1 Corinthians 6:9–11 (NKJV)
9 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 homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
We find ourselves in Eastertide, the time of year that we celebrate the way the resurrection of Jesus has transformed the world and our individual lives. Hope has arrived: forgiveness has been achieved and new life has entered into the world. In our text, Paul catalogues a number of sins from which Jesus’ resurrection power frees His people.
Today we consider homosexuality and sodomy. These two terms express both the active and passive partners in homosexual liaisons. Unlike many of the other sins listed in Paul’s catalogue, homosexuality is being lauded and praised in our culture. While adultery and theft and drunkenness are still viewed as social ills, homosexuality is being celebrated as a social good. It is being used as the point of the spear in an attempt to refashion our societal norms. Even now the Supreme Court of the United States is considering whether homosexual unions should be considered a constitutional right.
But homosexuality is a perverse, unnatural and destructive practice that incurs the wrath of God both in this life and in the next. Today in our sermon text we enter the narrative of God’s judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah for their perverse sexuality. A thorough analysis of homosexuality reveals that it is a deeply religious practice. It is a refusal to listen to God speaking both in His Word and in the natural order. It is a rejection of the most basic distinction between male and female, a vigorous attempt to silence the voice of God revealed in the image of God – man as male and female. Peter Jones writes in his book The God of Sex: How Spirituality Defines Your Sexuality:
The pagan gospel preaches that redemption is liberation from the Creator and repudiation of creation’s structures. It offers the “liberation” of sex from its heterosexual complementary essence. The Christian gospel proclaims that redemption is reconciliation with the Creator and the honoring of creation’s goodness. This gospel celebrates the goodness of sex within its rightful, heterosexual limits.
Jesus took on human flesh, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; the third day he rose again bodily from the grave and ascended to the right hand of God so that we might learn to honor God with our sexuality. And the way we honor God with our sexuality is by remaining chaste until we, in God’s good Providence, find a spouse of the opposite gender with whom to enjoy sex.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6 that “the body is not for sexual immorality” – sexual immorality, including homosexuality, is not in the design plan. It produces emotional, physical, and spiritual breakdowns. While a married couple can make love to one another for decades and never contract an STD, a single encounter outside the marriage bed can leave one suffering for life. “The body,” Paul continues, “is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord and the Lord is for the body.” The body, including our sexuality, is to be used to the glory and honor of God, in harmony with His design. And His design is for our good, not for our hurt.
God is the Creator of all and He has designed our sexuality to flourish in a monogamous heterosexual covenanted union. Reminded of this and that we as a culture are seeking to silence God’s voice, let us confess our sin to the Lord. And as you are able, let us kneel as we confess our sin.