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Homosexuals: Can a Christian be one? 

Gary Googe Jan 24

There are many churchgoers and others who would say they can’t. What would God have us believe about this? Some people who don’t think they can would probably direct us to some Scripture about this.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [MALAKOS = those who perform forms of lewdness], nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. [Emphasis added]

Aren’t these the apostle Paul’s words to us about this? Yes, they are! But please notice that first sentence.  All these sins mentioned are unrighteous things people can do, but are we as believers the unrighteous? Can a true born-again and justified by faith believer do such things and be saved? Can a Christian tell a fib, lie, steal, cheat, worry, hate, fornicate, perform forms of lewdness, or any such things and be a Christian? Didn’t Jesus Christ come and die, paying the full penalty for all the sins of the entire world of mankind?

2 Corinthians 5:21

21 For he hath made him [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [Emphasis added]

Here’s a more general question we need to consider concerning this. Can Christians sin? I’ve actually known professed Christians who said they can’t, but is that true? Is that what the Bible tells us? We find in Scripture that to deny that Christians can sin is a lie in and of itself, let alone other sins a person may commit.  What’s stated by the apostle John about this applies to people in every generation.

1 John 1:8

8 If we [as believers] say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. [Emphasis added]

The apostle Paul also tells us essentially the same thing about himself.

Romans 7:18

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will [THELO = wish or desire] is present with me; but how to perform [consistently] that which is good I find not. [Emphasis added]

As believers we can wish or desire that personal sin was no longer a part of our lives, but such is simply not the case. We have been exhorted to deal with the sin that is in our lives.  Here’s one of many examples of this in Scripture.

1 Corinthians 6:18-19

18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

1 Corinthians 1:1-2 clearly tells us this is addressed to the “church,” the “sanctified,” the “saints,” and people “who call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.” Could it be any clearer that this is addressed to people who are saved, and Heavenbound believers? Then this next verse tells us more about this.

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? [Emphasis added]

I say all this because I know there are some people who would claim that a homosexual could not possibly be a Christian. Would they also say that a liar or a worrier cannot be a Christian? When you see a command in Scripture that’s addressed to the brethren for them to refrain or cease from committing some sin, it is a reminder that we all still have the potential and the capability for committing such sins.  Such commands to us wouldn’t be necessary if we’re no longer capable of committing such sins.  As the apostle Paul says, we may and should want to avoid all sin, but life doesn’t work out that way for us.  Given the right circumstances, there are times when all of us will sin. The only exception in this was our Lord Jesus Christ.  There was never any sin in Him at all.  He resisted every temptation.

Self-righteousness is a terrible thing, but many faithful churchgoers are completely bogged down in it.  It is an ongoing way of thinking for them, even though they would be offended if someone told them they were self-righteous.  But it is easy to understand why some believe as they do.  They’ll take passages like this next one, even authored by the apostle Paul, and try to use it to back up their self-righteous beliefs.

Again, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. [Emphasis added]

Then we have other Scripture also warning us as believers about these things.

1 Timothy 1:9-11

9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind [as homosexuals do], for menstealers [kidnappers], for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. [Emphasis added]

The “righteous man” in this case is referring to a moral person and more particularly a believer who has received the imputed righteousness of Christ by faith.  It is in this sense that every believer is “righteous.”

Romans 3:22-23

22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Then please notice what this next verse says about us all.  It certainly applies to unbelievers, but it applies to us as well.

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [Emphasis added]

Even as believers, our lives continue to “come short” of the glorious perfect righteousness of God.  As believers we’re now identified with His righteousness positionally, but experientially we have to address our sinful nature and its tendencies every day.  Again, there’d be no need for commands to us against sins if we as God’s people were no longer capable of committing them.  And this, of course, includes the sins of homosexual activities.

Yes, there will be those who will claim that believing this gives people “a license” to sin when what it really gives us is good reason to serve God and be thankful for His grace and the Savior He provided for each of us.  Christ paid the penalty for the sins of every one of us, even if guilty of homosexual sins.

1 Timothy 2:5-6

5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. [Emphasis added]

A large part of the whole first part of the book of Romans is to point out the wonderful things God has done to address our sin problem as believers.  Then the so-called practical or experiential section begins in chapter 12.  Note what it says there! Paul provides what we can think of as a transitional statement.

Romans 12:1-2

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God [because God has been so gracious to us], that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Then he tells us what we’re not to do, as well as what we are to do instead.

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. [Emphasis added]

What is this “renewing” of the mind? As we study the Bible and fill our minds with the wisdom of God’s Word, we’re “renewing” our minds as we work to make a habit of applying it daily.  Still again, why would Paul make such a statement [and many others like it] if, because we are saved, we are incapable of doing otherwise.  The reality is that every person, believer or not, is a sinner.  You may not be close enough in many people’s lives to see examples of it in them, but I assure you there are many.

Still another thing we all need to be mindful of is the fact that the areas where we are prone to sin will not be exactly the same as it is for other believers. We’re all somewhat different in this.  What one person is most prone to do in sin may not be what you’re prone to do in sin.  Again, we’re all different in this.  For instance, some people are especially prone to envy while for others it may be lying, worrying, or whatever.  For still another person it may be laziness while for another it may be what some would refer to as being a “workaholic.” You’re probably quite aware of your own tendencies or trends, whatever they may be, but everyone, with no exceptions, has one and normally more.  Can the temptation to perform these sins be resisted? Of course! I even have a whole article addressing it on our website.  I hope you will study it. Here’s the name of it.

Temptation: How can it be resisted?

Every believer needs to be aware of what they need to know and do in resisting temptation.  Ignorance of such is a liability we all need to work to overcome.  Again, please study my article on this.

When some sin has been discovered in another person, have you ever heard someone say they’d never do such a thing?  There are several things we should be aware of when we hear such a comment or think such a thought ourselves.

1—Such may be true, but it is only because such sin is not a major area of weakness for them.

2—They may not realize that just thinking of doing such a thing is sin.  There are not only overt sins, but mental attitude sins.

Matthew 5:27-28

27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. [Emphasis added]

3—There are some sins, like homosexual practices, that are not a temptation to some people.  For them this is not a sin they have to work at resisting.

It is very easy for people to express a self-righteous attitude when others commit sins that are not one’s own area of weakness.  But just because that sin is not a source of temptation for them, there will always be others that are.  Realizing this should make us all more empathetic and compassionate to help rather than simply be critical.  Please never be so foolish as to think there are some sins you’d never commit.  The reality is that you really don’t know.

We all need to realize that we all have vulnerable areas.  We may even be blind to our own faults.

Jeremiah 17:9

9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? [Emphasis added]

Knowing and believing all these truths will be helpful to us in avoiding all kinds of sins.  Please recall how our Lord resisted the temptations noted in Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-13.  In every one of them He quoted Scripture He was familiar with that gave Him victory over the temptation.  What a wonderful and practical example He’s given us! Please note the promise we’ve all been given about this.

1 Corinthians 10:13

13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer [EAU = let or permit] you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. [Emphasis added]

As believers we’re not only now related to Christ with a new nature, but we also still retain the old one.  We’re now still just as much a part of the progeny of Adam as we ever were.  Even though we’ve been given a new nature, we also will still carry a nature to sin till the day we die.  We get reminded of that in many ways but even in the dying and death of believing loved ones.  Yes, because we are all sinners, we all eventually die a physical death.

1 Corinthians 15:21-22

21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. [Emphasis added]

Anytime someone dies it is as though they just made a public announcement of the fact that they died still having a sinful nature.  That verse twenty-two tells us that even though we will all die we’ll also someday get to live in a perfect resurrection body that will not be subject to suffering and death. That new body also won’t even be subject to the temptations we’re faced with now.  That wonderful day will finally come for us.  What a time of celebration that will be! Please notice Paul’s last words in a paragraph where he’s been talking about the ongoing battle every believer has with his sinful nature.

Romans 7:24-25

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. [Emphasis added]

For now, while we still reside in a body of sin, we must choose to rest on the power and influence of God’s Word to enable us to resist temptation.  Otherwise, we are sure to fail.

Sometimes people are prone to wonder if God will keep forgiving them of the same sins.  The apostle Peter once asked our Lord about this as it pertains to human relations.

Matthew 18:21-22

21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. [Emphasis added]

Would He ask us to do something He wouldn’t do Himself? Of course not! We are to forgive as we’ve been forgiven.  The standard is grace, not merit!

Ephesians 4:32

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. [Emphasis added]

Here we’re not being asked to do something He hasn’t done.  Our sins have all been forgiven completely.  This is something most people typically don’t realize. God has already forgiven them of all their sins.  That includes the ones in the past but also those in the future.

Ephesians 1:7

7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Emphasis added]

It is “through His blood,” Christ’s work on the cross, that this was provided.  And when was this? Roughly two thousand years ago! Every sin we’ve committed as well as every sin we ever will commit was judged and paid for when Christ died for them on the cross of Calvary.  Again, remember that all our sins were in the future when Christ died for them. This, of course, includes any homosexual sins you may have committed or ever will commit. No sins of any kind were left out! The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ proves to be the greatest of all expressions of God’s love and grace. Christ’s resurrection was physical and visible evidence that the payment He made for our sins was accepted by God.  None of us deserved what He did for us.  It is this truth that is at the heart of our gospel [good news] message we have to share with the world.


No one has ever done for us something as wonderful as what Jesus Christ did for all of us through His death, burial, and resurrection.  It was on that occasion that all our sins were judged and paid for.  This of course includes homosexual sins.  However, we all need to realize the seriousness of certain sins.  In the giving of the Law to Moses in Old Testament times, murder was classified as a capital crime.  But the exact same thing was written into law regarding homosexuality.

Leviticus 18:22

22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. [Emphasis added]

In this same document it is not only defined as a sin and an abomination to God, but a capital crime punishable by death.

Leviticus 20:13

13If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. [Emphasis added]

America and God’s people are not under that system of law today.  But passages of Scripture like this do serve to show how serious the sin of homosexuality was and still is to God.  Even our apostle Paul tells us such sins are justification for the execution of the offenders by civil leadership.

Romans 1:32

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. [Emphasis added]

Romans 13:3-4

3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power [speaking of government and law enforcement]? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. [Emphasis added] 

In the Roman world of that day capital offenders who were Roman citizens were executed by decapitation with a sword.  All others were crucified.

We are warned that apart from gaining the righteousness of God by faith we are in danger of divine judgment.

Again, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

9 Know ye not that the unrighteous [speaking of the unsaved] shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [MALAKOS = those who perform forms of lewdness], nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. [Emphasis added]

If we had to give up sin to be saved, none of us would have a chance.  But because you have accepted Christ as your Savior, positionally you have been placed IN CHRIST since the moment you were saved.  As believers we all share in His righteousness. Practically, in the experience of life, there will be times when your thoughts and actions don’t line up with your position in Christ, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not saved or are no longer saved.  It just means you’re then functioning carnally, that is, according to your flesh, your sinful nature.  Your goal, of course, is to function spiritually in accordance with your new nature and the Spirit of God Who now lives in you.

As I write this in this 21st century, there are nations today where homosexuality is treated as a capital crime.  This includes Yemen, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, and United Arab Emirates.  This list of course may change but it is how things are now at the time I’m writing this article.

The solution to this sin is like any other.  Both men and women have volition, the freedom to choose.  We can choose to do something just as we can choose not to do something. We wouldn’t have commands like these next ones if that wasn’t true.

Romans 6:12-13

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. [Emphasis added]

Life for all of us is made up of decisionsIt is the Bible and God’s Word given to us that tells us the decisions we should and can make.  Never be so foolish as to claim this is something you cannot do.  We know otherwise from the authority of Scripture and all that God tells us there.  Our God is wonderful. We need to get on with serving Him in every way we can.  We need to work at avoiding every kind of sin, including homosexual sins.  If we don’t, it won’t cost us our salvation, but it will surely cost us in eternal rewards.  For more details on that, please see my article—

Rewards: For what will God wish to reward you in eternity?

For more information about what the Bible says about homosexuality, please see my other article about it on this website—

Homosexuality:  What are we to think about it?

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