contrast here between the natural and the unnatural, the glory of the immortal God and the images resembling mortal man, respectively.

Paul points to the transition between the natural worship of God, and the unnatural worship of man and idols.  He also points to how men unnaturally “exchanged the truth about God for a lie (verse 25).”

Continuing in the same pattern of natural vs unnatural, Paul gives an example of human depravity: homosexuality.  Just like the exchange of the “glory of the immortal God” for idolatry, and truth for lie was presented earlier, Paul now presents two more unnatural exchanges:

1. The phrase “their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones” references lesbianism as being unnatural, therefore against nature

2. The phrase “men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another” references homosexual relations among men and specifies that these men abandoned the natural state, that is the relationship ordained by God between man and woman in Gen 2:24.  Paul makes a clear case that an unnatural relationship is now taking place between members of the same sex.

The final analysis is the result of depravity: “the due penalty for their perversion” which is the result of God giving  “them up in the lusts of their hearts.”

Romans 1:26-27 is abundantly clear that homosexuality is not only sinful, but unnatural in the context of human relations ordained by God.  The argument that homosexual desires are natural, as any other sinful desire like lust, hate, anger, and greed directly contradicts Romans 1 Scripture.

Related click here: Can one repent of these unnatural desires?

Also: Biblical case against gay marriage

36 comments on “A Closer Look at Romans 1: the Nature of Human Relations

  1. Interesting. Do you think that people are not born that way, attracted to our own sex and not to the opposite? If so, what about the observation of many celibate Christians?

    Do you reject those celibate gay Christians as unnatural and condemned, as well as those who act on their desires within a monogamous loving relationship?

    • Clare, thank you for the visit. I wrote this article to highlight the point made in Romans 1 that homosexual relationships are sinful and unnatural. I have not addressed the issue of when these feelings arise in an individual, at what age or if they are born that way.

      Many of those who subscribe to that life style say they are born that way and use it as an excuse for their lifestyle. That is against the Word of God.

      We are called to mortify sin, to put to death the deeds of the flesh per Romans 8:13, not make excuses for them.

      Now, celibate persons with homosexual desires must also mortify these sinful tendencies by the power of the Holy Spirit per Romans 8 and be set free from the bondage of this sin.

      But remember, the point was that Romans 1 proves that these relationships are not natural.

      • Indeed, Chris. I want to probe what you think that means.

        Everyone has sexual desires, and our sexual desires can lead to sin. Some men have a lack: they are unable to feel sexual desire which you would accept as godly, with one woman for life. Instead, they feel sexual desire only for men. That is what they say about their experience, and the APA agree with them.

        I ask, do you accept that that is how they are, from birth?

        If so, does that have any effect on what conduct in them would be sin?

        • I understand the APA position and your reasoning.

          But the pressing issue at hand is the fact that Romans 1 calls these feelings unnatural, and along with other places in the Bible calls them sinful. So… whether they are from birth or from a certain age is less relevant. Only one thing remains, that is to mortify them. I know this biblical truth cuts painfully deep because our secular society has evolved to the position that “you are what you are.”

          The most critical event in the life of the human is the new birth described in John 3. That event brought on by the Holy Spirit makes a radical change in a person’s thinking and behavior, and they become a new creation. They now hate the things they used to do and accept a new life in Christ.

          I do not know if a gay person who undergoes this new birth will cease having old temptations. We are all subjected to varying degrees and types of temptation. But one thing is clear: their life has a 180 degree change and exhibits the fruit of the Spirit… they no longer live in sin… born-again Christians hate what they used to do before the new birth…

          We may respectfully disagree, but I do not see biblically “how they are from birth” would excuse sinful conduct denounced by the Bible.

          I hope I do not offend you (too much) but I must stay true to the Bible.

        • I appreciate your strong disagreement.

          Respectfully, the abomination is described in Lev 18:22

          “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”

  2. Clare, people are born angry, people are born with an adultery gene , we are all borne with a sin gene.

    That is the reason the Bible says that we all sin and fell short of the Glory of God. Before God we all stand to be condemned , homosexuals and heterosexuals

    BUT, for all our sins there is only one hope, heterosexuals and homosexuals… Jesus

    I really encourage you to read up on the Bible and about the Bible with and open mind , read of all the prophecies that were made in the OT about the coming of Jesus and the mathematical probability for those prophecy to be fulfilled in one person and than make your decision about the most amazing person that only had a public ministry for 3 years, never wrote anything , and was able to change the world infinitely more so than any human being that walked on this earth… ever

    There are only two options…
    Jesus was a lunatic and than the entire judeo christian way of life is lunacy

    Jesus is who He proclaims to be: God and the son of God.
    Than you have to make a decision …..
    The eternity question….

  3. Kindly do not tell me to read the Bible. I have read the whole bible several times, and the complete “Daily Study Bible”, a multi-volume commentary published by the Church of Scotland, a presbyterian church.

    We are in danger of talking past each other. It seems you accept that people are born gay, and that homosexual orientation may not be changed. At least I hope so, because that is the clear result of the evidence. Please deny it if you wish. But you did not answer about the celibate gay Christians. Do you welcome them in your church? Do you think their natural homosexuality any bar at all to their membership? If you do, you should go and read the Bible again.

    • th way we are born is irrelevant. …is what we do after w come to the knowledge of the truth …
      if a celibate homosexual , or a celibate serial adulterer would want to join a church they are more than welcome…
      My point was that we are all born natural sinners…
      now we can talk about degrees of sins…that is a current discussion

    • Clare over a year and a half and I don’t see a simple reply to your question about celibate gay so here is a simple one.

      All Christians are sinners saved by grace so to ostracize one for being a sinner they whole church would be given the boot. Instead the church should be a place for sinners to come and find God’s grace and redemption without criticism. The church should be a place of healing not further scars.

      I have many a friend in and out of church that struggle with homosexual tendencies. A simple parallel to this (but not perfect) is a simple alcoholic or drug addict were they too born pre-disposed to their present vice there is evidence that shows this to be true. With both homosexual and alcoholism/drugs the sinful act came later. Using predisposition as an out work no better for a homosexual as it does an alcoholic or drug addict.

      With both as well the open practice is not acceptable for those that call themselves Christians whether outside or inside of a church but especially not by it’s leadership or staff. A pastor shouldn’t be constantly drunk no more than constantly in a homosexual relationship or any addictive sin pattern.

      The truth and bottom-line is homosexuality is a biblical sin but so is a laundry list of other things and no one person accept Jesus has ever lived in complete lack of committing even one sin out of that list. The laws purpose though is to point us to our need for a savior a person who recognizes their sin for what it is a far better candidate for God’s use than any holier-than-thou religious nut. God uses our weaknesses to show of and bring glory to his strength so come one and all to Christ and his Church and if his Church does not accept you for who you are as a sinner then find another church that ‘gets it’.

      I hate this phrase because it’s far over used but still doesn’t remove it’s fundamental truth: “God hates the sin but loves the sinner.” Even to the point of death on a cross to save us.

      Glory and praise be to God.

      • Jpminar, welcome here and thank you for commenting. There is a critical item missing from your comment. Repentance. Without repentance, one cannot enter the kingdom of God. It is absolutely critical that a homosexual person repent of that lifestyle just like an alcoholic repents of his habit. It does not mean that the former alcoholic or the repented gay person may never experience temptation, but this must be mortified by the Spirit (Rom 8:13).

        “if his Church does not accept you for who you are as a sinner then find another church that ‘gets it’.”

        This is a problematic statement because it remains unqualified. The church accepts (or Christ accepts) sinners who repent of their sin. One who continues to live the gay lifestyle cannot be considered repented and born again into the body of Christ even if he or she physically attends a church service.

        Again, repentance is key.

        • Okay lets speak order of operation then. You say repentance must come before entrance into a church which I spoken of in the physical since.

          Let’s make this personal I was saved at a young age and later in life became addicted to porn. I was convicted of my lifestyle by the Holy Spirit but at that point felt alone and isolated and was unable to quit without breaking my isolation. When I confessed to an accountability group my struggle I ended up in an intervention and then ostracized by the church I loved and even further isolated I knew what I was doing was wrong and wanted to change but needed help repentance is hard when addition and lifestyle runs so deep that doesn’t mean conviction and a plea for help is not there if Christian or if a being worked on by the Holy Spirit.

          The church can not afford to refuse anyone repentant or not in the church doors because of their struggles and because someone struggles doesn’t mean they are not saved or being convicted by the Holy Spirit far from it.

          If you pass judgment an ostracize anyone who struggled saved or non-saved you may actually be causing more harm than good you may cause the Christian to continue to slide or simply accept Satan’s lies that your identity is your sin and not in Christ which accomplishes his goal of preventing one saved from being effective (I don’t believe in loss of salvation but I do believe that Satan wants us to feel isolated and alone in any sin he can to take away effectiveness as Christians).

          Even worse than that refusal to accept a sinned into a physical church without first repenting could cause one who might be saved to leave and never feel welcomed again by any other church ever (accept perhaps for a church that has rejected portions of scripture to fit their lifestyle – which are out there in increasing numbers).

          But don’t take my word for it let’s look at scripture including the scripture you quoted:
          Romans 8:13 (NASB) “for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”

          Let me be clear I did ‘pick’ the NASB translation but not because it fits my case because it’s a more literal translation and because I use it to look at original context of what the Greek and Hebrew/Aramaic say. That said let me emphasis the literal translation’s use of the word ‘putting’ which differs from a couple other translations with used ‘put’. The difference is subtle but important the original text is in a tense of constant ‘putting to death the deeds of the body’. Why would that be well because all Christians struggle with the flesh and sin. So the scripture us used to say we must first repent before coming to a church would imply the same applies to you and everyone in and that makes up the church congregation from time to time.

          So I’d say we have an order of operation issue and I’d also point to Romans 10 to establish a proper order of operation.

          Rom 10:3 reads, “For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.” This refers to the Nation of Israel that is still trying to live under the law. As would be anyone not save that has not heard the gospel and accepted.

          10:9 “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” and here we have how to be saved which may be interesting to note in this particular passage says anything about repentance or confession but belief.

          10:10 “for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” There we go there is the rest but notice the order. Confess in Christ > Belief(Faith) he was raised > Saved > Righteousness so for a non-Christian being made Righteous is the result of belief so to require repentance which is part of confession then we first need Belief. So we still are missing the component that leads to belief.

          10:14-15 “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent?”

          Good questions so what is the order of operation before belief.

          10:17 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”

          So now we have an order of operation that goes. Send > Preach > Hear word of Christ > Confess in Christ > Belief(Faith) he was raised > Saved > Righteousness

          Short and sweet as I stated in my post earlier all churches should accept all people as they are. It only after coming and hearing the word that real life change and salvation can happen. Righteousness and lifestyle change will follow as long as you trust God and His word.

        • Jpminar, I am not arguing ordo salutis at all.

          And certainly I did not say that sinner must be repented before they attend church, any church. If that was the case, no one new would ever come to a church.

          I said a sinner must repent of his lifestyle before entering the body of Christ. That is a transformation by the renewing of his mind, and that is what we call the new birth. He now hates the things he used to do before and loves the things he used to hate (the gospel).

          After all we have church members and friends who are not in the body of Christ (ie they are not saved).

          And I agree with your conclusion

          “churches should accept all people as they are. It only after coming and hearing the word that real life change and salvation can happen. Righteousness and lifestyle change will follow as long as you trust God and His word.”

          But at the same time, if lifestyle change does not follow (ie, the homosexual continues engaging in his/her passion in rebellion toward God) that person can attend church all they want because their faith is dead.

        • Okay we are close to agreement here.

          You lost me once again on the application of scripture.

          You stated: “I said a sinner must repent of his lifestyle before entering the body of Christ.”

          Since we’ve already established you are not talking physical attendance let me respond to this as a salvation based statement.

          This statement can be both correct and incorrect depending on how you mean it. Just like it would be dangerous to say you have to do anything to be saved (obviously works) it is just as dangerous to pin not doing something as a prerequisite for salvation (this would be salvation by righteous justification). I would not want to think you are arguing for either salvation by works or by righteous justification because I know that I cannot hold up my end of either of these I’d prefer to accept salvation by grace alone (which is wholly Biblical.- see Eph. 2:8-9).

          Let me be clear God commands repentance and holiness but these are based on God’s holy standard. Prior to leaving our “sin nature” it not possible to choose to turn away from sin, this is why it is called a “sin nature” we can for a time but never wholly on our own. Since you really should be careful saying repentance is necessary for salvation without getting in a lot of theological hot water lets ask the next best question: “Is repentance the result of salvation?” This is an easy Yes so lets turn to that.

          You stated: “That is a transformation by the renewing of his mind, and that is what we call the new birth. He now hates the things he used to do before and loves the things he used to hate (the gospel).”

          Obviously this is a reference to Romans 12:1-3:
          “1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”

          I think your statement about the transforming of the mind is a confusing ‘conversion’ and ‘sanctification’. If ‘conversion’ caused an absolute aversion to sin (like you state) then we’d have little to no Christian sinners as it is we are just as ban sin wise as non-sinners. This is because we the church lack emphasis on ‘sanctification’ and being set apart and there really is to much conforming to the world which is what makes us so like the rest of the world.

          So if you look at context you will see that God expects use to offer all we are and to start the process of ‘renewing of the mind or sanctification but the act of sanctification is not instant nor will it realized until we die and are made complete by God. Sanctification is a process and isn’t instantaneous; it will take time (shorter or longer for some) to stop living in sin and even once saved we have to depend on God to work in us sanctification. We all as Christians should die more and more to sin and live righteously more and more and if we don’t we’ll have to deal with the Holy Spirit’s conviction. We should do this out of willful response to God and what he has done to save us or else again we are preforming is works to make God love us more or not doing wrong so that God won’t love us less.

          I agree someone living in a lifestyle of homosexuality should if saved make every effort to leave that lifestyle behind I’m not arguing against this at all. I will say that even as a Christian any lifestyle sin is a huge struggle to get out of and as long as we are there our Christian life will be diminished and the amount of ministry, discipleship, love, and encouragement of fellow believers, especially those that have the same struggles, will determine a lot of how and even if, for some, we will recover.

          A Christian Alcoholic will still for some time or even the rest of their life struggle with the temptation of alcohol. Satan know our weaknesses and will exploit them every opportunity he has.

          I don’t believe in Conversion Therapy for Gays, Alcoholics, Drug Addicts, Co-Dependents, Porn Addicts, or any other hurt habit or hang-up. I believe in admitting there is a struggle but realizing my identity is not in my sin. When I’m in Christ my identity is in Christ. The passage you quote is about identity. God didn’t call us to be who we are but who He is. That doesn’t mean we won’t sin (we’ll screw-up in grand style!!) but nothing we do will make him love us more or less and there is nothing we will do that will send him back to the cross because he did it all the first time and in his omniscience he saw it all before it even happened. Nothing we do will surprise him!

          If we the church focus not on who we were in sin but who we can be in Christ and see all people the same as sinners saved by grace then we can focus all the more on sanctification.

          Here is the kicker though if a Gay (or any other sinner) on his death bed accepts Christ he will be saved without any of this change this doesn’t make him any more or less saved than you or I. It would mean that much more of his life will have been a waist when it comes to the kingdom work. Post-conversion life change is not tied to salvation as a necessity. It is God’s will for us as Christian and as with all things that are God’s will are meant to blessing our lives but again is not necessary for salvation.

          To summarize repentance is not tied to salvation and life change is also not tied to salvation.

          Finally I don’t have a problem with defending the faith and defending the family and Christianity from outside attack from government or other outside entities. At the same time I don’t want the churches identity to be one of hate but one of love the tone and message communicated in this battle is key we need to love all non-converted people the way God does. This is hard and we don’t need to over emphasize the sin so much that we lose the mind and ear of the sinner. The gospel is the message above all that need to be communicated. The gospel message (the Word of God) is our most powerful tool in the work of Christ.

          I leave with you with the words of Christ.

          Matthew 22:37-40

          Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

          A brother Christ, JP

        • JP, since you are well grounded in Scripture I have a question for you.

          Are a committed and practicing gay couple who wish to continue in that sin be in the body of Christ?

          Btw, I believe the Holy Spirit can repair porn addiction, alcoholism, and even homosexual desires via His supernatural work.

        • So I’m going to address you second comment first and then come back to your question.

          You stated: “I believe the Holy Spirit can repair porn addiction, alcoholism, and even homosexual desires via His supernatural work.”

          I agree the Holy Spirit can remove temptation and cause spiritual renewal. This does not mean that God (Holy Spirit) will. Personally I really wish that God would remove my temptation from pornography wholly and for all time. God (Holy Spirit) has not seen fit to do so though. The Bible does not promise removal of temptation if anything it says we will still struggle with the flesh and the enemy will still attack us especially where he knows we are weak and when we are at our weakest. The difference between a non-believer and a believer is that in Christ and depending on God and not ourselves as our ‘higher power’ we can overcome our sin and temptation for good. This is how I’ve remained sober for this long to the glory of God and I will even go as far to say with time the temptation has lessened as the enemy has realized that my weakness with respect to pornography is not as much a point of weakness as it was and so as any wise strategist he’s moved on to other areas but still is willing to dangle old temptation out there from time to time.

          The issue I have with ‘Conversion Therapy’ in its traditional sense it starts out saying we can change a person and make the temptation go away and an attraction change. If God hasn’t promised in the Bible that he will do this then why do we think that we can do it or make Him do it through any super spiritual effort of our own. We already haven’t started out good here. Then what outcomes do we have? First, it’s always possible that God will grant our request and do as we ask as I said at the beginning I agree He is capable. The issue is when God doesn’t meet our demands and a person in therapy is tempted then he either buries the temptation as he or she has been taught to do which is itself a form of isolation and the first step of the addiction cycle or he feel he/she has failed which as I’ll review quickly not Biblical as we cannot do anything to make God love you more or less and we can’t do anything to surprise him.

          Again I’ll go back to loving everyone and seeing everyone as God does. Then those of us who are saved have our identity in Christ. Through Christ and him alone can we gain power over our sin and become righteous though the process of sanctification. Power over sin and not removal of the temptation of the flesh is the focus here.

          Now to the primary question you asked, “Are a committed and practicing gay couple who wish to continue in that sin be in the body of Christ?”

          Well let me start by changing the question slightly because salvation is an individual not a group act so let me answer instead. “Is an individual committed to a gay lifestyle and not wishing to stop in the body of Christ?” I’m also going to state that I read “in the body of Christ” as just another way of saying saved/born again or any other form of salvation terminology.

          So I’d key in on the “not wishing to stop” or “wish to continue” statement and respond that based on the lack of conviction of sin (by the H.S.), sanctification, or evidence of regeneration I’d lean toward an answer of no but cannot arrive at an answer any more than you can. Why? Well I’ll respond with a question and response that will make that clear.

          Can anyone but God know the heart? Is it necessary or even our place to determine who is ‘in Christ’?

          Okay I think you see my point now but let me take the example one step forward because I’ve seen this in real life (although not with homosexuality). There are two ways you might evaluate if a person is likely a Christian one is by their actions the other is by profession (as in the professing of one’s faith). We as Christian’s can all act ‘of this world’ and not like Christ meaning our actions and our salvation are not aligned so actions is not a good test for salvation. How about profession well I’ve actually seen someone that I do not doubt to be ‘in Christ’ in circumstances that involved ‘societal pressure and teenage rebellion’ denounce Christ and history shows us that under threat of death some Christians will chose to denounce Christ in an act of self preservation. So obviously profession isn’t a good test of being ‘in Christ’ either.

          The truth of the matter is that it’s possible to be ‘in Christ’ and at a time and even for a time to denounce Christ through our actions and profession both. Furthermore it is not possible for us to discern what is in a person’s heart the Bible clearly states that only God can know the content of a person’s heart and only He when a person is saved will and can dispense the Holy Spirit. For us to try and stand in the place of God and discern or decide who is or is not in Christ is in fact in error and not Biblical. It is for this reason that the question you ask regardless of the level of detail provided cannot be answer by myself as I’m human.

          Let me turn again to a correct and biblical approach. Should you be unsure about a person’s salvation. Pray for them, ask for God to work in their life, and ask God to give you wisdom in if or how to respond to the individual while looking to the Bible for guidance.

          Let me caveat for a moment determining if a person is ‘in Christ’ and if a person can hold a church office are two different things entirely. A person in a lifestyle of sin that refuses to turn away from that sin must be removed from all position of authority in the Church but please I beg you do so with grace and love the person removed should not have to feel ostracized but supported to seek help.

          Christians have a bit of an unfair burden you see if we are dead to Christ we don’t have to struggle with and be convicted by our sin. As Christians though we do have to struggle, fight, and be convicted about our sin no Christian is free of this. Paul I think writes best of these two natures in Romans 7:14-25.

          We’ve covered a lot in these last few posts so let me recap…

          With respect to Christianity:
          * All Christians are sinners saved by grace
          * You cannot do anything to make God love you more or less than he does this very moment.
          * You cannot do anything good or bad that will surprise God or send Christ back to the Cross. He did it the first time and is all-knowing.
          * You don’t have to be perfect or even repentant to be saved
          * To be saved you must believe and confess
          * Repentance and conviction of sin are the result of Salvation but not a requirement of Salvation
          * Salvation does not mean we will not struggle with the flesh and sin
          * Sanctification comes after conversion (salvation) and is a process that will not be completed till you die and are perfected by Christ
          * Salvation is not lost once saved no one can pluck you from God’s hand
          * God did not call us to be who we are but who He is
          *God gives use power over sin, not by our own doing but through his doing and to His Glory
          * Be careful playing God and determining who is or is not a saved. If in doubt about someone pray and as spirit to move and for wisdom in how to act.

          With respect to Homosexuality:
          * The Bible does say Homosexuality is wrong and defines the natural state of sex to be between man and women
          * God calls use to love everyone as He loves everyone
          * Predisposition toward something does not make it right (e.g. Alcoholism)
          * No one should be turned away from the hearing of the word without out the hearing of the Gospel Salvation is not possible. This includes physical admittance to a Church even for those living in a lifestyle of sin. (As long as they are not being disruptive.)
          * Renouncing Homosexuality is not a pre-qualification for salvation that would be works or righteous justification at best.
          * Falling back into a Homosexual lifestyle does not equal lose of salvation.
          * Christians with homosexual tendencies should strive for sanctification but failure to achieve does not result in God’s condemnation. God who started a good work ‘sanctification’ in a Christian will complete it if not here on earth in heaven after we die.
          * Practicing homosexuals cannot and should not be permitted to serve in a leadership role in a church
          * Christians should support one another in whatever struggle we have lifting one another up and sharpening one another. We as Christians should support with love and grace any brother or sister in Christ who struggles with sin especially those who have dealt with the very same issue.
          * God can remove the temptation of homosexuality but is not required to there is danger in traditional ‘Conversion Therapy’ as it’s not Biblically based. Focus on our identity in Christ and power over sin and temptation is a better way.

        • JP, I read your story on your blog about your negative experience being removed from serving at your church. Sorry it happened that way instead of being given a helping hand. Hope those relationships can be repaired.

          On the point of temptation… It is clear that temptation will not necessarily be removed, but my point was regarding an inner change made by the Holy Spirit when one is converted, and then for the Christian that change is achieved via sanctification. The Holy Spirit can change a person. A life of prayer, devotion, Bible reading, fellowship at church, can marginalize desires for alcohol or porn or other vices. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

          I generally agree with your soteriology, but there are some points of contention, and the homosexual issue really brings them out.

          “* Repentance and conviction of sin are the result of Salvation but not a requirement of Salvation”

          If repentance and conviction for one’s living in sin is absent, how can that person be saved? After all, repentance and conviction result from salvation!

          I would like to recommend a very careful reading of the first epistle of John. This book deals with this issue more than any other book, I believe.

          ” 9No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” 1 John 3:9

          “6No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” 1 John 3:6

          JP, these passages make reference to a lifestyle of sin. Living in sin. It is not possible to be born of God (born again) and live a lifestyle of volitional sin.

          I would rather make the calvinistic argument that such people were never saved in the first place, than to say that their falling into persistent sin is covered by Christ’s sacrifice.

          Rebellion against subscribing to God’s principles is inconsistent with salvation. We are not saved by checking off principles and commandments, we are saved by grace through faith alone, but disobedience, lack of fruit of the Spirit, and life of sin is evidence that the person is not born again.

        • Okay I’m glad you are seeing my point on sanctification as a process and I still agree that God can remove all temptation toward a particular sin but rarely does and if He does it is in God’s time and through his power temptation can diminish or go away completely but this is still God’s choice and wisdom on how He chooses to do this.

          So let’s address my soteriology (belief about Salvation) then.

          You asked: “If repentance and conviction for one’s living in sin is absent, how can that person be saved? After all, repentance and conviction result from salvation!”

          Just because something is a result of something else doesn’t mean it’s a requirement of the first. If you fall of the monkey bars and break your leg it doesn’t mean that falling off of monkey bars requires the breaking of a leg just that it’s a result of the fall. This would be like saying in order to have ever climbed on monkey bars you must have broken a leg because this is a possible outcome. In the same way we can’t say in order to be saved there must be evidence of life change because this is one possible outcome of the first but there is another.

          I can give a very simple example of how this can be, as I already have before, a death bed conversion is precisely a key and important point of evaluation of what is or is not truly required for salvation. That’s because if you believe a person that makes a death bed confession is or even can be saved based on a belief that all people at all times that are physically alive can chose to be saved even those facing death which would be an accurate reading of scripture. Then you really have to start deciding what part are musts and what parts are nice to haves. (And beside the point I’d hate to tell anyone that their family members death bed conversion was not true and authentic.)

          Life change (repentance and conviction as parts of sanctification) is God’s plan and wish for us as Christians which obviously means that salvation must come first making these the result of salvation/conversion. This doesn’t make them requirements of salvation just the result of salvation and in turn evidence of salvation (although as I’ve pointed out since actions and words don’t always align at all times with the heart this evidence of salvation can be faulty hence only God truly knows).

          This in no way conflicts with Calvinistic soteriology as:
          1. This view accepts we are all totally depraved and in sin to start.
          2. It does not remove ‘unconditional election’ as God still chooses who he choses whether on a death bed or early in life. (As a matter a fact on this point to judge who is and who is not a Christian would actually be in conflict with the election being God’s and make it man’s election – again why I say this is theologically dangerous.)
          3. Atonement is still limited and only for those elected by God.
          4. God’s grace is still made irresistible to the non-believer who accepts his grace and is called by God.
          5. God still is ‘preserving the saints’ as once saved and selected by God no one can pluck them out of his hand. (Again a point the judging who is save and not is determined by God.)

          So your statement that my view is out of alignment with Calvinistic doctrine (to which I do not wholly subscribe but understand clearly) really conflicts in no way with the five most basic beliefs of Calvinists with respect to salvation.

          If your argument is that the Bible or God calls us to determine who is or not a Christians based on our incomplete understanding of the content of a man’s heart and that this is a Calvinistic doctrine I’d suggest you re-check the concept of ‘unconditional election’ as being solely God’s working. I’d simply state that you really need to stop trying to do God’s job for Him or do you have some sort of ‘special revelation’ from God telling you that He needs your help determining who he should or should not or did or did not call. Sorry if that comes across snippy but I’m getting a constant, consistent, and insistence message from your post that you are set on passing a judgment with respect to someones salvation particularly with respect to someone who has a draw to homosexual but more over anyone who is not yet perfected in Christ a standard that even you yourself I doubt can live up to. I’m not saying that life style sin does not indicate that a person is likely not saved this is Biblical or that those who have fallen into lifestyle sin should not hold church office this too is Biblical. I’m simply stating that as much as we as humans what to judge if a person is saved or not it is not our place and this too is Biblical and doctrinally sound. I’ve even gone so far as to give appropriate and Biblical response to those we doubt (but do not know) are truly saved. If you continue to insist on judging someone’s salvation state and insisting that I join you in such a determination you not only are not doctrinally sound but inviting me to join you in the same unfounded judgment and this frustrates me let me be clear if you continue insisting on this issue I will stop trying to convince you that such action is unsound and dangerous because regardless of how much convincing you try to make that I should join you in this judgment and distinction I cannot in good conscious join you there as this would conflict with my doctrinal beliefs that I believe to be wholly Biblically founded.

          To this point let me respond to the scripture that you quote. I’m put off by the fact that you pulled two verses from scripture without looking at their context in scripture. It could seem that this was done because they fit the message your are trying to push but they do not. Again I urge caution when performing exegesis that you let the scripture drive the message not the message drive the scripture.

          If you look at the excerpted scripture you can right away tell the context is not there because the verses demand perfection of the one that is in Christ which is not sanctification it’s perfection. Then you look at who wrote the text and realize this was written by John the Revelator the writer of Revelation and the only one that can speak to the perfection that is to come when we are made new in Christ. (This is why 1-2-3 John is where it is in the structure of the bible.)

          Then you pull in the verses in context. Look at 1 John 3:1-4:
          ” See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

          It is very obvious that this passage does not speak about sanctification but purification which is God’s completion of the process of sanctification at the time that he returns or appears. Trying to quote scripture about purification and talk about sanctification is bad exegesis and can be misleading and confusing to the untrained. Again this is not the first time that I’ve seen in our dialog that scripture has been misquoted or misinterpreted to read a way that it should not be to make a point. In your original post you state that a word-for-word translation should be used and even application of original text in original language be perused. Might I add to that when quoting scripture either directly or in-line that caution be exercised in looking at both the context of the passage around the scripture and in looking at what the whole of scripture says on a topic. Especially when you are trying to make a point or case for or against something if you do not do this you run the danger of appearing blinded by the point you want to make so much that you look willing to twist scripture to your liking. I don’t think this to be the case here I believe this to be an honest mistake but this is why I caution you in your exegesis of scripture.

          So again I will end with the point in question and state it as I did before. “Repentance and conviction of sin are the result of Salvation but not a requirement of Salvation”

          I will leave you with the question that caused me to leave Calvinism as a basis for my Christian faith (which I did carry for a time) if God made us in his image and with free-will which caused the fall then why would he with respect to salvation make us back into mindless robots with no free-will? For me the answer to this was He didn’t but then how would we be drawn to Him in order to be saved. For me this went to the other attribute imputed on use by being created in God’s image that being relationship. We where designed to be drawn to a relationship with our creator as well as to each other. The separation that sin caused in that relationship with God our creator left a hole and a drive to reconnect with Him even in our sin as this was imputed as part of the very same creation that gave us free-will and the ability to fall. Meaning that this part of who we are was not affected although may have been corrupted but not removed by the fall. I’m not saying that in order to be saved or to be in Christ you must look at the bible through Dispensational, Renewal, Arminian, Baptist, Lutheran, Catholic, Anglican, or Greek Orthodox pair of lenses to be a Christian as I believe there are true Christian believers in all of the above as with all have a fundamental believe of the admit, believe, and confess principal to be saved. I simply have been through a period of Calvinistic believe and didn’t find it that particular set of lenses to be as clear as others. I welcome any thoughtful and biblically based challenge to my faith because all of them in my life have strengthened my faith and cleared my view of who God is more clear. I just felt lead to throw this out there I don’t need a response or reply just something to think about.

        • JP, no need to get snippy or emotional. This is a discussion, that is all.

          I do however reject the assertion that I took 1 John out of context. This letter was written to Christians in Asia Minor to combat gnostic heresies and teachings that one can live in sin and still part take in eternal life.

          If a so-called Christian who is practicing the gay lifestyle were to read your statements, he could easily conclude that he may continue like that because repentance of his sin is not tied to his salvation!

          I could easily give you the several Scripture passages which make homosexuality a sin, and the practice if it incompatible to inheriting the kingdom of God. Do you not take those literal? Among the list of other sinful conditions homosexuality is listed here

          9Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,c 10nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

          Then Paul says, that such were some of you. That implies a change in their condition. A change that involves repentance of their sin.

          A sexually immoral lifestyle is a lifestyle of disobedience and rebellion toward God.

          It is not possible for one to inherit the kingdom of God in that condition.

          While no one knows one’s heart (except himself and God) we can make general assertions for TEACHING the church regarding certain conditions of the human soul and salvation. And these are based on Scripture.

          I am not judging. I am merely saying what the Word of God says.

        • “JP, no need to get snippy or emotional. This is a discussion, that is all. ”

          Didn’t say I was being snippy or emotional just said sorry if it comes across that way. Frustration would be an emotion but not one that clouds the discussion merely one that drives it but only to a point.

          “If a so-called Christian who is practicing the gay lifestyle were to read your statements, he could easily conclude that he may continue like that because repentance of his sin is not tied to his salvation!”

          But he would be wrong because I’ve consistently said that Homosexuality is a sin and that repentance is an expected result of Salvation as is the process of sanctification. We have never once been in disagreement with homosexuality being a sin or for the process of sanctification to start (if it has an opportunity to – see death bed conversion). I’ve simply stated clearly that salvation requires only acceptance, belief in Christ as Lord, and confession that we sinners nothing more. Everything that follows should with time be evidence of salvation but as I’ve stated the two methods we as humans have for making this determination are faulty and I say again it is not our place to judge this.

          “I could easily give you the several Scripture passages which make homosexuality a sin, and the practice if it incompatible to inheriting the kingdom of God. Do you not take those literal? Among the list of other sinful conditions homosexuality is listed here: [1 Corinthians 6:9-10]

          Then Paul says, that such were some of you. That implies a change in their condition. A change that involves repentance of their sin.”

          We’ve already established that Homosexuality is a sin and that if a homosexual is not saved they will not inherit the kingdom of God. This is not a point of debate and this is all that this passage is saying. The only piece it adds is that admittance into a church or organized religion does not save as this was historically what was happening at the Church of Corinth the Church there was an in-crowd full of haughty people that wanted to be with the “in” club but not accept Christ as savior and hence change life style. So I’ll add attendance or involvement in organized religion does not save.

          I’ll also add that if those is that lifestyle where truly saved it would make since to see a change including repentance as I’ve stated before santification is a result of salvation.

          “A sexually immoral lifestyle is a lifestyle of disobedience and rebellion toward God.”

          As is all sin that separates us from God until we as save. Sexual immorality is a forgivable sin though and one that should be left as part of the process of sanctification.

          ” It is not possible for one to inherit the kingdom of God in that condition.”

          Without salvation you are correct.

          “While no one knows one’s heart (except himself and God) we can make general assertions for TEACHING the church regarding certain conditions of the human soul and salvation. And these are based on Scripture.”

          You don’t have to assert generally what the Bible clearly states and therefore there is no need to judge another’s salvation at all. Simply teach the scripture soundly. Again make no distinction from one sin to another with respect to salvation. All sin separates and we are all sinners saved by Grace there is only one sin that is unforgivable and that is the sin of unbelief because without belief Salvation is not possible which is why it is an unforgivable sin.

          ” I am not judging. I am merely saying what the Word of God says.”

          If you are saying that anyone that practices homosexuality even ones that have backslidden/fallen after being saved or for the first time into homosexuality after being saved have either lost their salvation or never where saved to begin with. Which you’ve practically already stated when you said, “I would rather make the Calvinistic argument that such people were never saved in the first place, than to say that their falling into persistent sin is covered by Christ’s sacrifice.” Then you are both passing judgment and doing so possibly through misapplication of the Word of God. This is what concerns me!

          Please realize that if this is the case for homosexuality then it’s true for all sin because the concept of sin doesn’t change anywhere in the Bible. Sin always separates! The implication then would be any backsliding into sin for any period of time because any period of time is persistent with sin would result in a loss of salvation (you can call it never saved in the first place if you want to take a Calvinistic view) either way the concept remains the same If you believe that homosexuality post conversion causes lose of salvation or lake of original salvation which would mean a post- conversion de-conversion which makes even less since but hey I’ll go with it. Then you end up back with salvation being lost (do-converted) at the drop of a hat with any and every sin not just homosexuality and then by extent you are back to salvation by works and not by grace because you basically are reverting back to your sin nature state if salvation is lost and you are basically plucking yourself out of God’s hand which Biblically isn’t possible.

          I hope you see what I’m getting at here you have quote scripture till you are blue in the face but to state that any sin whatsoever can cause loss of salvation or de-evidence original conversion which is still plucking oneself out of God’s hand then we are very quickly down a slippery slope theologically.

          I urge you to give serious thought to trying to make the Bible say that any sin can undo what God has done at conversion. This would require Christ to keep going back to the Cross with no ‘it is finished’. This even lessens the omnipotence of God as it could even be taken to mean that God didn’t see post-conversion backsliding as a problem and didn’t take care of this on the Cross as well.

          “I do however reject the assertion that I took 1 John out of context. This letter was written to Christians in Asia Minor to combat gnostic heresies and teachings that one can live in sin and still part take in eternal life. ”

          So let’s be clear God’s word is for all people at all times. Just because it was written to specific people to combat certain false teachings doesn’t mean that the scripture cannot have application beyond the original readers of the word. Even in the Calvin Theological Journal, 1967, ‘Definitive Sanctification’ they state in evaluating 1 John 3:6-9:
          ” John insists that “it hath not yet been manifested what we shall be” (I Jn. 3:2). This is defined for us in the same verse as likeness to the Father, a conformity such as will be achieved when the children of God will see him as he is. Anything short of that conformity is not sinless perfection. But this is precisely the shortcoming John affirms – “It hath not yet been manifested.” This confirmity is the hope entertained and, because it is that hoped for, the outcome for the believer is self-purification after the pattern of the Father’s purity. “Every one who has this hope in him [i.e., the Father] purifieth himself even as he is pure” (I Jn. 3:3). Self-purification implies impurity that needs to be cleansed.”
          So I’m not the only one that has read this scripture this particular way and contextually the need for purification implies there was sin and impurity on the part of the believer.

          So if you are claiming that 1 John 3:6-9 make reference to “lifestyle sin” first off I don’t see and reference to lifestyle sin contextually. Contextually speaking this passage states only, “everyone who practices sin (unspecified),” [v4] and as if to further clarify the very next verse [v5] says, “He appeared in order to take away sins” with He being Jesus and obviously this would apply to all sins not just lifestyle sins. So the assertion that this passage is about only lifestyle sins would be wholly inaccurate based on the context of the passage.

          Furthermore if you look closely stating this passage deal strictly with lifestyle or habitual sin doesn’t effectively deal with the decisiveness of John saying, “doeth not commit sin…. He cannot sin”.

          So let’s continue with a full exegete of this passage then does this passage then imply sinless perfection. Just looking at other passages that John wrote:

          “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” (1 John 2:1)
          Key point here ‘if anyone does sin’ and it goes on to say that if we are Christian and we sin Christ advocates for us. This implies two things with respect to 1 John 3:6-9. 1) John could not mean sinless perfection because here in 2:1 he is making allowance for sin for those that are “little children” or young in their faith. 2) Lose of salvation for committing sin post conversion does make since if Christ is advocating for us and on our behalf.

          “The blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7)
          Not the present tense of ‘cleanseth’ this is a continual active cleansing a different type of cleansing from that of salvation that is use in verse 1:9 this is the regeneration of the saved and freedom from sins contamination (aka sanctification). The cleansing used in verse 1:9 actually means freedom from the penalty of sin or justification. I find it interesting that the original language and scripture separates and draws out the renewal of one saved separate from the justification of one at the point of conversion.

          “If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (I Jn. 1:8)
          If John was thinking of past sins only then why did he use the present tense. It would appear that even we that are saved would be deceiving ourselves into thinking we ‘have no sin’.

          “If any one see his brother sin a sin not unto death, he will ask, and he will give him life for those who sin not unto death. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.” (I Jn. 5:16-17)
          This is incontestably a reference to sin committed by a believer. But there is an equality with respect to all sin here, there is no special sin or lifestyle sin just sin.

          So what then of 1 John 3:6-9 well the context of scripture says this cannot mean sinless perfection, nor can it mean lifestyle sin of a believer. So we are left to think that the sin referred to here is specific sin that can cause spiritual death. Then you look at the previous passage and we see 1 John 5:16-17 refer to a sin unto death and sin(s) not leading to death. This would seem to be the specific sin that 1 John 3:6-9 refers to. So then we look at the following passage:
          “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.”

          So here it is the true salvation litmus test… drum roll please! Belief in Christ! So as I see it there are only two ways to read 1 John 3:6-9 that are in line with the rest of the Bible specifically in line with 1 John and John’s writings and not is a way that conflicts with other scriptures.

          You could read it to be a revelation of the perfection that is to come.

          Or you can put it in context and see 1 John 3:6-9 as a contrast between, ‘one who is the devil’ and ‘one who is born of God’. Even though both Sin the Christian’s sin will not and cannot be the “sin unto death,” for “whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” This helps us to understand the definitive nature of John’s statements; “doeth not commit sin…. He cannot sin,” as can be seen, this understanding is strengthened when we look again at 1 John 5:18. Why can one see his brother committing sin and still pray for him? Because it is sin that does not lead to death. Why? Because he is born again and cannot so utterly and fully fall into any sin which would disqualify him from eternal life (Rom. 8:35-39). Perseverance of the saints is a biblical doctrine. Eternal security is a reality.

          You encouraged me to “very carefully” read the first epistle of John and accurately stated the this book deals with this issue more than any other and mostly centered around even more the one passage you picked 1 John 3:6-9. As you can see though this book in its entire contextual confines further emphasizes not that a lifestyle or habitual sin will cause lose of salvation if anything quite the contrary it says that we are expected to sin some through the process of sanctification but that we will be regenerative and that there is no way by sinning that one can lose their salvation and the only sin that will keep us from salvation completely in the first place is the sin of unbelief because it’s probably the most essential part of salvation.

          Oh and by the way both listed readings of this passage are acceptable and valuable so as I said to start a scripture doesn’t have to be read only one way and both reading can be equally correct. This is why you can re-read a passage of scripture you’ve read 20, 30, 40, or even 50 times before and still find something new that you hadn’t noticed before.

          So again a long post let be recap quick…
          * Homosexuality is a sin
          * Life change and evidence of salvation should be expected results of conversion (if there is time for them to manifest). Some life change take longer than others but all Christians should strive for sanctification.
          * The Word of God can stand on its own so leave it alone.
          * General assertions about a person’s soul is ‘judgment’ even if generalized and I doubt many will come to Christ by using the Word of God to pass down judgment.
          * No sin even a lifestyle/habitual sin can cause lose of salvation. Including homosexuality.
          * Homosexuality without salvation will prevent the inheritance of the kingdom of God, but so will any other sin.
          * Attendance in church will not save (no duh)
          * The ‘sin unto death’ that is unforgivable by God is unwillingness to believe.
          * Sinless perfection is not biblical.
          * Loss of salvation by sin any sin is an extremely dangerous and theologically unsound doctrine.

        • JP, we agree on many things, but we diverge here:

          “* No sin even a lifestyle/habitual sin can cause lose of salvation. Including homosexuality.
          * Homosexuality without salvation will prevent the inheritance of the kingdom of God, but so will any other sin.”

          There is a difference between a lifestyle in sin and falling into sin or backsliding as it is often called. When a Christian falls in sin (volitional sin as I called it before) the Spirit convicts that person and he repents; he does not persist in sin (I apply 1 John 3:9 here). When a so-called Christian lives in a life of sexual immorality, drunkness, other persistent sin, and we TEACH that habitual sin is compatible with inheriting the kingdom of God, that is wrong…

          btw, this is not about loss of salvation… Salvation is not like a wallet which can be lost 🙂

          This discussion is about living in sin, continuing this lifestyle, but on the other hand claiming that one is saved because they confessed with their mouth and they have faith. I conclude that a gay person who leads that lifestyle without conviciton and repentence is living in rebellion against God. Regardless of confession or belief.

          I take it you disagree with my conclusion?

        • Delight:

          So taking your premise let me ask this.

          You’ve read my blog & testimony, you know that my conversion occurred early in life. You also know that as a teen I fell into pornography addiction aka a habitual/’lifestyle’ sin and based on Jesus’s comments on lust this would be adultery which make the list of lifestyle sins. There where many occasions where my lust meant more to me than my Christian walk did and although afterwards there was guilt (conviction) and repentence this was just part of the binge/purge cycle it could be hours or days but I was right back there. Why? Because I was isolating myself and even though I was asking God for help I continued to depend to much on my own strength and kept falling back into sin and this was for a period of years!

          So what do you make of this my personal testimony? I was in a lifestyle sin especially considering the length of time I stayed there isolated and hiding my sin from those I thought would judge me for them (although I was at no point hiding them from God).

          Would you question my initial conversion?
          Would you now argue that my lifestyle sin isn’t the same as homosexuality even though biblically it is classifably adultery which is on the same list as homosexuality?
          Would you say that I was not truly converted until after I left my lifestyle sin and not when I accepted, believed, confessed, and was saved the first time?
          Would you now say that ‘inheriting the kingdom of heaven’ is not the same as salvation?
          Was I once a ‘so-called Christian’ in your view and stance?
          Are you now going to point to the fact that I was convicted and tried continually to repent even though in between these moments and over years I was not repentant and valued my lust over the conviction?

          I’m just very curious how you would like to approach my personal testimony and my personal salvation story.

          Again 1 John 3:6-9 contextually does not address lifestyle sin I evidenced this is my prior post when looking at 1 John 3:4-5 the verses immediately preceding the cited passage. Please stop overlooking my evidence and rejecting it off handedly if you wish to refute my evidence or offer some of your own you may but until you do please cease citing 1 John 3:6-9 as a passage that addresses lifestyle sin first address the evidence of my contextual citation that shows such assertions to violate the context and hence the accurate reading of scripture.

          I read inheritance of the Kingdom of heaven to be transferrable to salvation and visa-versa am I wrong?

          Would you state absolutely that salvation requires only accepting Christ is Lord, believing He has saved you, and confessing we are as sinner in need of Him? Or would you add something more to this as required?

          If you would add something more how would you address a death bed conversion would you state the individual is saved or not saved?

        • I would address your conversion and subsequent backsliding and then realizing your sin by praising God, that he kept you in His hand.

          I will go out on a limb and make a guess, please correct me if I am wrong. When you backslid into porn, you probably knew that

          1. it was wrong, it was a sin
          2. you felt convicted at least to some degree during that phase (this being the work of the Holy Spirit)
          3. you repented of that vice with the help of the Holy Spirit

          Now. Take the above (if correct) and compare to the homosexual who loves his lifestyle, but who claims to be a Christian but is not convicted of his sin. To him #1, 2, 3 above do not apply! That is the person I am first and foremost talking about!

          Huge difference between your status and his!

          It gets a little more complicated with one who lives in sin and is very convicted by the Holy Spirit, and he knows he is rebelling against God. If he does not follow the conviction and continues his rebellion I do not see how he can have peace with God and be saved.

          Death bed conversions may exist, but they are rare and special. I wrote a post on one here:

          https://delightintruth.com/2013/01/18/evangelism-at-the-end-of-life/

        • So then my sin of lust and adultery for years was not a lifestyle sin?

          Or it was still a lifestyle sin and if I had died then without repentance I would not have been saved?

        • So a little background here I’ve spent years in a Christ centered 12 step program called Celebrate Recovery (something that started with Rick Warren’s Church out in California). In addition to my own personal struggle with pornography addiction I’ve literally encountered thousands of Christians struggling with their own personal addictions. I’m not inflating these numbers at all either CR has literally become a service of its own of my church which itself is not small. The men’s pornography addiction group alone is the largest groups (which speaks of the pandemic the internet has caused) with hundreds in attendance alone.

          So one of the of the harder experiences that goes with working with addiction recovery is that especially with drug and alcohol addiction it is possible to lose those in the process of recovery to the very thing you trying to get to overcome. Enter Phil who was saved as a direct result of the Celebrate Recovery program after nearly 30 years of alcoholism. Even though Phil did experience life change he did not leave his ‘lifestyle’ sin in the 7 months that followed. He struggled with his addiction continually but one night relapsed but used mouth wash to do so. Realize that mouthwash contains fluoride which can be toxic if consumed in high enough quantities especially if you have a damaged liver. Phil died. (Note since this is a 12-step program I’ve changed the name out of respect for his family’s privacy.)

          So here is the difference between my understanding of the Bible and your own. I never have had to doubt my salvation even when in a backslidden state; I never have had to wonder about a death bed conversion; and I don’t have to question or debate if I will mean my friend Phil in heaven one day. I can state without issue that my pornography addiction was a lifestyle sin without that causing me to retract, rethink, or back away from stances previously stated. I don’t have to judge peoples salvation state just to accurately teach the Word of God. My stance also allows for a consistent application of the word in all situations I don’t have to apply scripture one way and then when certain passages of scripture arise have to justify a conflict. My confidence in my stance also comes from how I arrived in my stance by pulling all scriptures I could find on the topics of salvation/conversion, sanctification and purification and then evaluating the whole body of scripture on what they say about each.

          I’ll be honest with you until the point in my life where I fell into addiction I too did take the same stance on lifestyle sin as you now do but mostly because I looked and particular passages and not at the whole of scripture to arrive as this determination. Also I wanted to read the scripture read this way because it appealed to my personal sense of fairness and I want to pass out my own personal judgment out of some sense of self-righteousness (I’m not saying this is you, this is a personal critique and explanation of why I was there with you once and to show the maturing in my faith that has happened since that point). It wasn’t until later in life that people brought up the same challenges that I bring to you now and with scriptural backing their challenges that I had to give my own beliefs room to air and had to go back to scripture and evaluate what it really did say about lifestyle sin and ended up arriving at the point where I am. The point I am at now is that I now treat lifestyle sin the same as all other sin with respect to salvation. Why? Simply because Christ died for all sin past, present, and future and when He did He didn’t die for lifestyle sins in any different or special way than He did for all other sins. All sin separates the same and salvation pays for all sin the same which is why, ‘It is finish’ and why Christ does not need to go to the Cross again ever. If Christ didn’t give lifestyle sin any special consideration above any other sin why would scripture? If Christ died for all sin the same and salvation is based on Christ’s death on the cross (for all sin for all time) then why would scripture then go and make a distinction for lifestyle sin different that all other?

          Let me throw out one more scripture with respect to homosexuality as a lifestyle sin conflicting with salvation.

          “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12 ESV)

          Could this mean that continuing to struggle with homosexuality desire once saved is ‘lawful’ but not ‘profitable’ but that the temptation no longer has ‘mastery’ over the Christian that still struggles? This doesn’t mean that that they won’t still struggle with the flesh and lose that battle but that as the scripture says for the Christian the Holy Spirit will always give a way out and we will the war.

          “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20 ESV)

          So this particular passage talks about sexual immorality which includes homosexuality. Then speaks about ‘your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit’. So if someone is in a sin lifestyle of sexual immorality how then can their body also be a temple of the Holy Spirit?

          Note: This scripture contextually follows 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 you cited earlier to evidence that homosexual including those saved were never truly saved. I’d state that contextually this stance conflicts with 1 Cor 6:18-20 because it clearly states that sexual immorality and indwelling of the Holy Spirit and possession by God as one of His (salvation) can co-exist which is why it’s so ethically objectionable to God.

          I will finish by saying this is my final post in this dialog. I’ve now addressed all passages that you’ve quoted to evidence your stance an shown contextual evidence your interpretation of each passage conflict with the Biblical text immediately preceding or following your cited scripture. After doing this multiple times I now feel no further need evidence or justify my Biblically stance. I no longer need to prove my stance and have done so with the Bible as my evidence. To this point you have not addressed my Biblical citations other than to reject them off handedly without evidence or ignore them entirely. You also have avoided my pointed questions because you’ve seen them and realized the conflict that answering them would cause. I’m sure anyone that reads this dialog will clearly be able to see this and will see that if you had answered them directly you would either have to conflict with your definition of lifestyle sin or would have to tell me that my salvation we indeed dead. Taking the easy out of say well that didn’t happen to be the case is not as easy with my friend Phil because he died in and as a direct result of the very lifestyle sin you are so willing to judge as conflicting with salvation (or rather ‘inheriting the Kingdom of God’ which really means the same thing but sounds cleaner).

          Feel free to reply but for my part my job here of speaking the truth in love is sufficiently complete and I have other more constructive things to do with my life like spend some more time with my wife and child.

          God bless, JP

        • If God hated me while a sinner then why would he have died on a Cross for me? If he hated the sinner why would he die on the cross for anyone to that point that had accepted him in faith that he would fulfill is covenant and send a savior? If he hated the sinner why would He have gone to such great length to save anyone?

          1 John 4:8 even says that “God is Love” this doesn’t mean is his not a dispenser of justice either and that he will judge man at the appointed time. Why an appointed time at all though. Because he in Love wanted to give an opportunity for Salvation which was his plan all along in His omniscient view of time and history.

          Why do you want God to be a God filled with hate in the first place?

        • That sounds really negative. Why do you want to praise and worship a holy and righteous God who hates evil? You sound like that Psalmist, David, with that sort of talk.

  4. The results in this graph did not happen in a year or two… It took a while…

    This is not just a lost battle Gabi, we are loosing the war on this particular issue. But it has to be this way because 2 Tim 3 tells us that in the last days things will go from bad to worse on the moral front

  5. Chris, thanks for this thoughtful, biblical article. It is a tough topic, and so many are caught in both the sin, and the denial of sin that remains in the absence of the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit. It is hard to see so many suffering, and frustrating to see the regular attacks from those obstinately clinging to and defending unbiblical beliefs. Some are habitual in this way, as I have noticed here on this post. There is no true grappling with God’s truth, but rather another spirit at work.

    I am inclined to agree with you that the most likely explanation for ongoing sin is an unsaved, unregenerate heart. (Having completed a degree in psychology, and collected many ‘labels’ in the past, I can assure you that our society would beg to differ). I have come to believe that this is the case for me, and for many I know who will also give testimony to this. My sins were many, persistent and my heart resistant to God’s word. Then in His great mercy, God took hold of my heart and mind, and changed all of that. But not until I had been a preacher’s daughter, missionary kid and intellectual Christian for most of my nearly 40 years. The difference is incomparable.

    For your readers…if the Holy Spirit is truly at work in your life, I pray that he blesses you through the preaching of this servant of the Lord, Dr Lloyd-Jones. (For your encouragement too, of course Chris).

    The sermon is called “They Became Fools”. Romans 1:18-32. This is outstanding biblical teaching, preached in the power of the Holy Spirit. It is stunning to see God at work.

    http://www.mljtrust.org/sermons/they-became-fools/

    And the rest of the series:

    http://www.mljtrust.org/collections/book-of-romans/

    This is the Word of God folks. Whether we like it or not…and mostly we don’t. Without God softening our hearts and giving us the understanding of his Holy Spirit, his Word is utter foolishness. We are absolutely depraved sinners. I am one such sinner. But through the Holy Spirit of God, His word becomes the most beautiful thing in the world to hear. It pierces our soul, convicts us of our sin, turns our hearts to Christ and leads us to hate sin as we grow to see it from the perspective of a holy, perfect God.

    Blessings in Christ, Sherryn

  6. I suspected you would find MLJ a most encouraging and a trustworthy preacher of the Word. If you can ever listen to his sermons, at the fear of sounding a bit charismergent, I cannot recommend the experience highly enough. I sometimes have one going while I am researching stuff online. There are over 1,000 sermons available free at the MLJ trust. He is an extraordinary preacher, gifted by the Holy Spirit.

    The cool thing is, since he is dead there is no fear of following after him like a crazed fan either. Maybe that’s why I like dead preachers…J C Ryle and Charles Spurgeon to name a few. Also, their work is gloriously free, or a pittance from Amazon Kindle. I posted J C Ryle’s ‘The Cross’ early on in my blog. It is stunning. Like having a conversation with him as he witnesses to your soul.

    There is a wonderful fellow in Texas somewhere that has read a number of Jonathan Edwards and Charles Spurgeon’s sermons. He has done a wonderful job and they are available through sermonaudio.com. Great for in the car ( I would love to be able to read and drive, but haven’t yet worked out how)! I am not so much a listener as a reader, but am training myself to get better at it. Here is the link:

    http://www.sermonaudio.com/source_detail.asp?sourceid=spurgeon

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