The apostle Paul and his teaching on homosexuality

Don’t 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 homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor those habitually drunk, nor verbal abusers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1Cor6:9-11)

Paul and his teaching on homosexuality make for a difficult passage for some, especially if they regard themselves as “a gay Christian”. A person cannot help his own innate sexuality nor be blamed for it, and as Paul writes elsewhere “I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to the one who thinks something is unclean, to that person it is unclean” (Rom14:14). So there will be some Christians living in a loving, monogamous, enduring yet actively sexual relationship with someone of the same gender who may in all good conscience understand themselves to be doing nothing wrong. It is surely vastly more excusable than a heterosexual choosing to commit adultery, which he knows in his heart is wrong, opposing God’s Law of love for it injures the cheated partner (Rom13:8). It could be argued that taking Paul’s teaching in Rom13:8-10, anyone who demonstrates love and fidelity towards another and hurts no one in the process has fulfilled the heart of God’s law. Indeed, I have been shown that such is the case in the context of the eluded Universal Covenant of life which determines who is “of God” and who is not (cf. 1Jn3:12).

But I speak now of that more glorious and exclusive covenant sealed with Christ’s blood, marking out who are as the children of promise are joint heirs with Christ (Gal4:28; Rom8:17). Paul and his teaching on homosexuality need to be understood in this context. So, whilst open to being convinced of the Spirit otherwise, I currently understand Paul to be teaching that a sexually active homosexual relationship is not compatible with the sanctifying process required for those who are to “inherit the Kingdom”, especially in view of what the apostle teaches at the end of the chapter concerning the nature of the Christian’s body (vv18-20).

As already intimated, Paul and his teaching on homosexuality needs to be understood in the context of the broader benign providence I have been outlining. For this purpose I will briefly quote from my book** that commented on this passage in the context of the unforgivable sin:

“Inheriting the Kingdom of God” is not referring to the spirit going to heaven after separation from the body but to inheriting everything Christ is to inherit within a new body. Those who continue to practice the above will not be amongst the latter, even if currently incorporated in the Church. The one mortal sin that will NOT be forgiven as can be discerned from its context (Mt12:22-32) relates to knowing or sensing in one’s conscience that something is of God working through His Holy Spirit yet asserting it to be wicked or satanic as certain Pharisees did regarding Jesus’ miracle which they maligned for their own ends in order to preserve their own status and traditions. One may well have challenged the working of the Spirit in ignorance, but what is done in ignorance cannot be the unforgivable sin which is why even blasphemy against Christ can be forgiven but not what is said against the direct working of the Spirit where that is perceived within the conscience”. However, every other sin may be forgiven in this age and the next (v32).

[Extract from “The Little Book of Providence” – chapter 3]

The LITTLE BOOK OF PROVIDENCE: a seven-part synopsis of the bible: Download a free PDF of e-book suitable for desktop computers HERE [updated September 2023] or a Large-print version for mobiles HERE [565 pages]

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